Friday, April 8, 2016

Week in Review: Costa Rica's Turtles Aren't the Only Threatened Turtles!

1. Costa Rica's Turtles Aren't the Only Threatened Turtles!

Last week, Sea Save Foundation revealed the horrifying turtle torture movie that was filmed in Costa Rica. The public circulation and outrage on social media lead the Costa Rican government to action. Unfortunately, human interaction is harming turtles on a worldwide basis. This week, a new study was published in Diversity and Distributions by researchers at the University of Exeter that expands on details about the turtle population. The team studied a population of female Mediterranean loggerhead turtles in areas of Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia. After tracking females turtles by satellite over a ten year period, the migration patters showed that the females do not necessarily return to their place of birth to lay their eggs. This is an unusual act. The study also revealed that a number of turtles from the study died as bycatch, a result of being caught accidentally in fishing nets. This suggests that there is an 11% mortality rate per year, which is a higher rate than expected for a species with long life expectations.  Read more...


2. How Deep Does Life Go?

In the past few decades scientists have continued to study the deep sea to get a better understanding of water movement and species that live at the extreme depths of the ocean. What the have also learnt is that life still flourishes below the planet's crust! A team lead by Julie Huber, a scientist from the Josephine Bay Paul Center Marine Biological Laboratory, published a paper with a new understanding of the microbial community buried in the cold ocean crust of the North Pond. According to Huber, " in many cases, we found the same general group [of bacteria] in the aquifer and in bottom seawater, but different species within that group". This is the first paper to describe the subseafloor microbial community in a cold crust aquifer site. Read more...


3. NOAA Just Moved to Protect Puny Fish

No, this isn't a whale shark or some rare whale species but, these small fish are extremely important to the food chain! This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has supported the new fishing bans on the Pacific Ocean's littlest fish. The move bans fishing of eight kinds of small fish and invetebrates including round herring, Pacific sand lance, and silversides. These forage fish are critical food for birds, mammals, and large fish and their population size has a direct impact on the ocean's food system.   Read more...


4. Ski Design Inspired by Turtle Scales

Ski design inspired by turtle scales

There really is SO much that we can learn from our oceans and its inhabitants. I can't say that I personally expected this story but, get ready to hit the slopes like a turtle!  

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos, and the Swiss ski manufacturer Stockli developed skis to withstand high levels of pressure in turns which still having the ability to maneuver. The skis are easy to maneuver while entering and exiting turns but stiffen up in the middle of turns to improve grip. This design was inspired by the turtle shell. The scales in the turtle shell are connected by a polymer that allows for the shell to become flexible when the turtle breaths but tighten and stiffen when an external shock occurs.   Read more...


5. Millions Projected to be at Risk from Sea-Level Rise in the US

Cumulative projected populations at risk of SLR under the 0.9[thinsp]m scenario by 2100 for US counties.

International communities and governments have been working to avoid significant sea level increases and climate change. The prediction is that by the end of the century, sea levels could rise 3 feet. According to a recent study published in Nature Climate Change, this could displace over 4 million US residents. Read more... Business Insider also released a video describing the impact of sea level rise by state. See that extremely informative video here... 


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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.