Aerial photographs are a great way to collect images of marine species in order to analyze their distribution patterns. Distinguishing different species is difficult, and unfortunately this leads to the misidentifictation of several species. This is the case for ice-associated seals, species for which global climate change has motivated intensive monitoring efforts in recent years.
Fisheries managers have begun a shift from attempting to protect individual fish species to protecting entire ecosystems. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been highly successful at conserving important species and habitats like coral reefs. Is it possible to utilize relatively small MPAs to protect the 200-300 fish species that regularly travel long distances? New research suggests this approach may be more promising than we once thought.
Rising ocean temperatures threaten coral reefs, but a new thermal tolerant algae could help.
Tigers, pandas, and orangutans are the poster children of endangered species, but marine animals have started to join their ranks. Scientists compared the terrestrial extinction events to more recent marine animal depletions to try and predict potential threats to marine ecosystems. What they found may help us to prevent large scale extinctions from occurring in the oceans.
Whale sharks have become an increasingly popular tourist attraction, but much of their life history remains largely unknown. This study sets off to observe whale sharks around Darwin Island to help understand more about their habitat use, population size, and seasonal appearances. And what they find is a whole lot of pregnant whale sharks.
Not all starfish are cute! The crown-of-thorns starfish has been eating all the coral on the Great Barrier Reef! Researchers set out to build a model in hopes of demonstrating the trophic interactions between this dangerous starfish and its prey, the coral.
When discussing the value of an ecosystem, tensions run high. Some people evaluate ecosystems with heavy emphasis on non-use values, like aesthetics and spiritual appreciation. Other people value ecosystems based on things like natural resource availability and the potential for direct monetary revenue. It is difficult to assess the relative importance (or value) of these differing goals because the economic benefits of one are easily quantified while the other is more difficult to assess.
Scientists found an octopus that guards its eggs for the longest period ever recorded. The super mother was filmed for 53 months and has produced the largest and most developed hatchlings known to date.
A recent study at the global scale suggests that there are two distinct populations of whale shark (Indo-Pacific and Atlantic Ocean). Authors show the evidence that populations of sharks aggregating at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia have been declining in genetic diversity from 2007 to 2012.
It can actually work! A recent multidisciplinary study combining genetics and modeling conducted in the marine protected area of Torre Guaceto, Italy shows how effective marine reserves can be.