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Australia / New Zealand Newswire

Researchers: Algae-eating Batfish May Come to Great Barrier Reef's Rescue
Townsville, Australia - Dec 18, 2006 15:09 EST

In a study that marks progress in understanding the basis of coral reef recovery, researchers have revealed the critical importance of a rare batfish, Platax pinnatus, in promoting the return to health of a disturbed coral reef overgrown with algae....
 
Scientists: Coral Die-Offs Occuring More Frequently Than Any Time in the Last 11,000 Years
Brisbane, Australia - Dec 14, 2006 13:02 EST

Large scale coral die-offs are now occurring more frequently than at any time in the last 11,000 years, according to a new study by Australian-based scientists. Investigations by Associate Professor John Pandolfi, of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef...
 
Emperor Penguin Gives U.S. Scientist an Eyeful; 'Little Fear of Humans'
Ross Island, Antarctica - Dec 13, 2006 14:09 EST

Environmental policies prohibit scientists at McMurdo Station, the largest U.S. science base in Antarctica, from actively seeking the companionship of Emperor or Adelie penguins. The general rule is: "If the animals are reacting to you, you're too close." But if a curious...
 
Study: Fishermen Driving Great Barrier Reef Sharks Being Drive to Extinction
Townsville, Australia - Dec 4, 2006 17:44 EST

Investigators have revealed that coral reef shark populations are in the midst of rapid decline, and that “no-take zones”—reefs where fishing is prohibited—do protect sharks, but only when compliance with no-take regulations is high. The findings, reported by William Robbins...
 
Aussie Teen Hooks Record Black Marlin, Feeds it to Sharks; 'It was Pretty Cool'
Cairns, Australia - Nov 27, 2006 17:40 EST

CAIRNS teenager Alex Johnston could barely walk after spending more than an hour battling to land this record 496kg black marlin. Yesterday, he and his proud dad Graham, skipper of the game boat Shikari, towed the majestic game fish back out...
 
Scientists: First Sampling of Cold Seeps off Kiwi Coast Reveals Bizarre Deep-sea Communities
Wellington, New Zealand - Nov 21, 2006 18:36 EST

An international team led by scientists from the United States and New Zealand have observed, for the first time, the bizarre deep-sea communities living around methane seeps off New Zealand's east coast. 'This is the first time cold seeps have...
 
New Inhaler-Friendly Snorkel Could Open Up Underwater World to Asthmatics
Queensland, Australia - Nov 8, 2006 17:59 EST

A Snorkel built to carry an inhaler could open up a whole new undersea world for asthmatics. The Australian-developed MediDive Asthma Freedom Snorkel houses the puffer within a silicon chamber attached to the mask, giving asthma sufferers easy access to medication...
 
Groups Urge Kiwis to Halt Bottom Trawling; 'There is No Need to Wait'
Wellington, New Zealand - Oct 29, 2006 17:08 EST

An international coalition of more than 60 environmental groups has called on New Zealand to pull its bottom trawl fishing fleet out of the international waters of the South Pacific to protect deep-sea life. In a letter to Prime Minister...
 
Aussie Divers Outraged Over Recreational Dive Tax Scheme; 'The Government is Killing Tourism'
Ulladulla, Australia - Sep 27, 2006 22:44 EST

Recreational divers' peas have been ignored with the State Government set to introduce a recreational dive tax. Ulladulla Diving Adventure Centre owner and keen diver Steve Williams said he thought the idea of the tax had disappeared. "We heard nothing about it...
 
Kiwi Crayfish Diver Survives Stingray Attack; 'Dead Leg with a Bee Sting on Top of It'
Marlborough, New Zealand - Sep 25, 2006 19:36 EST

Joe McKnight has survived a stingray attack with just three stitches and a hole in his wetsuit. He says he will no longer laugh at any jokes about the death of Australian television star Steve Irwin following his own close encounter...
 
Report: Land-Crawling Eels Likely Eating Fowl, Ducks, Birds Around Aussie Pond
Macarthur, Australia - Sep 19, 2006 17:58 EST

A slippery water predator known to travel hundreds of metres over land to find water has been blamed for the disappearing wildlife at the Eagle Vale pond. A freshwater eel is believed responsible for the disappearance of water fowl, small ducks...
 
Surfers Ride Watery Giants, Chasing 100ft Waves; 'Like Thunder for 10 Seconds'
Margaret River, Australia - Sep 18, 2006 18:42 EST

The waves have been nicknamed Cyclops, Jaws and Dungeons and are the new life-and-death playground for a unique breed of surfers who ride gargantuan ocean waves as big as a seven storey building. Australian surfer Alex Cater, 25, has been chasing...
 
South Pacific States to Sign Whale, Dolphin Conservation Agreement; 'There is High-level Support'
Wellington, New Zealand - Sep 14, 2006 19:48 EST

A Memorandum of Understanding on the protection of whales and dolphins in the South Pacific is expected to be signed tomorrow by up to 11 Pacific Island nations, New Zealand Conservation Minister Chris Carter said today. The memorandum has been developed...
 
'Dream of a Lifetime' as Kiwi Fisherman Reels in Massive 700 Pound Bluefin Tuna
Christchurch, New Zealand - Sep 11, 2006 19:16 EST

A Christchurch angler's "dream of a lifetime" came true after he landed a 317kg Northern Pacific bluefin tuna near Hokitika on Tuesday night. Kelvin White took 2½ hours, from 4.30pm, to haul in the 2.75m long tuna while fishing off the Mr...
 
Aussie Academic: No Surprise 'Lion Tamer' Irwin 'Came to Grief'; Crocodile Hunter Phenomenon 'Embarrassing'
Sydney, Australia - Sep 6, 2006 09:48 EST

Feminist academic Germaine Greer said on Wednesday she hoped the death of Australian "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin would mark the end of what she called exploitative nature documentaries, a discordant note amid floods of tributes. Irwin died in a freak diving...
 
The Underwater King is Dead: Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin Killed by Stingray Off Aussie Coast; Barb Pierces Heart While Filming 'Ocean's Deadliest'
Cairns, Australia - Sep 4, 2006 09:16 EST

Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44. Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of...
 
Aussie Researchers: Eating Dugongs May Harm Kidneys; Cadmium Levels 'Well Above' Normal
Queensland, Australia - Aug 28, 2006 16:45 EST

High cadmium levels in dugongs and turtles in Australia's north may be affecting the kidneys of Torres Strait Islanders who eat these animals as delicacies, preliminary research suggests. Research led by epidemiologist Dr Melissa Haswell-Elkins of the University of Queensland's North...
 
Kiwi Claim: Japan Ripping Off $2b Worth of Tuna
Wellington, New Zealand - Aug 23, 2006 18:36 EST

New Zealand is deeply concerned about the vulnerable status of the Southern Bluefin Tuna stock and would be very disappointed if allegations that the global quota for Southern Bluefin Tuna has been substantially over-caught are substantiated says Minister of Fisheries,...
 
Study: Sydney Harbor's Toxic Seaweed a Deadly Diet for Sea Creatures; 'Accumulators' of Heavy Metals
Sydney, Australia - Aug 21, 2006 18:44 EST

Sydney Harbour's seaweeds may be having a deadly effect on the small animals that eat them because they "bio-accumulate" the toxic heavy metals that pollute the harbour's waters, a new study has found. Up to three-quarters of the offspring of small...
 
Aussies Release World's First Seafloor Mineral Map; 'Exciting Potential for Marine Minerals Industry'
Sydney, Australia - Aug 10, 2006 14:41 EST

The world's first map to show a comprehensive summary of known offshore mineral occurrences has been released for Australia's vast marine jurisdiction. The map shows the known seafloor locations of minerals, such as copper, gold, silver and diamond, compiled from survey...
 
Researcher: Rare Bottom-Breathing Turtles Can Stay Submerged Up to a Week
Queensland, Australia - Aug 4, 2006 18:16 EST

The endangered Mary River Turtle has learned the perfect way to avoid being eaten — stay underwater. University of Queensland PhD student Natalie Mathie, who has been studying Mary River hatchlings for the last two years, has shown that the turtle...
 
Tons of Sugar Dumped on Coral as Ship Grounds on Reef off Papua New Guinea; 'It was Necessary'
Misima Islands, Papua New Guinea - Jul 27, 2006 00:15 EST

Tons of Queensland sugar had to be pumped overboard after a bulk carrier crashed into a coral reef in Papua New Guinea, but authorities are unsure what damage it might do to marine life. Marine salvagers dumped the spoiled sugar into...
 
Research: Evidence of Human-like 'Altruistic' Behavior in Fish Documented; 'Pretty Amazing'
Queensland, Australia - Jun 22, 2006 21:39 EST

New research, which has been published in Nature, has uncovered evidence of fish behaviour more commonly associated with humans. Dr Lexa Grutter, from The University of Queensland's School of Integrative Biology, along with colleague Dr Redouan Bshary, from the Swiss University...
 
Study: World's Coral Reefs Threatened by Lack of Effective Protection; 'Paper Parks'
Auckland, New Zealand - Jun 22, 2006 18:34 EST

First-ever analysis reveals that most coral reef protected areas are too small, far apart and are at risk from poaching and external human threats Although 18.7% of the world's coral reefs are within "Marine Protected Areas" (MPAs) less that 2% are...
 
Kiwi Greens: Sea Lion Slaughter Must Be Stopped; 'I Am Now Even More Appalled'
Wellington, New Zealand - Jun 6, 2006 23:05 EST

Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton's decision to increase the kill limit on New Zealand sealion must be reviewed after revelations today that he went against the advice of Conservation Minister Chris Carter, the Green Party says. Documents obtained by Forest and Bird...
 
Vet Dispels Goldfish Three-Second Memory Myth; It's Three Months
Hobart, Australia - May 23, 2006 20:46 EST

A conference of vets in Hobart has heard that fish are much smarter than is commonly thought. Studies have found the concept of fish having three second memories is a myth and goldfish memories can last as long as three months. Veterinarian...
 
Researchers trawl the origins of sea fishing in Northern Europe
York, United Kingdom - Apr 12, 2006 18:09 EST

For decades the study of fish bones was considered one of the most esoteric branches of archaeology, but now it is helping to reveal the massive significance of the fishing trade in the Middle Ages. New research co-ordinated by archaeologists at...
 
Group: Kiwi Sea Lion 'Kill Quota' Increase Unjustified
Wellington, New Zealand - Apr 11, 2006 18:28 EST

The 55% mid-season increase in the number of NZ sea lions that the squid fishing industry will be allowed to kill this season is unjustified, Forest & Bird said today. "There is no new scientific evidence to justify the Minister's 55%...
 
New Zealand Takes Action to Ban Global Fish Subsidies
Geneva, Switzerland - Mar 19, 2006 19:01 EST

New Zealand has unveiled proposed new international trade rules to stop governments paying massive subsidies to fishermen to exploit the world’s already over fished oceans. “The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has stated that 75 per cent of world fisheries...
 
Aussie Scientists Discover Underwater Ant; 'We Were Sort of Dumbfounded'
Townsville, Australia - Mar 12, 2006 21:31 EST

Australian scientists have discovered what they think is the only species of ant that can live under water. Researchers at Townsville's James Cook University said Sunday that the newly discovered species - polyrhachis sokolova - nest in submerged mangroves and hide...
 
Kiwis Call for Urgent Action on Bottom Trawling; 'Banning Trawling Out-Right is Not an Option'
Wellington, New Zealand - Feb 13, 2006 18:14 EST

New Zealand will push for urgent interim measures to address the effects of bottom trawling on the high seas, Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton will tell parties to a future Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) meeting in Wellington today. "We recognise it...
 
Aussies Search for 'Pyscho' in Brutal Killing of 'Sam,' Popular Seal; 'Where Does It Stop?'
Albany, Australia - Feb 12, 2006 19:26 EST

A cruise operator in Albany, Western Australia, says he is devastated by what appears to be the brutal killing of a New Zealand fur seal at the weekend. The seal's carcass was discovered at Oyster Harbour. Jonathan Jones has been running boat...
 
Scientists: 'Inadvertant' Cannibalism Part of the Giant Squid's Bizarre Sex Life
Hobart, Tasmania - Feb 7, 2006 19:57 EST

The bizarre sex life of the giant squid is one of the topics at an international cephalopod conference in Hobart this week. Marine biologists are continuing to unlock the secrets of the giant squid, saying the deep-sea monster may not be...
 
Aussie inventor claims creation of electronic shark barrier; 'It's just like a rope'
Queensland, Australia - Feb 1, 2006 19:29 EST

An inventor on Queensland's Gold Coast says he has come up with a way to protect swimmers and surfers from sharks. Bill Morrison says he approached the State Government to trial the 'beach barrier', but never received a response. Last month, 21-year-old...
 
Aussie Croc Killed After Jumping on Passing SUV; 'No Time to React'
Jabiru, Australia - Feb 1, 2006 19:12 EST

A saltwater crocodile has launched itself at a vehicle in Kakadu National Park, sparking an unusual warning from rangers. Croc expert Garry Lindner said the episode – on the Kakadu Highway near Jabiru last week – followed a swag of reports...
 
Rare Bit of Whale Vomit May Net Aussie Family over $1 Million
Streaky Bay, Australia - Jan 24, 2006 00:00 EST

A family on South Australia's west coast has discovered a rare specimen of whale vomit on the beach that is tipped to be worth over $1 million. The specimen, known scientifically as ambergris, is sought after by perfume companies and worth...
 
Kiwi Angler Pulls in New Zealand's First Bull Shark; 'This is Going to be a Good Story'
D'Urville Island, New Zealand - Jan 17, 2006 00:00 EST

A Nelson woman has reeled in the catch of her life – a 2.6-metre shark – during a fishing trip off D'Urville Island. Rachael Young, 34, of Mapua, caught what is believed to be a bull shark near Port Hardy on...
 
Aussie diver 'blinded by own blood' in harrowing shark attack
Perth, Australia - Jan 16, 2006 00:00 EST

n Australian scuba diver has described how he was blinded by his own blood as he hid in a reef from a huge great white shark as it returned repeatedly after savaging his arm. "I just felt like I'd been hit...
 
Japanese whaling harpoon narrowly misses Greenpeace protestor
Southern Ocean, Antarctica - Jan 15, 2006 00:00 EST

A Japanese whaling harpoon narrowly missed an inflatable boat carrying environmental protesters, causing one to fall into the freezing sea, as both sides warn their face-off is becoming increasingly dangerous. The Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise has been shadowing the Japanese whaling...
 
Report: Fish Guts Lured Sharks in Fatal Attack on Aussie Girl; Practice 'Discouraged'
Amity Point, Australia - Jan 14, 2006 00:00 EST

Fishermen cleaning their catch at a boat ramp and throwing bloody scraps into the sea might have caused a fatal shark attack, a report says. A government report into the mauling of student Sarah Whiley, 21, identifies the anglers' behaviour as...
 

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