Sep 29

Thirteen ocean creatures have surfaced all around Bristol’s BS5 postcode, snapped by some of the world’s very best wildlife photographers. To prove how turtle-y awesome they all are, we’ve created blogs on all of the featured species sharing ten epic facts about them! Sail your way around the exhibition by downloading your very own map and guide.

1) Sharks have been around for about 400 million years, long before dinosaurs even existed. They have survived five mass extinction events! Just keep swimming just keep swimming…

2) There are 355 confirmed species of shark, ranging in length from 15cm to 15m. Talk about little and large!

3) Hammerhead sharks are famous for their strange heads, which are actually designed to make them better hunters. The electrical sensors the sharks use to pinpoint their prey are spread out further, giving them much better prey detection skills.


4) Mako sharks are the fastest shark species in the ocean – these toothy torpedos can swim at speeds of up to 95km/h!

5) Lantern sharks can glow to disguise themselves in the deep ocean, and will emitting the same amount of light that shines from the ocean’s surface above them from their underside so that they don’t create a shadow. Basically, they have stealth mode – awesome!

6) Thresher sharks can use their super long tail fins to stun prey, similar to cracking them with a whip. The tail-whip also creates bubbles which can stun prey.


7) The babies of some shark species, such as the sand tiger shark, develop teeth in the womb and eat their unborn siblings. Sibling rivalry or what?!

8) A shark may go through over 20,000 teeth throughout its lifetime. The great white shark has up to 7 rows of teeth which are continually replaced with new ones.. yikes. Say cheese!


9) Greenland sharks are Earth’s longest-living vertebrates. Researchers recently discovered a 400-year old female by using radiocarbon dating.

10) A lot of people rightly avoid eating sharks, so fish markets and chefs change the name of shark meat to rock salmon, rock eel, huss or flake. Always make sure you know what you’re eating!

Sep 29

Thirteen ocean creatures have surfaced all around Bristol’s BS5 postcode, snapped by some of the world’s very best wildlife photographers. To prove how turtle-y awesome they all are, we’ve created blogs on all of the featured species sharing ten epic facts about them! Sail your way around the exhibition by downloading your very own map and guide.

1) Anemonefish are famous for their sea anemone homes. In exchange for safety from predators and food scraps, the clownfish drives off intruders and preens its host sea anemone, removing parasites.

2) Anemonefish are also known as clownfish due to the bold colour patterns on their body, which look a bit like a clown’s face paint.


3) It’s a layer of mucus on the anemonefish’s skin makes it immune to the anemone’s potentially lethal sting.

4) Anemonefish have to perform an elaborate dance with an anemone before taking up residence, gently touching the anemone’s tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are both satisfied.

5) Strangely, all anemonefish eggs hatch as males, but when the female in the group dies, a dominant male undergoes a sex change and turns into a female.

6) Female anemonefish lay few hundred or thousand eggs, depending on the species, during the full moon. Eggs are attached onto rocks, where the male takes care of them until they hatch.

7) While the male ‘egg-sits’, he constantly fans water over the eggs to keep them oxygenate and may eat any eggs that are infertile or damaged by fungus to prevent the spread of disease or parasites.

8) After baby anemonefish hatch from their eggs, they drift into the open sea for 10 to 12 days, likely carried out by prevailing currents. But they often return to the near-shore reefs where they were born.


9) Anemonefish are often kept as pets, but sadly only survive for 3 to 5 years in aquariums, whereas wild individuals can live for up to 10 years.

10) Did you know that 90% of anemonefish sold in the aquarium trade are taken from the wild? This trade has led to the decimation of many wild tropical fish populations.

Sep 29

Thirteen ocean creatures have surfaced all around Bristol’s BS5 postcode, snapped by some of the world’s very best wildlife photographers. To prove how turtle-y awesome they all are, we’ve created blogs on all of the featured species, sharing ten epic facts about them! Sail your way around the exhibition by downloading your very own map and guide.

1) Outside of its natural range, the lionfish is a very invasive species with none or very few natural predators.

2) The lionfish has an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins filled with venom, used to ward off would-be predators.

3) It is an ambush hunter and relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture its prey, which are mainly fish and shrimp.

4) Lionfish will occasionally spread out their fins and herd small prey fish into confined spaces, almost like a sheepdog herding sheep, which makes it much easier to catch them.

5) As they are so invasive in non-native areas and a plague coral reefs, SCUBA divers and chefs are introducing lionfish to restaurant menus across the Americas, in the hope we can eat our way to conservation! Apparently they’re delicious, but mind the spines!

6) A single female can release 30,000 eggs every 4 days in the right conditions -that’s 2 million eggs per year!

7) On heavily invaded sites, lionfish have reduced native fish populations by up to 90%.

8) A lionfish’s stomach can expand up to 30 times its normal volume. An expensive dinner guest!

9) The largest recorded lionfish to date measured nearly 50cm in length.

10) Lionfish have been visually confirmed at a depth of 305m (1000ft), showing that they’re not too fussy where they live so long as there’s a meal to be had!

Jan 27

#LoveSpecies nominee: silky shark

Nominated by: Project AWARE

Why do you love it?

It may not be as well-known as its hammerhead, great white or oceanic whitetip cousins but the silky shark is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent! This streamlined and sleek ocean predator gets its name from its exceptionally smooth skin and metallic tone.

Project AWARE® has always had a lot of love for this shark but in 2016 we fell head over heels. The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17) was firmly on our agenda. Project AWARE rallied support from the global dive community and engaged with relevant governments to urge member signatories to protect the silky shark and other commercially valuable shark and ray species from the devastating effects of unregulated international trade. Together with our shark conservation partners, including Shark Advocates International and the Shark Trust, we delivered strong science-based arguments in support of international trade controls for the silky shark. And we celebrated, as proposals for the silky shark and other shark and ray species to be listed on CITES Appendix II were successfully adopted.

What are the threats to the silky shark?

This highly migratory, low productivity shark is at risk from substantial incidental take in high seas fisheries. Due to its beautifully marked skin, the silky shark is a popular target for the shark leather trade. Like many other sharks, it is also fished for its fins, meat and liver oil.

Silky sharks are among the shark species most commonly captured in pelagic longline and purse seine gear set primarily for tunas; the associated mortality is the primary threat to silky shark populations. They are vulnerable to overfishing due to slow growth, late maturity, lengthy gestation, and few young.

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and ranked among the top three most important sharks in the global fin trade, the silky shark truly deserves all our love and attention.

What are you doing to save it?

In our work to end overexploitation of sharks and rays, Project AWARE advocates for national, regional, and global conservation actions that limit catch based on science and the precautionary approach, and we advocate for the end of at-sea removal of fins. We inform, inspire and empower shark advocates to become shark defenders and use our powerful and collective voice to influence change for the most vulnerable shark and ray species.

In 2017, we encourage our community to be an agent of positive change for the ocean. We believe we can create a global culture that nurtures and sustains a thriving, vibrant ocean.

Find out about the many ways that Project AWARE help sharks and other marine creatures, and how you can help on their website.

VOTE NOW!

VOTE FOR ME!

Jan 27

#LoveSpecies nominee: Chagos anemonefish

Nominated by: Chagos Conservation Trust

Why do you love it? 

The Chagos anemonefish, also known as the Chagos clownfish, is often overlooked because of its famous relative but no one can deny this colourful little fish is just as stunning and makes everyone smile. Chagos clownfish have a super power in the form of a protective shield that allows them to live among sea anemones but not get stung.

What are the threats to the Chagos clownfish? 

The Chagos clownfish can be found swimming around the shallow coral reefs of the Chagos Archipelago. Warming oceans and increased acidification are the biggest threat. In 2016 the Chagos Archipelago saw temperatures of over 30oC, some of the highest temperatures every recorded. As a result the coral reef home of the clownfish has been severely affected.

What are you doing to save it? 

The Chagos Conservation Trust was instrumental in the campaign to have the Chagos Archipelago designated as a marine reserve in 2010. The protected area is beneficial all the species that call it home including the Chagos clownfish. As it is an endemic species, and therefore the only place in the world it is found, reducing threats is vital to ensure its survival.

VOTE NOW!

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