Saturday, November 26, 2016

Week in Review: Will California Survive the Bag Ban? Stranded Whale Euthanized, Predatory Microbe Described

1.     California Bag Ban - Are Resident Up to the Challenge?
The recently passed proposition 67 was a huge victory for conservationists interested in keeping an estimated 15 billion pieces of plastic from entering landfills and ocean habitats.  Supporters hope that California will serve as an example and other states will follow.
Now that the ban is in place, will Californians determine that they are willing to forgo a bit of convenience?  Will the populous alter their habits and begin caring reusable bags?
Read More…
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2.     Scientists Opt to Euthanize Stranded Whale in New York


A whale that had been feeding in Moriches Bay since November 13th became increasingly weak and after being stranded in Hart's Cove in about two to three feet of water.  The animal drew an audience who strategized about ways to get the cetacean to deeper water.  Scientists and NOAA representatives decided that the whale had become so weak from malnutrition and sepsis that even if it could be moved, it would not survive. The animal seemed to be in extreme pain so veterinarians opted to euthanize the whale.  A necropsy is pending. Read More…
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3.   Man Arraigned After Repeatedly Punching Shark - Hearing December 17th


Two men brought an 8-foot hammerhead shark ashore in Florida.  One of the men, Granger Ray Wooten, allegedly repeatedly punched the shark in the stomach.  He then put the shark on the beach and took photographs of a young girl sitting atop the fish.  Later the two men attempted to return the shark to the ocean and unsuccessfully tried to revive it. When charged, Wooten originally denied the allegations to the arresting officers, but later recanted. Read More…

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4.     NASA Set to Launch Satellite to Survey Globe's Surface Water

NASA intends to launch their Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite in April 2021 to collect the first global surface water survey. The survey will provide details that show the movement of water bodies on Earth’s surface. The satellite will cover at least 90% of the globe twice every 21 days to assist with freshwater management and ocean circulation and climate models. Read More…

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5. The Antarctic Ice Sheet Began Melting in the 1940’s

Using data from seafloor sediments collected in 2012, researchers have concluded an El Nino event caused a surge of warming in the Pacific Ocean between 1939 and 1942. During this time, Pine Island Glacier, a 2-kilometer-thick ice sheet the size of Texas, melted enough to lose contact with an underwater ridge, allowing ocean water to begin penetrating the glacier. This water never could refreeze, even after ocean temperatures returned to normal, suggesting that reversing of ice sheet melting may be difficult, even if ocean water temperature rise is halted. Read More…

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6. Scientists Use DNA Left Behind in Seawater to Gather Data on Whale Sharks

A study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution studied whale sharks by analyzing environmental DNA in the water of the Persian Gulf. The research team collected twenty samples of seawater from fifteen locations near the Al Shaheen oil field, where the sharks are frequently spotted. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from the sampled water and was used to compare the genetic diversity of the sharks to that of whale shark species in Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Read More…

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7. Rare Ocean Microbe is Discovered to Be Important Singled Celled Ocean Predator


Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently discovered the Diplonemid, a tiny single-celled organism, is the most abundant protozoa in the ocean. The Diplonemid, which had never been observed in the ocean or captured before, was previously believed to be a rare species. The organisms were photographed for the first time in samples from deep-water ocean. Read More…


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8. Researchers Track "Yeti", a 960 Pound Great White Shark

Yeti, a 960 pound, 11-foot-long Great White Shark, is being tracked in Atlantic waters by Ocearch, a shark tracking and research operation. Whenever Yeti’s dorsal fin breaks the surface, researchers receive the shark’s approximate location using satellite technology. Yeti has surfaced off the coast of Delaware and Virginia. The researchers use the tracking data to get a better understanding of animal behavior to help preserve their habitat. Read More…



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9. Seaweed Could Be Utilized to Combat Climate Change

The $5 billion dollar global seaweed industry has attracted new European investors. Scotland is looking to harvest seaweed for biogas production, a renewable form of energy that would release methane gas for heating and electricity. The cultivation of seaweed would also help combat climate change by taking in carbon dioxide during its growing season. Read More…




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10. Coral Reef Erosion is Accelerated by Ocean Acidification

Coral reef ecosystems in Papua New Guinea contain higher than average amounts of carbon dioxide due to volcanic activity and were the focus of a recent scientific study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Scientists determined ocean waters with high acidity accelerates coral reef erosion while slowing the growth rate as well. High rates of acidity cause increased boring activity of worms and other organisms, destroying reef foundations. The study confirmed a pH of 7.8 to be the tipping point of when coral reefs begin to dissolve. 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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