Fish and aquatic news » Go green http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news The latest news from below the surface Wed, 23 Oct 2013 11:30:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Whole Foods to Stop Selling Over-Fished Species In Time For Earth Day 2013 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1089 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/1089#comments Thu, 16 Sep 2010 00:52:52 +0000 Anja http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=1089 Whole Foods has just launched a special color coded sustainability rating program for all their products. This new program is very revolutionary. What it does, is that all their products will now be color coded based on the danger posed to the sealife that come in that partocular product.

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Whole Foods Whole Foods to Stop Selling Over Fished Species In Time For Earth Day 2013Whole Foods has just launched a special color coded sustainability rating program for all their products. This new program is very revolutionary. What it does, is that all their products will now be color coded based on the danger posed to the sealife that come in that partocular product.

Green means “go ahead and shop till you drop”, yellow means “Caution. some concerns are being raised with the species”, and red means “you really shouldn’t be buying this product at all”.

They are aiming to phase out all products which are classified as “red”, which means that they are highly over fished and at risk, by Earth Day in the year 2013.

They have partnered up with Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute to help them categorize their products. Whole Foods is the first such national grocer which will have such a system in place, and it is causing waves throughout the industry.

Both Monterey Bay Aquarium and Blue Ocean Institute are well known and respected for their science-based seafood programs. They painstakingly evaluate species and the fisheries which reel them in, and categorize them based on life history, abundance, habitat impacts, fishery management practices and bycatch.

It’s good to see big business finally taking an interest in keeping the Earth and its oceans in prime condition, and not just worrying about their bottom line.

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Don’t feed the Trash Vortex! http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/496 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/496#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2010 02:30:05 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=496 If you’re an environmentally conscious golf enthusiast you probably cringe at the shear notion of playing golf near the shoreline or practise your swing onboard a yacht or cruise ship where the risk of your balls ending up in the ocean is high.

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golfball Don’t feed the Trash Vortex!If you’re an environmentally conscious golf enthusiast you probably cringe at the shear notion of playing golf near the shoreline or practise your swing onboard a yacht or cruise ship where the risk of your balls ending up in the ocean is high.

To remedy the problem with awol golf balls polluting our oceans, Barcelona based golf ball manufacturer Albus Golf has created a 100% biodegradable and non-toxic golf ball filled with fish food. According to the company, the outer part of the ball will biodegrade within 48 hours after ending up in the water, giving the oceanic fauna free access to the tasty fish food inside.

Around the globe, more and more costal regions outlaw the use of ordinary golf balls near the shore since they have a tendency to end up in the ocean where their durable plastic materials live on “forever”. Our ever increasing production of plastic and other materials that are difficult to break down have caused the formation of five enormous trash vortexes in the ocean; areas to where sea currents bring the floating debris we throw into our oceans and waterways each day. The largest of them, the Great Pacific Trash Vortex, currently covers an area twice the size of the continental U.S.

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Tidal movements – a reliable alternative to fossil fuels? http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/119 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/119#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2008 16:47:20 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=119 Tidal movements involve immense amounts of energy and are as reliable as, well, the tide. If we could find an efficient way of harnessing these mammoth forces, tidal action might become an important source of renewable energy for populations world wide. With this in mind, a team of engineers from Oxford University have worked together to develop a new and more robust turbine design that will make it both easier and more cost-effective to take advantage of this natural resource.

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Tidal movements involve immense amounts of energy and are as reliable as, well, the tide. If we could find an efficient way of harnessing these mammoth forces, tidal action might become an important source of renewable energy for populations world wide. With this in mind, a team of engineers from Oxford University have worked together to develop a new and more robust turbine design that will make it both easier and more cost-effective to take advantage of this natural resource.

wave Tidal movements – a reliable alternative to fossil fuels?

The turbines developed by the research team have been labelled “second generation” tidal turbines since they are less expensive to build and maintain compared to traditional tidal turbines, and capable of harnessing more energy. Unlike today’s underwater turbines – which are built like underwater windmills with blades that turn at right angles to the flow of water – these second generation tidal turbines are centred on a cylindrical rotor which rolls around its long axis as the water ebbs and flows. The Oxford team calls their new creation Thawt, short for Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine.

Producing enough energy for 12,000 average UK family homes using traditional turbine design would today require 10 generators and five foundations. With the new Thawt, only one generator and three foundations would be enough, according to estimates done by the Oxford team.

Steph Merry, head of marine renewable energy at the Renewable Energy Association welcomed the new design but also cautioned against the costs of environmental monitoring to safeguard the ecology of tidal areas. “We have to get it in proportion, you can’t have an unlimited budget for environmental monitoring when every engineering company has to work to a budget for any project. At the moment, there is no limit to the monitoring that can be imposed.

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On the bright side – The upside of high oil prices http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/100 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/100#comments Sun, 31 Aug 2008 19:47:45 +0000 William http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=100 An attempt to look at the bright side. The media writes a lot about all the problems the high oil price causes. The problems it causes in house hold budgets, how it affects the US trade deficit and how it drives inflation but we don’t take the time to see the positive effects associated with a higher oil price. You […]

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An attempt to look at the bright side. The media writes a lot about all the problems the high oil price causes. The problems it causes in house hold budgets, how it affects the US trade deficit and how it drives inflation but we don’t take the time to see the positive effects associated with a higher oil price. You might not think the benefits are large enough to offset the drawbacks and you might be right but it can none the less be good to be aware of the benefits. Below I will list a few of the benefits but there are many more.

oil2 On the bright side   The upside of high oil prices

Reduced oil consumption

The increased oil price means that people drive less which reduces the carbon dioxide emissions. It might feel like an inconvenient to walk to the movies instead of taking the car or otherwise change ones travel habitats but it do help the environment. Even if we look beyond our personal driving habits we can see that high oil prices can have more far reaching benefits as it creates an incentive for car manufacturers to make more fuel effective car as a mean to compete in the market. It can also change the buying pattern towards not buying bigger cars than we actually need. The high energy price can also affect our consumption in other areas such as air tickets. Hopefully some of these changes will stick even after the oil price has return to more acceptable levels.

Alternative energy sources

Higher oil prices makes new greener energy sources more economic viable. Some green energy sources become more compatible and are economically competitive when energy and oil prices rise. Higher oil and energy prices also create more incentive for companies to develop and refine green technologies and energy sources as there is a potentially larger, more lucrative market available to sell these products on. One green energy source that becomes more viable with the higher energy price is algae oil. Algae can be used to produce high quality oil that can be used to produce gasoline and even jet fuel. Algae is much more productive than other crops and one acre used for algae farming can produce several hundred times more oil than other crops used to produce green fuel such s corn. A few algae oil plants are being built this year but the technology is still to be considered experimental. I will post more info on algae oil in a separate article later this week if you want to know more about it. Algae oil is just one example on green energies that becomes more viable when oil prices are higher.

Unfortunately high oil prices also increase the pressure to explore oil resources in sensitive are such as in Alaska and of the Florida coast.

oil On the bright side   The upside of high oil prices

Some fish species get a much needed break

The high oil prices can give a much needed breather for some fish species as fishermen no longer find it economically viable to fish these species or in certain areas. An example of one fish that might end up benefiting from the high oil price is the idiotfish. The idiotfish is a deep sea fish living of the coast of British Columbia and is an appreciated food item in parts of Asia. It was listed as a species of special concern last year by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The high oil prices have resulted in large parts of the deep sea fishing fleet in British Columbia’ staying in port or fishing in shallower water closer to land. This gives the idiotfish population a much needed chance to rebound. Other fish are in a similar situation and might benefit from the high oil prices.

This was just a few of the benefits of higher oil prices.

Nothing you have read will make it less painful to pay the current gas prices but it can still be nice to know that this misery have a silver lining.

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Environmentally friendly aquariums http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/92 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/92#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2008 03:51:29 +0000 WB http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=92 For many aquarists, the joy of keeping an aquarium is not only about watching colourful fish dart around in the living room, it is also a way of learning more about the delicate web we call an ecosystem and how dead matter and living organisms interact with each other to create an environment where life can not only exist but […]

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For many aquarists, the joy of keeping an aquarium is not only about watching colourful fish dart around in the living room, it is also a way of learning more about the delicate web we call an ecosystem and how dead matter and living organisms interact with each other to create an environment where life can not only exist but flourish. It therefore comes as no surprise that you can find a lot of environmentally conscious aquarists, and that many of today’s expert biologists and wildlife authorities were steered into the path of environmental science at a very young age while striving to keep the inhabitants of their fish tank alive. Keeping an aquarium can unfortunately be a problematic hobby for the environmentally conscious, but don’t loose heart – there are loads of things that you can do to make your aquarium less of a burden for mother earth. As a matter of fact, many aquarists have actually helped in preservation work, e.g. by keeping and breeding endangered fish from severely damaged habitats, thus preventing species from becoming completely eradicated.

green aquarium Environmentally friendly aquariums

1.) Pick species that appreciate the same temperature as you do

Keeping an aquarium heated can require loads of energy and dig a large hole in your pocketbook. Many aquarists automatically chose tropical species in need of a temperature in the 75-82ºF (24-28ºC) range, despite the fact that they keep their homes heated up to 70°F (21°C) or so. By choosing subtropical species that prefer roughly the same temperature as you do you can save considerably amounts of energy in the long run. It can however still be a good idea to keep a heater with a thermostat in the aquarium as a precaution against sudden drops in temperature. The smaller your aquarium, the more rapidly it will loose heat if the surrounding temperature drops. Choose a supplier that sells green electricity.

2.) Never release fish or other creatures into the wild

If you for any reason cannot care for your aquarium inhabitants anymore, you need to find them a new keeper or euthanize them. It might be tempting to release them into the wild, but this is a big no-no. Releasing living organisms into environments where they don’t belong can wreck havoc with existing ecosystems and must therefore be avoided. Even if you keep species that occur naturally in your local environment you shouldn’t release them back into the wild because they may have come in contact with non-native bacteria, viruses, parasites etcetera in the aquarium that could cause problems for wild flora and fauna.

Fish are so called cold blooded animals and it is therefore easy to euthanize them by decreasing the water temperature. If you need to euthanize a fish or other cold blooded aquarium creature, simply place it in a water filled container and put the container in the freezer. As the water temperature gradually decreases, the metabolism of the animal will slow down and it will fall into a comatose like state before dying.

3.) Purchase locally bred or caught fish

Instead of purchasing fish that have to be flown in from the other side of the planet, you can search for fish that are being bred or caught in your area, country or (at least) part of the world. As a bonus for you, locally bred fish are often better acclimatized to the tap water in your area and more prone to breed in captivity.

4.) Turn your back on unsuitable harvesting methods

Unfortunately, devastating harvesting methods like dynamite fishing are still fairly common within the aquarium trade. Always make an effort to find out which technique that has been used to catch the fish you’re interested in purchasing. It can be hard to find unbiased information, but it is still worth trying. Paying a little extra for fish that has not been caught with dynamite and similar can also be a very sound investment since unsuitable harvesting methods tend to cause a lot of damage to the fish and decrease its chances of survival in captivity.

5.) Participate in breeding programs

By participating in a breeding program you can help supply the aquarium market with captive bred fish and ease the strain on wild populations. You can naturally do this on your own as well, but joining a breeding program is a great way of getting information on how to breed high quality fish and avoid common pitfalls. You may also be able to purchase or borrow hard to find species to use in your breeding efforts, especially if you have had success in breeding similar species in the past.

ecofriendly aquarium Environmentally friendly aquariums

6.) Keep the fish alive

This last point might seem like a no-brainer, but many beginner aquarists are coaxed by fish shops into thinking that four months is a perfectly normal lifespan for all sorts of aquarium fish and that you should expect to constantly purchase new fish to keep your tank populated. It is true that some species have a natural life span of less than six months, but the overwhelming majority of known fish species live much longer than this and there are actually quite a few species that will live for 10 years or more in a well kept aquarium. If all your fish goes belly up after just a few months in your tank, you’re probably doing something wrong. If aquarists all over the world would become better at actually keeping their fish alive, less energy would have to be devoted to transporting replacement fish, and it would also alleviate the strain on wild populations of desirable aquarium fish.

So, how can we increase our chances of keeping healthy and long-lived fish in our tanks? First and foremost, always read up on each species you wish to keep before you make a purchase. By learning about a species preferred environment, temperature, water chemistry, diet, tank mates, and so on, you will be more apt at keeping it alive throughout its natural life span. Do not mix species with different preferences in water chemistry, temperature and similar. You might very well be able to keep them alive, but they will not thrive and they will be more prone to health problems which increase the risk of an untimely death.

It is also important to read up on aquarium management techniques and always strive to increase ones knowledge on general aquarium maintenance. Do not hesitate to ask more experienced aquarists for advice. Today, the Internet has made it easy to keep in touch with aquarists from all over the world through aquarium forums and e-mail. If you’re lucky, there will also be a local aquarium club in your area.

20303 Environmentally friendly aquariums

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Five green tips from Swedish wildlife photographer Mattias Klum http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/90 http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/lib/90#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2008 02:14:54 +0000 WB http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/news/?p=90 Renowned wildlife photographer Mattias Klum, member of the Board of Trustees of WWF and fellow of The Linnean Society of London, has shared his top five green tips with Swedish newspaper Expressen. According to Klum, the birth of his two sons has made him even more environmentally conscious than before. “-I want my children to be able to experience living […]

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Renowned wildlife photographer Mattias Klum, member of the Board of Trustees of WWF and fellow of The Linnean Society of London, has shared his top five green tips with Swedish newspaper Expressen. According to Klum, the birth of his two sons has made him even more environmentally conscious than before. “-I want my children to be able to experience living coral reefs, drink water from mountain streams, and be able to take their fishing rod with them to fish and then eat their catch.

1.) Shop locally produced, ecological food, preferably of a fair trade variety. Decrease your meat consumption down to once a week or so.

2.) Take a close look at your shopping habits. Be careful with what you shop. Make fewer but more carefully selected purchases and choose high quality items.

3.) Walk and bike more; this will benefit the environment as well as your personal health. The next time you need to buy a car, choose one that is environmentally friendly.

4.) Examine how your home is heated and choose the most environmentally friendly alternative.

5.) Take action. Join WWF, your local conservation society, or some other alternative that suits you.

Do you agree with Mattias Klum? What are your top five green tips? Please share your thoughts in the comment field.

Source: (in Swedish)
http://www.expressen.se/klimathotet/1.957119/mattias-klums-fem-basta-miljotips
http://www.expressen.se/klimathotet/1.953955/fotografen-mattias-klum-tank-till-och-andra-livsstil

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