Big aquarium, terrarium exhibition in Dutch botanical garden


This 24 August 2015 video is about preparations for the AquaHortus exhibition, in the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands.

From 5-27 September 2015, there will be that big aquarium and terrarium exhibition, called AquaHortus.

The displays will be in several botanical garden hothouses and other buildings and in the open air.

The plans say there will be 68 terrariums. And 95 big aquariums. And about 200 small aquariums, mainly for killifish and shrimps.

Among the fish will be tropical sea fish, tropical fresh water fish, North Sea fish and fish of the species in the canals of Leiden city.

In the terrariums will be snakes, chameleons and other lizards, turtles and tortoises, salamanders, poison dart frogs and scorpions.

There have been earlier AquaHortus exhibitions here.

In the 1950s, this was one of the first places anywhere were one could see luminescent neon tetras in an aquarium.

This is a neon tetra video.

Save Caribbean sharks


This 26 August 2015 video was recorded in the Oceanium, the big aquarium in Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands. It is about marking there the start of the three years long Save Our Sharks campaign, by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

This campaign aims to help sharks in the Caribbean to survive. There are about thirty shark species in the Caribbean.

This video is called Jonathan Bird examines one of the world’s most photographed–yet least studied–sharks, the Caribbean Reef shark.

Shark study in the Netherlands


This video says about itself:

15 April 2015

School sharks, Galeorhinus galeus, in a Fuerteventura beach (Canary Islands).

There used to be quite some sharks around the Dutch Wadden Sea islands; mainly starry smooth-hound sharks and school sharks.

However, ever since the 1970s, their numbers declined.

Recently, some fishermen say the numbers are going up again.

To see whether that is true, some shrimp fishermen will tag sharks which they catch, and release them.

Today, 28 August 2015, was supposed to be the start of this. However, the shark caught today was too small to tag, so it was freed without having been tagged.

Basking shark off California, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

On May 5, 2012 our whale watching boat, Manute’a, encountered a rare Basking Shark off the coast of Dana Point. The animal was estimated to be about 20 feet long. These plankton eating sharks are the second largest fish in the world; only a whale shark is bigger. Whale watchers were awestruck when this huge shark turned and swam right up next to the boat!

British marine life surveyed by divers for conservation


This video is called British Sea Life.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife Trust divers survey UK marine life to make case for protection

Divers from the Wildlife Trusts have undertaken exploratory scientific surveys in a bid to better understand the UK marine environment and help protect it for the future.

Five professional divers and marine ecologists, commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, are gathering evidence and data from areas where existing knowledge about marine habitats is limited.

This summer, marine scientist Dominic Flint is leading the team of divers in recording any interesting finds in five survey areas around England.

They are surveying and photographing the sands and gravels, the rock types and forms, the seaweeds and animals attached to the rocks, crabs and other creatures that crawl over the seabed and the fish that swim above, round and through them.

Joan Edwards, The Wildlife Trusts’ head of Living Seas, says: “By deploying a dive team we hope to be able to propose new areas for inclusion in the third phase of Marine Conservation Zones, which should be designated in 2016.

“Gathering data in the marine environment is notoriously difficult and time-consuming.

“We hope our activity will help to strengthen the existing evidence base and provide information about areas where little, or nothing, is currently known.

“We have to do this to ensure these places can be included in future discussions over marine protection, and their conservation secured.

“This will be our last opportunity to secure an ecologically coherent network in England.”

The Wildlife Trusts, at the forefront of practical marine conservation and data submission, is the first non government organisation to commission a dive team to gather such evidence.

All the data gathered will be submitted to Natural England.

All the dives are weather dependent. They have started in the south west of England with plans to move along the Channel and in to the North Sea, where it is hoped new and exciting marine life will be found.

The dive team surveyed The Manacles Marine Conservation Zone in June. It was designated in 2013 for its wide range of habitats: from rocky reefs to vertical rock faces with large cobbles and boulders grading into sandy sediment – as well as to protect the maerl beds, sea-fan anemone, spiny lobster and stalked jellyfish found here.

The rocky reef is home to several important and well-known species such as pink sea fan, cup coral and the beautiful jewel anemone.

The Manacles was also designated to allow the Maerl beds found there to recover. Maerl is a type of seaweed which forms a hard skeleton and, if suitably protected, forms extensive beds which act as shelter and nursery areas for many other marine animals, including commercially-important species of fish and shellfish.

They are very slow to develop and unlikely to return if they are irreparably damaged; as such they are treated as a non-renewable resource vital to sustainable fisheries.

In July, the team explored a number of areas within St Ives Bay in Cornwall; an open sandy bay which features the Hayle estuary, framed by rocky headlands and reefs.

This is an area known to be important for mobile species from seabirds to bottlenose dolphins, which call in from time to time.

During this exploratory dive, the team recorded more than 130 species on and around rich rocky reefs, all teeming with life and colour.

The densely encrusted rock forms were swathed in a rainbow carpet of sponges, sea squirts, anemones and seaweeds; providing a playground for nudibranchs, crabs, northern cowrie – a small sea snail – and lobster.

Within the sand, they saw burrowing brittlestars, tube anemones and a painted goby.

Throughout the dive, the team swam below shoals of bass, sand eels, the odd Ballan Wrasse and Sunfish, the largest bony fish there is.

The Wildlife Trusts have been campaigning vigorously for the proper protection of UK seas for many years.

With government commitments for protecting the sea yet to be fully met, urgent action is still needed to turn our over-fished, over-exploited, and currently under-protected waters back into a healthy and sustainable environment.

Watching fish good for health, new study


This 2012 video is called National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, Devon, England.

By Kyle Young:

Calm And Soothing: Watching Fish is Beneficial To Health, Research Finds

When you think of healthy activities, you probably picture morning jogs, yoga, maybe choking down a protein shake.

But research offers a surprising addition – staring at fish!

A study conducted in Plymouth, UK at the National Marine Aquarium found that after watching fish “people felt more positive” and “became more relaxed.” The study even noted reductions in blood pressure and heart rate.

This is not an entirely new concept. Past research has led many doctors’ offices and dental practices to include small aquariums in their waiting rooms with the intention of decreasing stress. But according to Deborah Cracknell, the Lead Researcher, “This study has, for the first time, provided robust evidence that ‘doses’ of exposure to underwater settings could actually have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.” It also demonstrated that adding more fish to an exhibit can enhance the beneficial effects for viewers.

I should add here that having too many fish in a relatively small aquarium is not good for the well-being of the fish, disturbing them, and probably ultimately also humans watching them.

Also, aquarium fish should be species and individuals getting along well together. I remember an aquarium at an elderly people’s home, where fish quarreled, aggressively pursuing each other. If at an elderly people’s home or similar building there is not a person able to take care well of an aquarium and its inhabitants, then an aquarium there might not be such a good idea.

More Information About the Research Study and Its Findings

Scientists from Plymouth University and the University of Exeter Medical School collaborated to conduct this study at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, UK. The University of Exeter reports, “The researchers benefited from a unique opportunity in order to conduct their study when the National Marine Aquarium refurbished one of its main exhibits – in a large 550,000 litre tank – and began a phased introduction of different fish species.”

In their report, the researchers explain how they took advantage of the situation by venturing to measure “behavioral, physiological, and psychological reactions to increases in levels of marine biota.” To do this, they divided the test subjects into three groups. The first group “viewed the exhibit when it contained only seawater and artificial decoration.” The second group viewed the tank when it was partially stocked, and the third viewed the fully stocked tank. The goal was to determine whether participants viewing a fully stocked tank would experience greater results than those viewing a partially stocked tank.

As it turned out, the researchers were on to something. The study found that “increased biota levels were associated with longer spontaneous viewing of the exhibit, greater reductions in heart rate, greater increases in self-reported mood, and higher interest.”

The scientists suggested these findings could potentially help companies design better exhibits to “maximize the restorative potential of aquaria in health care environments and other stressful settings such as the workplace.”

Shark beached on Schiermonnikoog island


This 17 August 2014 video by a diver in the Oosterschelde estuary in the Netherlands shows a common smooth-hound shark.

Translated from conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten in the Netherlands:

Friday, August 21st, 2015

In mid-August participants in the beachcombers’ excursion on Schiermonnikoog found a very special find! THe Volunteer Collective of National Park Schiermonnikoog found at beach post 5 a one meter long common smooth-hound shark. …

The eyes and a part of the gills were already gone, but otherwise the shark was still completely intact.