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Mating Pair Slender Filefish

Good morning from Curacao! Sorry for the lack of blogs these past few days but we had another three day weekend due to another holiday and I was no where near my computer. Yesterday was “Kings Day”, one of the biggest holidays of the year, and NO Curacao does not have a King but the Netherlands does. Kings Day is the Kings birthday and is celebrated with everyone wearing orange, (the Netherlands national colors), wild non-stop parties and live events all day long, I stayed home! I have two Slender Filefish for you all today in their pre-mating mode

Irish Team ROV Images New Coldwater ‘Reef’

A new coldwater coral habitat has been discovered on a submerged cliff face almost 1km below the sea surface by Irish marine scientists. Operating at around 300km off the Kerry coastline, the research team onboard the Marine Institute’s research vessel MV Celtic Explorer were mapping some previously unconfirmed reefs on the edge of the Porcupine Bank canyon, using the Holland I remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Initially capturing images of a ‘blizzard’ of organic-rich particles flushing down the canyon, the ROV then moved closer to reveal a vertical cliff face habitat carpeted by coldwater coral and other marine life, including sponges, crabs and fish. University College Cork (UCC) scientist Prof Andy Wheeler explains, “The Porcupine Bank has 500km of cliff habitat at this water depth. Corals were found between 900 and 700 metres water depth,” This could double the amount of coral habitat already believed to be in the area, which is a designated special area of conservation. University of Ulster scientist Dr Chris McGonigle noted that the quality of data which the State’s research vessel and its ROV can collect is “phenomenal”.

Coastal Activities Making it Harder for Fish to Breathe

New research out of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University finds that the impacts of human activities like dredging are making it harder for fish to breathe, and are likely increasing the rates of gill disease amongst coastal reef fish. “Fish gills are in direct contact with their environment and are the first line of defense in the animal’s immune response, which makes them the perfect place to look for damage associated with sediment,” adds co-author of the study Dr Jodie Rummer. 150616093642_1_900x600“Suspended sediments result from flood plumes, coastal agricultural and industrial development and from dredging operations and are increasing in coastal waters worldwide,” says co-author, Dr Amelia Wenger. The study simulated sediment accumulation in the lab and subjected clown fish larvae to increased levels, and what they found might be some what of a duality. “The gills in sediment-exposed larval clownfish fish were congested, exhibiting twice as much mucous of what could be found in clean-water exposed fish,” says study lead author, PhD Student Sybille Hess. Yet Rummer added that”Sediment-exposed fish also increased the number of protective cells on their gills, presumably safeguarding the delicate tissue from the damage that sediment particles could cause.” The findings could mean fish are adapting to the elevated levels of sediment but they most definitely underscore the increased need for awareness as it relates to coastal impacts like dredging and agricultural runoff. Read more here.… More:

Fish Faces: Banded Butterflyfish

Good morning, I have a very gentle, super fun to watch, reef fish for you all today called a Banded Butterflyfish or Chaetodon striatus. The name is derived from the dark vertical bands on the fish’s body. This, combined with a vertical, black bar through the eye, is an adaptation that can confuse predators. These fish are around five inches in length, can be found easily in the 10-60 foot zone and  are usually always found in pairs. These two here can always be found in the same area and I have been swimming with them for years so they are more or less pretty used to me and my giant camera. As I was taking my pictures one of them (top photo) left the safety of the gorgonian and swam right up to the front of my camera and proceeded to just hang out there without a care in the World, it was great!

Whitespotted Filefish – Monacanthidae

Good morning from a tiny island in the Caribbean called Curacao! I have a super cool fish for you all today called a Whitespotted Filefish, Cantherhines macrocerus, it’s one of our personal favorites! This fish has so many unique built-in features, it reminds me of a swimming Swiss Army knife! This fish has the ability to change and flash colors, it has a super cool retractable spine on top of it’s head, it can puff up it’s belly to look bigger and to lock itself into a crevice for protection and it has wild looking spines at the base of it’s tail, talk about cool!!! Filefish (also known as foolfish, leatherjackets or shingles) are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae.

Long Island Collecting Log: The tropicals are in

The northern sennet, a close relative of the great barracuda, is usually among the first warm-water species to appear on Long Island each year.

The northern sennet, a close relative of the great barracuda, is usually among the first warm-water species to appear on Long Island each year.

 After a long cold winter and amid disturbing reports that the North Atlantic may be entering a cool phase, I am very happy to report that the first tropical species of the year have made their appearance in Long Island waters.Yesterday, I was joined by an elite team of fish collectors… More:

Scrawled Filefish Video, Odd Shaped Reef Fish

embedded content Hi boys and girls, I have a short but fun clip for you all today of a beautiful 16 inch scrawled filefish that I found out on the reef a few hours ago. You may have to watch this on Youtube as it’s so small, here is the link…. https://youtu.be/gMuijO-net8 Check out the sharp spine on top of it’s head, this can be raised or lowered depending on how worried he or she is and as you can see he or she is a bit concerned. This ultra cool fish like so many others can change colors in the blink of eye, it’s truly one of the top coolest fish in the Caribbean sea. Have a great day..

The Endangered Corals of Fisher Island & The Saga of The Deep Dredge (Part 3 of 3)

Fisher Island, Government & Norris Cuts A Nursery Solution: The Deep Dredge of Government Cut has caused significant coral stress and mortality on the corals and reefs in and around Miami… including wide areas that the Army Corps predicted would not be affected. In particular, the dredging at PortMiami has resulted in vast sediment plumes that arc around the south-side of Fisher Island and out through Norris Cut where federally protected elkhorn corals are suffering. As mitigation against this coral die-off and stress, Coral Morphologic proposes the construction of an ‘urban coral research nursery’ along the edge of South Pointe Park where the public can be directly engaged with the marine ecosystem of Miami. This coral nursery will be built primarily to house and grow fragments from the variety of Acropora corals living around Fisher Island. The coral nursery will be a proactive mitigation response to a shameful coral transplantation effort on Fisher Island and the siltation-related mortality of coral around Miami. In order to test the resilience of these Fisher Island Acropora corals, it is imperative that these colonies are grown and cloned into as many individual colonies as possible. Not only will this allow for exhaustive in-situ research projects, but it will also result in additional fragments useful for restoring reefs around Miami after the Deep Dredge is completed. Because the Fisher Island Acropora corals are so unique, the only way to properly test their resilience is to fragment them repeatedly over time to create enough cloned test subjects. Because the hybrid Acropora corals are not conferred federal protection, their clones are ideally suited for life in educational public aquarium reef displays around the globe where they will become fluorescent icons of adaptation and resilience for both Miami and coral-kind. Coral Morphologic proposes that such a coral nursery should be deployed just inside Government Cut along South Pointe Park which provides ideal water conditions for growing all of the Miami’s ‘urban coral’ species; especially the Fisher Island Acropora corals. The South Pointe coral nursery will provide coral biologists with a low-cost, easily-accessible platform in which to pursue unique coral research projects that only Miami affords. Close access to land-based electrical and internet infrastructure will allow an array of tools that offshore nurseries can’t count on such as 24/7 live streaming underwater web cameras, flow meters, and water chemistry monitoring probes. A continuous stream of open-access data on the water quality moving into and out of Biscayne Bay with every tide will be necessary to provide the City with the most accurate information possible in which to predict future sea level rise and pollution. Furthermore, the addition of interactive signage will engage and educate citizens and tourists about the overlooked marine ecology of Miami Beach. This coral nursery project will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and require a long list of permits and permissions from agencies at the city, county, state, and federal level. While the levels of bureaucratic protection for corals are meant to be helpful, it also presents considerable roadblocks for those wishing to cultivate them for restoration and research. While an initial $10,000 Accelerator Grant from the Miami Foundation has kickstarted the planning process in earnest, we will be requiring more grant funding and donations to complete the project. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the project via the Coral Morphologic Fund managed by the Miami Foundation. We look forward to updating everyone on this project as we move forward to grow the rare and resilient ‘urban corals’ of Miami and Fisher Island! Tags: Coral Morphologic, Fisher Island, Miami This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 at 4:56 pm and is filed under Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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