Coral City: Review In this video I am going to simply do a personal review on the hot new documentary out called Coral City. It is made by a hip video studio/blog company called The Creators Project but it is the story of how two men, Colin Foord and Jared McKay of a company called Coral Morphologic aquaculture coral, create artwork through their stunning videos and pictures, while also trying to protect the native reefs in Miami from dredging. Take an exclusive look at the process behind Coral Morphologic's living artworks, colorful reefs created using coral polyps native to Miami. Watch as the scientific art collective explores the visual storytelling potential of coral reef organisms through film, multimedia and site-specific artworks. Additionally, learn how rising sea levels, combined with government dredging projects, are impacting not only corals, but the entire fate of Miami.

Building a Rising Tide in Hawaii

Dr. Clyde Tamaru and Ms. Karen Brittain of the University of Hawaii are important partners in Rising Tide Conservation. Karen has been focusing on looking at all things related to broodstock management, egg collecting and larval rearing for the Bandit Angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus).  Back in December, Reed Morgan led his Boy Scout troop in building the first phase of our new microalgae culture area, which is part of Reed’s Eagle Scout project. The older boys built and painted a bench for the new algae cylinders. They constructed a wood frame and assembled and attached light fixtures to the frame. They made a PVC airline to the cylinders including drilling and tapping the air valves. The younger boys moved and spread gravel in the area fronting the hatchery that becomes slippery in the winter. I was very impressed with how hard they worked and how helpful they were towards each other!  We had to wait for backordered bulkhead fittings for the cylinders so did not get to fully complete the project that day. The fittings are here now and Reed completed the project in January. This project now allows us to grow five 100 liter cylinders of algae in the space we formerly had room for one 200 liter rectangular algae tank. This gives us many more options for growing what we need and is greatly appreciated. Also appreciated is the loan of the cylinders from the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources.

The Search For Seahorses In Thailand

Hippocampus mohnikei found during Thailand survey. My name is Lindsay and I’m a PhD candidate and researcher with Project Seahorse. I study seahorses in their natural habitat to understand threats to seahorses and ultimately aid in conservation efforts. I’m currently working in Thailand and wanted to share a little bit about my current research. Last year I spent eight months in Thailand gathering baseline information on seahorse populations along the Andaman (western) coast. The first month I spent building relationships with my new Thai partners and training my research assistants. In the three months that followed, I searched for seahorses by diving and snorkeling at various locations to determine several ideal locations for future research. The results of our intensive searches for seahorses yielded only eight individuals, an unexpectedly low number for the area surveyed. On a positive note, two of these individuals were sightings of a seahorse species never before seen on the Andaman coast; the Japanese Seahorse Hippocampus mohnikei. This was a very exciting discovery – and I’m in the final stages of submitting a paper discussing the increase in range of this species. Hippocampus mohnikei among seagrass. The overall low numbers of seahorses found in our initial survey lead me to question why we found so few seahorses. Was it because we were surveying in the wrong habitats? Using inappropriate methods (Even though they had worked elsewhere)? Or was there so much fishing, and therefore accidental capture of seahorses in fishing gear, there were few seahorses remaining in the areas surveyed? Understanding how to answer these questions has now become the central question to my PhD research. Not to be discouraged, I spent the next four months interviewing fishermen, asking for their input on how often they catch seahorses, what habitats they live in, and creating maps where seahorses can are found. With this information, I have been able to identify many locations on the Andaman coast where fishers report high occurrences of seahorses. I’m now starting my second field season, in which I will test the efficiency of different underwater sampling methods. By searching in areas where divers and fishers have reported sighting seahorses, I can evaluate what conditions increase the likelihood of finding seahorses as well as determine which methods are the best for sampling. Hippocampus trimaculatus found during survey. By combining the data from fishers regarding the incidental capture rate of seahorses along side the mapping of fishing grounds; I will now be able to estimate how many seahorses are captured by fishers each year. This finally allows me to assess if there is a link between fishing and low numbers of seahorses. I’ve just returned to Thailand and have started my second year of research (diving) this week. Our first site is a place in Phuket called Kata Beach – where several dive instructors have reported constant seahorse sightings over the past six months. We’ve been diving here for a week so far and have seen six seahorses – mostly Hippocampus kuda and Hippocampus spinosissimus! Looks like this season is off to a good start. Thanks again to everyone who helped support my research last year. It was an exciting and challenging year and I’m looking forward to more seahorse adventures in 2014. Lindsay is raising funds to support her assistant’s salary. Assistants are the unsung heroes of conservation research and dedicated field assistants are priceless. They willingly put up with the demands of field research – long hours, remote locations, and physical exhaustion with little financial reward. Working in a foreign country can challenging; a local assistant knows his or her community, and will help build bridges between researchers and their communities. Donate ifyou can, and please share the link: This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 1:18 pm and is filed under Conservation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Tagging Milletseed Butterflyfish Spawning Groups

Kevin Barden and Sam Groene tagging milletseed butterflyfish Our initial population of milletseed butterflyfish consisted of one male and multiple females (lucky guy).  To remedy this gender ratio conundrum, the staff at Disney-Hawaii recently sent us an “all-male” group of milletseed butterflyfish; which was cannulated, and gender determined, prior to shipment by Disney staff.  After quarantine at TAL, we tagged all the males using colored elastomer injected into the caudal fin rays.  Each male from this recent shipment was tagged with orange, and the single male from the initial population was tagged with blue. The females were not tagged allowing us to visually determine the gender of each fish.  Male milletseed butterflyfish with orange elastomer tag in caudal fin Once tagged, we decided to separate the fish into three distinct spawning aggregations; a pair, 3 males : 8 females, and 10 males : 11 females. The purpose behind these groupings was to observe if a certain aggregation would initiate spawning more than the others.  At the time of this writing they have only been in their respective groups for ~2 weeks and we have already had one spawn from the largest group.  Although, there were very few, non-viable eggs this does give us hope that one (or more) of these populations will begin continuously spawning viable eggs in the near future.  The staff at Disney has been extremely helpful throughout this project and we extend our appreciation for all they have done.  Jon-Michael Degidio  

iSeahorse Launches to Track Seahorse Sightings

Background Photo by Anthony Pearson. Are you a diver? Or perhaps just near the ocean and have the occasional sighting of seahorses in the wild? Project Seahorse launches to track seahorses spotted around the globe. And they have an iphone app for those world travelers on the go. This is citizen science at it’s best, and a great opportunity to help understand the biology of seahorses along with population information that can be used in confirmation efforts. Heather Koldewey writes; Dear friends and colleagues, We have some exciting news: Today marks the launch of iSeahorse, a brand-new citizen science initiative that allows anyone, anywhere in the world to contribute to seahorse science and conservation with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a smartphone. A collaboration among University of British Columbia, Zoological Society of London, John G. Shedd Aquarium, and partners all over the world, iSeahorse allows you to share your seahorse observation anytime you spot one of these mysterious and threatened animals in the wild. Scientists from Project Seahorse and the iSeahorse network will use your vital information to better understand seahorse behaviour, species ranges, and the threats seahorses face. We will use this knowledge to improve seahorse conservation across the globe. Whether you’re a diver, a fisher, a scientist, a seahorse enthusiast, or just on a beach holiday, we want to hear from you! Sharing your seahorse observations is fast and easy. Visit or download the iSeahorse app for iPhone to get started. On the iSeahorse website, you can view interactive seahorse maps and species profiles, contribute species identifications, learn about conservation threats, and advocate for increased conservation measures in your ocean neighbourhood. For more information, visit or email us at [email protected]! The Project Seahorse Team So go to the website, download the app, and help make science happen! This entry was posted on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 12:59 am and is filed under Diving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.