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In Other Ocean News:

Britain's busiest lifeboat ready to fish out seasonal revellers.

The busiest lifeboat station in the country is bracing itself for a boom in call-outs over Christmas and New Year.

The crew of Tower lifeboat station has already attended 364 incidents this year and saved 16 lives. Spokeswoman Laura Kerr said: "Christmas is very busy, New Year's Eve is our busiest. People get excited by extra things like alcohol. When near water, it could be dangerous.

"It's not that the Thames is unsafe, but water is dangerous if people don't treat it with respect. We are here to fish them out."

In one of the most recent rescues, a lifeboat crew saved a man who plunged into the Thames from Westminster Bridge. The 45-year-old fell in after a four-hour stand-off with police negotiators. In another drama, four rowers were pulled from the river after their craft was hit by a launch.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution relies on donations to pay for boats, kit and training. Crewman Alex Maunders said that because call-outs were more frequent at this time of year, the crew had less chance to do other vital jobs such as boat maintenance and general upkeep of the station

DFG Department of Q & A:

Question: Is it legal to go bowfishing for Humboldt squid?

Answer: No. Aside from the fact that Humboldt squid are rarely seen swimming around on the surface (they occur as deep as 1,500 feet), ocean fishing regulations only allow for spears, harpoons and bow and arrow fishing tackle to be used for the take of some species of fin fish (CCR Title 14 Section 28.95). The regulations do not allow for the take of invertebrates by bowfishing.

Divers Probe Mayan Ruins Submerged in Guatemala Lake

Samabaj, the first underwater archaeological ruins excavated in Guatemala, were discovered accidentally 12 years ago by a diver exploring picturesque Lake Atitlan, ringed by Mayan villages and popular with foreign tourists.

"No one believed me, even when I told them all about it. They just said 'he's mad'," said Roberto Samayoa, a businessman and recreational diver who grew up near the lake where his grandmother told him legends of a sunken church.

Samayoa dived for years at the lake, often stumbling across pieces of pottery from the Mayan pre-classic period. In 1996, he found the site, with parts of buildings and huge ceremonial stones, known as stelae, clearly visible.

He named it Samabaj, after himself, but only in the past year have professional archeologists taken an interest, mapping the 4,300-square-foot (400-square-meter) area with sonar technology and excavating structures on a raised part of the lake bed.

Researchers believe this area, 50 feet below the lake's surface, was once an island until a catastrophic event, like a volcanic eruption or landslide, raised water levels.


Predatory Coral Eats Jellyfish

A bloom of jellyfish, created by ocean currents and nutrients, surrounded the reef in which the team were diving. It was then that the strange behavior was observed.

"During the survey we were amazed to notice some mushroom corals actively feeding on the moon jellyfish," says Ada Alamaru, a member of the research team who is doing her PhD in marine biology supervised by Prof Yossi Loya at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

"We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw it," Ms Alamaru says. "This is the first documentation of a coral feeding on a jellyfish almost equal to its size. In fact we saw a few corals feeding and not only one."

"This is definitely unusual. As far as I know no other coral are reported to feed on jellyfish. However, some sea anemones, which are close relatives of corals, are documented feeding on other jelly species," Ms Alamaru says.

Scuba divers are exploring the depths of a volcanic lake in Guatemala to find clues about an ancient sacred island where Mayan pilgrims flocked to worship before it was submerged by rising waters.


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