Interacting With Marine Life Can Prove Harmful

A tendency in the recreational diving industry has been to encourage more and promote feeding, touching and / or handling of marine life.  Showing scenes of divers engaged in such activities are common in advertising diving tourism.

Perhaps the purveyors of these images are trying to convey the idea that diving is interactive, for whatever reason, but the activities of these images and the marketing community dive promote in this regard are advocating a policy harmful to the environment.

Trying to communicate feelings of affection, support or understanding by stroking or feeding marine animals may be satisfactory for humans, but all available evidence suggests that such practices actually hurt the “friend” planned. These activities constitute serious behavioral disturbances to marine life and threaten their health and survival.

There are several ways in which these activities can be harmful. First, the possibility of artificial feeding, can cause lasting changes in behavior that may in the long term, be against-productive. In general, animals are adapted to rely on some natural foods found in their environment to meet all their nutritional needs and other food can be unhealthy for them. Fish are surprisingly quick and opportunistic learners, and our efforts to feed can lead to an increased risk of falling prey themselves or attempting to use food sources that can be harmful.

Because as widespread among managers and experts of protected areas recognized as “feed the bears” syndrome is a serious problem, rigorous educational programs, regulations and enforcement have been developed in our national parks and refuges eliminate this form of environmental damage. Thus, it seems intuitively this very irresponsible behavior prohibited in almost all U.S. and Canadian national parks, both terrestrial and marine, is actually encouraged for example by segments of the recreational diving industry.

Touching marine life can also be dangerous to their health. The precise positioning and orientation of simple marine invertebrates is often essential to their survival.  In addition, fish, corals, and some other animals secrete a protective mucus layer that serves as a barrier to infection and water loss to the surrounding Sea. Disrupting this barrier by touching these animals can present an increased risk of infection as well as increased stress in maintaining water balance risk.

Increasing Problems

It seems ironic that such problems are multiplying today rather than being systematically and methodically eliminated. One of the strongest reasons for people to scuba diving and reefs to explore motivations is that it provides too rare to leave for a time the artificial worlds occasion, we have created and see the nature of near, and rough.

One of the main reasons for visiting places such as coral reefs is a great diversity of marine life in its natural state. Watch a beautifully tailored predator like a shark or barracuda pull dead fish in the hands of an artist underwater circus is a cheap carnival ride, not an observation of nature at its best.

cage-divers-great-white_45671_990x742The past years, the practice of feeding sharks and fish has been banned by the U.S. states of Florida and Hawaii, and in some countries heavily invested in the diving tourism, including the Cayman Islands (Caribbean). Some of the major marine conservation organizations in the world and government agencies (U.S. National Parks and Canada, NOAA Marine Sanctuary Program, the United Nations) have denounced the practice of power and harass marine animals.

However, the practice and promotion persist in the recreational diving industry. The Bahamas are particularly known to actively promote shark feeding dives, although many dive operators Bahamas environmentally there refuse to participate is such improper practices.

General Tips For Computing

Since many of our team athletes are also students, then we thought we would put together a little article on bettering your computer’s performance.  As a student you’ll want everything to be in tip top shape, meaning you don’t want to be messing around with nonsense when you’re trying to write a paper.

1.)  Install good antivirus software!  This is number one because it’s so incredibly important.  Viruses, malware, Trojans, and other annoying programs can be installed on your computer without your knowledge.  Hackers are mean mothereffers and there’s often so many loopholes in Windows and other programs that the software can simply install itself or piggyback on other software. You can even have software installed on your computer simply from visiting a website!  It happened to me, and it can happen to you.

2.)  Keep unnecessary software off your computer.  This is related to number one in a way.  The less stuff you install on your computer, the faster it will run overall.  Also, this will prevent any viruses from sneaking onto your computer without your knowledge.

3.)  Tune up your PC.  If you want to speed up a slower computer, oftentimes tuning it up can help quite a bit.  This means that you need to get a software program that can sweep your computer free of any excess or duplicate files, extra registry entries, and other junk.  Another thing you’ll want to do is to defrag the hard disk.  Did you know that your hard disk can become fragmented, with different parts of a file or program scattered around on your hard drive?  This makes things take much longer when you need to access something.  Defragging the hard disk is a way of re-organizing those little pieces into one, making things run much faster.  A great program that can do all this is called RegCure Pro.  Here’s a great RegCure Pro review to get you started.

4.)  Add more RAM.  One of the best and most reliable ways to speed up an older computer or laptop is to add more RAM.  RAM is the physical measure of how fast a computer can run and how much it can do at one time.  Think of it as how big of a desk you have – the bigger the desk, the more projects and other things you can have out at once.  RAM is not super expensive, and with a few online tutorials you can install it yourself in no time.

Ferry Afficianados

How many of us think about the ferries that we take?  I just recently took a ferry from mainland Canada to British Vancouver Island.  Even though I slept on the ferry, I totally ignored the fact that this was a part of the trip, and I’m now upset that I didn’t get out and really take in the ride and the scenery.  I’ve been thinking about it more and more, and I even did a bit of research on the topic.  Turns out there are some people that really take ferries seriously – the ferry ride is actually the destination rather than a means to an end.

I found this interesting and quaint article all about one man’s interest in ferry rides:

the Islander ferryboat moves from the shores of Cape Cod at Woods Hole to one of two small towns on Martha’s Vineyard in about 40 minutes. While it doesn’t seem much of a voyage, the rhythm of the sea casts a quick spell on passengers, most of whom are here for a holiday on one of America’s famous coastal islands. By the time they reach Martha’s Vineyard’s shores, these boaters have listened to and watched the everyday work of the sailors who load the boat with their cars, trucks, bikes, and pets. They have tasted the sea breeze and know they are finished with the irritations of driving and waiting in line. Though most ferry passengers, especially those among the big crowds of summer, reserve space months in advance, some take their chances with standby, and the waits to catch a ferry without a reservation can run into several hours on weekends. The Woods Hole Steamship Authority parking lots on the Woods Hole side are often filled with cars holding sleepy, grumpy passengers, camped out here and inching toward the front of the standby line.

The Steamship Authority owns seven ferries, including three boats that once carried supplies to the oil-drilling rigs off the Gulf Coast of the United States. Two of its boats ordinarily run a route between Hyannis, 30 miles east of Woods Hole on the Cape, and Nantucket Island. But the winter of 1993-1994 brought such cold weather that, for the first time in 14 years, Hyannis was iced in and the Steamship Authority had to run all of its trips out of Woods Hole. A typical winter day holds nine round-trips between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard. The winter boats are filled with cargo moving onto the island and commuters moving off the island and back at rush hours. During the summer season, 15 round-trip boat runs occur between Woods Hole and the Vineyard.

In the summer months, the ice has faded into distant memory, and the ferry runs are tight with families and picnic baskets all dazzled up for holiday. On the decks of the boat, the members of a string quartet headed for some engagement in one of the island’s tiny, cultivated communities might pull out instruments and practice, or perhaps a bunch of country fiddlers will call out some dance songs. The dogs can fairly choke the aisles, and children rush among celebrities, politicians, island natives, rich folk bound for luxurious accommodations in Edgartown, and scientists on a little break from their diligent work back at one of the research facilities of Woods Hole.

If you don’t come by ferry, you must travel by one of the small planes that make a few scheduled stops from Boston or by private plane as did the President and his family in late summer 1993. If you need to get to the Cape, the only logical way is through Woods Hole. And if you ride the ferry, like as not you’ll be on one of the big, strong boats owned by the Steamship Authority, the only serious local business rival to Woods Hole’s science machine. Guys like Berney and Barney will be taking your tickets, tying up at the dock and pointing the way as you ease your bike or heft your pack on board. The captain will probably be someone who has worked here most of his life, though perhaps he fantasizes of shepherding cruise ships to Bermuda. He probably was born on the Cape, or maybe on Martha’s Vineyard where the ferries begin and end their travel each day, and where the crew member of any 24-hour shift will sleep on the boat.

for a month I traveled with the Woods Hole Steamship Authority every day, taking photographs, talking, eating with the crew members, trying to stay out of their way, and at the same time trying to freeze on film the feel of their work. I think of myself as a ferry aficionado. I like collecting routes, and I see Seattle’s harbor as one engaging field trip. Most of all, I appreciate the free ferries, like the one from the tip of Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Island or the boat out from Anastasia Island to Fort Matanzas in Florida. One of the big attractions that ferry travel holds for me: I get the thrill of shipping out to sea–salt air, excitement, hollering birds, eager companions–but I’m safely near the steady soil.

-Sutter, Peter. “Boating to Martha’s Vineyard.” Sea Frontiers 40.2 (1994)


Perhaps I shall look at ferries now as more of a part of the trip, maybe even a destination unto themselves.