May 2012

Marine Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis) in Waikiki Aquarium.
Marine Comet (Calloplesiops altivelis) in Waikiki Aquarium.

Aquarium trade study reveals fewer fish

After a detailed review of import records for marine tropical fish entering the United States over a year's span, scientists found 1,802 species imported, or 22 percent greater biodiversity than previously estimated. More than 11 million fish were imported from 40 countries, which was less than previously reported, as many freshwater fish and marine invertebrates were being mistakenly counted as marine fish.

Remains of 19th century vessel: copper shell retains the ship's former shape

19th Century Shipwreck Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Originally noted as an unidentified sonar contact in 2011, the shipwreck site was stumbled upon during a Shell Oil Company oil and gas survey. As part of the decision-making process for issuing bottom-disturbing activity permits in regards to oil and gas exploration, it was requested by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Department of Interior that this and other shipwreck sites be investigated during the expedition.

Nuestra Señora de las was a Spanish frigate which was sunk by the British off the south coast of Portugal on 5 October 1804
Nuestra Señora de las was a Spanish frigate which was sunk by the British off the south coast of Portugal on 5 October 1804

US Supreme Court declines US treasure hunters' appeal

Lower courts ruled that the recovered cargo had come from the Spanish frigate Mercedes, which exploded and sank in 1804 while returning from South America. The ship’s remains and its cargo were the sovereign property of Spain.

Urging the high court to take up the case, lawyers for Odyssey Marine argued that Spanish sovereignty did not apply to the coins and other artifacts because Spain was not in possession of the cargo.

Beer discovered two years ago onboard a shipwreck from the mid-1800s could possibly be recreated using living bacteria discovered in the brew, Finnish researchers announced last Thursday. Source: redOrbit (http://s.tt/1byWC)

Beer from 1840's shipwreck anyone?

A few bottles of beer were found in an old shipwreck in the archipelago of Åland in Finland during the summer of 2010. Researchers have now managed to isolate four different species of live lactic acid bacteria from the beer.

The 2010 discovery of the ship, believed to have sunk in the 1840s, also included the world's oldest champagne considered drinkable which has since been auctioned off.

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Blaineville's beaked whales regularly dive over 1000 meters for over an hour in search of prey which varies from 400-1000 meters.
Blaineville's beaked whales regularly dive over 1000 meters for over an hour in search of prey which varies from 400-1000 meters.

Beaked whales found to forage off the Bahamas

Beaked whale species are thought to be sensitive to noise arising from certain human activities; in 2000, beaked whale strandings were observed coinciding with naval sonar exercises in the Bahamas.

Understanding the distribution and behavior of these species is important to minimize harmful impacts from human uses of the ocean.

Fish have favorite hangouts

In a study that covered 17 separate locations round Lizard Island in far North Queensland, researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University videoed the behaviour of large reef fish, allowing them to identify the kind of habitat they most preferred and depended on.

”The reason for the fishes’ preference is not yet clear—but possibilities include hiding from predators such as sharks, shading themselves from ultraviolet sunlight, or lying in ambush for prey.