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Marine Life & Conservation

Why Nudibranch Are My Favourite Underwater Creature

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Often called a ‘sea-slug’, these beautiful and colourful creatures are my absolute favourite thing in the world.  What is a nudibranch you ask? Well, a nudibranch is a marine snail that has evolved over the millennia and has lost the shell on its back. There are over 3000 known species and more are being discovered every day.

Nudibranch (“Noody-brank”) literally means “naked gills”. They are quite fussy eaters and sometimes a species will only eat one type of food, and it is their choice of sustenance that gives them their distinctive colouration.   Their diet includes corals, sponges, hydroids, fish eggs and even other Nudibranchs!  The bright colours are used as a camouflage and to warn off predators as they are toxic to most fish but not to humans.  Yes… they are perfect for us divers! Cyprus is bursting with them in the early season, but as the water warms here they start to become a little harder to find, but that’s ok – I like a challenge! If you love these little critters as much as I do then you better book a dive soon so you don’t miss the photographic opportunities that these disco-slugs offer.

They aren’t the fastest moving creatures, so they don’t stray far from home.  They move slowly using their muscular, snail-like foot and have evolved into hermaphrodites to maximise their breeding potential.  Their eggs are usually bright red, and are found in spirals – you have probably seen some on a dive, but haven’t known what they were. Look out for them.  I will always do a very excited underwater dance when I spot them, and I will point them out to every monkey who takes the plunge with us using the universal diving sign for nudibranch . Do you know what the sign is? I bet the readers who do are making this sign right now – aren’t you?

Their eye sight is not the best either; they use their little tentacles to smell and see the world. They also can use the sun to get nutrients from the algae they eat – they store the chloroplasts and use photosynthesis to transform the nutrients into energy. In my opinion this makes them one of the most “green” creatures on the planet! Depending on the species they can live between just a few weeks to up to a year so enjoy them as much as you can. Keep your eyes peeled and share them if you spot them. Who knows – you may even see one that hasn’t been identified before! HAPPY HUNTING!!

Are you a Nudibranch Lover? Tell us about your Nudibranch encounters in the comments section below!

Alexandra Dimitriou is a dive center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner at Scuba Monkey Ltd.

Marine Life & Conservation

Exhibition: Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research

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From now until 30 October, the photo exhibition “Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research” features 21 photographs at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, as well as a digital edition.

Exceptional photographs highlight how innovative marine experts and scientists take the pulse of the ocean by exploring ecosystems, studying the movement of species, or revealing the hidden biodiversity of coral reefs. Scientific discoveries are more important than ever for the protection and sustainable conservation of our Marine World Heritage. This memorable exhibition comes ahead of the launch, in 2021, of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (“Ocean Decade”). The exhibition was jointly developed by UNESCO and the Principality of Monaco.

The 50 marine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, distributed across 37 countries, include a wide variety of habitats as well as rare marine life still largely unknown. Renowned for their unmatched beauty and emblematic biodiversity, these exceptional ecosystems play a leading role in the field of marine conservation. Through scientific field research and innovation, concrete actions to foster global preservation of the ocean are being implemented locally in these unique natural sites all over the world. They are true symbols of hope in a changing ocean.

Since 2017, the Principality of Monaco supports UNESCO to strengthen conservation and scientific understanding of the marine sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. This strategic partnership allows local management teams to benefit from the results obtained during the scientific missions of Monaco Explorations. The partnership also draws international attention to the conservation challenges facing the world’s most iconic ocean sites.

The exhibition invites viewers to take a passionate dive into the heart of the scientific missions led by Monaco Explorations in four marine World Heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines), Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia), Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), and the Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France). It is also an opportunity to discover the work of a megafauna census; the study of the resilience of coral reefs and their adaptation in a changing climate; the exploration of the deep sea; and the monitoring of large marine predators through satellite data.

To visit the Digital Exhibition click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – Inspiring Hope For Coral Reefs: a conversation with Ken Nedimyer, a CNN Hero for “Defending The Planet”

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.


Inspiring Hope For Coral Reefs: a conversation with Ken Nedimyer, a CNN Hero for “Defending The Planet”.

This episode of the Blue Earth Podcast is a conversation with Ken Nedimyer, a CNN Hero for “Defending The Planet”.

It’s a story about a former commercial fisherman who proactively worked with state and federal groups to ensure a sustainable future.

His observations about reefs in jeopardy led to possible ways to save them. He became an innovative coral reef advocate and coral reef nursery innovator, not only in the Florida Keys but around the globe.

Ken moved to Florida as a boy, he fell in love with the ocean and its many creatures. After earning his degree in Biology from Florida Atlantic University, he headed south to the Keys and never looked back.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

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