Saturday, November 27, 2021
Friday, November 26, 2021
Ahmed lives on the island of Fuvahmulah in the Maldives, an island surrounded by tiger sharks.
“Everyday, fishermen in the market threw tuna scraps into the harbour,” he recalls. “I noticed the tiger sharks came to eat but never hunted the live fish, only the dead fish. I’ve never been afraid of sharks and knew the shark’s job was to clean the ocean. I wanted to be close to the sharks, to see them face to face.”
Seeing Ahmed swim with the sharks, always returning unscathed, changed perceptions on the island.
“Now fishermen know sharks aren’t dangerous. Today, a 12-year-old boy asked me if we can go freediving with the tiger sharks. The young generation especially love sharks. I tell the fishermen not to attack sharks because they keep the fish and tuna populations healthy,” Ahmed says.
His initiative has led to a tourism boom on the island and, after previously doing laundry and housekeeping in resorts, he now takes tourists diving with sharks.
Diving has transformed the lives of the islanders, both commercially and in terms of their relationship to sharks. Until Ahmed took them out to dive with his company, Fuvamulah Tiger Shark Dive, many of them, such as Sand Saeed, were unable to swim.
“I’ve always had a huge fear,” Saeed says.
“When we were kids, sharks were something that infested the water,” says Hamna Hussain, a divemaster on Fuvahmulah.
“If shark diving wasn’t discovered here, life now would be so different. I feel like this is a new era for this island. My goddaughter is two and every time she sees me she tells me she wants to see sharks. That’s a huge difference to when I was a kid.
“I’m the only local female divemaster here, and other locals, particularly men, see me and say: ‘If she can dive with sharks, so can I,’ which, although it’s kind of insulting, I see as a positive.”
But the new relationship with sharks has transformed the island in another, more lethal way.
The Maldives, isolated in the Indian Ocean, has one of the world’s highest population densities and little capacity to process plastic waste.
Much of it is washing into the ocean, entangling marine life on the reef.
To mitigate the effects of the plastic waste, Ahmed and an underwater photographer, Jono Allen, with the support of the local council and mayor, set up a conservation organisation, Fuvahmulah Marine Foundation (FMF).
There has been an island-wide introduction of reusable bags, water bottles, straws made from rice or paper, and cardboard food containers for locals and tourists.
For Ahmed, protecting sharks and reducing plastic are part of the same battle.
Thursday, November 25, 2021
When the owner of the 54.9-meter explorer placed his order with Feadship, he already had a new U-Boat Worx C-Researcher 3 waiting to be accommodated.
With ocean exploration at the forefront of the owner’s mind, Shinkai – meaning ‘Deep Sea’ in Japanese – sets a new bar for bespoke, purpose-built, sub-orientated design.
Drift along with deep sea cucumbers.
As a long-time fan of U-Boat Worx, the owner knew exactly what he wanted; to be able to walk out of his master suite and step straight into his private three-seater sub.
Simple, efficient and built to the owner’s specified short delivery time, the ruby red C-Researcher 3 with grey leather interior will transport the owner to a whole new world of underwater exploration.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, claimed last month that his country controls the Arctic.
Most of the Arctic is ice or water.
Arctic states are also competing to control the seabed: melting ice has made mineral deposits and oil- and gasfields more accessible.
- Wired : As the Arctic melts, China and Russia struggle for control
- The Arctic Institure : The Impact of the Post-Arms Control Context and Great Power Competition in the Arctic
- BBC : Russia flexes muscles in challenge for Arctic control
- GeoGarage blog : Arctic stress test / As countries battle for control of North Pole, science is the ... / Putin makes his first move in race to control the Arctic / Russia submits revised claims for extending Arctic shelf to UN / The Arctic Ocean, explained - GeoGarage blog / The Arctic silk road: Belt and road in North dimension. Fight for ... / Polar powers: Russia's bid for supremacy in the Arctic Ocean / Satellite images show huge Russian military buildup in the Arctic / China's scientists are the new kids on the Arctic block / Why the Arctic is not the next' South China Sea -/ U.S. is playing catch-up with Russia in scramble for the Arctic
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
The work of two outstanding scientists has been recognized this year by the IHO-IOC GEBCO Sub-Committee of Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN) through the approval of the naming of two major undersea features.
- the “Agapova Seamount” was proposed by the Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (GINRAS);
- the “Walter Munk Guyot” by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, USA.
The name “Agapova Seamount” was given in memory of Galina Vladimirovna Agapova (1930-2018), marine geomorphologist and cartographer, who started working at the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1955.
She participated in many expeditions in the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean Seas, as well as in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
She contributed to the discovery of numerous seamounts, ridges and other features of the seafloor topography.
She was the author of more than 100 scientific papers and bathymetric, geological and tectonic maps, including the 5th edition of GEBCO, International Geological and Geophysical Atlases of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the International Tectonic Map of the World etc.
In some places, the Agapova Seamount has inclines 30° steep.
G.V Agapova participated in the GEBCO Subcommittee on the nomenclature and terminology of the underwater relief forms (GEBCO-SCGN, now SCUFN) between1974 and 2007 and participated in the creation of the Guidelines on Standardization and the GEBCO Gazetteer.
The “Walter Munk Guyot” was named in memory of the legendary oceanographer/geophysicist whose body of work had profound implications for science and society as a whole.
Munk’s contributions to science throughout the latter half of the 20th century and into the present century were measured not only in terms of the new knowledge his research yielded, but in the quality and diversity of the questions he considered.
His early research on waves for example, enabled him to work out a scheme to create reliable predictions, which was subsequently used during world War II to correctly predict that the waves troops would face taking the beach in Normandy would be high but manageable.
Research on the stability in water of bodies such as buoys is still used, for example in hydrodynamic analyses when evaluating the “Munk moment”.
More about Dr Munk here.
This guyot is located in the eastern Mid-Pacific Mountains.
Its deepest point is at 5200m and it is 3803m high.
But what is a GUYOT ?
“A GUYOT is a SEAMOUNT with a comparatively smooth flat top”.
Recognized scientists in marine geosciences, hydrographers, oceanographers etc may have their name in the hall of fame of the GEBCO Gazetteer, however in accordance with a resolution of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names, this can only be once they are deceased (as explained in B6).
The IHO-IOC GEBCO Gazetteer is the official international record of Undersea Feature Names across the globe.
It includes an interactive 3D map of the Earth to navigate and view undersea features, as well as Polar projections and 2D maps.
It records more than 4500 undersea features and allows visitors to search, view, and download information such as geographical location, feature type (seamount, ridge...) and dimensions, the person who discovered it, and the origin of the name.
- San Diego Union Tribune : Massive undersea mountain named after famed UC San Diego oceanographer Walter Munk
- GeoGarage blog :Walter H. Munk, scientist-explorer who illuminated the deep ... / Walter Munk, 'Einstein of the Oceans,' at 97 / Seamount discovery / Life thriving on UK's biggest underwater mountains / Christmas Island seamounts: is the mystery finally solved? / We’ve discovered an undersea volcano near Christmas Island that looks like the Eye of Sauron
Monday, November 22, 2021
From Maritime Executive
Two new Chinese laws appear to be shutting down international access to ship AIS data picked up by shoreside stations in China, according to a new report.
According to Reuters, multiple Western users of AIS data have reported plummeting volumes of received signals - and it isn't because ships have turned off their AIS transcievers.
These two laws restrict foreign access to any "important" data with bearing on Chinese national security or key infrastructure.
The laws are new, and much will depend on how they are interpreted by China's regulators, but they appear to have created an immediate fall-off in the availability of Chinese terrestrial AIS receiver data for foreign users.
UK-based consultancy VesselsValue, which uses terrestrial AIS to track shipping patterns, told Reuters that it has seen a fall-off in AIS data availability of about 90 percent across all Chinese waters.
Terrestrial AIS fills an important role in ship-tracking, according to Dana Goward, the former director of the U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Domain Awareness Program.
The change doesn't mean that ships have stopped broadcasting AIS, so it should have little impact on safety of navigation.