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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Incredible blue whale footage

Filmed by my friends at Scubazoo in our beautiful waters! How is it that such a majestic creature roams our planet and we know so little about them and how to take care of them so others will have these same opportunities to marvel?

P.S. This Valentine's day lets step outside our comfort zone and vow to love our oceans better. We need it more than we understand. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Research spotlight: What is a CTD?

Ever wondered how field biologists measure salinity and temperature in the water column??? We use a nifty instrument called a CTD, which in regular english is a Conductivity Temperature Depth recorder (Click here for a more detailed description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conductivity,_temperature,_depth). CTDs come in a range of sizes and limitations. We have chosen a small, portable instrument because we have limited space on the boat and have to hand cast. Its no easy task dropping about 6 kgs on a line down to 100 m and then bringing it back up safely but the prospect of answering questions and unravelling new mysteries helps us forget the calluses on our hands and sore biceps!

We hope you enjoy the first in our Spotlight series that highlights the different techniques used in the field to answer the questions swimming in my head...stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Welcome to our YouTube channel!

Just wanted to welcome you all to our brand spanking new YouTube channel. We uploaded our first video to it a few days ago with more to come! Just click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ashadevos or search for Asha de Vos. We hope you have as much fun watching all the videos as we have putting together for you! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Intro video to our field season! Watch it here!

Finally.....we are live!!!

Biting the hand that feeds us

Yesterday´s news carried a story about a dolphin massacre off Kalpitiya on the northwest coast of the island. The story is being shared far and wide - as it should be. A big draw card to Kalpitiya in recent years has been these very dolphins that move in large groups and entertain dolphin watchers.

The death of these dolphins was caused by illegal fishing activities in the region involving purse seines or ´laila´nets coupled with dynamite that targets small tuna like species. This is the second time such a mass massacre has been reported (the last was from last year) but dolphins get caught in the midst of these non-traditional fishing activities on a regular basis.

This is indeed a huge tragedy and one that needs careful thought and strong support from the entire conservation community and nature lovers in order to solve. I just learnt that the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) have got the ball rolling and will be working with the relevant authorities and ministries to ensure that such a tragedy does not occur again and that the perpetrators are duly dealt with. The latest news article mentions that the ministry is probing into the situation.

Let us hope for the best. I am confident that the community can come together to make a difference on this matter. We really have to stop biting the hand that feeds us and start protecting the very resources that bring tourists to our shores..

For the news stories, click here http://www.hirunews.lk/52435