Friday, January 15, 2016

Week in Review: Half of Plastic Trash in Oceans Comes from 5 Countries and More!

1. Half of Plastic Trash in Oceans Comes from 5 Countries

Picture of a seal on top of a net removed from the ocean
More than half of the plastic trash in the ocean come from five countries in Asia or the Pacific Islands. Approximately 60 percent of the plastic trash in the sea originated from China, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. The quickly growing infrastructure, lack of waste management regulations, and vast areas of poverty. Humans leak 8 million metric tons of plastic into the ocean every year. According to Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's marine debris program, " at this rate, we would expect nearly one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in our oceans by 2025". Read more...

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2. Sea Lion Pups Washing Ashore Because Ocean Can't Support Them

This year the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach rescued a record-setting 534 sea lions. Every year, 99.8% of the U.S sea lion population breeds in their rookeries on the Channel Islands. The rest of the year is spent foraging for food. This year, El Nino has impacted sardine and anchovy populations which are critical items to sea lions' food supply. The population flux of both of these fish populations have impacted the reproductive rates of sea lions. Sea lions are now being found ashore because they are foraging for food in an empty ocean and become disoriented, emaciated, and starving. Although humans are supporting the recovery of these sea lion pups, we may just be providing a band aid to a much larger ecosystem issue.  Read more...

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3. Great White Shark's Predatory Behavior Captured

Great White Shark imageHere at Sea Save, we love sharks! Each and every one of them! Thanks to new footage by an undersea drone, we get to learn some additional hunting behaviors of the great white shark. The behavior captured by the drone cameras supports the idea that white sharks dive down as far as 200 meters in order to use light to their advantage. Some sharks had different reaction to the drone and, instead of biting, gave the UAV an aggressive nudge with their snout. To read the full symposium paper published in Journal of Fish Biology click here... Read a synopsis from The Guardian here...

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4. Baby Fish May Get Lost in Silent Oceans

This week, an article was published in the journal Biology Letters that revealed how ocean acidification can disorient larval fish and alter marine soundscapes. According to the study co-author, Sir Ivan Nagelkerken, "along with chemical and other cues, because of sound's ability to travel long distances underwater, it is used as a navigational beacon by marine animals, particularly larvae".  As ocean acidification increases, kelp forests may be replaced by turf algae which introduces animals like shrimp who produce sounds. Although ocean acidification is known to increase the size of fish ear bones and potentially increase the hearing range of larval fish, the hearing was reared in future carbon dioxide levels.  Read more...

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5. Northwest Atlantic Ocean May Get Warmer, Sooner


Northwest Atlantic Ocean may get warmer, soonerA new study done by NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) suggests that future warming of ocean waters off the Northeasters U.S. may be greater and occur at a faster rate than previously projected. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research,  uses a model with higher resolution than the global climate models to project global and regional climate change. This model is able to reflect the ocean circulation and sea floor bathymetry in complex areas like the Gulf of Maine and the U.S. Northeast Shelf. Read more...



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6. More Whales Die in Tamil Nadu

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has seen 73 short-finned pilot whales die after washing ashore. The whale mortality rate has not been this high since 1973 when 147 whales died. According to whale expert Dr Kumaran Sathasivam,"pilot whales are very social animals  and they live in groups. They are very aware that some of the group members are in distress on the shore, possibly dead, so they don't wish to go back into the sea".  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.

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