X-Ray Mag #64

Feature articles in this issue with stand-alone pdfs

Hairy frogfish, Anilao, Philippines. Photo by Steve Jones

The Philippine destination of Anilao has been described as the “center of the center of marine biodiversity” yet until now has largely remained unknown to European and American divers. This charming location has even more to offer than staggering critter life.

Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P. Weaver   Michael Salvarezza and Christopher P. Weaver

We gathered in the frigid pre-dawn hours, our gear and luggage piled in front of the snowmobiles and our noses freezing in the -30ºC (-22ºF) temperatures. It was time to be saying good bye to our Russian hosts after a week of diving the frozen White Sea but we were tempted to linger just a little bit longer. It was during these last few moments, as we stood under a curtain of stars on a deep, dark winter’s night in Russia that we reflected back on the events of the past week.

Perhaps one of the most difficult, but also most rewarding aspects of all underwater photography is to be able to photograph an animal, or fish, in this instance, in its preferred habitat, without inducing any undue stress or obvious invasion of the creature’s life space.

Ila France Porcher   Dr. Samuel Gruber , Peter Symes

Samuel H. ‘doc’ Gruber began studying sharks in 1961, perhaps before any other scientist had done full-time research on a living shark. During his long career, he founded the Bimini Biological Shark Lab, the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN), a United Nations organization based in Switzerland, and the American Elasmobranch Society.

Ila France Porcher   Dr. Samuel Gruber , Peter Symes

Samuel H. ‘doc’ Gruber began studying sharks in 1961, perhaps before any other scientist had done full-time research on a living shark. During his long career, he founded the Bimini Biological Shark Lab, the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN), a United Nations organization based in Switzerland, and the American Elasmobranch Society.

Goliath grouper, or Epinephelus itajara, are the subject of strong opinions and divided emotions. Divers love to see these mammoth fish; underwater hunters denounce them as competitors, or covet them as outsized trophies; fishermen are just itching for a policy change that allows harvest; and regulatory bodies seem constantly poised to rescind long-term protection in favor of short-term exploitation.

Goliath grouper, or Epinephelus itajara, are the subject of strong opinions and divided emotions. Divers love to see these mammoth fish; underwater hunters denounce them as competitors, or covet them as outsized trophies; fishermen are just itching for a policy change that allows harvest; and regulatory bodies seem constantly poised to rescind long-term protection in favor of short-term exploitation.

Peter Symes   Peter Symes , Grotta Giuti Resort

I felt thrust back a century or two, perhaps into the setting of the Count of Monte Christo. Lounging in the majestic sitting room, in the stately old mansion that now houses Grotta Giusti Spa but was once the seat and residence of a family from the Italian gentry, I cannot help but ponder the history these walls must have seen. Outside I can see the Tuscan countryside, with its rolling hills and slender stone pines. We are nowhere near the ocean. Yet I am just about to go diving—inside the mountain. In fact, I am about to go to Hell.

Peter Symes   Peter Symes , Grotta Giuti Resort

I felt thrust back a century or two, perhaps into the setting of the Count of Monte Christo. Lounging in the majestic sitting room, in the stately old mansion that now houses Grotta Giusti Spa but was once the seat and residence of a family from the Italian gentry, I cannot help but ponder the history these walls must have seen. Outside I can see the Tuscan countryside, with its rolling hills and slender stone pines. We are nowhere near the ocean. Yet I am just about to go diving—inside the mountain. In fact, I am about to go to Hell.

Marco Daturi   Marco Daturi
Pictoresque coastline

Italy is truly a beautiful country to explore. It is a place where one can not only savor the regional specialties and cuisine in between dives, but also experience the country’s cultural diversity, lifestyle and heritage.

Edited by Gunild Symes   Meredith Woolnough

Meridith Woolnough is an Australian artist from the coastal region of Newcastle in New South Wales. An avid diver, she creates intricate embroidered traceries of underwater forms highlighting their natural beauty as well as their fragile nature. X-RAY MAG interviewed the artist to find out more about her unusual technique and keen interest in forms found on reefs.

Alba Mazza   Photos courtesy of GUE ,
,
Francesco Spaggiari   Photos courtesy of GUE ,

— GUE Helps Advance Underwater Archaeology.

This is a “black and blue” story of Panarea III, a 2,200-year-old shipwreck discovered in the Mediterranean just north of Sicily.

Simon Pridmore   Marco Daturi

It was a beautiful Caribbean day, water conditions were excellent but Anna was feeling confused. Water had started to seep into her mask and, although she knew how to clear it, somehow she was unable to get the water out. She started to ascend.

Lawson Wood   Lawson Wood

Marine conservation has always been important around St. Abbs and Eyemouth when a voluntary ban on the removal of shellfish was first imposed by divers back in the early 1970s with many diving clubs supporting this move.

The first real change came in 1978 when Lawson Wood declared a small area to the north of Eyemouth the first voluntary marine reserve in Scotland. Barefoots, as it was then known, is still a major part of the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve, which was founded in 1984 and officially opened by Professor David Bellamy in 1986.

Steve Jones   Steve Jones
Dr Terrence Gosliner is the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences

It’s fair to say that Dr Terrence Gosliner has developed a healthy obsession with Anilao over the years. He is the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences, overseeing the scientific research programs and guiding the Academy’s efforts to discover new knowledge and help promote the preservation of life’s diversity. He is also a world-leading expert on nudibranchs so some would say it was therefore an inevitability that Anilao was going to keep him and his team busy for many years!

Advertisements

Other news published in this issue