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  1. #1
    TDF Member
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    Just leave them alone

    Bit sad to read this bit of research. I reckon there will be a few arguments post dive on this one.

    Nothing about stress, just eating and effect on eyes. There is a paragraph about the test subjects trying to escape but they were in a tank. Sad.

    http://divemagazine.co.uk/hotshots/8...lkB.2c8V0gV46Q

    Rgds

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member
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    I remember posting some years ago about how thoughtless togs were blinding subjects with flashes just to get yet another photo of a fish - just like the millions that have already been taken.

  3. #3
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    Probably more problems caused through poor buoyancy control and finning techniques, crashing into the poor little blighters...

  4. #4
    Dive tart, and 'tog Pete Bullen's Avatar
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    I'm slightly conflicted on this one. On the one hand I don't believe that a low power "tickle" of flash does any harm to seahorses, it's no brighter than the flash of the ripples over the seabed at 7 or 8m depth so their eyes won't be harmed, but the full power flash and fast shutter speed technique to get a black background probably does disturb them. Trouble is there are two things to consider here,
    1. It's against local law in many countries, certainly here in Malta, and CITES advice says don't do i either, so I never use flash on seahorses even though I'd sometimes like to use a little.
    2. Most amateurs shooting with their P&S camera don't know how to adjust the power on their cameras so if they see me shooting with flash they would assume it's ok for them.

    So for both those reasons I don't shoot flash, I also object to competitions that ignore local laws and CITES regs and reward photographers who do blast the poor things just to get a better shot.

    If you get the chance to photograph/see a sea horse please try to follow the following guidelines.
    Understand that stress can shorten their lives so minimise it.
    Never touch them, move them or lift the bit of weed they are hiding under to get a better shot.
    Always give them an escape route and don't surround them.
    Observe their body language and take note. If they flop over and appear to be unwell/dead/dying that is a significant stress indicator!
    If they turn their backs on you or swim away those too are stress indicators.
    If either of the above happens, just back off a few inches, hover quietly and you'll soon see them relax and start dipping their heads to feed again.
    And remember they are well camouflaged social animals, just because you've seen one and can't see a partner doesn't mean there isn't one and there is a good chance you are kicking it with your fin tips, stay off the bottom and frog kick gently not scissor kick when leaving the area.
    Diving, and photography holidays in Gozo
    Private guiding, don't follow the crowd.
    http://oceanfoto.co.uk/

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Bullen View Post
    I'm slightly conflicted on this one. On the one hand I don't believe that a low power "tickle" of flash does any harm to seahorses, it's no brighter than the flash of the ripples over the seabed at 7 or 8m depth so their eyes won't be harmed, but the full power flash and fast shutter speed technique to get a black background probably does disturb them. Trouble is there are two things to consider here,
    1. It's against local law in many countries, certainly here in Malta, and CITES advice says don't do i either, so I never use flash on seahorses even though I'd sometimes like to use a little.
    2. Most amateurs shooting with their P&S camera don't know how to adjust the power on their cameras so if they see me shooting with flash they would assume it's ok for them.

    So for both those reasons I don't shoot flash, I also object to competitions that ignore local laws and CITES regs and reward photographers who do blast the poor things just to get a better shot.

    If you get the chance to photograph/see a sea horse please try to follow the following guidelines.
    Understand that stress can shorten their lives so minimise it.
    Never touch them, move them or lift the bit of weed they are hiding under to get a better shot.
    Always give them an escape route and don't surround them.
    Observe their body language and take note. If they flop over and appear to be unwell/dead/dying that is a significant stress indicator!
    If they turn their backs on you or swim away those too are stress indicators.
    If either of the above happens, just back off a few inches, hover quietly and you'll soon see them relax and start dipping their heads to feed again.
    And remember they are well camouflaged social animals, just because you've seen one and can't see a partner doesn't mean there isn't one and there is a good chance you are kicking it with your fin tips, stay off the bottom and frog kick gently not scissor kick when leaving the area.
    They sadly seem to have disappeared here - I have not seen any for at least 2 years; someone suggested that the increased number of tourists taking flash photos may be the cause.

    There used to be plenty in the Thames estuary if you knew where to look - no problems with flash photography there!

  6. #6
    Not short, just concentrated awesome ;) smileydiver's Avatar
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    We went on a dive to look for seahorses in Ponta Delgada (Azores) and were specifically asked not to use flashes and to minimise finning and movement around them to not disturb their habitat. I was happy to oblige. They are such beautiful creatures and I certainly wouldn't want to harm them! The dive guide was happy to physically stop and move people away if he thought they were getting too close. I am pleased to hear Pete has a similar approach
    The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever - Jacques Cousteau

  7. #7
    Old but keen Mark Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibs View Post
    Probably more problems caused through poor buoyancy control and finning techniques, crashing into the poor little blighters...

    A GUE CCR course will sort that out

  8. #8
    Established TDF Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Chase View Post
    A GUE CCR course will sort that out
    Shirley you mean the GUE sidemount course?

  9. #9
    Last of the Mohicans gobfish1's Avatar
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    How much would gue charge the sea horse for a course .
    None diver as of 2018.

  10. #10
    Hail the Children of LLyr
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobfish1 View Post
    How much would gue charge the sea horse for a course .
    They'd want a pony up front.
    "...are we human, or are we diver?"


 

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