Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pink dolphins put on a performance at Semakau~~

(Excuse the photo-less post but such exciting events have JUST gotta happen when there are NINE divers onboard the boat, with only ONE camera... the rest of us just got desperate enough to try using our cameraphones but alas....) Anyways, if you're still interested in a photo-less account of our day out at sea with our local dolphins, do read on! Photos and vids will be posted once K! has sorted them out ^_^

We were back to using Dolphin Explorer 2 instead of the air-conditioned Explorer 1. This proved to be a good thing since Mel was shouting "Dolphin!!!" as we were approaching the nursery site at Semakau. ^_^ Open-cabin boat means that snoozing divers (such as yours truly) get the chance to shock themselves awake, look up just in time to see 1, 2, THREE!!! greyish (aka juvenile) pink dolphins just off the starboard bow of the boat! After realising that they were hanging around the area, we were kinda playing hide-n-seek with our newfound delphinium mammalian friends for an our or so. It really was a special treat for the 5 Hons. students who were out with us for their check out dives. Plus it was my third time seeing dolphins in local waters (and second time at Semakau)! ^_^ My first delphinium encounter was near St John's Island, and the second was at Semakau.

After the de-gearing and lunching, we were just starting to head back to mainland SG, and it being a nice and sunny day, the usual chit-chatting and catching up was done whilst drying off in our swimwear. Can't even remember what I was talking to Mei Lin about when I saw a grey fin pop in and out of the water. Dolphin!!! My turn to do the sudden shout! Hee~ This time the 3 (or 4) dolphins (likely to be the same ones) seemed to be riding the waves and/or boat wake. Much more playful behaviour than in the morning. They were even jumping out of the water, and "waving" to us with the flippers at some point! Pretty brilliant performance! Who needs to go for the Dolphin Lagoon show when dolphins are showing off like this in the wild. Real amazing stuff!!! Mwahaha! (apologies but I can't resist gloating~~~ ;p) And the reason why we saw dolphins TWICE in a day? Because we were on Dolphin Explorer 2!!

Oh yes. For those curious about the dive, it was relatively crap vis. Was supposed to locate and retrieve one of my missing nursery tables but we couldn't find it at all >_< Came across this drift net that went over the coral nursery, the floating nursery, coral transplant site, and all the way to the breakwater.... caught all over the corals *bah* kept having to untangle it. k! wanted to take photos/videos of it for documentation but the boatmen appeared to retrieve it before she could do so. D and I swam the entire length of it and the good news is that we only saw 5 fish (1 dead big-eyed fish, and 4 live fish - threadfin(?) butterflyfish, soapfish, common damsel, ~20cm Bleeker's parrotfish) caught in it. Bad news was that we didn't release them before the boatmen came along since we wanted k! to take photos of them....

We *did* have some excitement at the nursery as we had two young cuttlefish mothers gently laying their clutch of eggs in one of the larger Acropora sp. corals. ^_^ Kept distracting me from what we were supposed to be doing~~~ But again, no photos... It really is true that you see soooo many interesting stuff and photo chances when you DON'T have a camera....
Click for the rambling...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Biodiversity Photo Contest by ACB (22 May-30 Aug 2009)

ACB photo competition - Zooming in on Biodiversity

Zooming in on Biodiversity, the first ASEAN-wide Photo Contest on Biodiversity.

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has announced that it is now accepting entries to the First ASEAN-wide photo contest “Zooming in on Biodiversity” during the International Day for Biodiversity 2009 (IDB 2009) celebrations at the SEARCA Auditorium, Los Baños, Laguna on 22 May.

Conducted in partnership with the European Commission (EC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), the photo contest seeks to popularize biodiversity among its stakeholders and the general public through the medium of photography.

“Among environmental issues and concerns regionally and globally, biodiversity Conservation is among the least known, yet one of the most important. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the global population, mostly scientists and environmentalists, understands the key role that biodiversity plays in Humankind’s survival. This lack of knowledge often translates to the lack of care for the very environment that nourishes us,” ACB Executive Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes told about 100 scientists, ambassadors, students, and media practitioners who participated in the IDB 2009 programme.

He added that there is an urgent need to popularize biodiversity. “One effective way to accomplish this is to use the power of photos. An old cliché but still very true, a picture paints a thousand words. By translating biodiversity and its relationship with health, food security, Climate change and other everyday human issues into powerful images, we can generate a greater awareness for this often-difficult-to-grasp concept,” Fuentes said.

For his part Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines Delegation Ambassador Alistair MacDonald said the contest "is an excellent means of increasing public awareness on the importance and beauty of biodiversity. One's photographic eye can encapsulate a very complex issue in a single image."

The contest, which will run from 22 May 2009 to 30 August 2009, is part of ACB’s key thrust to promote regional public awareness on biodiversity conservation. It was also designed to increase the involvement of media practitioners, professional and amateur photographers, young photography hobbyists, and the business sector in generating awareness for biodiversity conservation.

Open to all residents of ASEAN Member States Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, the contest welcomes entries which are exclusive to the contest, unpublished, and not submitted to previous contests.

Entries should capture various images related to biodiversity (plants, animals, marine life, ASEAN Heritage Parks) or the many benefits that biodiversity brings to human beings, its importance, the threats biodiversity face (deforestation, climate change), or how biodiversity affects lives. Photos showing initiatives to protect biodiversity resources such as plants, animals, and marine Species are also welcome. Entries can also depict: biodiversity as source of food (food and agriculture); biodiversity as source of medicine (health and medicine); biodiversity as source of shelter; biodiversity and climate change; the aesthetic value of biodiversity; biodiversity as source of livelihood; and biodiversity and ecotourism.

For more details on submissions etc., please click here:
Zooming in on Biodiversity
Click for the rambling...