MEDITERRANEAN SEAGRASS RESEARCH

19.6.2006 - Help! Can anyone ID this blenny? He looks a bit like a Disney character. See also side view below.

 
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19.6.2006 - Reticulated blenny - Lipophrys canvae

 
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19.6.2006 - Yellow triplefin - Tripterygion delasi

 
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19.6.2006 - Striped blenny - Parablennius rouxi

 
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19.6.2006 - Sphinx blenny close-up

 
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19.6.2006 - Sphinx blenny - Aidablennius sphynx

 
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19.6.2006 - Red Triplefin - Tripterygion tripteronotus

 
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19.6.2006 - Can someone tell me the name of this blenny?

 
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19.6.2006 - Another view of same guy

 
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19.6.2006 - Help needed to ID blennies

During our fish surveys in the Med we've found a coastal area in Catalunia, Spain that's home to a great variety of blennies, some of which I am still trying to identify. Can anyone help? Does anyone know of a good internet site to help ID blennies. I have already tried Fishbase.

Unfortunately some were very shy and so I only got photos of their heads peeping out of their holes.

 

 

 
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5.6.2006 - That's better. Thanks for the advice.







 
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31.5.2006 - Amazing jellyfish in the Med

I saw some great jellyfish whilst on a training dive with a new volunteer ecodiver yeaterday. There were millions of almost microscopic jellyfish, too small for my camera to focus on, and lots of adults too. We also saw many siphonofores and a Eucharis multicornis (see photos) which are normally oceanic species.

 

I have now identified last year's egg case as being deposited by sepia officinalis.

 

I still need volunteer divers to help with fish surveys and Posidonia oceanica data collection this season. If anyone would like an interesting and cheap diving holiday in the Med go to www.kennaecodiving.net  for more info.

 

 
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4.3.2006 - Photography

Anyone who is into digital photography (underwater or land based) may like to gain the really useful tips given here:   http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/

 
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4.3.2006 - Volunteers from Ireland

Recently we had a  group of lads over from Ireland to help with our research. With the degree of evening socialising we didnīt always start so early in the day but enjoyed some fun-diving as well as gathering useful data.

They wore dry suits although I was quite toasty in my 7mm semidry and the visibility was about 30 meters, which they thought fantastic compared to diving in they local lochs!

Unfortunately we didnīt find the seahorses this time but there were lots of shoaling bream, many octopus and scorpionfish, and male triple-fins in their bright mating colours. The auxilliary wrasses had started nest-building. Things seem to happen earlier each year, underwater as well as on land. Global warming????

Did you know that the Posidonia sea grass we are studying does an important job in this respect, acting as a "carbon sink", just like the Amazon rain forest. Without the Posidonia meadows absorbing CO2 the Med would be more acidic than it currently is. Some researchers on ocean acidity took a fish from the Pacific and placed it in water from the Atlantic sea and, guess what, it died because it couldnīt cope with the change in ph level. Scarey stuff. This spurs me on to gather data and help the campaign to protect the Posidonia. It breaks my heart when I see careless yachties dragging their anchors through meadows that have taken years to develop.

On a happier note, the lads and I explored some local caves which were full of orange clouds of krill hiding away from predators, apart from a massive seabass that had already discovered an easy meal.

 
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16.2.2006 - Macro of baby scorpionfish hiding in Posidonia meadow

 
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16.2.2006 - Unidentified ? egg case attached to Posidonia Oceanica

 
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3.2.2006 - Volunteer divers needed for data collection during 2006 research season.

We are gearing up for the 2006 season and plan to start monitoring the Posidonia seagrass this month. Although it is still early in the year, and the new growth will be minimal, it is the best time to find clingfishes, seahorses and the Posidonia pipefish which are so well camouflaged and hard to spot when the grass is in full bloom.

 

Posidonia is a true plant with roots, stem, leaves, flowers and fruits. However it is rare nowadays to find areas that receive sufficient protection for flowering to occur, e.g. a Natural Park near Formentera. At the base of each shrub is a rhizome, which is actually a modification of the stem, out of which grows roots of 10 to 15cms in length. These attach the plant to the substratum and the plant will continue to grow from the root system. In this way the meadow rises year upon year reaching heights of 4mtrs above the seabed. Natural breakwaters are thus formed. Posidonia leaves grow from the rhizome each about 1cm wide and up to 80cms long and their effect is to slow down wave movement and trap larger grains of sand. It is thanks to this natural filter that the water that reaches the shore is clearer and cleaner.

 

Strangely, the scientific name for this plant, Posidonia Oceanica, is not accurate. The plant is only found in the Mediterranean and therefore not in any ocean. Posidonia lives in a narrow coastal strip at depths of up to 40mtrs although it has been found as deep as 100mtrs where the water is exceptionally clear and thus allowing light penetration for photosynthesis. The ecological importance of these meadows cannot be underestimated.  The seasonality of the posidonia allows other ecosystems to be enriched by it`s great swathe of organic material that is carried by the currents and waves. Posidonia sea grass meadows serve as reproduction and refuge sanctuaries for numerous species. Such is the wealth of marine life to be found that all scuba divers should explore it`s rich diversity.

 

On our website I am building up a photo-library of species associated with the Posidonia meadows. I will upload some of the photos taken during our research and would particularly appreciate help in identifying species.

 

We have a large area to monitor annually in a beautiful local bay. Please come and learn about the diversity and behaviour of Mediterranean species whilst helping to conserve this wonderful habitat.

 

 
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About Me

A running update on the state of the Med (Costa Brava) in relation to the health of the Posidonia meadows and the diversity of life within this habitat.

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