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May The Fish Be With You

greedoiThis may be the coolest named new species yet. A paper published last week in the Zoological Taxonomy Journal has identified a new species of Loricariidae (catfish) from the Gurupi River in Brazil. This is a very diverse area within the amazon, home to many different and unusual species. This new species has been named ‘Peckoltia Greedoi’. greedoJonathan W. Armbruster, David C. Werneke, and Milton Ta discovered the species and state the following regarding the new species chosen name, “Named for Greedo of Rodia, a bounty hunter killed by Han Solo in Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina in the movie “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (Lucasfilm, Twentieth Century Fox, 1977) with whom this species shares a remarkable resemblance.” MORE

Octopus Inspired Submarine Is Fastest Underwater Vehicle Ever

  scientists-develop-superfast-3d-printed-octopus-submarine-1A group of scientists from the University of Southampton, Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology (MIT) and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technologyhave developed a new submarine that could help define new levels of underwater exploration. The submarine would be the fastest underwater vehicle ever developed. The super fast sub will be able to accelerate  from 0 to 60 miles per hour in one second. MORE

EcoTech Marine MP40w Quiet Drive Prototype Released

reefs.comMP40QDThe whispering began when EcoTech lowered pricing on their flagship pump, the MP40w ES. Was this to better compete with the Maxspect Gyre? Was there something else on the horizon? No reason to speculate now as our questions have been answered. EcoTech redesigned the MP40 pump, claiming up to 40% more water movement with 90% less noise. At this time there’s only one prototype unit being played with that I’m aware of. Lucky for us the user was kind enough to upload a full unboxing and demo video (pump starts running at 9 minute mark). No word yet on cost or production release of this new pump. Follow the break for YouTube video. MORE

I’ve Failed My Kids as a Marine Aquarium Mentor!

When my son and daughter, Aidan and Hannah, were youngsters, both seemed to share my enthusiasm for marine aquariums. Even when they were just toddlers, they loved peering into my tanks—often leaving sticky little handprints on the glass in the process—and helping ol’ Dad with his aquarium chores in any way they could.I can still recall each of them at different times standing next to a five-gallon bucket—almost as big as themselves—and helping me mix up batches of salt water with a wooden stirring stick. Hannah once even had her own little tank containing a blue devil damsel named “Blueberry.” However, as painful as it is to acknowledge, somewhere between that time and this, my kids not only transformed into cynical young adults (one in college, the other in high school), but they also lost all interest in aquariums, completely and utterly. Heck, they don’t even seem to notice my tanks are there anymore, let alone spend any time viewing the livestock. I guess I just assumed their early fascination would eventually blossom into a full-blown passion for marine aquariums, just as it had for me, and that the hobby would be something we could share for a lifetime. Boy, was I wrong! Where things went off track, I’m not exactly sure, but here are a few theories I’ve been toying around with: 1) They’re not my children This was my first assumption. After all, how could anyone who shares my DNA have no interest whatsoever in marine aquariums? MORE

Plans To Expand Gulf Of Mexico Reef Sanctuary

FlowerGardensTXThe National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) is calling for plans to enlarge the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. The new plan is proposing to expand current sanctuary size up to five times it’s current size, from 56 square miles up to 280 square miles. Established in 1992, the sanctuary is between 80-110 miles off the coast of Louisiana and Texas, and was founded by grouper and snapper fisherman in the 1800’s. It is one of the 14 federally designated underwater areas protected by the NOAA. The agency will collect public comments on it’s proposal until April 6, 2015. The inclusion of more territory into the plan would help protect our reefs from harmful human influences. MORE

Dispatch: Hawaii’s Fisheries Under Threat of Ban Bills

Image courtesy of NOAA under Creative Commons License

Image courtesy of NOAA under Creative Commons License

 The marine aquarium trade is based in large part on wild fishes harvested from aquarium fisheries around the world. While most aquarium fishes originate in the Philippines and Indonesia, the third largest supplier of aquarium fishes to the U.S. is Hawaii, and there are currently eight bills before the Hawaii State Legislature that could significantly affect that fishery. Aquarists should be concerned that three of those bills—the so-called “ban bills,” because they would essentially ban the fishery—seek to close the fishery outright. Several others would regulate it to such an extent that it may no longer be financially viable. Sustainably minded aquarists should be concerned that one of the best-studied, managed aquarium fisheries in the world could be legislated out of existence based on allegations inconsistent with the data. Two of these bills (HB 873 and HB 606) will be heard Wednesday before the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs, and aquarists, as well as other stakeholders, are encouraged to submit testimony before Tuesday’s deadline. MORE

Announcing Reefs:Dispatches strives to be the world’s leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. As such, we think it is vitally important to inform our readers about aquarium trade issues pertaining to sustainability. There are few more important issue for sustainably minded aquarists to be following right now than the legislative efforts to close Hawaii’s aquarium fishery.  This new series will focus on issues related to the aquarium trade and what individuals can do to better understand industry concerns and long term sustainability activities. To bring you some perspective on those efforts and how aquarists can respond, we reached out to Ret Talbot, who has covered Hawaii for CORAL Magazine since 2009. We are pleased to bring you a special report on a very important and timely topic.

A follow up to Reef Aquarists are not conservationists.

02-08CoralReef01After reading some responses I got via email on the rift between aquarists and conservationists, along with replies to some dialogue on other blogs tackling the topic, I thought it was important to address some facets of this discussion. Some of the comments came from those who understand that being a private reef aquarist isn’t conservation, while also realizing that we as reef aquarists aren’t scientists actively working to preserve natural coral reefs. Others, the majority, were quite the contrary and I feel emphasize why the hobby and reef aquarists have been implicated in conservation rulings, while becoming the target of conservation groups.  MORE is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.