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Octopus turns of irritating aquarium lighting by short-circuiting a lamp

Otto the Octopus, an eight-armed resident of the Sea Star Aquarium in Germany, baffled his caregivers by deliberately short-circuiting an annoyingly bright light that shone into his otherwise cosy aquarium.

According to staff, the marine exhibition began to suffer from mysterious blackouts to which the puzzled electricians could not find any reasonable explanation. This prompted the aquarium staff to take shifts sleeping on the floor in hope of solving the mystery. “It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work,” a spokesman of the aquarium explains.

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Can the Great Barrier Reef adapt to climate change?

According to University of Queensland marine biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, recipient of the prestigious Eureka science prize in 1999 for his work on coral bleaching, sea temperatures are likely to rise 2 degrees C over the next three decades due to climate change and such an increase will cause Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to die.

Hoegh-Guldberg’s statement is now being criticized by other scientists for being overly pessimistic, since it does not consider the adaptive capabilities of coral reefs.

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Two new West African catfish species

Information about the two new species Synodontis ngouniensis and Synodontis batesii from the western part of Africa

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The Kouris Serpent

The Kouris Dam, which impounds the River Kouris in the Limassol Distric on Cyprus, is now rumoured to house its very own lake monster. Tales about the dam being home to a “strange creature” began to surface three years ago, but these rumours centred mainly on the alleged dumping of a crocodile in the 3.6 km3 large dam. Today, local residents are instead talking about a serpent-like creature; a sort of Cypriot Nessie.

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Axolotl facing extinction in the wild

Deteriorating water quality, invasive species and the practise of draining lakes is now bringing the axolotl, a neotenic mole salamander native to central Mexico, to the brink of extinction. According to researchers the species could disappear in just five years and it is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Sea cucumber for dinner tonight?

The sea cucumber, which has been an appreciated traditional food item along the coasts of South East Asia for many generations, is now beginning to show up on dinner tables across the globe. The vast majority of the captured sea cucumbers are however still devoured in South East Asia and countries such as China and Japan are big importers of the delicacy.

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Some good news

I thought I would report on a few good news in the world of marine conservation. First of we are going to look at tuna fishing and the endangered Mediterranean Blue fin Tuna. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) an organization consisting of NGOs and governments surprisingly voted to cut tuna quotas in half (almost) in the Mediterranean as well as instituting a complete fishing ban during the spawning season in May and June when they meet at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona.

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New articles

Just a small update to inform you all about new articles new available here on AC

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Chile bans whale hunting

This week, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet signed into law a measure that outlaws all whale hunting in the Chilean part of the Pacific Ocean. The law prohibits all types of whale hunting; both commercial and scientific.

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Half of the tuna caught last year in the Mediterranean was illegal

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) estimates that 51 percent of all the Bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean during 2007 was illegal and unauthorised.

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Odd-coloured lobster escapes the plate and ends up in public aquarium

Lobsters caught in the Northumberland Strait in eastern Canada are normally black, so it is easy to imagine the surprise fisherman Danny Knockwood of the Elsipogtog First Nation must have felt when he suddenly found himself face to face with a yellow and white specimen. Knockwood made the unusual catch while pulling his traps out of the sea near Richibucto Village, where the Richibucto Rivers empties into the northern Atlantic. (includes videos)

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Leaping dolphine lands in boat – Injures boater

Last week, a leaping 9-foot dolphin accidently ended up in an 18-foot boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. As the panicked animal tried to escape from the vessel, it repeatedly hit the two boaters, 64-year-old Norman Howard and his wife Barbara, with its powerful tailfin.

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Orca whales returning to UK waters

Normally associated with the cooler seas around the poles, Orca whales are now becoming an increasingly common sight off the coast of UK. The Orca whale – also known as Killer whale, Blackfish and Seawolf – is found in all the world’s oceans and in most seas, including the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas. It is however known to prefer the cool waters of the polar regions, which makes this boom in recent sightings around the British Isles quite surprising for marine biologists.

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World Bank Report: Wasteful fishing regulations fritter away $50bn a year

According to a new report from the World Bank, inefficiency, wastefulness and poor management of fishing fleets are causing immense economic losses world wide. The report The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform, which was launched at the World Bank headquarters in New York and discussed at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress in Barcelona, says it would be possible to save 50 billion USD a year through wide-ranging reforms.

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Is a monster mutant fish attacking and eating humans in India??

For many years, residents living along the Great Kali River at the border between India and Nepal have claimed that a mysterious underwater creature is catching and devouring humans who dare to venture into the river. The rumours have now been investigated by biologist Jeremy Wade, who says the perpetrator might be a Goonch catfish (Bagarius yarrelli).

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