24/10/2005 Issue 144 Past Issues
 

Red Sea Newsletter

Packed full of information, articles, advertisements, jobs and tips for easy living in The Red Sea!
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Feature Article ... REEF TRIGGERFISH

Reef Triggerfish

(Rhinecanthus aculeatus)

Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Tetraodontoidei

I. GEOGRAPHIC RANGE
Oceanic Islands, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australian: Considered to live in the Indo-Pacific region, reef triggerfish transverse a wide variety of marine areas from thirty degrees north to south in latitude. Reef triggerfish extend from the Hawaiian islands southward to Polynesia and Australia, westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, through the East Indies including the Philippines, across the Indian Ocean, to the coast of Africa and the Red Sea. More specifically, reef triggerfish occupy the Red Sea south to South Africa, east to the Hawaiian, Marquesas, and Tuamotu Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island, Micronesia, and the Eastern Atlantic from Senegal to South Africa.


II. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS
A reef triggerfish is easily distinguished by its angular body, distinctive color pattern (resembling blocks of colors), fin arrangement, and characteristic dorsal spine. This forward spine on the dorsal fin lies slightly above and behind the eye. It is very strong and rigid, serving as defense adaptation. When this spine is raised, it often locks in this protective position, giving the triggerfish its name. Altogether, there are three dorsal spines, twenty-three to twenty-six dorsal softrays, twenty-one to twenty-three anal softrays, and no anal spines. Considered to be sturdy and well-built, the reef triggerfish reaches a maximum length of thirty centimeters. It has a small but powerful jaw, equipped with sharp, cutting teeth. The eyes of a reef triggerfish are set atop the head, moving independently, so as to scan the reef for possible predators and prey.

III. FOOD HABITS
The reef triggerfish diet consists mainly of reef invertebrates and algae. Common food items are small crustaceans, worms, brittlestars, sea urchins, and snails. Less common dietary supplements are other fishes, corals, tunicates, forams, and eggs. Highly versatile in its feeding possibilities, the reef triggerfish will feed on a wide variety of crustaceans, molluscs, and fish. Reef triggerfish obtain their food primarily by rooting through sand or rocks.

IV. REPRODUCTION
Like most fishes, the reef triggerfish undergoes heterosexual reproduction, in which there are separate male and female parents. Reef fishes are egg-layers, and the eggs are externally fertilized by the male parent. Nests are built by the female parent, in which the eggs are fertilized and cared for until they hatch. The newly-hatched young are also looked after by the female parent.

V. BEHAVIOR
The reef triggerfish swims in a very characteristic manner, propelling itself through the water using waving motions of the broadened dorsal and anal fins, allowing it great maneuverability. The reef triggerfish has the ability to move forward, backward, or hover above the reef. The presence of a strong, broom-like tail allows the reef triggerfish to dash quickly into the reef when confronted with danger. When encountering predators, reef triggerfish utter grunting noises. It has been speculated that these sounds work to warn other triggerfish of the present danger. When retreating to the reef in response to danger, a reef triggerfish wedges itself into a hole by raising the large dorsal spine. A second, smaller dorsal spine locks the first in place. Yet another anal spine helps the fish to enter the shelter. This behavior is also often utilized at night, as a reef triggerfish wishes to rest within a reef. When resting, the reef triggerfish sleeps on its side. Considered to be one of the more aggressive of the triggerfish, the reef triggerfish also often displays this aggression toward members of its own species in addition to other fish that are similar in size. The territorial reef triggerfish often emits a whirring soung when startled. It is not easily approachable and keeps a fair distance from other organisms. The vocal reef triggerfish has the ability to make a snorting noise when brought to the surface, as its defensive puffing technique is reduced. This unique ability has given the reef triggerfish its Hawaiian common name of Humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apu'a, which directly translates to "Fish who comes out of the water and sounds like a pig."

VI. HABITAT
The reef triggerfish is generally found in shallow outer reef habitats. Swimming along the bottom in search of food items, it is found on surge-swept basalt reefs. The reef triggerfish is commonly found in subtidal reef flats and protected lagoons. This marine fish usually occupies water with salinity levels ranging from 1.020 to 1.023, and water temperatures from seventy-seven to eighty degrees Fahrenheit.
Biomes: reef, tropical coastal

VII. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE FOR HUMANS
Caught with drive-in nets, reef triggerfish satisfy minor commercial fisheries purposes, but have a high commercial value for aqauriums. Reef triggerfish are considered good aquarium fish, as they are hardy and easy to keep and maintain. The ability of the fish to feed upon a wide variety of items, from live to frozen and flake foods, makes it very marketable among aquariums. With no special requirements for temperature or light conditions, the reef triggerfish is relatively versatile in its ability to adapt to environmental conditions. As it is easily caught and therefore readily available for purchase, the reef triggerfish is popular, also due to its unusual markings and vibrant color. The reef triggerfish also has a good disposition relative to other kinds of triggerfish. The reef triggerfish is not currently highly valued as a commercial food item for the majority of the human population. However, early Hawaiians ate it infrequently. The fish was also dried and utilized as a cooking fuel by early Hawaiians when other sources of fuel were in short supply. More importantly, the reef triggerfish was used further as a substitute for pigs for some religious ceremonies.

VIII. CONSERVATION
The reef triggerfish is listed as "lower risk" by IUCN and "No special status" by U.S. ESA and CITES.
Currently abundant in many marine environments, the reef triggerfish is not presently at risk. However, major alterations are occurring in many of these habitats, carrying the potential to greatly reduce their numbers. In additon to tropical fish collectors, human population growth and the factors that accompany it pose threats to reef triggerfish, as well as other marine fishes and organisms. Though currently not at risk, other organisms in many of the reef triggerfish's habitats are being greatly reduced by abiotic factors.

IX. OTHER COMMENTS
In 1984-85, the reef triggerfish was voted the official State Fish of Hawaii, as it is historical for the state, and is one of the most abundant and widely recognized Hawaiian fishes. The official term of office lasted for five years, and upon its culmination there was no re-election campaign. Though the reef triggerfish was not re-elected into office, it remains the unofficial State Fish of Hawaii. Hawaiians have given the reef triggerfish the common name of Humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apu'a. Also widely known as the Picasso triggerfish, the reef triggerfish shares its scientific name with its less common relative, the lagoon triggerfish
©AnimalPlanet
 
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News - arround the Red Sea

 
Ring of steel for Sharm el-Sheikh
By Charles Starmer-Smith (Filed: 22/10/2005)

Tourism chiefs and travel companies are urging British holidaymakers not to be put off travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh by the construction of a new security fence around the Red Sea resort, on which work began this week.

The fence, which will stretch for 12 miles and stand 6ft high, is designed to prevent a repeat of the bomb attacks that killed 63 people in July. All vehicles entering the town will have to pass through one of four checkpoints. The Egyptian tourism ministry sees the fence as an important step in reassuring travellers that the destination is safe. "It is not like the Great Wall of China, but more a series of security checkpoints so we can monitor who is coming in and out of the city," a spokeswoman said. "It is part of a series of measures we are implementing on the ground and tourists will be able to come and see for themselves how security has been stepped up." The authorities have already completed more than a mile of the fence on the northern side of the resort and have started work on a section in the south, it was reported this week.

The fear is that the ring-fencing of the resort and the sight of security forces patrolling the walls will deter British holidaymakers from travelling there and ruin the holiday atmosphere. But a spokeswoman for Thomson, which runs a large programme to Sharm el-Sheikh, said the fence was viewed as a positive step. "The feedback we are getting is that it is reassuring people that things are safe, rather than worrying them," she said. "Egypt has had problems in the past and bounced back, and this time is no different. Of course, in the wake of the bombings, there was a drop-off in the number of bookings, but over the whole year we have doubled our capacity," she said.

Her claim is supported by recent figures from the market research company AC Nielsen, which found that the number of Britons taking package holidays to Egypt between May and October increased by 66 per cent on last year (from 149,796 to 248,403). Encouraged by such growth, GB Airways is launching new flights from Gatwick to both Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada this weekend. Tourists arriving by plane are unlikely to notice the security posts unless they leave the city, as the airport and the majority of tourist hotels lie well within the boundary of the fence. For anyone else, access to the city will be restricted to check-points manned by police equipped with equipment to detect explosives.

Critics say the fence will increase the likelihood of attacks by terrorists rather than curb them, because it will separate the Bedouin settlement of el-Ruwaisat from the rest of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Egyptian authorities have blamed a series of bombings in the Sinai peninsula on the local Bedouin people and the opposition party's newspaper, Al-Wafd, has said that the security fence will only add to this community's feelings of alienation. "How is Egypt different from the Israeli government that built a separation wall to stop the Palestinian resistance?" it wrote this week. "This wall seeks to keep Sinai Bedouins out of Sharm el-Sheikh but it will only separate the state from its citizens. It will not prevent terrorism, it will increase it."

 

 

 

 

 

 
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What's on ... in Egypt


EGYPT'S INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL

Egypt's First International Yoga Festival will be held during the time between March 1 to 7 2006, which will include Meditation, along with healthy, delicious vegetarian foods. The festival will be held on the Red Sea, Hurghada.

The festival will include seminars and practical Yoga workshops. Top Yoga trainers will be coming especially from India.

Read more: www.egyptyogafestival.com

 
 
El Gouna, The Red Sea's Premier Leisure Destination El Gouna, The Red Sea's Premier Leisure Destination
 
 
 
 

PARENTS & KIDS - AWARE KIDS

CRAZY ABOUT CORAL REEFS
Did you know that coral reefs are underwater cities built from living creatures? It's true! In warm waters near the equator you'll find millions of tiny animals called coral polyps. Some of these animals live together in colonies that make colorful coral reefs. They're even responsible for building the biggest coral reef on earth - the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Astronauts can even see the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs from space!

Coral reefs come in all shapes and colors and are jam-packed with amazing creatures like butterflyfish, blue sea stars, pimply reef crabs, giant clams, and sausage sea cucumbers. Reefs are "buzzing" with sea life! In fact, reefs are home to more than 4000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other plants and animals. No wonder coral reefs are called "the rainforests fo the sea."

And you can imagine how important coral reefs are because they provide a home for all of those creatures to live. But they also provide food, medicine and shelter from storms for humans. And don't forget adventure! Have you or your family ever gone diving or snorkeling near coral? Talk about an awesome experience! But sadly, coral reefs are very fragile. Just one touch of a human hand or scrape of a boat anchor is enough to damage them. Coral reefs are also in danger from overfishing, pollution from cities and global warming.

 
THINGS YOU CAN DO
RESIST TEMPTATION - Avoid buying things made from coral or any threatened or endangered species. If you're not sure, ask an adult. Leaving these species in the ocean helps protect healthy environments.
CONSIDER THE SOURCE - Research what types of fish and other seafood species are in danger. Avoid these species when you're at a restaurant or grocery store to make sure the seafood you eat doesn't throw nature out of balance. Whoa!
HOT STUFF- Walk or ride your bike whenever possible. Reducing the use of the family car may reduce global warming. Delicate corals don't appreciate even the slightest increase in ocean temperature. Plus, imagine how fit you'll be from all that exercise!
DIVE IN - When snorkeling or diving, make sure all your gear is secured. Don't let your gear scratch or drag over a coral reef area. And never touch, stand on or collect coral. Ouch - that could hurt both you and the coral.
THE THREE R's - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Enough said.
SPREAD THE WORD- Tell your parents and friends that coral reefs need protection. Challenge them to protect coral reefs by following these simple steps.
to read more visit 'AWARE KIDS'

 

   
 
 
 
 
 

RECIPES - Pasta

SPAGHETTI WITH PESTO ALLA GENOVESE, CHICKEN BREAST AND ANCHOVIES

A simple, quick and unusual way to enjoy Pesto alla Genovese: the result is an aromatic and flavoursome delight.

INGREDIENTS

Spaghetti 320 g
Pesto alla Genovese 160 g
Chicken breast 150 g
Extra virgin olive oil 60 g
Pecorino Romano cheese 60 g
Anchovy filets 2

PREPARATION

  • Dice the chicken breast.
  • Sauté the chicken and the anchovy in some oil in a pan for a few minutes, then add the Pesto alla Genovese.
In the meantime, cook the Spaghetti in plenty of salted water, drain when "al dente", dress with the sauce, then sprinkle with a little grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

CHEF'S NOTE

To prevent the chicken drying out, do not cook it for more than three minutes.

Pesto alla Genovese
Pesto Sauces, born from the best Italian regional gastronomic tradition, offer a great range of proposals, created to enhance every type of pasta shape. Prepared only with the best selected ingredients, Pesto alla Genovese is a precious partner in the kitchen, always ready to enrich your dishes.

Pesto alla Genovese is prepared with fresh basil to give a unique and intense fragrance. The basil is expertly blended with pine kernels, pecorino cheese, Grana Padano cheese, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and salt.

 


 
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