tagged w/ Sea Life
The EU has decided to support a ban on international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna, reports indicate.
The bloc is reported to have agreed to push for a ban at next week's meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
The US has already backed such a move, but Japan - where most bluefin is eaten - may opt out of CITES controls.
Last year, scientists commissioned by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat) said the bluefin's decline had been so stark that a ban was merited.
The stock is now at about 15% of the level it was in the era before industrial fishing began.
Most bluefin is sold to Japan for use in sushi and sashimi restaurants. Under a CITES ban, EU member states would not be allowed to export bluefin caught in their waters to Japan, and would not be able to fish in international waters.
However, conservationists and some EU countries have been concerned that other Iccat countries around the Mediterranean - the principal fishing ground - could also opt out of a CITES ban.
That would allow those countries to continue fishing and exporting the tuna to Japan.
The CITES meeting, in Qatar, opens this weekend.The EU has decided to support a ban on international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna,... more
In a public aquarium in Orlando, USA, a group of dolphins have figured out how to blow bubble rings out of their blow holes for their own amusement.
Once again, dolphins are awesome.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuVgXJ55G6Y&NR=1In a public aquarium in Orlando, USA, a group of dolphins have figured out how to blow... more
At a recent sea life gala in Anchorage, Alaska, Jean Michel-Cousteau, the ocean conservationist and son of well-known ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, reignited the issue of ocean pollutants causing cancer among beluga whales. The problem was first reported on in the 1980s when scientists discovered that the beluga whale population in the St. Lawrence rivers and runoffs in Canada were declining at an alarming rate due to what scientists speculated to be caused by pollution.
According to a 1988 article from The New York Times, “pollution from industrial activity along the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries, including the Great Lakes, is causing disease, premature death and a declining birth rate among the white beluga whales.”
Scientists had thoroughly investigated the beluga whale population in the St. Lawrence area, but today, the beluga whale population is at an all time low again and they still suffer from toxins and the onset of cancers. A New York Times national briefing reported in January that “the number of beluga whales in Cook Inlet is again declining.” According to the article, the beluga whales were put on the Endangered Species Act in 2009 because of the possibility of extinction, but that “the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report shows the numbers have slipped again to 321 animals, down from an estimated 375 in 2007 and 2008.”
Similar pollutions among other various ocean mammals have been discovered in recent years as well. In Norway, for example, whale meat was found to contain dangerously high levels of toxins. CNN reported that a “study by the International Whaling Commission determined levels of contamination among some marine mammals are so high that the animals would be classified as hazardous waste sites if they were on land.”
Science Daily also reported that orcas and killer whales around the world, especially in Canada, where a recent study was conducted, may face major health issues and endangerment over the next several years due to contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
Scientists have speculated that due to chemical and other pollution runoffs, there is a list of at least ten ocean mammals that are at an increasing risk for developing pollution-related illnesses including cancers. The list includes the following:
Mediterranean monk seals
While there are several grassroots organizations working on a small scale to reduce the number of pollutants in the ocean, the issue remains that a large-scale movement must be initiated. Some, including Cousteau, are attempting to bring attention to the issue in hopes that by highlighting the problem, a solution can be found. “The message is the fact that we are using the ocean as a garbage can by dumping things we don’t see — such as chemicals and heavy metals — into the environment,” reported Cousteau in a recent Q&A with Time magazine.At a recent sea life gala in Anchorage, Alaska, Jean Michel-Cousteau, the ocean... more
"Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal, in what is being called an environmental disaster.
They cover a 5-mile stretch of Vila Nova de Gaia beach - no reason has yet been found for their appearance.
The authorities have warned the public not to eat them."
I do not know what the reason is but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that pollution is the culprit."Thousands of dead octopuses have washed up on a beach in northern Portugal, in... more
An octopus and its coconut-carrying antics have surprised scientists.
Underwater footage reveals that the creatures scoop up halved coconut shells before scampering away with them so they can later use them as shelters.
Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team says it is the first example of tool use in octopuses.
One of the researchers, Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria, told BBC News: "I almost drowned laughing when I saw this the first time."
He added: "I could tell it was going to do something, but I didn't expect this - I didn't expect it would pick up the shell and run away with it."An octopus and its coconut-carrying antics have surprised scientists. Underwater... more
"The study is the first to show that corals use fluorescence to boost their immunity, added Palmer, of Australia's James Cook University and the U.K.'s New Castle University.
As invertebrates—a group of less complex creatures, including worms and snails—corals were thought to have very simple immune systems, said Palmer, whose study appeared October 6 in the journal PLoS One.
'However' she said in an email, 'it's becoming evident that they have a wide range of defensive responses.' "
I found this to be very interesting.
An other reminder of how much we do not know.
Let's keep it humble and bow to our Nature."The study is the first to show that corals use fluorescence to boost their... more
"Over the last century, the intensive use of chemical fertilizers has saturated the Earth’s soils, waters, and atmosphere with nitrogen. Now scientists are warning that we must move quickly to revolutionize agricultural systems and greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen we put into the planet's ecosystems."
Two more excerpts:
"Nitrogen affects more parts of the planet’s life-support systems than almost any other element, says James Galloway of the University of Virginia, who predicts: “In the worst-case scenario, we will move towards a nitrogen-saturated planet, with polluted and reduced biodiversity, increased human health risks and an even more perturbed greenhouse gas balance.”
"Today, of 175 million tons of nitrogen applied to the world’s croplands in a year, almost 50 percent is from chemical fertilizer. It has raised the “carrying capacity” of the world’s soils from 1.9 people per hectare of farmland to 4.3 — and 10 in China, where applications reach twice anything seen in Europe.
"This is a profound change to the biochemistry of life on Earth — and to our own bodies. Today, much of the nitrogen in our bodies comes not from biological sources but from giant chemical factories. We are, in a real sense, as much chemistry as biology. Vaclav Smil, the distinguished Canadian researcher into food and the environment at the University of Manitoba, calls the nitrogen fix 'an immense and dangerous experiment.' "
More at: http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2207
Nitrogen is saturating our planet, causing algae blooms, destroying sea life, dead zones, global warming, acid rain, eating the ozone layer and reducing nature's biodiversity.
Organic agriculture can answer to this.
This needs to be addressed along with global warming as they both go hand in hand.
http://current.com/groups/organicgreen/"Over the last century, the intensive use of chemical fertilizers has saturated... more
Posted previously: Sharks as important as Dolphins I now come with a good news.
"Palau is to create the world's first "shark sanctuary", banning all commercial shark fishing in its waters.
The President of the tiny Pacific republic, Johnson Toribiong, will announce the ban during Friday's session of the UN General Assembly.
With half of the world's oceanic sharks at risk of extinction, conservationists regard the move as "game-changing".
It will protect about 600,000 sq km (230,000 sq miles) of ocean, an area about the size of France.
President Toribiong will also call for a global ban on shark-finning, the practice of removing the fins at sea.
"The need to protect the sharks outweighs the need to enjoy a bowl of soup"
President Johnson Toribiong
Fins are a lucrative commodity on the international market where they are bought for use in shark fin soup.
As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year around the world.
"These creatures are being slaughtered and are perhaps at the brink of extinction unless we take positive action to protect them," said President Toribiong."
Watch the video below as well.Posted previously: Sharks as important as Dolphins I now come with a good news.... more
"Sushi lovers may have to find another favourite fish dish after plans for a worldwide ban on bluefin tuna fishing were backed by the European Commission yesterday.
The bluefin is a highly prized delicacy, particularly in Japan, where one specimen can fetch £60,000, but spiralling demand has led to the near exhaustion of stocks, resulting in moves to place it on a list of the world’s most endangered species.
European ministers will make a decision on the issue this year, but are expected to back calls for the fish to be fully protected for two years to allow stocks to recover. A final decision on a ban will be made by ministers after a survey of stocks in November under a compromise agreement between the environment and fisheries departments of the European Commission.
“This decision marks an important step in the protection of Atlantic bluefin tuna,” said Stavros Dimas, the Environment Commissioner. “We must act on the best scientific evidence available to us — and scientists say that urgent action is needed to safeguard the future of one of the ocean’s most emblematic creatures.”
A small step closer to the preservation of the Ocean's life.
Hoping it will happen."Sushi lovers may have to find another favourite fish dish after plans for a... more
The lovin' people at the Sea Life London Aquarium hope that playing Barry White will make Zorro and Mazawabee, two zebra sharks, amorous.
The aquarium's disappointed that Zorro, who was introduced to the tank on Valentine's Day, hasn't been as much of a player as he had been back in his Belgium days.
According to the article, if a bit of Barry doesn't work, they're considering trying Marvin Gaye or, if push comes to shove - Wet Wet Wet's Love Is All Around. For God's sake Zorro, don't let it come to that!
And, finally - here's the "science" bit...
'Research suggests that fish can not only hear music but can appreciate different tunes and melodies so we have decided to see if some good old fashioned love songs will get them in the mood!'The lovin' people at the Sea Life London Aquarium hope that playing Barry White... more
Off the Californian coast, giant kelp grow to gigantic sizes. They provide a good source of food to armies of industrious sea urchins, which attack them in force in a seemingly unending chase of life seeking food...Off the Californian coast, giant kelp grow to gigantic sizes. They provide a good... more
The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact.The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by... more
Fortunately, this operation has been put on hold because the economy tanked. However...what happens when it picks up again? Are we going to allow corporations, large and small to destroy a part of our planet we know so little about?
From the article:
The company will, of course, leave behind a damaged seafloor—but the environmental costs, too, will be less, Nautilus insists, than those of a comparable mine on land.
In strip-mining a bit less than 30 acres of seafloor, Nautilus will consume hydrothermal chimneys and wipe out the clusters of snails and barnacles, crab and shrimp that are nourished by their sulfide emanations."
This only addresses the immediate sea life. What about all of the other life that depends on this volcanic vent?
I sincerely hope this operation, and others like it never come to fruition. Obviously man has learned so little and could care less, for this this planet that sustains us.
She's going to get pissed off one of these days and scratch at us as we have scratched at her.
And that will be the end of humankind.Fortunately, this operation has been put on hold because the economy tanked.... more
Have a watch of this fantastic short doc that was uploaded to current.com this month. It's about an artist who creates amazing underwater sculptures which become part of the natural environment forming coral reefs and habitats for the local sealife. They look so eerie and beautiful.Have a watch of this fantastic short doc that was uploaded to current.com this month.... more
A Dutch biologist has released a study on the reproductive habits of the deep-ocean squid. These creatures have often brutal and ruthless sex.
"Using their sharp beaks or the hooks on their tentacles, males of the species Taningia danae make cuts more than five centimeters (two inches) deep into the females' flesh. They then deposit sperm packets, called spermatophores, into the wounds."
Yikes.A Dutch biologist has released a study on the reproductive habits of the deep-ocean... more
Here is some terrific video of a bioluminescent deep-sea siphonophore — an eerily fantastic creature that appears to be a single, large organism, but which is actually a colony of numerous individual jellyfish-like animals that behave and function together as a single entity. The individual units, called zooids, all share the same genetic material and each perform a specialized role within the colony. The best-known siphonophore is the poisonous Portuguese Man o’ War (Physalia physalis), which lives at the surface of the ocean, unlike the one shown in this video (filmed at a depth of 770 meters). Some siphonophore species can grow up to 40 meters (130 ft) in length.Here is some terrific video of a bioluminescent deep-sea siphonophore — an... more
Its not just about climate change anymore. Besides loading the atmosphere with heat-trapping greenhouse gases, human emissions of carbon dioxide have also begun to alter the chemistry of the ocean--often called the cradle of life on Earth.Its not just about climate change anymore. Besides loading the atmosphere with... more