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In Other Ocean News:

New World Record for Longest Open Saltwater Scuba Dive

A Borehamwood (U.K.)man who has just set a new scuba diving world record only wanted his tea when he finally surfaced after over two days under water.


Thirty-two-year-old Will Goodman spent 48 hours, nine minutes and 17 seconds on the seabed off the coast of Indonesian island Lombok, last week. Will's dive was made using a combination of closed circuit rebreathers and open circuit scuba. For entertainment an underwater housing was used for his iPod and his support crew entertained and supported him throughout.

For food, he guzzle liquidized rations on the sea-floor.

This is the third time that he has set the record for longest scuba dive, and it is set to be the first one recognised by Guiness World Records. His previous records and training with the use of specialist equipment gave Will the ability to break the previous world record set by Robert Silva in Belize in September 2009 who managed 48 hours and 3 minutes.

His latest successful attempt for the longest open saltwater scuba dive took place between January 7 and January 9.

His latest time beats his 2005 effort of 24 hours and one second, and also his 2008 record of 33 hours.

Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBMPuwXQRYA to see Will's record-breaking scuba dive.


Navy Issues Guidance on Use of Marine Mammals

A new U.S. Navy Instruction (pdf) updates Navy policy on the use of marine mammals for national security missions.

It seems that by law (10 USC 7524), the Secretary of Defense is authorized to “take” (or acquire) up to 25 wild marine mammals each year “for national defense purposes.” These mammals — including whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions — are used for military missions such as locating and marking underwater mines, and providing force protection against unauthorized swimmers or vehicles, among other things.

The U.S. military marine mammal program has labored under a cloud of public suspicion, the Navy admits, and such suspicion has only been aggravated by the secrecy that surrounded the program for many years.

“Several decades of classification of the program’s true missions of mine-hunting and swimmer defense, led to media speculation and animal activist charges of dolphins used as offensive weapons, speculation and charges that could not be countered with facts due to that classification,” according to a Navy fact sheet.

“With declassification of the missions of the program in the early 1990s, the Navy has repeatedly and openly discussed those missions, but rumors are not easily forgotten, and there are those who continue to actively promote them.”

Research: Three Second Fish Memory 'just Rubbish'; Learning And Memory 'quite Sophisticated'

ALBURY, Australia -- Have you heard the one about gold fish having only a three second memory - by the time they swim around the bowl, they've forgotten where they are and swim around again?
"It's absolute rubbish," says Dr Kevin Warburton, an adjunct researcher with Charles Sturt University's Institute for Land, Water and Society who has been studying fish behavior for many years.

"There's been a lot of work done over the last 15 years on learning and memory in fish and it as been found that fish are quite sophisticated. Fish can remember prey types for months; they can learn to avoid predators after being attacked once and they retain this memory for several months; and carp that have been caught by fishers avoid hooks for at least a year. That fish have only a three second memory is just rubbish."

For example in reef environments, cleaner fish remove and eat parasites from larger 'client' fish. "But what's fascinating is that they cooperate more with clients when they are being observed by other potential clients," said Dr Warburton. "This improves their "image" and their chances of attracting clients.

Grouper and cleaner fish

Some cleaners cooperate with small clients to raise their image so as to deceive larger clients, which they then cheat on by biting them rather than removing their parasites!"

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