What It Was The House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing titled, “Deficiencies in the permitting process for offshore seismic research.” Why It Matters The decisions we make on ocean use effect everyone. Our coastal waters can be used for shipping, fishing, tourism, research, energy production, security, among other things, and how we [...]
What It Was The House Natural Resources Committee held a markup of six environmental bills, including the Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act of 2017 (SEA Act; H.R. 3133), which amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA, P.L. 92-522). All bills passed out of committee. Why It Matters The ocean has myriad uses, from [...]
(Credit: University of East Anglia) Scientists at the University of East Anglia have been recording the sounds made by whales and porpoises off the coast of northern Scotland – using a fleet of pioneering marine robots. (From Phys.org) -- From the metallic clicks of deep-diving sperm whales to the eerie whistles made by pods of [...]
A new article by a UNSW Sydney-led team challenges the validity of current methods for forecasting the persistence of slow-growing species for conservation purposes, and provides a better approach to reducing the threat of extinction. (From Science Daily) -- Previous research on wild dolphins in Australia and wild bears in North America has revealed that [...]
(Credit: Flip Nicklin/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images) Narwhals — the unicorns of the sea — show a weird fear response after being entangled in nets. Scientists say this unusual reaction to human-induced stress might restrict blood flow to the brain and leave the whales addled. (From NPR/ by Nell Greenfieldboyce) -- The narwhals swim hard and dive [...]
To graduate student Sarah Fortune, the rocky crags off Baffin Island were just part of its stark beauty. Then, she saw a group of eight bowhead whales rubbing their bodies against the large boulders. Using aerial drones to watch the whales, she saw that they were using the rocks to help remove loose, dead skin.
The Stellar's sea cow went extinct within 27 years of it being first spotted by humans. An enormous skeleton of a sea cow, an extinct beast that roamed the icy waters surrounding the North Pacific near the Bering Sea, was found almost entirely intact, buried in the sands of a beach in the Komandorsky Nature Reserve in Siberia, Russia.
The Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand (SECURE) American Energy Act (H.R. 4239) was discussed in a hearing by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. The next day, it was marked up by the full committee, passing along a nearly party line vote (19-14).
Environmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time.
HALIFAX, CANADA—In the fall of 1990, a few humpback whales showed up off the coast of western South Africa where they had rarely been seen before. Over the next couple years, a few more showed up, then a few more. Today, nearly 200 of the giant ocean mammals mill around a piece of ocean smaller than a U.S. football field for several months out of the year.
The University of Alaska has produced a procedure for what scientists on research vessels should do to avoid disrupting Indigenous communities’ traditional hunts. The university’s Brenda Konar hopes that other vessels will adopt codes of conduct. The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing, and researchers are rushing to understand those changes. That means more research expeditions are coming into more frequent contact with Indigenous communities and the marine animals they depend on. To avoid those conflicts, a recent paper by researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks lays out a “Community and Environmental Compliance Standard Operating Procedure,” or CECSOP.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has moved to remove Endangered Species Act protections from Pacific Walruses, citing their ability to adapt and persist during changes in their climate and environment. "The Pacific walrus population has persisted through past climate change events however, the ability of the Pacific walrus population to adapt to ...