Warming Waters Could Mean Smaller Fish

2017-08-31T09:39:00+00:00 August 31, 2017|

An increase of two degrees Celsius could cause fish to grow as much as 45 percent smaller. Fish will struggle to breathe as the ocean waters warm, researchers say, and bigger fish will have bigger problems. That means important species could soon top out well short of their current sizes—shrinking fisheries and potentially causing problems up the food chain. Fish have proved sensitive to subtle changes, and higher temperatures could present them with two problems—a change in the water and a change in their biology.

U.N. Report: Little Known About Ocean Plastic’s Impact on Human Health

2017-08-31T09:18:17+00:00 August 31, 2017|

An FAO study finds that more than 100 commercial seafood species ingest microplastic, which can be contaminated with toxins. More worrying are the unknown health effects of even smaller nanoplastics. There’s an estimated 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, most of it broken up into bits smaller than the nail on your pinkie finger. Marine animals eat this plastic when they mistake it for fish eggs, plankton and algae.

Sub-Tropical Corals Vulnerable, New Study Shows

2017-08-30T09:50:42+00:00 August 30, 2017|

The vulnerability and conservation value of sub-tropical reefs south of the Great Barrier Reef -- regarded as climate change refuges -- has been highlighted in a new study. University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr Brigitte Sommer said the study of Eastern Australian reefs revealed coral species would likely shift their distribution southward in response to climate change. Coral range expansions would likely vary among species depending on the species' characteristics and traits.

Tweet Streams: How Social Media Can Help Keep Tabs On Ocean Health

2017-08-30T09:31:58+00:00 August 30, 2017|

Environmental monitoring is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. One solution: Tap data stored in tweets and Instagram photos to track the health of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram could be a rich source of free information for scientists tasked with monitoring the health of coral reefs and other environmental assets, our new research suggests.

A Galapagos Seabird’s Population Expected To Shrink With Ocean Warming

2017-08-28T12:34:41+00:00 August 28, 2017|

Within the next century, rising ocean temperatures around the Galápagos Islands are expected to make the water too warm for a key prey species, sardines, to tolerate. A new study by Wake Forest University biologists, published in PLOS ONE Aug. 23, uses decades of data on the diet and breeding of a tropical seabird, the Nazca booby, to understand how the future absence of sardines may affect the booby population. Researchers have studied diet, breeding and survival of Nazca boobies as part of a long-term study at Isla Española in the Galápagos Islands for more than 30 years. In 1997, midway through the study, sardines disappeared from Nazca booby diet samples and were replaced by the less-nutritious flying fish.

Carbon Nanotubes Worth Their Salt

2017-08-28T11:53:25+00:00 August 28, 2017|

Lawrence Livermore scientists, in collaboration with researchers at Northeastern University, have developed carbon nanotube pores that can exclude salt from seawater. The team also found that water permeability in carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with diameters smaller than a nanometer (0.8 nm) exceeds that of wider carbon nanotubes by an order of magnitude. The nanotubes, hollow structures made of carbon atoms in a unique arrangement, are more than 50,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Senator Sullivan Presses To Re-approve Law Governing Federal Fisheries

2017-08-25T12:08:49+00:00 August 25, 2017|

Sooner or later, Congress will have to start wading through dozens of fights that go along with re-approving the key law that governs federally managed fisheries. Sen. Dan Sullivan is pushing for sooner, pressing the Commerce Committee to start advancing a revisit of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, historically brushed up in Washington every decade or so, but not since 2007. As part of Sullivan's effort to advance MSA to re-authorization, the Republican senator on Wednesday convened a meeting in Soldotna for a subcommittee that deals with fishery policy to hear testimony from a variety of industry leaders. State and federal government leaders were among the 14 panelists, and so were commercial and sport fish business owners.

First Successful Wild Whale Shark Health Assessments Performed

2017-08-23T14:12:55+00:00 August 23, 2017|

For the first time ever, scientists successfully performed health assessments, including collecting blood and biological samples, taking measurements and attaching satellite tracking tags, to a population of wild whale sharks -- the world's largest fish, classified as "endangered" since 2016. The research advancement, which occurred in Indonesia's remote Cendrawasih Bay, has significant implications for unlocking the mysteries surrounding the overall health of whale sharks -- including the potential impacts of tourism on their health. These details can better inform future conservation policies to protect and encourage their population recovery.

Ocean Life Eats Tons Of Plastic—Here’s Why That Matters

2017-08-23T09:04:48+00:00 August 23, 2017|

Anchovies are known more as a pickled pizza topping than for their crucial place in the marine food chain. Now scientists have confirmed a disturbing new behavior by these tiny forage fish that could have larger implications for human health: anchovies are eating tiny pieces of ocean plastic, and because they, in turn, are eaten by larger fish, the toxins in those microplastics could be transferred to fish consumed by humans.

Whales Turn Tail At Ocean Mining Noise

2017-08-22T16:28:06+00:00 August 22, 2017|

A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier. Scientists have said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels.

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