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Marine Conservation

This tag is associated with 46 posts

Peace for Coral Reefs

As the world has learned over the past several months, a little solitude goes a long way towards a healthy life. What if coral reefs need time away from humans to be able to live their best lives? Coral reefs, often called the rainforests of the sea, are known to be marvelous colorful ecosystems that […]

In an uncertain future, how might corals survive?

Scleractinian corals form the framework for reef ecosystems but are increasingly threatened. By looking at the coral fossil record, scientists are beginning to understand how corals have survived in the past, and what will happen to them in the future. Elena GadoutsisI can admit, I didn’t take the typical scientist route.  After starting my career […]

VaquitaCPR: Trying to save the world’s most endangered marine mammal

What do you do when the species you’ve been working to save from extinction is down to fewer than 30 individuals? With only thirty vaquita porpoises left in the entire world, despite years of conservation efforts, emergency action needed to be taken in an effort to save the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. Julia […]

Hotspots of geology, biology, and economic interest

There is growing interest to exploit the resources of deep-sea hydrothermal vents to support the demand for electronic manufacturing. We don’t know how mining activities will affect these ecosystems or how the vent community will adapt to perturbations. Scientists are finding faster and easier ways to study the biodiversity and dynamics before foreseeable mining. Gabrielle […]

Menacing microplastics hamper hermit crab choices

How can little bits of plastic in the ocean impact a hermit crab’s ability to make decisions? Microplastics can be found from the deep sea to the coasts and they can affect everything from animal health to cognition. Julia ZehI am a second-year PhD student at Syracuse University studying marine mammal communication. My research focuses […]

Arctic Unicorns: Understanding the past, present, and future of narwhals and their mysterious tusks

Why do narwhals have tusks that make them look like unicorns? As climate change continues, what is the fate of narwhals and their enigmatic tusks? Two recent studies of these unicorns of the sea start to answer questions about their past, present, and future. Julia ZehI am a second-year PhD student at Syracuse University studying […]

Eating invasive species and the future of sustainable fisheries

Invasive species are a global phenomenon, and have been since modern human society became a global phenomenon. Many of them were brought purposefully as a food source to uncertain new destinations. But can we (and should we) eat our way out of the problem we ate our way into?

Protections with a bite: Are toothed whales sheltered by South African Marine Protected Areas?

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are often put into place to protect biodiversity and essential fish stocks, but toothed whales are rarely considered when deciding where to put an MPA. As South Africa looks to expand its protected areas, Jean Purdon and her colleagues set out to learn where the toothed whales are living off the […]

Of Wildfires and Oceans

Wildfires are all over the news, from California to Australia, but do these terrestrial events have any impact on ocean ecosystems? Is it possible that wildfires can cause massive coral die-off across reefs? A research paper from 2003 provides some insight into these questions, and points to a need for more studies on the links […]

Ensuring that coral reefs sound like home

What does a coral reef sound like? The answer is more important than you might think. By playing the sounds of a healthy reef over a loudspeaker, scientists were able to attract a variety of baby fish to settle on a degraded reef, results which show how acoustic interventions are a tool that can be […]

Sharks vs. Fishing Vessels: The fatal overlap

Article Global spatial risk assessment of sharks under the footprint of fisheries. Nuno Queiroz, Nicolas E. Humphries, et al. Nature (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1444-4   Background Over the past 50 years, world fisheries production has increased significantly. Many studies have shown fishing impacts on ocean health. Beyond the direct effects of fish removal, fishing causes an indirect […]

In the hot seat: Hot spots for pelagic shark movement reflect hot spots for commercial longline fisheries in the North Atlantic.

Check out the latest from Matt Larsen about shark habitat around the globe, and how these areas overlap with fishing hotspots! Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of large marine megafauna with a central focus on […]

Citizen Science and Undersea Stars: The Value of Photographs to Global Megafauna Biology

Check out this article about how tourist pictures of whale sharks are helping scientists learn about whale shark populations around the globe! Matthew LarsenI am a second year master’s student at Coastal Carolina University in the Abel Lab. My interests focus on the ecology and life history of large marine megafauna with a central focus […]

Sea snakes join the dark side to cope with pollution

Black sea snakes are more common in contaminated sites. Why? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the respiratory and metabolic responses of Fundulus killifish to intermittent (diurnal) patterns of hypoxia.

Paper or plastic? Policies inspired by research to find a solution to plastic pollution

Paper or plastic? In a lot of grocery stores, this is an innocent question, but recently it’s become a controversial issue. We talk about how plastic pollution research has inspired a barrel of policies, and some of the creative new ways people are trying to clean up the earth! Laura ZinkeI am a PhD student […]

Current connections: how far away coastlines influence marine reserves

A research team used a state-of-the-art model to map how four remote Marine Protected Areas are connected to the surrounding oceans, and how human activities are impacting them from afar. Veronica TamsittI’m a PhD student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla California. My research is focused on the Southern Ocean circulation and it’s […]

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! Rebecca FlynnI am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.S.) and the University of Rhode Island (M.S.). I […]

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 […]

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! […]

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? Brittney G. BorowiecBrittney is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, and joined Oceanbites in September 2015. Her research focuses on the physiological mechanisms and evolution of the […]

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