We created this image originally for the upcoming Issue (#5) of Sea Stoke magazine. The image will also be in our exhibition with Olek  called Sleep With The Fishes as part of the Honolulu Museum of Art’s World Oceans Day Hawai'i which opens June 6th, 2014.

Archival Print Edition available now!

And more products available through Society6

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Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)

Photos taken by Connor Butler - Tioman Island, Malaysia. 

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Ceramic Coral Reef by Courtney Mattison

Our Changing Seas III is the third piece in a series of large-scale ceramic coral reef sculptures by artist Courtney Mattison. The sprawling installation is entirely hand-built and is meant to show the devastating transition coral reefs endure when faced with climate change, a process called bleaching. She shares via email:

At its heart, this piece celebrates my favorite aesthetic aspects of a healthy coral reef surrounded by the sterile white skeletons of bleached corals swirling like the rotating winds of a cyclone. There is still time for corals to recover even from the point of bleaching if we act quickly to decrease the threats we impose. Perhaps if my work can influence viewers to appreciate the fragile beauty of our endangered coral reef ecosystems, we will act more wholeheartedly to help them recover and even thrive.

Our Changing Seas III is currently on view at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College through June 15, 2014.

Why do invasive species matter?

This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish.

Lionfish are native to the Pacific Ocean, but in recent years they’ve been appearing in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, including in Gray’s Reef, Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks and Monitor national marine sanctuaries.

With 18 venomous spines, they’re dangerous for divers in those areas.

But it’s not just humans that are at risk: lionfish are threatening entire ecosystems.

These fish have voracious appetites, and outside the Pacific they have no natural predators. A thousand lionfish can consume 5 million prey fish in a single year. 

So you can see how their impacts can begin to add up. Researchers in affected national marine sanctuaries are studying these fish to understand what they’re eating, and are working to remove them from their invaded habitats. You can help, too, by participating in lionfish derbies and eating lionfish at home and in restaurants.

Lionfish aren’t the only invasive species in national marine sanctuaries, though. In Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron, zebra and quagga mussels compete with native mussel species.

Each one of these bivalves can filter up to a liter of water each day and alter food webs as a result. They also degrade the integrity of many of the Great Lakes’ historic shipwrecks.

Another invasive species, orange cup coral, has established itself throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, including in Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries.

This bright coral thrives on artificial substrates like shipwrecks and oil and gas platforms; in Flower Garden Banks it is also expanding into the natural reef. 

As it colonizes these spaces, orange cup coral leaves less and less room for native corals and sponges.

The good news is, that from research to removal efforts to targeting your culinary adventuring, we can help protect these fragile ecosystems from invasive species.

Learn more about invasive species in your national marine sanctuaries.

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Today the Department of Astonishing Optical illusions is going to choose a decorative new office floor. Dubai-based interior design company Imperial Interiors creates these awesome 3D Liquid Floors using layers of durable epoxy polymer over large-scale images to create a sense of depth. So you can make the floor of any room look like a surf-covered beach, a swimming pool, tide pool, a lagoon complete with dolphin visitors, a coral reef, the bottom of a glass-bottom boat or like you’re actually walking on water. You can also make it appear as though there’s a shark swimming beneath your feet as you sit on the toilet.

“…the process involves laying down a layer of self-leveling screed (the material used to make floors even) followed by the desired image. This is then treated with a transparent two-component polymer to give the image depth. A level of protective lacquer is the final step.”

Visit the Imperial Interiors website to learn more about this stunning new trend in home decor.

[via Demilked]