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A Beautiful New Species of Serranus Bass From Western Africa

Serranus pulcher, from São Tomé. Credit: Peter Wirtz

Serranus pulcher, from São Tomé. Credit: Peter Wirtz

 The pint-sized basses of the genus Serranus just got a new species added to their ranks with the description of a stunning new fish from the poorly known tropical reefs of Western Africa. But this fish is no stranger to aquarists, as specimens have been trickling into the trade from Ghana for several years now, going by such confusing names such as thePeppermint Basslet or African Basslet.MORE

Protesters In Vietnam Want Answers Over Mystery Fish Deaths

_89530985_f5816650-c3b8-47e0-b037-ac25e25d44ebOn Sunday, thousands of protesters lined the streets of Ho Chin Min City and Hanoi, Vietnam. A rare scene in the communist country. The people were looking for answers to the recent mystery fish deaths which took place in the past month in over four different provinces. From April 6 to April 18, 2016, millions of dead fish, both farmed and fresh, lined over 125 miles of coastline. Farmed fish began dying first, followed by wild fish which washed up along the coast. The government of Vietnam advised that the fish should be avoided and investigated a possible environmental disaster. The government also suggested the deaths could be linked to possible algae bloom, but no conclusive cause has been reported. MORE

The Amazon’s Muddy Waters Have Been Hiding a Massive Reef

 The muddy plume waters of the Amazon River have been hiding a massive coral reef. You don’t hear a lot of good news about coral reefs these days, so the the discovery of more than 3,600 square miles of undiscovered reef at the mouth of the Amazon River is a pretty big deal. The Atlantic reports researchers in the 1970s caught a few types of fish that indicated a reef might be present along the coast of northeastern Brazil, but it wasn’t taken seriously. The waters at the mouth of the Amazon are some of the muddiest in the world, according to the Guardian. Sediment and other debris from all over South America are rocketed hundreds of miles out to sea, blocking the sunlight believed necessary for MORE

Is There Only One Species Of Powder Brown Surgeonfish?

The japonicus variant of the Powder Brown Surgeonfish, from Okinawa. Credit: yusuke

The “japonicus” variant of the Powder Brown Surgeonfish, from Okinawa. Credit: yusuke

 The challenges of recognizing what is and is not a “species” has proven to be one of the most vexing questions in all of science, and nowhere do these limitations to our understanding seem more evident than with our current classification of Indo-Pacific reef fishes. Commonly shared patterns in the biogeography of these fishes indicates that past glacial cycles have done much to shape the distribution and speciation of today’s fauna. We know that the Indian and Pacific Oceans have often been separated by the Sunda Shelf of Indonesia during periods of lowered sea level, as can be seen in the many so-called geminate species split by this barrier. But less is known about what happens when barriers like this are removed and the new “species” begin to once again interbreed.MORE

Shark Attack Insurance Available In Australia

jawsWhen people think of the possibility of a shark attack, they are probably not thinking about insurance. Insurance is most likely the last thing on someones mind, but it is important to have a plan in place for medical expenses in case the rare shark attack does occur, especially if you are traveling abroad. Although shark attacks are very rare, Australia has been a hot bed for media coverage on shark attacks in recent years. One Australian company, 1lovesurfing, is offering an innovative and pretty inexpensive ‘surfers insurance’ that goes beyond covering just traditional medical expenses in case of a shark attack. MORE

Camouflaged Filefish, Monacanthus ciliatus

Hi all, I have a super camouflaged, very hidden, Fringed Filefish for you all today that we found hiding on the side of a giant pillar that was holding up a monster sized pier. These little two inch fish are masters of camouflage and have the ability to change colors in a split second mimicking almost any underwater background color, it’s one of those things I just can’t explain you have to see it to believe it. Appearing very much like their close relatives the triggerfish, filefish are rhomboid-shaped fish that have beautifully elaborate cryptic patterns. Deeply keeled bodies give a false impression of size when these fish are viewed facing the flanks. Filefish have soft, simple fins with comparatively small pectoral fins and truncated, fan-shaped tail fins; a slender, retractable spine crowns the head. Although there are usually two of these spines, the second spine is greatly reduced, being used only to lock the first spine in the erect position; this explains the family name Monacanthidae, from the Greek monos meaning “one” and akantha meaning “thorn”. Some species also have recurved spines on the base of the tail (caudal peduncle). The small terminal mouths of filefish have specialized incisor teeth on the upper and lower jaw; in the upper jaw there are four teeth in the inner series and six in the outer series; in the lower jaw, there are 4-6 in an outer series only. MORE

Underwater in Okinawa

Fields of maricultured Acropora in Onna, Okinawa, Japan

 Okinawa, Japan is known for its great diving and lush coral reefs. I had heard heard all sorts of cautionary tales about diving in Okinawa due to its strong currents, but I’d also heard that the quality of the reefs is practically unmatched. The day of my scheduled dive was rough. It started raining heavily, and that pretty much limited the dive locations that were available for safety reasons. The single dive location would be just off the coast of our hotel in the Manza Beach area of Onna-son. Onna is located in the central part of the island and is where most of the resort hotels are located. MORE

Amazing Shark Vision Camera

bio sharkScientists have developed a ‘shark vision’ camera that allows us to see just how swellsharks and chain catsharks are able to view their underwater world. Both species of sharks have  brightly fluorescent properties, essentially meaning that these sharks are able to absorb external light and emit it in a different color. Scientists studied the low light photorecepters in the eyes of both species, which enables the sharks to detect light of certain wavelengths. Based on that information, the scientists were able to build a camera that uses the same wavelengths, allowing the scientists to see the underwater world from a sharks eye perspective. 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.