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In Deep Water
A Pretty Kettle of Fish
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Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

"The fragile and rapidly changing Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As Earth's climate warms, the methane, frozen in reservoirs stored in Arctic tundra soils or marine sediments, is vulnerable to being released into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming. Now a multi-institutional study by Eric Kort of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has uncovered a surprising and potentially important new source of Arctic methane: the ocean itself."

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Mass pelican deaths in Peru caused by starvation, study finds

Mass pelican deaths in Peru caused by starvation, study finds | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

An initial study into the deaths of hundreds of Peruvian seabirds, mostly pelicans and boobies, on the country's northern beaches indicates they died of starvation due to a lack of their main food, anchovies.

 

The dead and dying seabirds have been littering beaches in Peru's northern regions of Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque and Piura. More than 1,200 were found in one nature reserve and numbers are expected to reach several thousand and rising.

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Big rise in Pacific plastic waste

Big rise in Pacific plastic waste | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the North Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred fold over the past 40 years.

 

This Scripps study follows another report by colleagues at the institution that showed 9% of the fish collected during the same Seaplex voyage had plastic waste in their stomachs.

 

That investigation, published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, estimated the fish at intermediate ocean depths in the North Pacific Ocean could be ingesting plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tonnes per year.

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2 Years Later, Grim Photos From the BP Disaster

2 Years Later, Grim Photos From the BP Disaster | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster unleashed 4.9 million barrels of oil on the Gulf of Mexico. In the midst of the disaster, BP and its contractors did everything they could to keep people from seeing the scale of the disaster. But new photos released Monday offer some new insight to just how grim the Gulf became for sea life.

 

The images were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request that Greenpeace filed back in August 2010, asking for any communication related to endangered and threatened Gulf species. Now, many months later, Greenpeace received a response from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that included more than 100 photos from the spill, including many of critically endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles dead and covered in oil.

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Data sheds light on glacier speed

Data sheds light on glacier speed | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Greenland's glaciers are not speeding up as much as previously thought, researchers have estimated. As a result, the ice rivers may be contributing "significantly less" to sea-level rise than had been thought.

 

Previous studies had estimated that the nation's glaciers would double their flow by 2010 and continue to maintain that speed, they explained. But the team, writing in Science, said the glaciers could eventually flow faster than earlier studies estimated.

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New Shark-Fin Pictures Reveal Ocean "Strip Mining"

New Shark-Fin Pictures Reveal Ocean "Strip Mining" | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Pictures taken by the Pew Environment Group in Taiwan suggest that fishers are "strip mining" the oceans of sharks, conservationists say.

 

Released October 19, the images show fins and body parts of vulnerable shark species—including the scalloped hammerhead and oceanic whitetip—being prepared for sale.

Up to 73 million sharks are caught each year for the global fin trade, which fuels a demand for shark-fin soup, according to Pew. Fishers usually slice the animals' fins off and throw their still-living bodies overboard.

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Science and Environment: Greenland glaciers speed up, swelling rising seas

Science and Environment: Greenland glaciers speed up, swelling rising seas | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON May 3-Some of Greenland's glaciers are moving about 30 percent faster than they did 10 years ago, contributing to rising global sea levels.

 

"The researchers found that the glaciers heading for the water were not accelerating as much as had been speculated in earlier projections of the worst that could happen. Based on those projections, there was a previous forecast of sea level rise of about 6 feet (2 metres) by century's end.

 

That would be enough to inundate parts of the U.S. Gulf coast, Alaska, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Denmark, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Japan, the Korean peninsula, Southeast Asia and Australia, according to maps of sea level rise at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets ( https://www.cresis.ku.edu/data/sea-level-rise-maps ). The latest research indicates this is unlikely by 2100."

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Record numbers of grey whale calves | News | Wanderlust

Record numbers of grey whale calves | News | Wanderlust | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Almost double the number of grey whale calves have been counted in Mexico's Baja lagoons this spring...

 

Mexico's Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources has announced that nearly 1,200 grey whale calves have been counted in the birthing lagoons of Baja. This is a huge increase on last year's numbers, when only 599 were counted. In fact, the calve population has increased by sixfold in the last two years. Scientists believe the spectacular rise in numbers is due to the optimum climatic conditions and ocean temperatures.

 

20,000 grey whales migrate to Baja between December and early January to find a mate or give birth in the warm, shallow waters of Mexico before embarking on a colossal journey back to the nutrient rich Bering Sea. The annual round trip is the largest migration in the mammalian group at somewhere between 15,000 – 20,000 km.

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Study finds even polar bear cubs can swim huge distances in open water

Study finds even polar bear cubs can swim huge distances in open water | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
GPS tracking of 52 female adult polar bears by US Geological Survey reveals average swim of 96 miles and one of 220 miles...

 

"Polar bears are capable of swimming vast distances – a survival skill potentially needed in an Arctic environment where summer sea ice is vanishing, a study led by the US Geological Survey (USGS) has found.

 

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology, tracked 52 female polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska. Between 2004 and 2009, a period of extreme summer-ice retreat, about a third of those bears made swims exceeding 30 miles, according to the study. The 50 recorded swims averaged 96 miles, and one bear was able to swim nearly 220 miles (354 km), according to the study results. The duration of the long-distance swims lasted from most of a day to nearly 10 days, according to the study."

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Japan tsunami: the debris trail across the Pacific – interactive

Japan tsunami: the debris trail across the Pacific – interactive | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
More than a year after the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, as Japan continues to rebuild, a potentially dangerous legacy is drifting across the Pacific Ocean – millions of tonnes of debris...
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Japan tsunami debris moves towards US and Canada

Japan tsunami debris moves towards US and Canada | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Wreckage including lumber, footballs, parts of roofs and factories, and even bikes will soon start coming ashore in North America...

 

"Washington state officials last week put up posters advising residents what may arrive on their beaches, from common litter to aluminium canisters possibly containing insecticide, and derelict boats.

 

Personal belongings should be treated with respect, the posters said. "It is extremely unlikely any human remains from the tsunami will reach the US," they added, but if people did find a body they should call the authorities.

 

The wreckage stems from a vast stretch of Japan's northern coast and was swept away several days before the meltdown at the Fukushima reactor, so radiation is not seen as a potential hazard, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

 

The Japanese government estimates 4.8m tonnes of debris – parts of factorybuildings, houses, cars and trees – were swept into the ocean during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami."

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Peru investigates pelican deaths

Peru investigates pelican deaths | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Scientists in Peru are told told to investigate the mysterious deaths of hundreds of pelicans on the coast in the north of the country.

 

Officials say tests suggest the birds died on shore over the past few days.

Scientists also found the carcasses of dozens of other sea birds. The animals were found in the same region of Peru where more than 700 dolphins were washed ashore earlier this year. The cause of their death is still unknown.

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Aquaculture and regulations key for sustainable oceans « Inside the United Nations

Aquaculture and regulations key for sustainable oceans « Inside the United Nations | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

There are currently 540 million people who depend upon the ocean for their livelihoods according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Panelists agreed that subsidies that encourage excessive fishing, the lack of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and little oversight and accountability for illegal fishing, are destroying the world’s most vital resource.

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Climate scientists discover new weak point of the Antarctic ice sheet | e! Science News

Climate scientists discover new weak point of the Antarctic ice sheet | e! Science News | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

"The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf fringing the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, may start to melt rapidly in this century and no longer act as a barrier for ice streams draining the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These predictions are made by climate researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association in the journal Nature. They refute the widespread assumption that ice shelves in the Weddell Sea would not be affected by the direct influences of global warming due to the peripheral location of the Sea."

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Warm water marine species spreading northwards into British waters

Warm water marine species spreading northwards into British waters | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Higher sea temperatures around UK mean bluefin tuna, thresher sharks and anchovies among others are increasingly common...

 

A new study by marine scientists discloses that many species, some better known to holidaymakers in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, are now increasingly commonly seen in the seas off Cornwall, Devon, Hampshire and Sussex, providing vivid evidence that climate change is already changing the natural environment.

 

Off south-west England, fishermen and biologists see bluefin tuna, triggerfish, stingrays, thresher sharks and ocean sunfish in greater numbers. Off the south coast, and in some cases the North Sea, anchovies, red mullet, sea bass and John Dory are now being caught in commercial quantities as these warm water species shift north.

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Peru Has No Answers on Dead Dolphins and Seabirds

Peru Has No Answers on Dead Dolphins and Seabirds | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

Late last year, fishermen began finding dead dolphins, hundreds of them, washed up on Peru’s northern coast. Now, seabirds have begun dying, too, and the government has yet to conclusively pinpoint a cause.


Officials insist that the two die-offs are unrelated. The dolphins are succumbing to a virus, they suggest, and the seabirds are dying of starvation because anchovies are in short supply.

 

But even three months after officials began testing the dolphins, the government has not released definitive results, and there is growing suspicion among the public and scientists that there might be more to the story. Some argue that offshore oil exploration could be disturbing wildlife, for example, and others fear that biotoxins or pesticides might be working their way up the food chain.

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A Plastic Problem in the Ocean

A Plastic Problem in the Ocean | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

“Fish ... swallow bits and pieces of things, bigger fish eat those smaller fish and then bigger fish are what we catch and eat,” Dr. Christopher Mah, a visiting scholar at the National Museum of Natural History, said, “You’re catching fish with additional plastic in them or worse they metabolize it and there’s some chemical from that which makes its way to your body.”

 

“The average human wouldn’t have actual plastic per se in their bodies, however they may contain chemicals from plastic – either additives (BPA, Phthalates) or chemicals absorbed by plastic in the environment (PCBs, DDT, PAHs, PBDEs),” Cummins said.

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Peru pelican and dolphin deaths prompt warning to stay off beaches

Peru pelican and dolphin deaths prompt warning to stay off beaches | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Government issues health alert after more than 1,400 birds are washed up along with 800 dolphins, with the cause unknown...

 

Peru's government has declared a health alert along its northern coastline and urged residents and tourists to stay away from long stretches of beach as it investigates the unexplained deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans.

At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, have washed up dead along a stretch of Peru's northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks, according to health officials, and an estimated 800 dolphins have died in the same area in recent months.

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Ocean Conservation? It's as British as Fish and Chips

Ocean Conservation? It's as British as Fish and Chips | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
Over the last decade there has been a revolution in attitudes to the ocean that has seen the UK emerge at the global forefront of marine conservation. Today, standing up for ocean life is as British as fish and chips.

 

"Seeking to keep the trust and faith of their customer base, UK retailers have led the world over the last decade in cleaning up supply chains and improving the sustainability of fish for sale. Iconic stores like M&S, Waitrose and Sainsburys have been out in front - but while there is still work to be done, the whole UK retail sector now takes seafood sustainability seriously. It is the cultural shift that is the key: in the United Kingdom being committed to best practice in seafood sustainability is now widely understood as a fundamental test of corporate values."

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50,000 fish found dead in pond in Shenzhen, China – cause of mysterious fish kill unknown

50,000 fish found dead in pond in Shenzhen, China – cause of mysterious fish kill unknown | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

 "Over 50 thousand fish in a pond near an industrial area in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen died overnight on Monday, CRI Online reports. The dead fish are mostly concentrated in the northern corner of the pond, and half of the body of water is now covered with rotting fish. Located in the Qiangxiaxin Village at the junction of the Guangming New District and Dongguan in Shenzhen, the fish pond is larger than two basketball courts in area. “We have invested a total of 350 thousand yuan (about 56 thousand USD) in the form of 60 thousand fish; now it’s all over,” said Ms. Liu, the fish pond owner."

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The world's largest rubbish dump

The world's largest rubbish dump | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is said to be twice the size of Texas – and is now being added to by debris from the Japanese tsunami...

 

Bill Francis at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in California likens it to "a big toilet that never flushes". Donovan Hohn, author of Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea, who traced the journey of thousands of Floatee bath toys that tumbled overboard en route from Hong Kong to Tacoma, Washington in 1992, says he imagined it as a floating junkyard, but that in reality it's a marine desert where little life can survive. "If you went fishing in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch," he writes in Moby-Duck, "all you'd likely catch aside from garbage is plankton."

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We catch too many sardines — but should we stop eating them?

We catch too many sardines — but should we stop eating them? | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
The problem isn’t that people are eating too many sardines -- on the contrary, it's that we're feeding most of them to farmed fish (like tuna and salmon) and industrially farmed animals.

 

"The harvest of these forage fish has increased with demand, as they are used not only for food … but primarily for fish meal and fish oil to feed farmed fish, pigs and chickens.

And: The report estimates that forage fish worldwide generate $5.6 billion as direct catch, but contribute more than double that — $11.3 billion — by serving as food for other commercially important fish.

 

In other words, the role that sardines — and other forage fish like menhaden and anchovies — play in the larger food system is invisible to most of us."

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Russian Drill Penetrates 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake | ideacity

Russian Drill Penetrates 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake | ideacity | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

After twenty years of drilling, a team of Russian researchers is close to breaching the prehistoric Lake Vostok, which has been trapped deep beneath Antarctica for the last 14 million years.

 

Vostok is the largest in a sub-glacial web of more than 200 lakes that are hidden 4 kilometers beneath the ice. Some of the lakes formed when the continent was much warmer and still connected to Australia.

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Whale deaths spark call to register nets - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Whale deaths spark call to register nets - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | In Deep Water | Scoop.it
An environmental group has suggested registering fishing nets to help prevent whale deaths from discarded fishing equipment.

 

"It's a really awful way to die for a whale to become entangled in a bit of net and just gradually have that net drag it down and cut into its flesh and kill it over weeks or months, ... some whales are getting tangled in old fishing nets and becoming easy prey for sharks."

 

"One [idea] that's been trialled elsewhere in the world is actually putting a kind of a fingerprint on every net so that if nets do come loose, floating around in the ocean and entangle the whale, it's possible to find out where that net came from and potentially fine the perpetrator."

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Experts call for shark awareness

Experts call for shark awareness | In Deep Water | Scoop.it

 Marine experts are calling on the public to report sightings of basking sharks in UK waters this summer. The sharks are drawn to warm, plankton-rich surface waters off the west coast of Great Britain and Ireland. ...

 

"Understanding when they first appear and when they leave shows us year on year trends of the plankton blooms. "This has already given us evidence that habitats are shifting in response to climate change, and that basking sharks are moving north."

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