ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

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Archive for June, 2016

Jun 30, 16     Comments Off on Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation, CRFCuracao

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Good morning all, we are having a week of hurricane force winds making it tough to do anything outside! Yesterday we were going to take the submersible out for a collecting trip but because of the crazy wind driving big waves to shore we were unable to even get our sub in the water.

So today I have a coral nursery or coral Christmas tree for you that I photographed near the Substation but to the west a little ways. This is a super cool coral restoration project being done by the Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation. What your looking at is baby Staghorn corals that are almost ready to be taken out to the reef and planted if you will in hopes of making new coral colonies. This species of coral is one of the many that are now on the critically endangered list!

Coral Restoration Foundation Curacao successfully set up the first coral nursery on Curacao between May 19th and May 24th. The initial set up consists of 10 “trees” located on the Stella Maris house reef of Ocean Encounters and Lions Dive and Beach Resort.

These trees will provide a safe nurturing environment for fragments of Elkhorn (Acropora palmata) and Staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) until they are ready to restore our reefs.

Collection, installation and training was conducted by experts from the Coral Restoration Foundation International, Ken Nedimyer (Founder and President), Denise Nedimyer, and Mike Echevarria (Chairman CRFI), as well as Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire’s Augusto Montburn and Francesca Virdis.

Have a wonderful day out there!

Barry

Jun 29, 16     Comments Off on Turquoise Sponges Attached to Mangrove Roots
Jun 28, 16     Comments Off on Smashed Yellow Pencil Corals, Coral Damage

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Sorry so short, have a great evening…

Barry

Jun 27, 16     Comments Off on Fabien Cousteau, Sirenas Sponge Research Curacao

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Good morning friends, first I have the best news ever… It Rained!!! Yes you read that correctly, we didn’t get a ton but it was rain and it left real puddles, it was fantasic!

Aimee was home sick with a cold wednesday, thursday and friday and I tried hard to avoid catching it but came down with it as well on thursday meaning, I ended up not being able to race this weekend because of feeling so bad, what a major drag! 

So as promised I have a few photos of Fabien Cousteau who is the grandson to the world famous Jacques Cousteau, a name that pretty much speeks for itself and needs no introduction. Fabien arrived last tuesday and left saturday, he was here to learn more about deep-water submersibles and what it takes to pilot one. He spent days with Bruce (our head pilot and technician) inside and around the sub learning as much as he could in these few short days and leaving with around 8-10 hours of open ocean stick time. He did a bunch of combo-dives with the scientists from SIRENAS (bottom Photo), they are here collecting sponges and using them for medical research trying to finds cures for some of the worst diseases on the planet. When the sub returns with the sponge specimens the scientists dive down to around 50 feet and meet the sub and unload the sponges and rush them to the lab.

Fabien Cousteau is an aquanaut, just like his father and grandfather before him. But more than just exploring the oceans to unlock their mysteries, Fabien went the extra mile by launching his “Plant a Fish” organization. It aims to educate the youth about the importance of protecting our waters and, as its name suggests, inspire them to do their share to create sustainable habitats for fishing. To honor his late grandfather’s 100th birthday, he directs “Mission 31,” and he and his research team will stay under the Florida Keys for 31 days to thoroughly study the current state of our waters.

Here’s a few Extraordinary facts about Fabien I dug up, talk about “been there done that”…..

He is the founder of “Plant a Fish,” an organization that aims to replenish aquatic resources and educate people about the issue.

He is the man behind the documentary, “Shark: Mind of a Demon.”

He partnered with his father and sister to produce “Ocean Adventures.”

He is the Program Director of “Mission 31,” the first underwater exploration which plans to stay underwater for 31 days.

He is the grandson of revered oceanographer Jaques-Yves Cousteau.

He owns a production company, “Bonnet Rouge” (Red Hat).

He has partnered with National Geographic, Discovery, CBS, and PBS to produce environmental documentaries.

He supports New York Harbor School.

He has spoken at Bloomberg, BLUE, Google Zeitgeist, Sundance, Tribeca Film Festival, DLD, Rio+20, BiF and TEDx (Los Angeles/ New York/ Rio).

He was included in The Daily Muse’s list of “50 Fearless Minds.”

Have a wonderful day….

Barry

Jun 24, 16     Comments Off on Blue Tang Aggregation, Colorful School of Fish
Jun 21, 16     Comments Off on Green Iguana, Caribbean Reptiles, Curacao Animals
Jun 20, 16     Comments Off on Godzilla Goby (Holotype), Varicus lacerta, New Fish

Good morning friends, one of the fish I photographed for the Smithsonian Institution is once again in the news. Last year we took the Chapman (research vessel) to Playa Forti and Playa Jeremi (in Curacao) and some of the top Smithsonian scientists on the planet and this is one of the many things they found way down deep.

Here’s an article written by Joe Rowlett for www.reefs.com; It’s not everyday that we get to witness the actual collection of a newly discovered species, but, thanks to the efforts of the Curasub and a team of Smithsonian researchers, we can join along as the brand new Godzilla Goby was first happened upon. With some help from a squirt of anesthetic and a suction tube, this pint-sized fish was ever-so-carefully extracted from the inside of a bright yellow, vase-shaped sponge at the bone-crushing depth of 130 meters!

Varicus lacerta is just the latest in a long list of newly discovered gobies from the mesophotic reefs of the Caribbean. It’s attractive patterning of yellow and orange, along with its large eyes, ridged head and ferocious row of sharp teeth, gives this species a somewhat lizard-like appearance and led to its unusual moniker and scientific name. The epithet lacerta derives from the Latin for “lizard”, while the common name of Godzilla Goby is obvious enough. Granted, this barely inch-long fish might not strike quite the same imposing figure as its namesake radioactive counterpart, but it is eminently more suitable for a home aquarium. Of course, given how hard this fish is to collect, don’t expect to see it at your local fish store anytime soon.

Varicus belongs to what has until recently been a rather poorly known lineage of gobies endemic to the Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Ocean—the Nes subgroup of the Tribe Gobiosomatini. Few of these species are ever collected for aquarists, mostly on account of their frequently drab appearance and their usually cryptic behavior in the wild. With this newest addition, Varicus now has eight species to its name, though one of these still awaits a formal description. Most hail from deeper waters and all sport attractive stripes and spots; the Twilight Goby V. adamsi is a particularly attractive species known from reefs as deep as 400 meters and, with its white and orange striped patterning, is a dead ringer for the Indo-Pacific Amblyeleotris randalli. The half-dozen species in the sister genus Psilotris are morphologically quite similar, but tend to be found in shallower water.Nes longus, the only member of its genus, is one of the more noteworthy relatives of the Godzilla Goby, as it is one of the few gobies in the Atlantic known to form a partnership with a pistol shrimp. This fish is a rarity in aquariums and tends to go unappreciated relative to the gaudy shrimpgobies of the Indo-Pacific, but it does offer something unique to the more discerning fish connoisseur. And even more distantly related is the hugely diverse genus Elacatinus, which includes the familiar Neon Goby (AKA Cleaner Goby) E. oceanops, as well as many other similar species that, like Varicus, often reside within sponges.

Hopefully with the increased attention this group of gobies is now receiving, we might at last begin to see more of these attractive nanofishes trickle into the aquarium trade. I, for one, am eager to start a Gobiosomatini-themed biotope reef tank, replete with Nes shrimpgobies, Elacatinus cleanergobies and the enigmatic and beautiful Godzilla Goby.

Tornabene L, Robertson DR, Baldwin CC (2016) Varicus lacerta, a new species of goby (Teleostei, Gobiidae, Gobiosomatini, Nes subgroup) from a mesophotic reef in the southern Caribbean. ZooKeys 596: 143-156.doi: 10.3897/zookeys.596.8217

Have a great day…

Barry

Jun 17, 16     Comments Off on Green Iguana Curacao, Curacao Reptiles, Lizards
Jun 15, 16     Comments Off on NANPA Nature Day, Green Iguana w/Mango Mouth

Nature Day Iguana-blog

Good afternoon all, we are having a busy month of sub dives leaving me with little time to blog. 

Today is NATURE DAY Worldwide, meaning everyone should either do something nice for nature or be out in it. Because I’m a member of NANPA, North American Nature Photographers Association we were asked to take one photo on this day and post it to their annual Nature Day Photo contest and this is what I came up with today. We have a giant Green Iguana that lives in a cave by the edge of the sea and we feed him mango’s when we have them and as you can tell from his mouth he or she loves them!!

Sorry so short, have a great day!!

Barry

Jun 13, 16     Comments Off on Rainbow Wrasse Caught in a Territorial Dispute
Jun 9, 16     Comments Off on Orange Frogfish, Fish that Blend in With the Reef
Jun 6, 16     Comments Off on Juvenile Queen Angelfish, Colorful Reef Fish
Jun 3, 16     Comments Off on Free Diving, Snorkeling with Bottlenose Dolphins

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