February 2012

Giant Sea Bass (Stereolepis gigas). Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
Giant Sea Bass (Stereolepis gigas). Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™

12% of marine species in tropical eastern Pacific threatened

Released this week, the study is the first IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ assessment available for all known species of marine shore-fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, corals, mangroves and seagrasses in a major marine biogeographic region.

Jumbo squid, Dosidicus gigas, can be found at depths between 200-700 meters in the waters of the eastern Pacific from Tierra del Fuego north to California.

How Humboldt Squid cope with low oxygen

One reason squid may be going down there at night is because water near the surface is really warm—up to 28 C (82 F)—which may stress them.

At depths of 250 m (820ft) or more, where it's very cold and oxygen levels are extremely low, the squid's reaction time, visual acuity and swimming speed may be significantly impaired because of an inadequate supply of oxygen—a condition known as hypoxia.

Skills for Technical Diving

Learning to dive involves learning a new set of skills. Mask clearing, buoyancy control, regulator recovery and all the other skills that you learn on an open water course are essential for dealing with the underwater world. As a diver progresses through diving they learn additional skills such as using a drysuit, wreck diving or how to rescue their buddy. With technical diving there are again some new skills that need to be learnt.

A German U-boat sank SS Kyros in 1917 while she was transporting a precious cargo of cognac

Wreck laden with precious cognac located in the Baltic

Raumanmeren Hylky-Team is a group of divers and wreck hunters who primarily search for shipwrecks in the Baltic sunk by German submarines during First World War of which they have located around 20.

The divers say the vessel has remained quite intact. They will decide whether to try to raise the contents after closer examination.

3D visualizations of future oceans

Combining scientific data from three major factors impacting our oceans – climate change, human activity (including fisheries and river run-off) and food web dynamics (fish eating fish), the Nereus model shows life under the sea from 1960 to 2060. Based on current policies, the model shows a strong decline in the biomass of large fish, while some small fish may actually be increasing.

Opening spread of the Gozo article.
Opening spread of the Gozo article.

X-Ray Mag wins prize for Malta article

We are delighted to be presented with such an award which recognizes the work done by the whole X-Ray team.

Although we are not striving for awards, but for giving our readers the most updated and well researched articles accompanied by high-quality photography, an award such as this also spurs the entire team to continue its work - bringing the wonders of the blue planet to divers! Thanks to the Malta Tourism Authority and the jury for honouring our work.

Underwater Austria

Completely landlocked doesn’t necessarily mean that diving is out of the question. Austria is best known for alpine skiing, historical Vienna and delicious cakes, but also offers some really spectacular diving. Here, one can dive wrecks and walls, enjoying a rich aquatic life in lakes with great visibility.

Palau Pleasures: A Photographer's Playground

Appearing like nebulous emeralds adrift over an expanse of a deep blue ocean, Palau is richly endowed with some of the world’s most stunning and unique terrain above and below the sea. Geologically, the islands are pinnacles of an undersea ridge of volcanic mountains, part of the “Pacific Ring of Fire” known for its violent subterranean activity.

Silhouette of a Great White shark against the sun
Silhouette of a Great White shark against the sun

Why do sharks lurk around swimming spots?

Bull sharks, tiger sharks and great whites are generally deep-ocean dwellers. But every so often they lurk around popular swimming and surfing spots. Now scientists aim to find out why.

The Queensland Large Shark Tagging Program was initiated under the directive of the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh as is a long-term tagging program which aims to tag up to 150 large sharks.