Wednesday, 26 November 2008

BDMLR Release

Today I received an email from Trevor at the BDMLR with regards to rescue operations taking place in the UK. It talks about cetaceans suffering due to inexperience and resulting in euthanasia. It reads as follows:

''In light of the serious strandings related pathology found in Northern Bottlenose Whales attended by BDMLR over the last two years, including severe muscle damage and subsequent kidney failure, it has been very apparent that these animals become severely compromised and deteriorate rapidly after stranding and subsequently their prognosis is very poor. After extensive discussions within the Marine Animal Rescue Coalition, agreement was reached that the most appropriate course of action in the vast majority of cases was euthanasia.

The coalition concluded that it would be helpful to give clear and consistent guidelines in order to assist vets who may be on the beach making the final decisions and who may not have extensive experience of cetacean strandings. The following amendment to the large whale triage therefore was agreed for beaked and sperm whales (triage for baleen whales unaltered):

On the basis of available information, the presumption is that stranded beaked and sperm whales will be euthanased. However, this will be judged on a case by case basis because there may be exceptional circumstances[1] where the situation merits a refloat attempt. This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis.

[1] i.e. possibility of a successful refloat close to deep water habitat within a very short period of time (<1>

For more information, donating and training courses with BDMLR, please visit:

Monday, 24 November 2008


UKDMOS, or the United Kingdom Directory of Marine Observing Systems, is a program that has been set up in order to create a database of when, where and what is currently being monitored in the marine environment across the UK.

The project means building upon an already existing database, the European Directory of Ocean Observing Systems, and aims to inform policy makers and organisations of their responsibilities regarding monitoring, identify where and how resources may be put to better use and analyse whether data from the UK will be sufficient to provide decent assessments of the marine environment at national and international levels.

The database can be used to search current projects going on worldwide, and gain more information about their status.

Some useful links:

Monday, 17 November 2008

Classical music enhances growth in Aquariums

A new but unusual study taken in Greece has revealed that fish kept in aquariums will have more rapid growth if they listen to classical music. The study, which took place in the Department of Applied Hydrobiology at the Agricultural University of Athens, played Gilthead Seabream a bit of Mozart each day via an underwater speaker, to test their reaction. The music was played Monday to Friday, giving the Fish the weekend off.

Writing in the Journal of Fish Biology, the scientists described how "During the first 89 days of rearing, music resulted in enhanced growth." Those listening to the 18th Century composer grew

significantly better in the first 89 days than those whom listend only to the noise of the air pumps. It is hoped that these new findings can be used by farmers to improve the quality of reared Bream. This is the first results of their kind - other experiments done to look at the effects of sound on fish have usually shown negative or no results.

Although the results did show significant differences, it is unsure what exactly the fish heard. "Sound transmitted in the present study could have been just perceived as an increase in ambient noise (by 19db), a variation in ambient noise (as music piece chosen had its ups and downs), a novel previously non-existent sound within the tank, shock or enrichment and maybe as music per se."

Click on the Practical Fishkeeping link for more information on this article, and other article about your aquarium needs.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

A lumpfish and a Blob fish walk into a bar...

Just another picture of another funny-face.
Deep-sea fish are fascinating, they have incredible attributes to make they survive in the murky unknown depths. But msot of all, they just look funny.

Octopuses share common ancestor

New research has shown that octopuses all come form the same common ancestor, a shallow water octopus that lived in the Southern ocean. Its closest living relative is the Megaleledone setebos which can be found in the oceans in the Antarctica.

Scientists claim that octopuses evolved after nutrient-rich and salty currents drove them from the southern ocean to other ocean basins, nearly 30 million years ago.

The research is part of a 10 year global research programme to investigate more about oceans and how they've changed and the first Census of Marine Life (CoML) is due for completion in 2010.

The project hopes that as global warming is changing our oceans signifcantly, it is good to get a model of how our oceans have changed in order to help make a prediction for what the future will hold.