Friday, December 26, 2014

Week in Review: Indonesia's War on Poaching, The Great Christmas Island Crab Migration, and More!

1. Indonesia Blows Up Illegal Fishing Boats

Foreign poachers might think twice before stealing fish from Indonesian waters now that the Indonesian navy has begun blowing up poachers' vessels. Two boats were destroyed and sunk this week after their owners were found guilty of illegal fishing. Six more foreign ships are currently facing destruction. Illegal fishing has already declined in the three months since the policy went into effect. Read more...


2. Have a Crabby Christmas - Island, That Is!

Every year around December 25, millions of female red land crabs on Australia's Christmas Island begin their journey to the sea to lay eggs. The crabs leave their burrows high in the jungle and spend a week or more overcoming all obstacles in their path to deposit eggs in the outgoing high tide before returning home. The spectacle draws tourists and attention from locals, who do what they can to protect the migrating crabs from passing cars and other dangers. Read more...


3. Sea Turtles Being Redirected North

This year, the Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts has seen a record number of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles wash ashore. These sea turtles are born in the Gulf of Mexico and will migrate to Florida or occasionally get caught in the Gulf Stream and are transplanted north. Marine care centers around the United States are now nursing the sea turtles back to health. Read more...


4. The World's Deepest Fish Filmed in the Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench has been an area for ocean exploration since 1875. The trench is recorded as the deepest place on earth and the oldest section of the ocean floor. Recently, a group of scientists released unmanned equipment to explore the trench and recovered colonies of unique fish. The thin, transparent fish were found swimming at a depth of 8,145 meters. To see the footage released from Oceanlab and the University of Aberdeen Click here...


5. Protecting the Beauties of the Biscayne National Park

Florida is home to one of the largest reef tracts in  the US, the Biscayne National Park. With the increase in boating and fishing, this national park has seen a deterioration of the coral and fish populations. Although plans have been made to improve the state of the reefs, no actions are improving the dwindling population of snapper and grouper. Debates continue between the National Park Service and the Florida state commission on how to resolve. Read more...


6. It's a bird? It's a plane?...It's a drone tracking birds!

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF DREAMSTIME - A public forum on the civilian and military use of drones takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the First Unitarian Church of Portlands Eliot Chapel at Southwest 12th Avenue and Salmon Street.

Traditionally, collecting data on fish and bird populations has been an expensive, risky, and manual process. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to reinvent this procedure and use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Testing with the UAVs will begin with the surveying of the fall Chinook salmon and the double-crested cormorant. Read more...


7. Looking to the Ocean for Renewable Energy

Marine Power Systems’ WaveSub has received funding from grant program, Supply Chain innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE). The technology developed in this project could have a profound impact on renewable energy. Read more...


8. Keys' Dolphins at Risk of Highly Contagious Disease

A morbillivirus outbreak is spreading among bottlenose dolphins in the Florida Keys and could kill up to 50 percent of the population, according to scientists. This measles-like illness makes marine mammals susceptible to a host of deadly diseases and has already killed more than 1500 dolphins since July 2013. Outbreaks like this one "suggest our environment is under stress," said Dr. Gregory Bossart, a veterinary pathologist, and so they are a concern for humans and marine mammals alike. Read more...


9. First Penguin DNA Sequenced

Scientists have decoded and published the genomes of Adelie and emperor penguins, allowing us to better understand their evolution and history. Research on the birds shows how they have adapted in response to climate change in the past, and this data may help us determine how they will fare as the planet warms today. Read more...


10. Mysterious Seal Strandings in Cornwall, England

Nearly twice as many seals as usual have been found dead on Cornish beaches in the past few months, baffling experts. Some of the stranded seals have been breeding adults in their prime, which could have a serious effect on future populations. Read more...


11. A Climate Change Success Story?

Some species may be able to successfully adjust to climate change and its affect on their food, according to a study in the journal Freshwater Biology. The Dolly Varden, a species of char common in Alaska, have survived by following their food - salmon eggs. As climate change has altered the timing of salmon spawning, the Dolly Varden have in turn altered their migration pattern. Species like these char, who can handle more variability, will be most resilient in the face of climate change. Read more...


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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.