Welcome to the UltraMarine Magazine News Blog. We will post items of interest to reefers and aquarists from around the world on this blog. If you have any news from your region or field of interest, email email@example.com and we may include it here.
The BBC has reported the conviction of a Greater Manchester man who tried to smuggle more than 700 rare and endangered corals and clams weighing more than 750kg into the UK. The 23-year-old man was jailed for six months.
Visitors to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth this half term will be able to learn more about the journey from the depths of the ocean to the dinner table, with a week of activities dedicated to sustainable seafood. Those coming to explore can join in with a host of free activities, as well as taking part in regular experiments and demonstrations designed to help diners make the right choices when it comes to the fish they choose to serve up to family and friends.
Artistic visitors can have a go at making their own sustainable fish art in the Creative Centre, including mini fishing rods and camouflaged flat fish. The fun continues around the Aquarium with art and science busking activities – Aquarium Hosts will help young visitors to draw a shark, make a fishing boat from modelling clay that could float on the ocean waves, and get their brains working to try and guess the weight of some of the largest ocean inhabitants. Half term explorers can get also involved with one of the regular lively interactive shows, or simply sit down and relax to listen to one of the local water fish talks in the Eddystone area.
Paul Cox, Director of Conservation and Communication at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “Choosing to buy and eat fish from a sustainable source is one of the key ways in which we can all help with the conservation of our seas. We are looking forward to welcoming our half term visitors to learn more about the importance of making an informed choice when it comes to our favourite seafood, and to join in with what we are sure will be a great week of fun and exciting activity.”
See http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/ for all you need to know.
Despite a warning a year ago that the Great Barrier Reef's world heritage status could be in downgraded in 2014, UNESCO has said "little had been done" to address concerns about "rampant coastal development and water quality". The Australian government says it has "taken steps to increase protection" but this Oceans Inc report makes sobering reading.
Following the success of the first ever Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Big Sea Swim off Eastbourne last year, the south coast resort is to once again play host to swimmers of all abilities who enjoy doing their breast stroke and front crawl among the waves rather than in the pool.
Last years event raised almost £3,000 for the UK’s leading marine conservation charity.
The swim is open to everyone with a 1km swim for beginners and a 3km swim for more experienced sea swimmers. Registration for the 13th July event is £20 for the short course and £25 for the longer distance.
This year it’s hoped the seas will be calm and the weather good and even more than the 53 swimmers who took part in the event in 2012 will get involved on Saturday 13th July 2013.
Eastbourne has been chosen by MCS to host a wild swim because of its ‘excellent’ bathing waters. The event is organised by MCS in conjunction with swim event organiser SwimTrek.
Tori Williams, MCS Community Fundraising Officer, says the Big Sea Swim is a chance to experience a wild swim in clean seas: “In our 2012 edition of the MCS Good Beach Guide, Eastbourne was given ‘recommended’ status which means it has passed stringent water quality tests and as a result is deemed to have excellent bathing water quality. In 2013 we have made the same recommendations. The MCS Big Sea Swim is open to everyone and is a great opportunity to celebrate Eastbourne’s continuing recommended status.”
Kate Todd, SwimTrek Race Organiser, says the event is still far enough a way for people to get ready: “A good place to start is in your local swimming pool, building up your confidence and swimming a little further than the distance you have entered for. Join an outdoor swimming / triathlon group who train together, as this will give you a safe way to experience swimming outside. If you plan to swim in a wetsuit, get used to it before the event. The most important thing is build confidence, then on the day just get in, do your best and have fun!"
Tori Williams says MCS hope swimmers will go the ‘extra mile’ and get family and friends to sponsor them to raise even more money to help the charity continue it’s work protecting UK sea shores and wildlife.
Places are limited so swimmers are urged to visit www.mcsuk.org/swim now to find out more about the event and book a place.
Divers at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks are giving feeding lessons to hundreds of new fish arrivals.
The award-winning aquarium is introducing giant shoals of juvenile fish to their 3.8-million-litre Caribbean Reef display. The fish, a mixture of tropical fusiliers, pork fish and foxfaces, aren’t used to swimming in large shoals in such a big expanse of water and divers are having to train them how to mass feed. The lessons are a key way of ensuring the fish are able to get enough food to eat on a daily basis.
Blue Planet Aquarium’s Andrea Swatman said "Of the four new species we are introducing in to the main ocean display, three are what is known as ‘tornado feeders.
"This means that in the wild they feed in large groups as a means of security from would-be predators.
"At the moment the dive team are providing them with four feeds per day. The feeds are put in an old washing-up bottle.
"The divers take in two bottles at a time, one containing wet food such as mysis, krill and shrimp. The second bottle contains a high-quality dry food consisting of flakes and pellets. The divers move around clockwise on the spot gently squeezing the washing-up bottle which is full of the food items. The fish have to learn to come together in a tight formation and swirl around the diver making a bait ball.
"We do this to teach the fish that it’s food time and this is the best place to get it. Also the bait ball allows them to feel more secure when feeding," she added.
In addition to hundreds of smaller shoaling species, the Caribbean Reef display, complete with 230ft underwater tunnel, also houses one of Europe’s largest collection of sharks – including three-metre-long sand tiger sharks – as well as stingrays, puffer fish and jacks.
You'll find the Blue Planet website at www.blueplanetaquarium.com
An important member of the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, UK, had an operation to remove a diseased eye recently, but staff report that Mini the Pufferfish is now once more swimming happily around her tank.
See the link below for the full BBC report.