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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Random news

After a few days away from the computer I've come back to an in-box full of alerts about this that and the other.
Quickly skimming through them, I've come across a few interesting tit-bits. Rather than write chapter and verse, here they are in a (chunky) nutshell....................

A unique study by a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at San Diego has provided fresh evidence of fishing's impact on marine ecosystems.
Researcher Loren McClenachan looked at archive photos spanning more than five decades to analyze and calculate a drastic decline of so-called "trophy fish" caught around coral reefs surrounding Key West, Florida.
In a paper published in an upcoming issue of the journal Conservation Biology, she describes a stark 88 percent decline in the estimated weight of large predatory fish imaged in black-and-white 1950s sport fishing photos compared to the relatively diminutive catches photographed in modern pictures.

Primitive deep-sea fish may have viewed the world in colour.
The elephant shark, which evolved about 450 million years ago, is the oldest vertebrate to have "the colour vision system we know as humans", says David Hunt at University College London.

Even sharks are feeling the bite from economic tough times with reported shark bites are down - because fewer tourists are hitting the beach.
According to George Burgess of the International Shark Attack File, shark attacks dropped to their lowest level in five years worldwide last year, falling from 71 in 2007 to 59 in 2008, and killing four. One theory is that fewer people are putting themselves in harm's way because they can't afford it.

The tragic death of a Teesside diver might have been avoided had better warning signs been placed around the wreck they were exploring, an inquest heard.
Paul Swain, 49 of Billingham, died on November 3 last year after becoming disorientated in a compartment of a sunken ferry, the MV Xlendi on the island of Gozo, off Malta.
Hartlepool Coroner’s Court was told how the upturned ferry was not equipped with proper warning notices alerting them to the dangers of exploring the site.

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