Parrotfish help coral reefs survice


This video says about itself:

The parrotfish is an interesting specimen. Not only do they change sex from female to male as they get older but parrotfish like blowing spit bubbles to sleep in.

A giant spit bubble sleeping bag.

In the morning the parrotfish goes about living its life on the reef, spending its day happily munching coral with its huge buck teeth. The fish grinds the coral down to extract the algae. Like all animals – what goes in must come out and the fish poops out the undigested rock as sand. A single fish can produce 200 lbs of sand a year.

From Wildlife Extra:

Corals need more parrotfish to survive

A decline in parrotfish and sea urchin numbers is a bigger cause of Caribbean coral loss than global warming, a new report suggests, and by increasing these populations the reefs have a chance of recovery.

The corals have declined by more than 50 per cent since the 1970s and only about one-sixth of their original coral cover remain.

These species are the area’s two main grazers and the loss of them breaks the delicate eco-balance of corals and allows algae, on which they feed, to smother the reefs.

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme.

“But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”

“Even if we could somehow make climate change disappear tomorrow, these reefs would continue their decline,” says Jeremy Jackson, lead author of the report and IUCN’s senior advisor on coral reefs.

“We must immediately address the grazing problem for the reefs to stand any chance of surviving future climate shifts.”

The research was carried out by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

New marine species discoveries in Bonaire sea


This video says about itself:

Lionfish spotted in Bonaire

21 June 2013

Lionfish spotted with the submarine spotted at depths of approximately 300feet deep. These were spotted on a sunken boat where many of them created their habitat.

From IMARES research institute in Wageningen, the Netherlands, last year:

The marine biologists Erik Meesters and Lisa Becking of IMARES Wageningen UR have explored Bonaire‘s deep reef using a submarine. They found unusual animals, fossil reefs, and even archaeological artefacts.

The goal of the Bonaire Deep Reef Expedition is to take an initial inventory of the habitat and biodiversity of the deep reef.

On the morning of 18 May 2014, Lisa Becking was interviewed by Vroege Vpgels radio in the Netherlands about the results of the expedition. Photos are here.

Ms Becking said the discoveries included 13 sponge species, new for science; and two sponge species already known from elsewhere, but not from Bonaire waters yet. They found 30 sponge species, so half was new, either for Bonaire, or for science.

They also found one new shrimp species and two new fish species.

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New Caledonia creates large protected marine area


This video says about itself:

National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions | New Caledonia

26 February 2014

Last year the governments of New Caledonia and Australia announced their commitment to create a large marine park in the Coral Sea extending across the maritime boundary between these two countries.

However, a large portion of the Coral Sea in New Caledonia (in particular the remote Chesterfield Banks on the western region) has barely been explored.

In November 2013, National Geographic partnered with Blancpain, the Waitt Institute and the Institute de Recherche pour le Developement (IRD) of New Caledonia to explore, survey, and film these remote reefs through a Pristine Seas expedition.

The team traveled to the Chesterfield and the Entrecasteaux Reefs on the north, as well as to Petri and Astrolabe in the east. The main objectives of this Pristine Seas expedition were to fill gaps in scientific data on this area and to produce a documentary film.

Relive the expedition in the National Geographic Explorers Journal blog.

From Mongabay.com:

New Caledonia officially creates world’s largest protected area (photos)

May 02, 2014

The government of New Caledonia last week officially created the world’s largest protected area, establishing a multi-use zone that at 1.3 million square kilometers is three times the size of Germany, reports Conservation International (CI).

The Natural Park of the Coral Sea (Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail) covers all of New Caledonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is home to 4,500 square kilometers of coral reefs, 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and five species of marine turtles, according to CI. And because New Caledonia is governed by France, the commitment boosts the proportion of France’s national jurisdiction marine waters under protection from four percent to 16 percent.

The protected area is zoned for multiple types of use, including fishing under a management plan that aims for sustainability.

CI says the protected area will be integrated into the Pacific Oceanscape, an initiative by 16 Pacific Island nations and six territories to collaboratively manage nearly 40 million square kilometers, and the Big Ocean Network

“This is a monumental decision for New Caledonia and the entire Pacific,” said David Emmett, Senior Vice-President for Conservation International’s program in the Asia-Pacific, in a statement. “Such a measure exemplifies what other countries in the Pacific can do to fully invest in the long term health and productivity of their ocean resources.”

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Coral life in new film


This video about coral is called Slow Life.

From Wildlife Extra:

The incredible life of coral captured on film

April 2014: Coral as you have never seen before. Film maker Daniel Stoupin has produced a stunning film that captures the secret life of corals, sponges and other marine life in minute, microscopic, detail. filmed under high magnification ‘Slow Life’ illustrates their magical colourful world and transforms your perception.

For far from being the motionless creatures perceived by many, the film actually reveals them as live, graceful, blossoming, sea creatures that operate in a very different timescale to our own.

“‘Slow’ marine life is particularly mysterious. As colorful, bizarre-looking, and environmentally important as we know corals and sponges are, their simple day-to-day life is hidden. Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness,” says Daniel in the text that accompanies the film. “I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behaviour I realized that I have to take it one step at a time. For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef ‘landscapes.'”

This coral has shown it can weather warmer waters: here.

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Coral reef discovery in Iraqi waters


This video is called ♥♥ Coral Reef Fish (3 hours).

From Nature:

Discovery of a living coral reef in the coastal waters of Iraq

Thomas Pohl, Sameh W. Al-Muqdadi, Malik H. Ali, Nadia Al-Mudaffar Fawzi, Hermann Ehrlich & Broder Merkel

06 March 2014

Until now, it has been well-established that coral complex in the Arabian/Persian Gulf only exist in the coastal regions of Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates and it was thought that there are no coral reefs in Iraq.

However, here for the first time we show the existence of a living 28 km2 large coral reef in this country. These corals are adapted to one of the most extreme coral-bearing environments on earth: the seawater temperature in this area ranges between 14 and 34°C. The discovery of the unique coral reef oasis in the turbid coastal waters of Iraq will stimulate the interest of governmental agencies, environmental organizations, as well as of the international scientific community working on the fundamental understanding of coral marine ecosystems and global climate today.

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Good whale news from Japan


This video is called Humpback Whales – BBC documentary excerpt.

After bad news from Japan about taxpayer-funded killing of whales … and good news about Japanese demonstrating against whaling … now some more good news.

From Wildlife Extra:

Japan saves humpback breeding grounds

March 2014: It’s good news for humpbacks as Japan has designated the Kerama Islands and surrounding waters in Okinawa Prefecture as the country’s 31st national park and the first in three decades. These waters are also famed as a breeding ground for whales, including humpbacks who migrate to the tropical waters for mating between December and April every year.

The designated area includes 30 islets and reefs, and covers 3,520 hectares of dry land and 94,750 hectares of ocean. It lies 35 kilometres west of Okinawa Main Island and is famous for its rich aquatic environment. It is home to 248 species of coral.

A report in the Japan Times says that the ministry will also designate surrounding waters shallower than 30 metres as a marine park and will strictly restrict development within them, such as the extraction of sand. It also plans to build coral restoration facilities to counter the damage done in the past.

Blue whales and many other marine animals will receive important new safeguards by Chile’s declaration of two new marine protected areas (MPAs) along its southern coast: here.

March 2014: The future of Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic could be reviewed as the International Court of Justice in The Hague has announced that it will deliver its preliminary judgment in the case between Australia and Japan at the end of the month: here.

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