Sea Science

Understanding Great Hammerhead Migration

Friday, 10 March 2017 23:11

By Tanya Houppermans

Hammerhead 01

Although great hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna mokarran) appear powerful and robust, recent research has shown that they are in fact one of the most fragile shark species, being particularly vulnerable to the stress of capture. Even those that are released after being hooked have a nearly 50% chance of succumbing after their ordeal.1 To better protect these sharks, a greater understanding of their movements is needed. The results of a new study conducted by scientists at the Bimini Biological Field Station in Bimini, Bahamas have provided a major step forward by showing the migration patterns and regional connectivity of great hammerheads between the Bahamas and the United States.

Conservation

New Saanich Inlet Hope Spot

Friday, 14 July 2017 23:06

By Alisa Preston

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Image by Ron DeVries

Rockfish Divers is pleased to share that Mission Blue and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced their approval in March 2017 of an official New Hope Spot: Saanich Inlet and the Southern Gulf Islands. Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean. Rockfish Divers submitted the original application in early 2015 based on our Rockfish Divers Marine Science Foundation that includes baseline monitoring for various marine creatures and plants throughout the area in order to track changes taking place underwater over time. In the application we acknowledged there are many initiatives in our community to promote education, awareness and conservation of this area of ecological significance. We believe that all of these efforts played a role in the acceptance of this Hope Spot.

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Image by Santiago Manzano

This Hope Spot is bordered by Vancouver Island, the mainland of North America, and the USA/Canada Border. It extends as far north as Gabriola Island, east as far as Saturna Island, south as far as D'Arcy Island and includes the Goldstream estuary that feeds Saanich Inlet. The Goldstream River is the only major tributary feeding the Saanich Inlet and sees thousands of salmon returning each year through the Southern Gulf Islands. Saanich Inlet and the Southern Gulf Islands are featured in the latest news release from Mission Blue that speaks to how rich the area is with diverse creatures and plants unique to this part of the world. The news release also highlights issues such as overfishing, heavy marine traffic, and urban development that impact the natural balance of the area.

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We are very proud of this achievement and the opportunity to bring further international attention to Saanich Inlet and the Southern Gulf Islands, but we know there is more that can be done to promote environmental stewardship to protect the marine biodiversity. Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip First Nation and recent Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party has shared:

“The Saanich Inlet is a very special place. It has been home to my ancestors for countless generations, and I grew up fishing and playing in the Inlet. We have a great deal of work to get it back to the biodiversity and productivity it was once known for but through the incredible efforts of local residents, it is on the comeback. With another generation of heavy industry proposed for the Saanich Inlet we must reaffirm our commitment to a better future rather than chasing 20th-century industries.

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Image by Santiago Manzano

The Mission Blue Hope Spot designation is another step toward embracing the opportunities created by life-sustaining ecosystems that surround us. I am very excited about the opportunity provided by this designation for our home and I look forward to taking advantage of the economic, social and environmental benefits it provides us!”

Rockfish Divers has created a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DwSRts7R5Y

Should you have any questions about the new Hope Spot, or some of the events coming up with Rockfish Divers, do not hesitate to contact Alisa Preston, Director of the Rockfish Divers Marine Science Foundation by email or phone (778-977-3474).

Saanich 05

Lifestyle

World Oceans Day at United Nations

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 18:18

By Lilly Tougas

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World Oceans Day 2017 (June 8th) got an early start in NYC. Many events were planned for the week including the inaugural World Ocean Festival and the first ever United Nations Ocean Conference. Starting with a kickoff party at the Central Park Zoo, I joined in on the youth action for our oceans. Meeting up with like-minded citizens between the ages of 10 and 26, we mingled, learned about each other's work and discussed the plans for the Youth Rally for the Ocean happening the following day. We even made creative signs for the marchThat evening, Dr. Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind, gave a truly moving speech. He also gave us blue marbles from his Blue Marbles Project for sharing random acts of blue gratitude around the world. Dr. Nichols said "do not ever make a video, give a talk, or write a report and leave out the vast emotional benefits of a healthy ocean." The audience was taken by his speech and couldn't wait to talk to him more about his blue mind studies!

Travel

Febrina Dives Calypso Reef

Thursday, 27 July 2017 17:13

By Mike Scotland

Calypso 01

The remote Calypso Reefs are off the South Eastern tip of New Guinea in Milne Bay. Few divers witness Calypso’s magical mystery tour, but those lucky few who get to experience it treasure it as one of the best dive spots on our planet.

Photography

Capture Critters in Lembeh This Year

Friday, 19 May 2017 20:07

By Sarah Wormald

Critters17 01

Image by Sascha Janson

The Lembeh Strait is world famous for its amazing muck diving and outstanding density of critters, making it an underwater photographer’s dream. Whether you are a budding photographer or already an experienced shooter, an underwater photography workshop in Lembeh is an incredible experience - especially when you’re surrounded by renowned professionals.

Equipment

“Bubbles Away”- Oceanic Omega 3 Review

Thursday, 22 September 2016 02:37

By Brett Lobwein

 

The Oceanic Omega 3 side exhaust regulator is the perfect choice for underwater photographers, videographers or SCUBA divers who want to avoid any distraction from focusing on the ocean. Apart from the exhaust [flow] bubbles being directed away from my face, as a photographer I really like the Omega 3’s profile. Being a side exhaust means there is not a bulky regulator pushing up against the back of the camera housing as you look through the viewfinder.

The biggest ‘upgrade” of the Omega 3 over the very popular Omega 2 is that it no longer breathes wet. It comes packaged out of the box with a MaxFlex hose* and a ball swivel, making it very comfortable plus dramatically reducing the regulator pulling against your jaw. Tech divers will also love that this regulator is ambidextrous “no up or down”, making it an ideal choice for a side mount setup.

I have managed to test the Omega 3 to a depth of 52 metres (170 feet). The entire way from the surface to 52 metres the Omega 3 delivered the perfect amount of air without the need for any complicated adjustment knobs. A simple twist operated dive/pre-dive switch is very handy to stop any free flowing on the surface.

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Oceanic has paired the Omega 3 with the lightweight and top-performing FDX-i first stage. For those who want to explore colder oceanic waters, the FDX-i is ready with an environmentally sealed diaphragm. As you would expect this first stage is also balanced, which ensures the regulator performs consistently at any depth. I have also been very impressed with the well thought out port layout and positioning. The FDX-i uses Oceanic’s Dry Valve Technology (DVT) preventing water or other foreign objects from entering the first stage, ideal if you forget to put the dust cap on.

Complimenting its modern design, the Omega 3 comes in three colour choices—black, white or clear. Personally I love the clear, as it allows you to see the beautifully engineered internal workings of the second stage. After owning the Omega 3 for over 12 months, I am still blown away by its performance.

*Check with your local dealer that this is standard in your location

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About

Ocean Geographic Explorer (OGX) is a diving adventure resource with a special focus on marine photography and ocean conservation. Our content is divided up into six primary categories: Travel, Sea Science,  Equipment, Photography &Video, Conservation, and Lifestyle. We endeavor be a portal for people with all levels of interest in the marine environment  to learn about and become part of a community of like-minded ocean lovers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of and experiences in our fascinating ocean world.

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