Friday, March 15, 2019

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" March 15, 2019: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Young Greta Thunberg, climate activist nominated for Nobel, Sri Lanka showcases local biodiversity for CITES, Historic undersea broadcast, Shark trackers discover illegal fishing, Seahorse trade and more...


1. At 16 years, Greta Thunberg Climate Change Activist is Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Greta Thunberg, the founder of the Youth Strike for Climate movement, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, just before the biggest day yet of global action. Thunberg began a solo protest in Sweden in August but has since inspired students around the globe. Strikes are expected in 1,659 towns and cities in 105 countries on Friday, involving hundreds of thousands of young people. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees,” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace.”


2. Sri Lanka to put its Biodiversity in the Spotlight at Global Trade Summit

Sri Lanka hopes to use, CITES, a top global biodiversity trade summit it’s hosting in May to shine a global spotlight on the island’s unique biodiversity. The 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is scheduled to be held from May 23 to June 3 in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital. The Conference of Parties meeting will bring in nearly 4,000 delegates from 183 countries to discuss CITES international biodiversity trade policies, propose vital amendments, review action plans, and address implementation concerns, said John Amaratunge, the minister of tourism and wildlife conservation. 

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3. Historic Undersea Exploration Broadcast Conducted from the Indian Ocean

A British-led scientific mission to document changes taking place beneath the Indian Ocean has broadcast its first live, television-quality video transmission from a two-person submersible. Monsoon storms and fierce underwater currents continued to present a challenge at greater depths as scientific work began in earnest on Tuesday off SeychellesThe Associated Press has successfully broadcast the first multi-camera live signal in full broadcast quality from manned submersibles using optical video transmission techniques, in which the pictures transmit through the waves using the blue region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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4. Sick Marine Mammals Turning Up on California Beaches in Droves

The deep blue waters and crashing waves along the coast of California provide a picturesque backdrop to the state’s shores, but the sight has been marred of late. As winter rains have poured down, trash has flowed onto area beaches. And amid the detritus has been an even more troubling discovery: scores of sickened or dead marine mammals.

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5. How Shark Trackers Uncovered Illegal Fishing in the Indian Ocean

In April of 2015, researchers headed out to the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean to service acoustic receivers they had dotted around the archipelago, and to download tag data from the 95 grey reef and silvertip sharks they had tagged a year prior. Little did they know that over the course of 10 days during the previous December, 15 of their tagged individuals had been illegally fished. The Chagos Archipelago, otherwise known as British Indian Ocean Territory, boasts one of the largest marine reserves in the world. The BIOT Marine Protected Area was created in 2010 and comprises 210,040 square miles of marine habitat, including an archipelago of seven atolls, at least 70 islands, and some of the world's most pristine coral reefs.

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6. Seahorse Trade Continues Despite Export Bans

Seahorses continue to be traded in large volumes, despite many source countries imposing bans on exports of the animals, a new study has found. While some of these peculiarly shaped fishes with horse-like heads and prehensile tails are sold live to be showcased in aquariums, the majority are traded in their dried forms, mainly to be used in traditional Chinese medicines. Between 2004 and 2011, for instance, dried seahorses made up 98 percent of the reported 3.3 million to 7.6 million individual seahorses that were traded. Around 3 million to 5 million of these seahorses were imported by Hong Kong alone.

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7. Ocean Heat Waves Are Threatening Marine Life


When deadly heat waves hit on land, we hear about them. But the oceans can have heat waves, too. They are now happening far more frequently than they did last century and are harming marine life, according to a new study. 
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked at the impact of marine heat waves on the diversity of life in the ocean. From coral reefs to kelp forests to seagrass beds, researchers found that these heat waves were destroying the framework of many ocean ecosystems.

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Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" March 1, 2019: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Plastic Saturates Life in Mariana's Trench, Sterile Killer Whales, Squid Protein and Plastic Pollution, Belize's Great Blue Hole Revealed and more...


1. 
A Troubling Discovery in the Deepest Ocean Trenches

Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized that the fiber was clearly synthetic—a piece of plastic. And worryingly, his student Lauren Brooks had pulled it from the gut of a small crustacean living in one of the deepest parts of the ocean.


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2. Toxic Chemicals Spell the End for the UK's Killer Whales: Females Have Been Made Sterile by the Pollutants

Britain's only group of killer whales will die out because the females have been made sterile by chemical pollutants, scientists have said. Found off the west coast of Scotland, the eight whales are the UK' s only resident orca population have not produced a calf in 25 years. The researchers believe that this is because they have been exposed to catastrophic levels of chemicals that interfere with their hormones.  The pod are now believed to be doomed to extinction because these chemicals have destroyed their ability to reproduce. 

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3. Could Squid Protein Absorb Plastics?

More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, killing marine life and damaging ecosystems. But the same seas might also hold the key to reducing plastic pollution. Proteins found in squid can be used to create sustainable alternatives to plastics, according to a report published in Frontiers in Chemistry on Thursday. Squid grasp their prey using suction cups on their tentacles and arms. The cups are equipped with sharp "ring teeth" that hold the food in place. The teeth are made from proteins that are similar to silk, and these have become the subject of scientific interest in the last few years.
Editorial Commentary: It is the Sea Save POV that we must prioritize refusing the use of single-use plastics, and clean up will follow.

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4. Iceberg twice the size of NYC set to break off from Antarctica


Scientists warned Sunday that a massive iceberg will soon calve — or break off — from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf and they’re increasingly concerned about the “uncertain future” it creates for future research opportunities there. The iceberg is expected to be about twice the size of New York City, according to NASA scientists, who have observed cracks growing across the ice shelf in recent years. “It is not yet clear how the remaining ice shelf will respond following the break, posing an uncertain future for scientific infrastructure and a human presence on the shelf that was first established in 1955,” the scientists wrote.

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5. Florida to Ban Chumming Off Beaches; Used to Lure Sharks:


Florida is reportedly moving toward a statewide ban on “chumming,” or the practice of fishermen dumping blood into the ocean along beaches to lure sharks. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is expected to implement the ban later this month, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. The technique involves scattering bloody fish guts and oil into the water to produce a slick surface and lure sharks closer to baited hooks. The regulators note that the sharks could be lured closer to swimmers.

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6. First Ever 3D Map of the Blue Hole Reveals Stalactites, A Conch Graveyard and Toxic Chemicals

A submarine mission to the bottom of Belize's Great Blue hole has generated the first-ever map of what it looks like on the inside. Sonar scans were taken of one of the world's largest sinkholes, which measures 984 feet (300m) across and roughly 410 feet (125m) deep. The three-week mission let researchers collect enough data to generate a 3D picture as well as images of never-before-seen details from its depths. That includes stalactites, mineral formations shaped like icicles near the bottom that are encrusted with marine growth, as well as a conch 'graveyard' created by thousands of the shellfish falling into the chasm.

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Be sure to "LIKE" http://facebook.com/SeaSave to ensure our "Week in Review" is delivered to your newsfeed every Friday. 

Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news

Friday, February 22, 2019

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" February 22, 2019: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Shark DNA Holds Cancer Curing Secrets, Morocco Signs Brussels Ocean Declaration, Oregon Salmon Plan Backfires, Climate Change Pioneer Dies and more...


1. 
What Rising Seas Mean for Local Economies

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors. That evidence isn't just present in the form of more frequent flooding. According to a new study published Feb. 15 in the Journal Science Advances, it is also revealed an official cost of doing business. Stanford graduate student Miyuki Hino and her colleagues found that downtown Annapolis, Maryland suffered a loss of 3,000 visits in 2017 due to high-tide flooding, which equates to a loss of somewhere between $86,000 and $172,000 in revenue. Small businesses in downtown Annapolis rely on visitors. By measuring the economic extent of the impact of flooding, we can understand how sea level rise is already impacting businesses' experiences and profits," said Samanthe Belanger, a co-author and Stanford MBA student at the time of the study.

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2. Ocean Acidification Harms Cod Larvae More Than Previously Thought


Along with rising temperatures and dwindling oxygen concentrations, acidification is a major threat to marine life. These are all by-products of global climate change. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are rising and the ocean, compensates by absorbing increasing amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. The reaction of carbon dioxide with the water forms carbonic acid, the pH is lowered—the ocean becomes more acidic.  One species that is adversely affected is the Atlantic cod. A new scientific study, just published in Global Change Biology by scientists from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel with colleagues from France and Norway, concurs with previously published studies showing that high carbon dioxide concentrations is detrimental to this species.

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3. Morocco Signs Brussels Declaration on Oceans & Climate Change

Moroccan representatives have signed the Brussels Declaration which recognizes the importance of cooperative ocean, climate and biodiversity-related actions, both at regional and international levels.
The Brussels Declaration underscores the efforts made by Morocco in the areas of marine conservation, the fight against climate change and the development of renewable energies, commented MAP.

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4. Shark DNA Could Help Cure Cancer and Age-Related Illnesses in Humans

Great white sharks may hold the secrets to curing cancer and other age-related diseases, experts believe. The first map of great whites sharks' DNA has revealed "mutations" that protect the animals against cancer and other illnesses. Scientists hope more research could help apply the findings to treating age-related illnesses in humans. The great white's ability to repair its own DNA has evolved in ways ours has not. The research was carried out by a team of scientists at the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Centre at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

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5. Oregon: Federal Plan to Save Salmon by Killing Birds Backfired

The federal government killed thousands of double-crested cormorants in Oregon between 2015 and 2017 and may have caused the collapse of the birds’ largest breeding colony in a bungled effort to help young salmon make it to the ocean alive. Meanwhile, state biologists say the birds just moved upriver – where now each eat three times as much salmon because they are forced to hunt younger and smaller fish. 
Government agencies have been on the offense to protect salmon by killing their natural predators. Sea lions and Caspian terns have been recent targets, and gulls may soon be added to the list. But what happened with cormorants has raised doubts as to the wisdom of the plan. James Lawonn, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in charge of avian predation, says his agency “expects little to no gain in survival” for young salmon swimming through the Columbia River estuary with the federal management plan.

Editorial Note: We are doing the same thing now by authorizing the euthanasia of sea lions in Oregon for eating Salmon. What downstream effect might this have?

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6. Climate Change Science Pioneer Wallace Smith Broecker Dies

A pioneering scientist who raised early alarms about climate change and popularised the term “global warming” has died at age 87. Wallace Smith Broecker, a Columbia University professor, and researcher, died on Monday at a hospital in New York City, according to a spokesman for the university’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Broecker brought “global warming” into common use with a 1975 article that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming.

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Be sure to "LIKE" http://facebook.com/SeaSave to ensure our "Week in Review" is delivered to your newsfeed every Friday. 

Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news