Clownfish, Philippines. Photo by Stephane Rochon.

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http://cuttlefishcountry.com Each Winter, Giant Cuttlefish gather in their thousands near Whyalla to court, mate and lay their eggs. The only known place in the world this can be witnessed is in the shallow waters off Point Lowly, in the upper Spencer Gulf of South Australia. A relative of squid and octopus, this animal's intelligence and versatility is amazing to behold. Adult males strobe zebra-patterns along their mantles and down their tentacles, stretching out to impress the females and contest other males for their attention. Smaller females can be selective about the paternity of their young, mating several times, storing sperm packets from several males and finally selecting the father according to her own preferences. After mating and laying, both male and female Giant Cuttlefish die, making their population particularly vulnerable to commercial fishing and environmental change. If the animals are fished before they reach the breeding grounds, they will have never had the opportunity to reproduce! 

There are presently a number of multi-million dollar proposed industrial developments pegged for the same strip of coastline by Point Lowly, and fierce opposition to the developments has arisen from community groups, scientists and conservationists. Immediate risks to the cuttlefish include damage to their organs received from low frequency sound (the product of construction and shipping) and the potential for raised salinity, a direct bi-product of the desalination process, altering the delicate conditions their eggs require in order to successfully hatch. 

This story is being explored in detail in the forthcoming danimations documentary film 'Cuttlefish Country' (working title) due for release in October 2011. Directed by Dan Monceaux and produced with Emma Monceaux, the film will survey the current state of play on the Point Lowly developments, and the extreme differences of opinion and agenda at work. 03:07

Port Bonython Fenceline
Australia

Another attempt to find interesting animal encounters in our local mudhole. Visibility was down to eight feet, but a few animals were willing to pose for me 04:17

Veteran's Park
United States of America

Een duik vanaf de Aquila op de HMS Hogue. Een van de drie kruisers die 100 jaar geleden voor de kust van Scheveningen zijn vergaan door een torpedo aanval van een Duitse U boot. 04:46

De Kruisers
Netherlands


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scuba diving photo

Madonnina
Italy

scuba diving photo

Volnay
United Kingdom


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