Endangered and threatened species

Discussion in 'The Octopus' Den' started by Steve O'Shea, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Just FYI, in documents just released today by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DoC) the following cephalopod species are formally recognised as being 'in serious trouble' in New Zealand waters (in a new 'Threat Classification System; the titles below, 'Nationally Critical, Nationally Endangered, and Serious Decline' are DoC threat categories).

    I've just extracted them from the DoC report. The primary threat to each is deep-sea bottom-trawling fishing activity.

    They are:
    Nationally Critical (as in near extinct)
    Opisthoteuthis mero O'Shea, 1999
    Opisthoteuthis chathamensis O'Shea, 1999
    Cirroctopus hochbergi O'Shea, 1999

    Nationally Endangered (as in very serious trouble; locally extinct)
    Mastigoteuthis (Idioteuthis) cordiformis Chun, 1908

    Serious Decline (as in serious trouble)
    Octopus kaharoa O'Shea, 1999

    'Nationally Critical' is far worse than 'Serious Decline', so you can see that the two Opisthoteuthis species and Cirroctopus really are in trouble (locally extinct, and in the case of Cirroctopus, possibly gone).

    I didn't get Architeuthis listed.....sorry.
    O
     
  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Thanks for posting this.

    Are either of the Opisthoteuthis species you mention the same as the one that is pictured in our photo gallery?

    http://www.tonmo.com/images/photos/ODDOPUS1.jpg

    This is simply labeled as Opisthoteuthis, but I know nothing more about it -- I don't recall who ID'ed it. Is this one of the two you mention?

    Actually, I suppose I remember it was from a film taken off the coast of Brazil (I believe)... was taken while a company was surveying the ocean floor for a cable-laying project. Anyway, being that it's from Brazil, it's probably not the same species... true?

    Any chance the NZ fishery authorities (I assume there are some?) to enact restrictive guidelines to protect the species you mention?
     
  3. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    That photo gallery image of Opisthoteuthis is of a very unusual species, in the sense it lacks areolar spots and is orange/brown pigmented (I've looked at that pic many times and wondered what species it was). Most species (apart from bizarre things like O.medusoides) are red-, maroon- to purple-coloured and have the distinctive rows of white blotches (areolar spots) running over the head and along the arms (you see them in the image of Opisthoteuthis in the 'Guide to character states etc.').[Steve did a sneaky link himself; wonder if Tony will figure out how? LOL. Check out Figure 1: see link here]

    The objective certainly is to afford these animals some protection from deep-sea fishing activity. Whether or not this happens is anyones guess (as all black corals, Antipatharia, are CITES listed, yet deep-sea fishing activity rips them up daily ... at least 18 of the 42 known black coral species in New Zealand waters are known only from areas subject to intense fishing activity ... and nobody is really doing anything about it). I would like to use the admission of these octopuses to this list as leverage for DoC funding to to do some life-history work (although the reason for advocating their inclusion was never for funding).
    Cheers
    O
     
  4. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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  5. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Steve,

    Can I get the ref for that DoC report?? We get asked a lot about the status of cephs both in the public aquarium and during an educational program we run ( called "Suckers and Tentacles") and it would be nice to have some hard facts to talk about!

    Cheers

    J
     
  6. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Tiz:
    Hitchmough, R. (comp.) 2002: New Zealand Threat Classification System lists—2002. Department of Conservation: Threatened species occasional publication 23, 210 p.

    Ciao
    O
     
  7. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Hey! I know that guy!

    If anyone is having trouble seeing the video clip posted by Steve, it's probably because you don't have Real Audio running on your PC.

    The product is called Real One and is free. The link to the download is in the lower left corner of the screen on the following page. It's the "basic" player. The other one will cost you.

    http://www.real.com/realoneplayer.html?pp=home&src=121202realhome_2_1

    Download and install, then come back to see/hear the doctor. :madsci:
     
  8. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    It's taken from one of the doco's in the Blue Planet series titled 'Deep Trouble', though I don't think it has aired in the US of A. I'd prefer to be known for the work I've done on conservation than for the work I've done on squid ..... but it's not as big a headline grabber is it (even locally, as in New Zealand, people are largely oblivious to what's going on in their own back yard). Sad!

    So now I've going to try and use the endangered squid and octopus as a hook to get people more involved in conservation ... at least this is what I intend to do in the new position (University) early next year.
    Cheers
    O
     
  9. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Tally-ho, dude! :thumbsup:

    This is certainly in line with the interests of this site, TONMO.com. The quality and health of our oceans is directly of interest to the cephalopods that occupy them! I'm happy to house any of your manuscripts, materials, education, etc. on these matters as I'm sure it will benefit our audience.

    Isn't Richard Ellis working on a book regarding the depletion of our ocean's resources? That's what he told me back in February during my interview with him.
     
  10. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    He (RE) is indeed; I must drop him a line and find out what's happening.
     
  11. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    hi
    That clip is on the UK version, at least, of the Blue Planet DVD

    sorry, gotta run..... going cattle trawling tonight..... :P
     
  12. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I hear 'neighbours wives' have also, recently been added to the endangered species lists :boohoo:
     
  13. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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  14. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    It's funny. I enjoy reading these articles, but sometimes I have a hard time understanding some of the scientific language that's used. I quess that's why I'm not a scientist but an avid fan of cephlapods! 8) Anyway, what caught my eye was " squid eyes as big as the human head"!!! Now that kind of puts it into a perspective that I can understand as to the size of these creatures! Simply amazing!

    Carol
     
  15. perke

    perke O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Cheers for the link

    Good to see that theres an article out there I just hope it wasn't in some tiny corner of the newspaper where nobody would read it.
     
  16. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Four more (all based on the same press release/Dept of Conservation report):

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisp...hesubsection=&storyID=3048949&reportID=162576

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisp...hesubsection=&storyID=3048976&reportID=162576

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dominionpost/0,2106,2152139a6000,00.html

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2151535a11,00.html

    At least it is getting local press coverage. The problems we are facing here in New Zealand are very real; for too long things have been swept under the carpet - we have this supposed clean and green image!

    These articles are very much dumbed down, although I know of a rather substantial release due out soon.
    O
     
  17. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

    The report about the state of some of our species even made it onto the national news, even in the main body of the news, not the little tag on bit after the sport and weather either!

    Speaking of being on the news just before Christmas I spotted Steve O being interviewed about a virtual reality tour of the Kaikoura Canyon, (where LOTS of Architeuthis seem to hang out at least some of the time) it looked pretty cool. I believe it will be accessible on the web eventually??????? Is that right Steve??

    Cheers

    Jean
     
  18. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hmmmmm. Tough one that, Jean. I was asked to say something about the 'sensational' deep-sea fauna of the Kaikoura region; the news item you refer to was basically a marketing exercise for 'Whale Watch Kaikoura'.

    Having watched hours and hours of submersible footage from the region and not seeing a squid of any size > ~5cm total length :roll: , and even then having seen ~ 2 squid in total :roll: :roll: one really has to wonder what those sperm whales are eating down there.....unless they're eating an awful lot deeper than the 500-700m sub range (possible), or these squid are adept at avoiding cameras/submersibles ... (maybe they can 'hear', or sense vibration and know when to get out of there). I did receive a piece of squid regurgitated by a sperm whale that was recovered floating off Kaikoura several years ago ... it made the local press and radio stations as being a piece of Architeuthis (supposed proof the animal occured there....identified by???), but when I secured the sample traces of skin immediately gave it away as being our good friend Taningia. To this day NO Architeuthis has ever been caught around Kaikoura, though one washed ashore there years ago (but they could float for miles .... this is no proof what-so-ever that the animal occurs there).

    It wouldn't have been too nice for me to rain on their parade in this marketing venture so I avoided the Architeuthis query and made some statement to the effect 'weird and wonderful deep-sea life down there', which is true of the deep-sea everywhere. Tiz very dangerous to exaggerate or tell porkies to the press - I've seen many people get bitten many times over. It is possible that Architeuthis occurs down there, but the water is very dirty, and the sea bed very unstable (a lot of soft sediments - saw evidence of many sediment avalanches in the film) - not really what I would think Archi country was all about ... but those sperm whales have to be eating something. I don't know if the virtual tour will be on the web .... I had nothing to do with this and was just the obligatory geeky scientist offering a :thumbsup: to their work (and they have done a wonderful job).

    Re the 'threatened and endangered' nature of this post, well, rather peculiar that we protect the sperm whale, but it is actually the large squid in its diet that are afforded no protection what so ever, and it is these large squid that are disappearing or being heavily impacted by deep-sea fisheries. Trying to manage/protect individual species simply doesn't work; they've got to manage at an environmental/ecosystem level.
    Cheers
    O
     
  19. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Steve,

    I totally agree that the squid should be protected as well as the whales (or maybe instead of :D ). I've lost count of the number of times people have said to me "oh you're a Marine Biologist you must study, whales, dolphins, sharks ..........." (or insert the charismatic megavertebrate of your choice) When I say I study the much more fascinating squid, the response varies from mild puzzlement to an immediate search for a straightjacket!!

    As for regurgitates, one of our marine mammal people picked up a large regurgitated squid fin (~ 35kg) from kaikoura sperm whale. I don't think it was Architeuthis though. It just looked wrong.

    Cheers

    Jean
     
  20. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Memory refreshed Jean - if that was ex Steve Dawson (or possibly Liz Slooten, though less likely) then it is the very piece I refer to Taningia danae. Pretty sure we're talking the same piece.

    Sending down a carton or two of frozen Nototodarus from southernmost NZ for Kerry/you; should arrive end of next week (in addition to her pickles).
    Cheers
    O
     

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