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Marine Conservation

This tag is associated with 30 posts
Fig. 4: Ringed seal pup. Author: Shawn Dahle, NOAA, Polar Ecosystems Program research cruise. Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pusa_hispida_pup.jpg

Throwing Babies out with the Sea Ice: Ringed Seals Response to Ice Decline

As the Earth warms, sea ice declines. What happens to those animals who rely on the ice? Today’s oceanbites looks at one animal, the ringed seal, and how it may be affected by climate change!

So cute!

It’s a trap! African penguins impacted by climate change

Young penguins living along the southwestern coast of Africa typically follow cool, nutrient rich water to find food as they grow up. This used to lead them to ‘delicious’ fish such as anchovies and sardines. However, in this ecosystem – the Benguela Upwelling Zone – climate change and overfishing have reduced these fish populations. This forces the young penguins to eat less nutritious fish so fewer of them survive to adulthood. This threatens the African penguin’s future. Conservation efforts are needed to ensure this important (and adorable!) species survives.

Red Crown-of-Thorns Starfish eating coral. Author Matt Kieffer, Flickr. No modifications made. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattkieffer/3016449061 Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Small MPAs: the new all-you-can-eat buffets?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a popular conservation tool and are in many situations very effective. Unfortunately, as with many plans, there may be some unintended consequences, as seen in the case of small MPAs in Fiji, where they appear to have attracted corallivorous crown-of-thorns sea stars (Acanthaster spp.). Find out more in today’s oceanbites!

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Warm water curtails sea snakes’ dives

Like frogs, sea snakes can uptake oxygen through both their lungs and their skin. How will these “bimodal breathers” cope with warm ocean temperatures?

Fig. 3. Entangled Sea Turtle. Source: NOAA.

Let’s Ghost Fishing for Halloween!

Ghost fishing is ghastly because it creates underwater graveyards for wildlife. The authors covered here wrote a new review of gear entanglement among mammals, reptiles, and sharks. Find out what they discovered by reading today’s post!

One of the suspects, the member of the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, produce the neurotoxin domoic acid [Wikimedia Commons]

Do algal blooms kill whales?

Since 2005, southern right whale calves have been found dead in historic numbers off the Patagonian coast in Argentina. Scientists investigate whether harmful algal blooms may be to blame.

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Ancient swimmers: Greenland sharks live for centuries

Using radiocarbon dating, scientists have discovered that the Greenland shark can live longer than any other known vertebrate. How long have some of these individuals been alive?

Credit: Society for Conservation Biology

Highlights from the International Marine Conservation Congress, Newfoundland, Canada

At the International Marine Conservation Congress this year, I got a first-timer’s look into the world of marine conservation research and in-depth discussions about the future of conservation.

Fig. 1. Polar Bear (climate change refugee). Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author Arturo de Frias Marques.

If You Must, Adjust? Polar Bears Leaving Sea Ice in the Arctic

Everyone knows that polar bears have become the poster children for species threatened by climate change. And it’s for good reason that they are. Polar bears rely on sea ice for access to prey, finding mates, and creating dens. The persistence of the species depends on the state of sea-ice and more generally a healthy marine ecosystem in the Arctic. Unfortunately, the volume and extent of sea ice have been decreasing by 28% and 14% per decade. Is there a way for polar bears to adapt to the changing sea ice coverage in this sensitive habitat?

A lot of interesting work has been doing on sea turtle nests, some of which has been covered on Oceanbites. Did you know warm nests produce more females?  Or that rising sea levels hinder hatching success?  [Flickr - Jeroen Looye]

With a little help from my friends: sea turtles hatch together to save energy

Sea turtle hatchlings face long odds when they emerge from their buried nests. But at least they don’t have to dig themselves out alone.

Fig 1: Marine debris on the beach at Green Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Author: Keeley Belva, NOAA. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kure_debris_440.jpg

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!

Pretty, isn't it? "The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken when the Apollo 17 mission travelled to the moon in 1972. This picture is featured on the official Earth Day Flag. [Wikimedia]

Go Green for Earth Day!

Do Mother Nature a solid with these helpful tips & tricks to go green today!

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The importance of sea urchins

A look into Valeska’s graduate research. Why coral reefs depend on the long spined black sea urchin for survival.

Fig. 1: Loggerhead sea turtle returning to the sea after nesting and receiving a satellite tag. Photo Credit: Rebecca Flynn. Please do not use this photo without permission. Sea turtles are protected by the Endangered Species Act. This photo was taken with appropriate permits.

For Sea Turtles, There’s No Place Like Home

Tagline: Sea turtles are occasionally released in locations that are not their home areas. But do they remain there? Find out in today’s oceanbites!

Figure 1: Seagrass meadow in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photographer: Heather Dine. Source: NOAA Photo Library via https://www.flickr.com/photos/51647007@N08/5077876455/

Seagrass, Disturbance, and the Blue Carbon Cycle

Seagrass beds bury carbon incredibly well! What happens to that carbon when you uproot, plow through, or otherwise disturb seagrasses? Does that carbon get released again? And how long does it take to capture that much carbon again once the seagrass grows back? All great questions with answers in today’s oceanbites!

Let me cover your ears! We’re going to make some noise! 
Photo Credit: GettyImages 
Hands from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spotted_Pufferfish_Arothron_meleagris_02.JPG

Small boats drowning out natural reef noise?

Don’t you hate when noises interfere with your daily activities and conversations? We create lots of noise in the environment and need to know more about it. Today’s oceanbites focuses on a study of man-made noise on coral reefs. Check it out!

Figure 1. Silvertip reef shark by David Hall, Seaphotos.com.

Tracking the movements of a heavily fished Fijian shark

The silvertip is a reef shark targeted for its fins. Scientists tagged a Fijian silvertip to learn more about what depths and temperatures it likes to hang out in.

Polychaetes

Making potable water safe for the seafloor

SWRO desalinization is a great way to get potable water. Unfortunately its production results in a high salinity low nutrient discharge that impacts the benthic communities. This study shows how a simple mitigation effort can reverse damage from discharge in just months!

Earth

Wake-up Call: Global Oceans in Big Trouble!

Our global oceans are in a state of crisis. A new report from the WWF paints a bleak picture: human interference has pushed the oceans to the brink of collapse. The health of marine organisms and the habitats they live in have become severely threatened by compounding factors such as pollution, overfishing and increased CO2 input. This situation is urgent and requires global awareness and swift action. The ocean is changing at a rapid pace before our eyes and we can no longer waste time.

Mark the green sea turtle's new profile pic!(Credit: Roy Niswanger)

Taiwan creates “Facebook” for sea turtles!

Photo ID databases have been used to estimate population sizes for zebras, cheetahs, whales, sharks dolphins, turtles and more. This tool has now spread to a new area. Introducing the first animal photo ID database in Taiwan for green sea turtles!

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