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

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" February 8, 2019: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Shark bong sparks outrage, Piracy in the high seas, High seas piracy grows, Himalayas melting, Shark fin soup pushback continues, and more ... 



1. 
‘Humans Need To Do Better’: An Australian Fisherman’s Viral ‘Shark Bong’ Draws Outrage, Death Threats


The man sits patiently on the deck of a boat as if waiting for a cue. Pounding pop music that sounds vaguely like the foreboding “Jaws” theme song plays loudly in the background. Suddenly, a child starts singing, and at that exact moment, the man ducks his head toward the object resting on his knees — a small shark that appears to be dead with two short pipes protruding from its body. “Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo,” the child sings, as the man brings a lighter to the pipe jutting out of the shark’s head, inhaling deeply from the other one located behind its dorsal fin.


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2. Piracy and High Seas Crime Growing, Becoming More Sophisticated, UN Security Council Told


“Two-thirds of the world’s surface is ocean. Nearly all of that is beyond any State’s territorial waters and largely not subject to a single state criminal jurisdiction,” Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said as he briefed the Council’s first-ever debate targeting the global challenge of transnational maritime crime. Speaking via video conference from UNODC headquarters in Vienna, he spotlighted the root causes of transnational organized crime at sea and the linkages between terrorism, piracy and illegal trafficking. 

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3. Climate Change Will Even Change the Color of the Oceans, Study Says

The ocean will not look the same color in the future. It won't turn pink or anything radically different; the change will be more apparent through optic sensors than though the human eye. But it serves as an early warning sign that global warming is significantly altering the planet's ecosystems, according to a new study. Essentially, climate change will make the blues of the ocean bluer and the greens greener. Scientists figured this out by creating a global model that simulates the growth of a tiny creature that lives in the oceans and affects the color we see. Their research was published Monday in the journal Nature Communications.

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4. Voyage Into the Unknown Explores Indian Ocean's Hidden Depths, Assessing Pollution and Seeking New Life

A mission to explore uncharted depths in the Indian Ocean was launched on Wednesday, hoping to discover hundreds of new species and find out what impact plastic is having way below the surface. The First Descent expedition, led by British-based ocean research institute Nekton, is set to send submersibles as deep as 3,000 meters off the Seychelles from March to test the health of the ocean. The project was launched at the Commonwealth headquarters in London. “The mission is focusing on 30 meters down to 3,000 meters. This is where you get the peak diversity of species,” said Professor Alex Rogers, part of the scientific team.

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5. Toxic Delicacy of Shark Fin Causes Ecosystem Chaos, and Consumers Are Pushing Back


Hong Kong (CNN)Adeline Chan's nose crinkled at the market's pungent, briny smell. Chan and her mother were once regulars at Hong Kong's Dried Seafood Market, in Sheung Wan, where endless stalls display plastic bins stuffed with various forms of dried shark fin.
"We don't need shark fins for ourselves, but sharks need their fins," said Chan, now a vegan. "I stopped consuming shark fin soup four years ago after learning what sharks had to go through before a bowl of shark fin soup is served."

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6. Global Warming Predicted to Melt Massive Himalayan glaciers, Disrupt Food Production


Antarctica and Greenland aren't the Earth's only frozen places threatened by human-caused climate change: The Himalayas are also at risk, scientists announced Monday. In fact, a whopping two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2100 if global warming continues, according to the new report. Such a catastrophic melt would disrupt the flow of Asian rivers, which are a crucial resource for crops for billions of people in China, India and six other countries. "This is the climate crisis you haven't heard of," said Philippus Wester, a scientist with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, which released the report. “Global warming is on track to transform the frigid, glacier-covered mountain peaks ... to bare rocks in a little less than a century," he said in a statement. 

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7. A Dreadful Discovery About the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Contains a Silver Lining for the Great Barrier Reef

Jonathan Allen has good news and bad news for Australians regarding the crown-of-thorns sea star. The bad news is that the fecund and voracious destroyer of Indo-Pacific coral reefs has a previously unknown method of reproduction. The good news is that the Australians might be able to limit the outbreaks of these coral-munching echinoderms by using this new knowledge. Allen is an associate professor in William & Mary's Department of Biology. He is a member of a team that discovered that the crown-of-thorns seastar (COTS) can reproduce by larval cloning. Their discovery is described in "Larval cloning in the crown-of-thorns sea star, a keystone coral predator," published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

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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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

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

"Extreme freezing temperatures, polar vortex and global warming, Another Sea World orca dies, New species discovered, Plankton and plastic share space, Dwindling Starfish and  more ... 


1. Global Warming Contributes to Freezing Temperatures Across The U.S.

Editorial Note: Forbes, CNN, Fortune, and many others concur. Cold temperatures actually support global warming science.

The country is freezing in an unprecedented fashion, and global warming is to blame. Sound crazy? The cold snap that North America is experiencing east of the rocky mountains, with temperatures at Arctic-like levels, is real, but it's only part of the story. Simultaneously, there are record warm temperatures happening in other parts of the world, from Australia to the actual Arctic. While a small but vocal minority of people might use the faulty logic of, "it's cold where I am, therefore global warming isn't real," even schoolchildren know that weather isn't climate. But these extreme cold snaps have gotten more severe in recent years, due to a combination of global warming and a phenomenon you've likely heard of: the polar vortex. 

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2. Striking Photos Reveal Plastic and Plankton Side-By-Side


Converging currents at the surface of the ocean create some of the best places to find life. It is where plankton float and hungry fish follow. It's also there that researchers are finding a new, and now ubiquitous, ocean resident—plastic. “To me, it's a little shocking how much is in relatively small samples,” says photographer and National Geographic Explorer David Liittschwager. Last July, Liittschwager accompanied scientists sampling waters off the coasts of Hawaii, where currents converge to form slicks full of plankton. Using nets, they scooped 400 cubic meters of surface water into simple five-gallon buckets and hauled it back to a lab on Hawaii's Big Island.


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3. Everglades and Red Tide Will be Focus in DeSantis’ Environmental Budget Proposal

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ environmental budget will include a “historic commitment” to water resources and Everglades restoration, including projects with Everglades, water quality and a “historic amount of money” for red tide research, he said Tuesday. At a press conference after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, DeSantis alluded to announcements planned for later in the afternoon in Naples and in Fort Lauderdale. “We meant what we said, and we think this is the time for us to tackle these problems that have been persistent in our state.”

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4. Why Beaked Whales Return To Navy Sonar Range Despite Frequent Disturbance


Using data from underwater robots, scientists have discovered that beaked whales prefer to feed within parts of a Navy sonar test range off Southern California that have dense patches of deep-sea squid. Their findings, published January 29 in the Journal of Applied Ecology, show that beaked whales need these prey hotspots to survive and that similar patches do not exist in nearby “sonar-free” areas. For decades, the U.S. Navy has used high-powered sonar during anti-submarine training and testing exercises in various ocean habitats, including the San Nicolas Basin off Southern California. 

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5. West Coast’s Biggest Starfish Vanishing Amid Disease, Warming Oceans, 

Once a common delight of every beachcomber, sunflower starfish — the large, multi-armed starfish sometimes seen underwater at the nearshore — are imperiled by disease and ocean warming along the West Coast. The devastation occurred over just a few years and even affected starfish in deeper water, according to research co-led by the University of California, Davis, and Cornell University published in the journal Science Advances.


6. Sea World Orlando Orca Whale Kayla Dies After Illness

A 30-year-old orca whale has died after a brief illness at SeaWorld Orlando, the park announced on Monday. Kayla, who was born in captivity in Texas in 1988, was one of 20 whales still housed at the company's parks. SeaWorld said Kayla's condition had deteriorated on Sunday after she showed signs of illness on Saturday. "Although animal care specialists and veterinarians devoted around the clock attention to Kayla, she did not survive," it said. "While today is a difficult day for all of us at SeaWorld, Kayla inspired generations of guests and employees to care and learn more about this amazing species."

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7. New Species Of Shark Found In Fish Market

Another week, another new shark species! While many can believe that scientists find new species in the ocean, swimming around freely… that isn’t always the case. In fact, it is rarely the case. The place where most researchers find new species is in fish markets.The discovery of this shark goes back a little more than a decade now. A never-before-seen shark species was brought to the fishing harbor in Kochi (also known as Cochin), a city in southwest India's coastal Kerala state. The fishermen who brought in this odd-looking species were fishing for sharks of economic importance from the deep-sea in the Indian Ocean. 

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8. Scientists Discover Brand New Species of Creepy Cave-Dwelling Fish That Looks Like A 'Swimming Centipede'

Scientists have unearthed a brand new species of cave-dwelling life. Experts from Texas A&M University, Galveston, participated in a 10-day research trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where they discovered the 'swimming centipede'. Lasionectes, as it has been called, is a previously-unknown form of crustacean from the Remipede family and further expands the scope of ocean life. It comes at a time when many saline-rich caves in the Caribbean are in danger of pollution or destruction. 'We collected what we believe is a new remipede species, likely related to those found in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico,' says professor Tom Iliffe, who co-led the investigation. 'Other new species of cave and marine life will likely be found once further examination is complete.' 

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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