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South West sea birds 'probably killed by PIB'

South West sea birds 'probably killed by PIB' | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

A substance thought to be responsible for the deaths of more than 350 birds is probably the same as that which affected hundreds earlier in the year, experts have said.

 

Scientists from Plymouth University said they were "almost certain" it was polyisobutene (PIB).

 

It is often used by ships to make their engines work more efficiently.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it would try to determine the source.

 

Hundreds of birds have been found on beaches in Devon and Cornwall since Wednesday.

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Overfishing, pollution leave Turkish waters bare

Overfishing, pollution leave Turkish waters bare | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - "Balik ekmek! Balik ekmek!" (Fish bread! Fish bread!) yell the vendors tucked under Istanbul's Galata Bridge, dishing out fish sandwiches to hordes of hungry locals and tourists much as they have for decades.

 

But frozen mackerel from Norway or imports from Morocco are more likely to fill the onion, lettuce and pickle stuffed buns than a fresh catch from the Bosphorus or Marmara Sea.

 

Once rich fishing grounds in seas and waterways the size of New Zealand, Turkish fish production is in sharp decline, a victim of commercial ambitions and lax regulation.

 

Over fishing, illegal netting and pollution threaten the industry. Anchovy production, which accounts for around two-thirds of the annual catch, fell by 28 percent in 2012, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

In a bid to replenish stocks, the government has banned fishing in the summer months when fish reproduce and says it is tightening supervision. But it appears too little, too late.

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Salmon born with 'magnetic map'

Salmon born with 'magnetic map' | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Scientists believe that Pacific salmon sense changes in intensity and angle of the Earth's magnetic field to find their way in the ocean.
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This is what Earth will look like if we melt all the ice

This is what Earth will look like if we melt all the ice | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
National Geographic has a good interactive map showing what 216 feet of sea level rise will do to coastlines around the world.

 

Of course, it's not necessary for all of the ice to melt for us to experience devastating effects of sea level rise. Just from the current sea level rise caused by melting ice and thermal expansion, we're already seeing destruction from higher water. Right now, Alaskan villages are worrying about what to do as melting ice threatens to erode their village out from underneath their feet. In the Pacific, low-lying islands face existential questions such as if a country is underwater, is it still a nation-state?

 

With Arctic temperatures at their highest in 44,000 years, ice cover has hit record lows and scientists report that sea level is rising 60% faster than anticipated. Just six feet of sea level rise would be enough to ruin South Floridaand experts warn that we've already "baked in" approximately 70 feet of sea level rise.

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Is global warming causing fish to SHRINK?

Is global warming causing fish to SHRINK? | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
This coincides with an increase in North Sea water temperatures of between 1°C and 2°C since 1970, according to research at the University of Aberdeen.
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Best Ocean Animal Photos of 2013 : DNews

Best Ocean Animal Photos of 2013 : DNews | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Winners of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition snapped some of the year’s best images of sharks, marine mammals and other sea life.
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Sea otters: Saving kelp forests and our climate

Sea otters: Saving kelp forests and our climate | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Sea otters aren’t just cute – these marine mammals play a vital role protecting the kelp forests which maintain our climate and prevent storm damage.

 

The kelp forests fringing the North Pacific coast are one of the richest marine ecosystems on Earth. The fish that find refuge form the basis of an immense ocean food web and a huge fishing industry. Kelp beds buffer coastlines from storms and sequester carbon as effectively as tropical rainforests. One of the kelp forest’s most endearing denizens, the sea otter, is an important key to its survival.

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PHOTOS: Glowing fish - study finds widespread biofluorescence among fish

PHOTOS: Glowing fish - study finds widespread biofluorescence among fish | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Biofluorescence is widespread among marine fish species, indicating its importance in communication and avoiding detection, finds a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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PHOTO: It Was So Cold Last Weekend The Fish Froze In Place

PHOTO: It Was So Cold Last Weekend The Fish Froze In Place | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

It was awfully cold in Lovund, Norway, last weekend. So cold, in fact, that a school of herring that strayed too close to shore apparently froze in place. ... 

 

In January of 2012, 20 tons of herring mysteriously washed onto a beach in northern Norway, baffling scientists as to their cause of death. Theories included oxygen deprivation, disease, or particularly stormy weather, all of which feasibly could have killed the animals at sea, where they later drifted in to shore.

 

Whatever the specific cause, reports Reuters, mass animal deaths in the ocean are generally linked to some broader environmental instability, such as sudden temperature shifts or human actions.

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Why it's a good idea to stop eating shrimp

Why it's a good idea to stop eating shrimp | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States, with Americans eating an average of 4.1 pounds per person annually. As delicious as shrimp may be, we actually should not be eating them. The process that delivers bags of frozen shrimp to your grocery store at cheap prices has devastating ecological consequences, and you’ll probably not want to touch that shrimp ring ever again after reading what’s really happening behind the scenes.

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How Long Until It's Gone? - Infographic

How Long Until It's Gone? - Infographic | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Estimated decomposition rates of common marine debris items.

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Seabirds face big problems as sea levels rise

Seabirds face big problems as sea levels rise | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Migratory shorebird populations are at great risk from rising sea levels due to global climate change, warns a recent paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. These birds play an important role in the distribution of nutrients within wetland and coastal ecosystems, and their loss could have unknown consequences for the rest of the world. Many scientists have documented the accelerated melting of land ice that had led to higher sea levels, but until now researchers have not known how this would impact shorebirds. But utilizing a mathematical technique that models flow of water through a pipeline, scientists have developed an innovative method to measure the effect habitat loss on shorebirds.

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Shipwreck hotspots threaten oceans

Shipwreck hotspots threaten oceans | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

A new report identifies the world's most dangerous waters for shipping and says accidents pose a particular danger for some of the most ecologically important areas.

 

The research says the worst accident hotspots are in the South China Sea, the Mediterranean and North Sea.

 

Losses are more likely in the future as the number of ships is expected to double, the authors warn.

 

The study has been carried out for WWF International.

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GM salmon can breed with wild fish

GM salmon can breed with wild fish | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

The potential risks of genetically modified fish escaping into the wild have been highlighted in a new study.

 

Scientists from Canada have found that transgenic Atlantic salmon can cross-breed with a closely related species - the brown trout.

 

The fish, which have been engineered with extra genes to make them grow more quickly, pass on this trait to the hybrid offspring.

 

The research is published the Proceedings of the Royal Society B..

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Sea wall tweaks boost biodiversity

Sea wall tweaks boost biodiversity | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Slight modifications to sea defences - at little or no extra cost - can boost the level of biodiversity found in intertidal zones, a study has shown.

 

Researchers found that attaching artificial rock pools to the structures created habitats suitable for mobile creatures, such as starfish or crabs.

 

They added that they hoped the results would encourage future designs to incorporate "ecological engineering".

 

The findings have been published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series journal.

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Australia permits dredge dumping near Great Barrier Reef for major coal port

Australia permits dredge dumping near Great Barrier Reef for major coal port | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

MELBOURNE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef watchdog gave the green light on Friday for millions of cubic metres of dredged mud to be dumped near the fragile reef to create the world's biggest coal port and possibly unlock $28 billion in coal projects.

The dumping permit clears the way for a major expansion of the port of Abbot Point for two Indian firms and Australian billionaire miner Gina Rinehart, who together have $16 billion worth of coal projects in the untapped, inland Galilee Basin.

 

"This is a significant milestone in developing our Galilee Basin coal projects, which represent the creation of over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and over $40 billion in taxes and royalties," said Darren Yeates, chief executive of GVK-Hancock, a joint venture between India's GVK conglomerate and Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

Environmentalists, scientists and tour operators had fought the plan to dump soil 25 km (15 miles) from the reef, which they fear will harm delicate corals and seagrasses and potentially double ship traffic through the World Heritage marine park.

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Ocean acidification is kryptonite to all coral reefs... except one in the Western Pacific

Ocean acidification is kryptonite to all coral reefs... except one in the Western Pacific | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Rising carbon emission from the burning of fossil fuels is increasing the acidity of Earth's oceans. That's very bad for coral reefs, because in acidic environments they can't form calcium carbonate, the building block of their exoskeletons. This, in turn, is very bad because coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots that contain a disproportionally high percentage of the oceans' species relative to their size.

 

Well, there's at least one exception to every rule, apparently. Scientists have found a coral reef in the western Pacific that is thriving in acidic water conditions. This reef is doing so well in fact that it had higher biodiversity than neighboring reefs despite having a higher level of acidity!

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Cuba's Jardines de la Reina Reef—A Beacon of Hope in the Caribbean | World Resources Institute

Cuba's Jardines de la Reina Reef—A Beacon of Hope in the Caribbean | World Resources Institute | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Like many regions, the Caribbean’s coral reefs face significant stress. According to WRI’s Reefs at Risk Revisited report, more than 75 percent of reefs in Caribbean waters are threatened, with more than 30 percent ranking in the “high” or “very high” threat category. While overfishing presents the most pervasive challenge, the region’s reefs also suffer from pollution and coastal development.

 

But this was far from the case at the Gardens. My great enlightenment was learning what a healthy, productive, and diverse ecosystem is at the heart of le Jardines de la Reina. I dove and snorkeled, and witnessed with my own eyes healthy coral and large sharks. Compared to my previous experiences on coral reefs in the Caribbean, it was inspirational. The Gardens comprise a rare, healthy coral reef ecosystem, with top predators and large fish still present.

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One-Quarter of Sharks and Rays at Risk of Extinction : DNews

One-Quarter of Sharks and Rays at Risk of Extinction : DNews | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

A quarter of the world's sharks and rays are at risk of extinction, according to a new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The latest update to the IUCN's "Red List" of threatened species, which found ray species to be at higher risk than sharks, is part of a first-ever global analysis of these marine species.

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Atlantic current changes could bring drier summers to the UK

Atlantic current changes could bring drier summers to the UK | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

The system of surface and deep water currents that govern the north Atlantic circulation is called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). One component of AMOC is the better-known Gulf Stream, which brings warm water northwards and keeps the UK's climate milder than it would otherwise be. Previous ocean measurements showed AMOC has declined by 10-15% since 2004. But new data from the Labrador sea, a significant part of the AMOC system, and new computer climate modelling, led the researchers to conclude that the "measured decline is not merely a short-term fluctuation, but is part of a substantial reduction in [AMOC] occurring on a decadal timescale."

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Sea Ice Cracks Causing Mercury Buildup in Arctic Air | Climate Central

Sea Ice Cracks Causing Mercury Buildup in Arctic Air | Climate Central | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Arctic sea ice has been retreating at an alarming rate due to climate change. Its loss has decreased habitat for speciessuch as the polar bear, created problems for Arctic communities, and may even be affecting weather patterns outside the region. New research published in Nature on Wednesday adds another impact to the list, suggesting that cracks in the ice are affecting complex chemical processes in the atmosphere and causing more mercury to find its way into the region’s ecosystems.

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Alaska mine threatens salmon, native cultures -U.S. agency

Alaska mine threatens salmon, native cultures -U.S. agency | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed poses serious risks to salmon and native cultures in this pristine corner of southwest Alaska, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a report released on Wednesday.

 

The EPA said a mine could destroy up to 94 miles (150.4 km) of salmon-supporting streams and thousands of acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes. The report focused on the impact of mining in an area where a Canadian-based company wants to build a large copper and gold mine.

Polluted water from the mine site could enter streams, causing widespread damage in a region that produces nearly 50 percent of the world's wild sockeye salmon, the EPA said.

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Researchers study 18,000 hours of deep sea footage, find ocean seafloor is covered in trash

Researchers study 18,000 hours of deep sea footage, find ocean seafloor is covered in trash | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
We've all seen images of trash on beaches, or floating on the surface of the ocean. But a surprising amount ends up on the deep seafloor, at depths so great that it's been very hard for us to really know what the situation is. Because it's no very practical to fund a deep sea mission just to look for trash, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute instead decided to comb through thousands of hours of video recorded by remotely controlled vehicles over the past 20+ years, specifically looking for debris.
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NOAA predicts dead zone size of New Jersey in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA predicts dead zone size of New Jersey in Gulf of Mexico | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
This year, NOAA predicts a massive "dead zone" the size of New Jersey will bloom in the Gulf of Mexico. Brian Merchant reports on the cause and consequences of dead zones.
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Oslo to okay Arctic oil drilling near sea ice, despite risks

Oslo to okay Arctic oil drilling near sea ice, despite risks | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

OSLO, June 14 (Reuters) - Norway is set to permit offshore oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters vulnerable to sea ice, angering some opposition politicians and environmentalists who say ice sharply raises risks of accidents.

 

Norway's centre-left government, seeking new resources to offset a decline in production to a 25-year low, has often said it will not allow drilling in ice-covered seas. But the exact definition has been unclear.

 

A draft law, agreed by parliament's energy and environment committee this week, will allow drilling in an offshore border zone with Russia the size of Switzerland, part of which was covered by sea ice in a chill 2003 winter.

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North Sea cod stocks 'are recovering'

North Sea cod stocks 'are recovering' | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

North Sea cod stocks are on the road to sustainability, according to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) research.

 

The council, which certifies whether fish are being caught sustainably, says it is too soon to tell exactly when the North Sea fishery will be sustainable.

 

But a spokesman said on current trends, it will be ready for certification within years rather than decades.

 

Stocks would still be in recovery then, James Simpson said, but they would have passed an acceptable level.

 

MSC certification is determined by the state of the stocks, the environmental impact of the fishery, and the management plan.

 

The latter two were already in place, Mr Simpson said.

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