Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Of the huge variety! I know its been over a year since I've posted and one or two of you have told me off. Just been so busy with the other blog and setting up the first few articles, that this has unfortunately slipped. Promise that this will change! New posts to follow! In the meantime, check out this new footage of a Magnapinna squid which has been taken by an ROV. Beauty ain't she? It's species like this which make me love the ocean. It's something you would expect to see in an 80's horror movie, not in the depths of our own seas.
The video is available here with further details about the creature: (again its a copy and paste job. i have GOT to get this fixed!)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

100 is the loneliest number since the number 1...

100. Actually, fewer than 100. That is the estimated number of adult cod left in the North Sea. I have been going on about overfishing for some time now, as have most marine scientists, but these new numbers are very scary. Scientists have been analysing Cod catch in fishing ports across Europe and discovered the numbers low. Not a single Cod over the age of 13 was found and considering these creatures can live up to 25 years old, this is alarming. 260,000 tons of Cod had been recorded back in 1971, but our appetite for them has been such, that numbers have declined dramatically. Last year, it was thought that there were only 600 cod in the North Sea aged between 12 and 13 - 200 of these had been caught. Without being able to reach certain ages and sizes, reproduction will decline leading to an overall decline. It also upsets the food chain; scampi are said to be on the rise. It has been suggested by the Chief Exec. of the NFFO (the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations), Barrie Deas, that "The most effective measure in rebuilding fish stocks seems to be removing vessels from service by paying owners to decommission them.” But this will no doubt cause more arguments and more problems. Plus, after all the campaigning, people are still scoffing Cod. Maybe I sound too defeatist, but this news has given me one thought only; maybe it is time we accept it; cod is going to become extinct within the next decade.

Sea Dragons

Apparently, a lot of people have heard of this glorious creature before, but it is new to me! I wanted to post a few pictures of the 'Blue Dragon', a.k.a Glaucus atlanticus. It is a sea slug, a mollusc from the Glaucidae family. They are a small, pelagic nudibranch, only reaching up to 3cm, which is found in warmer, tropical waters. The slug actually floats upside down on the surface of the water due to an air-filled sac it has inside its stomach. It also has a very interesting diet. Because it has an immunity to the stings, Glaucus atlanticus can actual feed on some very large, venomous creatures, including the Portugguese Man O'War (Physalia physalis), the Blue Button (Porpita porpita) and the violet snail (Janthina janthina). One of the main reasons why this sea slug is so spectacular though, is its appearance. The following photos show you just why this creature gets its nick name, what an exquisite organism.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Underwater cassanova's....

delay before returning to normal swimming speeds after sexual intercourse. This is actually a bit of an issue for the squids as the Australian cephalopods only live around a year, during which, they mate with a lot of partners. The squid’s speeds are actually reduced by as much as half after they have finished having sex and the act itself is no mean feat either. The male squid will 'catch' his female and will have to physically restrain her during intercourse; which can last up to 3 hours. Intercourse for both squids can be exhausting, although the males will show a lot of activity. They will change colour frequently during sex and will squirt a lot of ink and water, the latter of which will be into the female’s mantle. Naturally, even reading this sounds exhausting and the squids certainly find it so. The Dumpling Squid will not return to its full speed capacity for around half an hour after the intercourse is over. This is another fascinating insight into cephalopod mating, as scientists have discovered many of the species have interesting such as same-sex mating and sexual cannibalism. Long sex sessions have been noticed many times in squid species, so it is unsurprising that the Dumpling Squid also has a lengthy session.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

When two become one...

In Moreton Bay, Australia, two groups of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops species) have lived separately; living in different areas and barely communicating. They were once thought to be members of the same pod; however something caused them to separate into two. This however, has recently all changed, after a ban on trawlers in the areas. The ban has led to a 50% reduction of fishing in the bay and a huge change on the dolphin pods. They have, in fact, united to become one large pod. This is an interesting development for the dolphins, but it is important to remember that these dolphins do live in a fluid society, also known as 'fission-fusion'. They form and divide into various groups, so it will be interesting to see how long this large group lasts or whether they will divide back into smaller groups and if they do, whether it will be the same dolphins breaking off. Dolphins are a very social animal who use both sound (up to 30 different vocalisations) and body language to communicate. Pods will generally interact with each other, sometimes for social reasons, such as breeding. However, they do not always communicate for friendly reasons. Sometimes pods will fight or even attack each other sexually. It is interesting that the dolphin’s behaviour changed after fishing was reduced and no doubt further investigation into this will take place. If it is found that less fishing has a positive impact on these mammals, it is likely that this will be used in the fight to expand no fishing zones throughout the world.

Sunday, 3 June 2012


It's been quite a while since my last post, but just a quick update today! The 2 little beaches I applied for have gone through! Still got all the form filling in to do, but hopefully after that I'll be doing my bit! Anyone else done any beach cleans?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

I've applied to make a difference!

Good news this week for Bottlenose dolphins as two groups unite after a ban on fishing boats. In a previous post, I talked about the MCS beach cleans. Well, for me, they have just become more relevant.

Today I took our gorgeous dog, Lexus, for our first swim of the year off a tiny beach just outside our house. This beach really is weeny, but it is surrounded by houses and a main car park. The other side of the carpark is another tiny beach which has a busy pub right next to it. Both these beaches, which are within a 1 minute walk from my front door, often have small boats moored up as they are right in the middle of the Fal estuary. I have noticed many times they are littered with rubbish; wrappers, plastic, glass etc, but today this really hit home when me and Lex were swimming.

So what am I going to do about it? Well, I have just sent an application to the MCS to either adopt these beaches or become the Beachwatch Organiser for both! This would mean that I would have to organise year round beach cleans to ensure all the rubbish is removed and they are kept clean and tidy - just how me and Lex like it!

Wish me luck!