Fishing nations agree slim Atlantic tuna quota cut

Reuters - Fishing nations agreed on Saturday to a slim reduction in quotas for catching giant Atlantic bluefin tuna, whose stocks have plunged as fishermen strive to meet demand from sushi lovers.
PARIS | Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:07pm EST

Ignoring calls from conservation groups for deep cuts, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) said its 48 member states, meeting in Paris, had set a 2011 quota of 12,900 tones, down 600 from this year.

An Atlantic bluefin can grow to the size of a horse and fetch as much as $100,000 in markets such as Japan, but stocks have plunged by more than 80 percent since 1970s, according to western scientists.

Environmental groups said the quota fell short of what was needed to sustain healthy stock levels, noting that illegal fishing and under-reporting of catches might mean stock estimates were over-optimistic.

"Greed and mismanagement have taken priority over sustainability and common sense," WWF Mediterranean fisheries head Sergi Tudela said.

"This measly quota reduction is insufficient to ensure the recovery of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea."

The warm-blooded bluefin tuna can weigh up to 650 kg (1,433 lb) and is found in the North Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean, where big commercial fishing operations fatten captured fish in enclosures.

France, Italy and Spain catch most of the Atlantic bluefin consumed in the world and 80 percent of the haul goes to Japan.

While environmental groups lamented the cut as too little, the fishing industry said it was too much.

Serge Lazarbal, head of the bluefin tuna commission at the French Fishing Committee, said his industry would have preferred the existing quota to be retained.

The European Commission had said the catch should be cut to 6,000 tones to give the fish a real chance of recovery, but the European Union's Mediterranean members shot down that proposal even before the 10-day ICCAT meeting started on November 17.

Despite the rejection of her proposal, EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement that the meeting had made "a step in the right direction for sustainable management" of bluefin tuna.

Japan championed a crackdown on illegal fishing and under-reporting, but was cautious about whether members would follow through on tougher measures to ensure quotas are respected.

"We have to do many things (on) compliance before the fishing season starts," said Masanori Miyahara, head of the Japanese delegation.

In a move welcomed by conservation groups, ICCAT members also agreed to step up protection in the Atlantic Ocean of whitetip oceanic sharks and several species of hammerhead sharks by banning their retention when they are netted with other fish.


Whale sharks are moved by "that sinking feeling"

New research data was published this week on the electronic version of British Ecologycal Society’s Functional Ecology magazine. Results and data recovery come from 12 whale sharks that were successfully equipped with data-loggers between 2008 and 2009. Scientists state that the biggest shark in the world uses geometry and energy preservation to maintain afloat. How? By using negative buoyancy!!

"The key factor for animal movement is travel speed, which governs how much energy an animal uses, the distance it will travel and how often resources are encountered," said lead author Adrian Gleiss from Swansea University. "However, oceanic animals not only have to consider their travel speed, but also how vertical movement will affect their energy expenditure, which changes the whole perspective."

Here is a nice short summary:

The article is really interesting, you can find it here:

Gleiss, A. C., Norman, B. and Wilson, R. P. , Moved by that sinking feeling: variable diving geometry underlies movement strategies in whale sharks. Functional Ecology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2010.01801.x


Shark success: It's All In The Scales

November 24, 2010 15:09 EST

New research from the University of South Florida suggests that one of the evolutionary secrets of the shark's success hides in one of its tiniest traits -- flexible scales on the bodies of these peerless predators that make them better hunters by allowing them to change directions while moving at full speed. "The key to this ability lies in the fact that the scales control water flow separation across the creatures' bodies", says Amy Lang of the University of Alabama.

Flow separation is an issue in systems like aircraft design, explains Lang, because it tends to cause vortices that impede speed and stability.

"In nature, if you look at surfaces of animals, you'll see that they are not smooth," Lang says. "They have patterns. Why? One common application of patterning a surface is to control flow -- think of the dimples of a golf ball that help the ball fly farther. We believe scales on fast-swimming sharks serve a similar purpose of flow separation control."

New Liquivision products

I had the chance to get to the Liquivision booth during DEMA 2010. They actually published photos of the people that came to their booth and I'm in one of them :)

Actually, the reason why I went there is because of their new XEN and XEO dive computer and bottom timer.

Here is a video on them posted by Curt Bowen from Advanced Diver Magazine where Liquivision speaks about them. Liquivision XEN and XEO computers from Curt Bowen on Vimeo.


100 good Blogs for Studying the Ocean

Oceans comprise the staggering majority of the Earth’s surface, providing a home for millions – if not billions – of species, and a major source of food and pleasure for humans. Unsurprisingly, it has captured the imaginations and intrigue of people for millennia, a fascination which continues today and will likely flow on into the future. Thanks to the internet, even the most landlocked of individuals can explore its mysteries and wonders from their homes or offices. Learning about the sciences and politics behind the salty sea provides a broad glimpse about the bizarre, beautiful Earth and how to best keep it preserved and loved by upcoming generations. Here is a list of 100 good Blogs for Studying the Ocean


VR Technologies Sport Rebreather

Back in DEMA I had the chance to talk to Kevin Gurr about a new rebreather VR Technologies introduced during the show. The unit does not have a name yet but it is a new hybrid rebreather. The unit is nitrox based and is very much aimed towards recreational divers. According to PADI this is a unit that should meet the requirements of the forthcoming PADI recreational rebreather courses.

The new VR Technologies rebreather was awareded the product of the show category by DEMA. Curt Bowen of Advanced Diver Magazine has posted a good interview of Jeff Gourley who explains the principles behind VR Technologies.  

VR Technologies Sport Rebreather from Curt Bowen on Vimeo.

Rebreather Forum 3.0

Back in 1994, Rebreather Forum 1.0 happened. Then Rebreather Forum 2.0 took place in 1996. A document entitled "Proceedings of Rebreather Forum 2.0" is available in the Rubicon Research Repository if you want more information on it.

Now, there is confirmation that Rebreather Forum 3.0 is definitely going to happen. Rebreather Forum is a major conference intended to measure and advance the science and techniques of rebreather diving. The conference will take place in the USA in the Florida Keys in May 2012.

The primary bodies behind the event are PADI, DAN and the Smithsonian Institute.


Rebreather Education and Safety Association (RESA) and rebreather training

From: The TecRec Blog

Over 30 executives representing the cream of the world’s CCR manufacturers were represented, including: AP Diving, Diverite, Dräger, Hollis/Oceanic, KISS, Innerspace Systems, Juergensen Marine, Micropore Inc, Poseidon, Shearwater, Silent Diving, Titan, Revo and VR Technology.

One of the most exciting outcomes of the meeting was the decision by the manufacturers to form the Rebreather Education and Safety Association (RESA) to set a higher degree of cooperation amongst CCR manufacturers. It is intended that this group will also address manufacturing standards and some of the issues that will make their products more appealing to a greater audience.

PADI and the world’s major CCR manufacturers came together at the DEMA Show in Las Vegas, USA on 17th November to hear PADI’s vision of where rebreather technology may head in the future and to receive an outline of PADI’s new CCR programs due for release in 2011. The Meeting was chaired by Mark Caney – Vice President of Rebreather Technologies (PADI Technical Diving Division). PADI was also represented by other PADI Technical Diving Division Executives including; Terry Cummins (Director Market Development), Karl Shreeves (Director of Decompression Diving) and James Morgan (Director of Advanced Wreck Diving). Pascal Dietrich Technical Consultant at PADI Europe and Jeff Nadler of PADI Americas were also in attendance.


DEMA Show attendance bounces back

Attendance at this year's Diving Equipment and Marketing Association annual convention in Las Vegas appears to be heading back to the numbers enjoyed prior to last year's conference in Orlando, FL, according to the association's executive director.

"We won't know until the end of the show, but from a registration standpoint, we're about 13 percent ahead of where we were in Orlando, [and] about on even par with Las Vegas last time we were here," Tom Ingram said this morning at a "DEMA Member Update" seminar. He added that while 4,000 people entered the show floor on Day 1 of the convention -- a "very typical" number --  "we had 6,491 people" yesterday morning.

"So I'm anticipating as we get closer to the weekend, as we always do, we'll have more people coming in, but only time will tell," Ingram said.

Last year's convention in Orlando saw 9,006 total attendees and exhibitors, while 2008 (Las Vegas) had 11,085 and 2007 (Orlando) saw 11,264 pass through the turnstiles, according to briefing charts Ingram used during his presentation.

DEMA Show will continue to alternate between Las Vegas and Orlando in the near future, with next year's show taking place in Orlando from Nov. 2-5, and the 2012 convention back in Las Vegas from Nov. 14-17. 

For more information, go to www.dema.org

Jill Heinerth speaks at the 2010 NACD Cave Summit.

One of the things I like the most of being in the US is high speed internet :)

The following video is originally located in Curt Bowen's video channel. I thought it is great content and decided to post it here.

2010 NACD Cave Summit - Jill Heinerth (47 minutes) from Curt Bowen on Vimeo.


EFRIT and New CPR Guidelines set by Consensus 2010

I participated in the Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer course today. One of the most important things that came out during the course are new emergency care guidelines as sacntioned by the 2010 consensus.

The 2010 guidelines represent the most extensive research into emergency cardiac care to date. In general, no great change from Guidelines 2005 and further reinforce emphasis on providing effective chest cokmpression with minimal interruptions. The reason for this is because studies have shown the importance of providing fast, effective chest compression as a critical aspect in treating a patient who has suffered cardiac arrest.

Most practices, such as compression to ventilation ratio of 30:2, have not changed. Compression-only CPr continues as a recommendation for untrained individuals. However, the recommendation remains for the trained lay rescuer to perform compressions and ventilations. A summary of changes in administering CPR and AED's for both ERC was delivered to the participants. The application of the new guidelines will be published by EFR in the next issue of The Responder.

It looks like the old ABCD's
are loosing some importance.
This list was provided as a guideline
 for performing demostrations.
The changes made can be sumarized as follows:

1. When obtaining help, ask for someone to call for an ambulance AND to bring an AED. The reason for this change is that more AED's are being placed in public places making them more accessible. (ERC)

2. "Look, Listen and Feel" has been removed to minimize delay in chest compressions. (AHA)

3. Begin CPR by providing 30 chest compressions, then open the airway and give two breaths. If drowning is suspected beging CPR by providing rescue breaths. (ERC)

4. Adult chest must be compressed to a depth of at least 5 cm (old guideline was 4 - 5 cm). Rate is the same: 100 compressions per minute (ERC) 

5. Compress infant chest to approximately 4 cm and child chest to approx 5cm at a rate of 100 - 120 compressions per minute (ERC) or to one third of the diameter of the chest (AHA)

6. To minimize interruptions in chest compressions, AED's can be switched on and patches applied WHILE performing CPR. (ERC - AHA)

For detailed references see the full AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC and the ILCOR CoSTR document in the Journal of Circulation and view the ERC Guidelines 2010


Liquivision enlightened?

Just got this teaser from Divematrix and a note from Liquivision.I think the improvements are really obvious. They will be presenting it on DEMA 2010. I will get in touch with them and let everyone know about what is changing in my FAVOURITE computer in the world :)


Departing to DEMA Show: Las Vegas, NV. November 17 - 21, 2010

I have spent the day getting ready for DEMA 2010. A stack of business cards, galapagosrebreathers.com polo shirts and stickers, 20 something things to do writen down, some 10 scheduled events to assist, many goodies to pick up :) and a business plan and knowledge review for Emergency First Response Instructor Training. I'm only missing my Passport and the air tickets that I will pick up tomorrow.

Show seems busy and a lot of things will come out of it. I will try to write a report on it when I come back to show my appreciation of it and a personal balance.

If you want to schedule a meeting to discuss Advanced Diving in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, Rebreather Trips and Expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, Underwater Exploration or Cave Diving projects please leave a note here, in facebook, etc. There are many ways :)

I'll be right back,
Jorge A. Mahauad


Family Co-Teaching

This is definetly not advanced diving. This is an Open Water Diver Course. The nice thing is that I had the chance to work with my family of divers in teaching it. I thought writing a thank you note for you guys would be a nice thing.

My brothers Eduardo (PADI OWSI) and Javier (PADI DM) came to help. Also my cousins Fabián (PADI DM), Charles (PADI DM) and Felipe (PADI Rescue Diver) were here.The students were a group of eight people from a local school. The course was delivered as a prize for a contest organized by Fundacion Galapagos Ecuador. The group made a piece of art work out of recycled Coca Cola bottles. Price was sponsored by Coca Cola Foundation as part of the coastal cleanup month organized in the Galapagos Islands.

A few shots of them working: 

Eduardo waiting for his turn to teach while students work on knowledge reviews

Eduardo leading an equipment configuration session prior to our first confined water.
Charles, Fabian, Javier and Felipe assisting students.

Javier, Felipe, Fabián and Charles unloading cylinders.

Fabian and Charles supervising equipment configuration

All the group getting ready for a confined water session

Eduardo reviewing missed topics of final exam

I have to say I'm very happy with your work. We have been training them for a few years now. It has been a long process but now I feel very comfortable giving them responsibilities. A big thank you guys, I hope to keep working you for many years to come. 


Decompression Oxygen

I have a few cylinders but this three are definetly my favourite!! It has been a lot DIY work. I had to do all the cleaning, painting, stencil, filling and topping up (with a sport booster!!)

Finally three nicely rigged AL80 pure oxygen cylinders are waiting in my garage/warehouse for a dive :)


PADI Rebreather Courses Previewed at DEMA

There will be two presentations at the DEMA show in Las Vegas, USA this month featuring the direction PADI will be taking with rebreathers next year. Mark Caney and Karl Shreeves will be explaining how the recreational and technical courses are being designed and the philosophy behind them.

The same presentation will take place on 2PM on the 17th November and at 9AM on the 18th November. In both cases the venue will be room S233 of the Las Vegas Hilton.