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School of deep-sea diving: Breathtaking underwater photos capture exotic marine life in remote parts of the world

The Daily Mail –  – By Emma Reynolds – h/t to Patricia Gillenwater

Daring diver in his 60s goes to remote parts of the world to take beautiful pictures by a marine life photographer in the wildest parts of the planet.

David Doubilet’s awe-inspiring images were taken in far-flung parts of the Antarctic and around exotic islands.

The vibrant photographs range from cute Australian sea lions peering inquisitively into the lens to a terrifying Great White Shark opening its jaws in South Africa.

Sea life through a lens: An Australian sea lion peers playfully into the camera off Hopkins Island South Australia

Sea life through a lens: An Australian sea lion peers playfully into the camera off Hopkins Island South Australia

I said, no pictures! A great white shark makes a less friendly subject as it tries to bite the camera in Gansbaai, South Africa

I said, no pictures! A great white shark makes a less friendly subject as it tries to bite the camera in Gansbaai, South Africa

Even a black and white scene is utterly beautiful, showing a group of southern stingrays floating above the seabed of the Cayman Islands with sun rays falling from above.

 

Another fascinating photo shows a chance encounter between a parrot fish and a school of grey grunts in Galapagos.

Intrepid Mr Doubilet is now in his mid-60s but remains unafraid to come face-to-face with predators of the deep.

He has also enlisted fellow adventurers to appear in his photos, with one showing diver Dinah Halstead surrounded by a circle of barracuda in Papua New Guinea.

Happy feet: Chinstrap penguins survey their surroundings from the top of a 'bergy bit', or small ice floe, off Danko Island in the Antarctic Peninsula

Happy feet: Chinstrap penguins survey their surroundings from the top of a ‘bergy bit’, or small ice floe, off Danko Island in the Antarctic Peninsula

In the spotlight: Barracuda encircle daredevil diver Dinah Halstead as intrepid photographr David Doubilet captures the moment in the clear waters of Papua New Guinea

In the spotlight: Barracuda encircle daredevil diver Dinah Halstead as intrepid photographr David Doubilet captures the moment in the clear waters of Papua New Guinea

Shimmering surface: A Papuan fisherman stands in his wooden outrigger above schools of flashing baitfish in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Shimmering surface: A Papuan fisherman stands in his wooden outrigger above schools of flashing baitfish in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

chromodoris nudibranch raising its mantle to detect its environment

Spine cheeked anemone premnas biaculeatus in bleached anemone entacmaea quadricolor from Milne Bay Papua New Guinea

Vibrant characters: A chromodoris nudibranch raises its mantle to detect its environment in a white studio, while a spine cheeked clownfish nestles in bleached anemone in a more natural setting of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

All smiles: A parrotfish seems to grin in its sleep near Heron Island, Great barrier Reef

All smiles: A parrotfish seems to grin in its sleep near Heron Island, Great barrier Reef

Sad face: The talented photographer picks out incredible detail in this close-up of a funny-looking shortnose batfish, or Ogcocephalus nasutus

Sad face: The talented photographer picks out incredible detail in this close-up of a funny-looking shortnose batfish, or Ogcocephalus nasutus

He said: ‘People forget that there are more humans that eat sharks than sharks that eat humans and in some areas the shark population is down by 90 per cent.

‘For example in China they eat shark soup as a way of proving wealth and success.’

The New York photographer has spent hundreds of hours travelling the world to see the ever more intriguing secrets of the ocean.

He is one of the greatest underwater photographers in the world, and his work in both fresh and salt water has been elevated to new heights with the advent of the digital age.

Between sea and sky: A southern stingray glides across the waved raked sands of North Sound bay, Grand Cayman island

Between sea and sky: A southern stingray glides across the waved raked sands of North Sound bay, Grand Cayman island

Light and shade: The beautiful pictures have great impact, even in black and white

Light and shade: The beautiful pictures have great impact, even in black and white

Maori (humphead) wrasse Chelinus undulatus at Opal Reef Great Barrier Reef Australia

A male tomato clownfish gaurds his clutch of developing eggs, Anilao, Philippines. The eggs hatch in one week and are well tended and fiercely guarded by the male parent

Fish-eye: A Maori humphead wrasse at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, left, and a male tomato clownfish, right, guarding his clutch of eggs – which hatch in a week

Amazing aerial view: A De Havilland Beaver Biplane delivers scuba divers to Hook and Hardy Reef on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Amazing aerial view: A De Havilland Beaver Biplane delivers scuba divers to Hook and Hardy Reef on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Vast and blue: A red Waco biplane over Key West and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary - the birth place of the Gulf Stream

Vast and blue: A red Waco biplane over Key West and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary – the birth place of the Gulf Stream

He said: ‘That Cartier-Bresson moment that is hard to achieve on land is 10 times harder to achieve underwater, because you’re swimming around with a large housing with arms as long as 24 inches long and attached to the end of the arms are your strobes.

‘Sometimes you’re using six or seven strobes or large surface-powered HMI movie lights.’

One picture shows a male tomato clownfish guarding his clutch of developing eggs in the Philippines, while another captures a weedy sea dragon patrolling a Tasmanian kelp forest.

Mr Doubilet said: ‘There are always moments that are dangerous. I wouldn’t say I have ever been scared as such but I can’t deny I have certainly put myself in many dangerous situations.

Unearthly imagery: A weedy sea dragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, patrols a kelp forest at Waterfall Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Unearthly imagery: A weedy sea dragon, Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, patrols a kelp forest at Waterfall Bay, Tasmania, Australia

Green menace: A baby Nile crocodile hides in a veil of algae in the Ncamasere Channel of the Pan handle region of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Green menace: A baby Nile crocodile hides in a veil of algae in the Ncamasere Channel of the Pan handle region of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Nice to sea you: A parrot fish confronts a school of grey grunts in the Galapagos Islands

Nice to sea you: A parrot fish confronts a school of grey grunts in the Galapagos Islands

‘One that sticks in my head is when we were doing night dives in a river in Okavango Deta, northern Botswana.

‘The water was full of crocodiles and hippos and because they follow sound and movement we couldn’t go back to shoot in the same place twice.

‘There was a mother and baby hippo close by and they can be very defensive in that situation. Not to mention the crocodile eyes glowing all around us.

‘Being faced with something like that is much more intimidating than a shark.’

Hidden world: A stack of mating loggerhead turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Key Largo Florida

Hidden world: A stack of mating loggerhead turtles in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Key Largo Florida

Picturesque: Australian sea lions play in a sea grass meadow off Hopkins Island, South Australia

Picturesque: Australian sea lions play in a sea grass meadow off Hopkins Island, South Australia

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Fisheries Service Announces Plan to Curb Sea Turtle Deaths After 900 Wash Ashore in the Gulf

US Fisheries Service Announces Plan to Curb Sea Turtle Deaths After 900 Wash Ashore in the Gulf

Environmentalists Denounce the Plan as ‘Too Little Too Late” Vowing Court Action
After the lifeless carcasses of over 900 endangered sea turtles have washed up on Gulf beaches from Texas to Florida in the past few months, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has finally decided to consider action,announcing plans today to begin a lengthy process to address the carnage.  This action comes after Turtle Island Restoration Network along with partner conservation groups, notified the agency May 31 of its intent to sue over the government’s failure to protect endangered sea turtles from entanglement and drowning in shrimp trawls.

Click here to download the NMFS plans for EIS scoping.
"With nearly a 1,000 dead sea turtles already washed up on Gulf beaches, NMFS actions to start a multi-month process while the slaughter continues is unconscionable," said Dr. Chris Pincetich of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
“The government knows that turtles die when there is shrimping activity, but they have delayed action for months,” said Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director of Sea Turtle Restoration Project.  “Even as scoping sessions are held, more turtles will die. This is too little, too late for hundreds of sea turtles.”  She continued,  “The government has always known that Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) are needed on all types of shrimp trawls,” said Allen. 
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that biologists at the federal agency were aware of the problem, but could not get decision-makers in their agency to act. An internal email between Fisheries biologists stated:

“A defeatist attitude has sunk in with regard to increasing/improving    enforcement efforts and thereby improving TED compliance in the fishery. Basically nothing would be done unless a mandate came down from Dr. Lubchenco stating that this would be an enforcement priority.”

Federal inspectors in Louisiana found only 3of 29 shrimping nets had legal TEDs, and 21 were found with TEDs which “would result in the capture and death of a sea turtle” including several of the escape hatches that were sewn shut. No fines or penalties were assessed by NMFS despite the obvious violations. Click here to download emails and TEDs inspection reports from the FOIA.
All five species of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico are endangered; yet, virtually no action has been taken to protect them after record numbers of dead turtles have been reported this Spring. The over 900 dead turtles that have washed ashore this year represents nearly 18,000 drowned turtles, according to NMFS’ own formula that assumes only one in 20 dead turtles will wash ashore and are found.

A statement from James Lecky, Director of the NMFS Office of Protected Resources, states that NMFS will evaluate a “range of reasonable alternatives” to reduce sea turtle bycatch and mortality in the shrimp fishery of the southeastern United States.  They will consider requiring all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls and butterfly trawls in the Atlantic and Gulf area to use TEDs in both state and federal waters.

"After sea turtles in the Gulf were hammered by the BP oil spill, they need more protection, not less, yet the very agency (NMFS) responsible for their protection has announced a plan designed to cover their butts, instead of taking the obvious action necessary to end the carnage," said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.

"NMFS has a legal obligation to close down shrimping until they can guarantee that they can enforce the law of the land– that every active shrimp net has a properly installed TED.  If they don’t act to stop the massacre immediately, we’ll see them in Court very soon” Pincetich concluded.

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Turtle Island Restoration Network is an international marine conservation organization with offices in Texas and California whose 35,000 members and online activists work to protect sea turtles and marine biodiversity in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.SeaTurtles.org.

Sea Turtle Restoration Project • PO Box 370 • Forest Knolls, CA 94933, USA
Phone: +1 415 663 8590 • Fax: +1 415 663 9534 • info@seaturtles.org

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Just One More Pet, Political Change, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment