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Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize

On the forefront of technological reef research the country of Belize has assigned drones to combat illegal fishing throughout marine protected areas, in what may be the first use of drones for conservation. “Belize has been a leader in the establishment of marine protected areas, including the world-famous Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, but fishing regulations are difficult to enforce on the open sea,” said Julio Maaz, Communities Fisheries Coordinator for WCS’s Marine Program in Belize. “Drones offer a means of improving the rate of detection of illegal activities at a fraction of the cost required for patrol vessels.” 140722152432 large Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize The unmanned aerial drones will begin a new monitoring program that is a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society who provided the technical expertise, and the Belize Fisheries Department. “This exciting new enforcement tool will help the government and local communities protect their most valuable assets — the fisheries and coral reefs of Belize’s coastal waters,” said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Executive Director of WCS Marine Conservation. “The world’s oceans are in dire need of low cost innovations for improving the cost efficiency and effectiveness of enforcement efforts. This represents an exciting pilot program for Belize, the wider Caribbean, and nearshore marine parks and fisheries around the world.” Read more here!More:

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Mozambique Channel Lends insight into Bleaching Events

In an ongoing effort to understand the effects of ocean warming scientists have made yet another breakthrough in determining which reefs are more susceptible to increases in temperature. Tracking patterns of decline and measuring recovery rates of reefs throughout 291 sites, and thousands of miles of ocean over a 7 year span, scientists found that the Mozambique Channel offered the most insight into future events as its treasure trove of diversity withstood the massive warming and bleaching events of El Nino. Doctor Caleb McClennen, Director of the WCS Marine Program said this to support their findings: “The remaining coral diversity of the Mozambique Channel presents us with an opportunity to safeguard these remaining ecosystems for posterity.”

71516 web Mozambique Channel Lends insight into Bleaching Events“Determining which reef systems possess a measure of resistance to climate change requires knowing how they have survived the many recent climatic disturbances. The Western Indian Ocean provides us with a variety of responses to disturbances that we can examine and distinguish environmental variation, resilience, adaptation, and other factors for a more informed view of management priorities and solutions to the climate crisis.” said Tim McClanahan, WCS’s Senior Conservation Scientist and lead author of the paper. Read more here!… More:

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Massive Glass Aquarium Cracks at Downtown Disney

Well it’s happened again. The T-Rex Cafe (part of Downtown Disney) in Buena Vista Florida had its dinner guests surprised as a massive saltwater tank burst Monday afternoon sending thousands of gallons of water onto the floor, leaving its fish high and dry. There were no reports of any injured guests and details on the break and the status of the fish are yet to be released.     … More:

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Overview of Sponges

Futuyma 2009 293x300 Overview of Sponges

Source: Futuyma, 2009

 Although commonly regarded as the most primitive multicellular animal group, sponges – members of the phylum: Porifera, are both diverse and interesting. Currently, this phylum is described as consisting almost completely of 3 distinct classes: Demospongea, Calcarea, and Hexactinellida. Roughly 95% of living sponge species fall into the class: Demospongea. This group of sponges has spicules – small skeletal structures that are composed of spongin – a soft, spongy protein, and/or SiO2 – the solid chemical compound that forms glass and quartz. If you see a “spongy-looking” creature in your reef aquarium, chances are it is a Demosponge. 
Demosponge 300x243 Overview of Sponges

Demospongea

 The next group, Calcarea, is thought to include around 3% of living sponge species. This group features sponges that have a skeleton composed of rigid… More:
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Reef Threads Podcast #157

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #157http://cdn.wso.net/reefthreads/podcasts/rt157.mp3
It’s Regular Guy Week, this time with Elliott, a hobbyist from the Phoenix, AZ area and owner of a 900-gal. display and an overall amazing system. We had a great time talking with Elliott about his system and hobby experiences. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine Elliott’s video Below are some images Gary made when he visited Elliott. More: Reef Threads Podcast #157More:

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Peppermint Bass, Liopropoma rubre, Sea Basses

9bebBAR 1487 peppermint basslet 457x305 Peppermint Bass, Liopropoma rubre, Sea BassesGood morning friends, I apologize for the NO Blog yesterday but I was swamped with trying to submit 800 plus new photos into the US Copyright Office which is a major undertaking and I’m still working on it! So on Wednesday I briefly mentioned that I had spotted a Peppermint Bass out on the reef and more than one reader wrote me asking if I had gotten a photo!?? Well on the day I had seen him which was at around 75 feet I did not get a photo because he would not come out from his secret cave hidden deep in the reef. So like a good photographer and faithful to my readers i went back down just for you and waited and waited for him to come out and say hi and finally just as I was running out of time, he did a quick “swim-by”!!  MORE: MOREMore:

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Calcium And Alkalinity: A Beginner’s Briefing

elos test kits Calcium And Alkalinity: A Beginner’s Briefing
Calcium and Alkalinity: A Beginner’s Briefing Elos Calcium and Alkalinity Test Kits Milk and batteries? What is this stuff?! You never thought keeping corals would require a slight knowledge of chemistry, did you? Do not worry! It does not have to be as scary as your high school chemistry class. In fact, I am going to make it as easy as possible to ensure people of all ages and educations can at least get started. With a quick idea of what these two words mean and how to manipulate their levels you can easily do it yourself and feel confident you are doing it right More: Calcium And Alkalinity: A Beginner’s BriefingMore:

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There is a Thief Amongst Us! ($1000 Reward)

Many of us are familiar with the large dry-good displays of Dirk’s The Real Reefers Store as he can set up at events and conferences easily taking up an entire wall. Dirk was recently robbed and had his entire stock and truck stolen. Please do the community a favor, spread the word and keep your eyes peeled for any of the items Dirk has listed below. Dirk States: A LOT of this is very unique to me and to the industry. I am throwing out a hail mary pass that if enough know about it, can tell a few people, list it on your boards, check your local Craigs list, Ebay, Amazon, STORES, maintenance firms large or small….someone might see something.
I have a few photo’s to show some of the items
To me things that will stick out
-The coral/glow sticks…NO one has them in quantities. They are 18″ up to 72″ long and in green, orange and red.
-The cubes I store things in are from Target called Itso cubes. They are white and have 2 bolted together. They are 14 1/2″, all the way around, obviously 2 of them will be 29″ long/high. They stack pretty nice and hold a LOT of stuff. Hydor, Mag, Maxi-jet and other pumps and power heads. There are prices on the upper side of many of the cubes.
-The drawers that also stack nicely are from Iris, they have not been made in 5-7 years. I checked because I wanted more of them, the company just giggled and said I was a bit late. They are filled with Elos, Radium, Ushio, XM MH se bulbs, test kits, cleaning magnets and lots of parts
-5′ silver truck box
-2-black Contico boxes approx 34x24x24″Download IMG-20130608-00026.jpg (422.4 KB)
-Tongs 12″ angled with red coated tips, 24″ tongs no coating
-Skimmers from Coralife, Hydor, Aquatic life
-UV’s from Coralife and Tetra and replacement bulbs
-2/3/4′ T5 bulbs, 13/18/24/28/55/66/96w PC bulbs
-Salifert and SeaChem test kits
-Leds 6 to 48″ long from Marineland, Aquatic Life
-4′ Coralife 4 bulb T5
-Black plastic tool box filled with Ushio, Phoenix, AB de MH bulbs
This could go on for pages, do what you can to get the word and photos out. Most of this is going to stick out, with who ever might get some or all. I will offer a reward of up to $1000 depending on what is recovered.… More:

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