Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life
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Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life
The latest scoop on everything to do with marine life.
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Overfished and under-protected: Oceans on the brink of catastrophic collapse

Overfished and under-protected: Oceans on the brink of catastrophic collapse | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
As the human footprint has spread, the remaining wildernesses on our planet have retreated. However, dive just a few meters below the ocean surface and you will enter a world where humans very rarely venture.
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

We are killing the world around us and some of us don't even know it! The ocean makes up 90% of our world and we know barely anything about it, yet we manage to endanger its species and pollute its beautiful habitats. Humans have lead many species from an abundant source to the point that they are on the brink of extinction. Overfishing is the main cause of all of this horror and the most notorious form would be bottom-Trawling. Bottom-Trawiling captures large amounts of fish because it is the process of releasing a large net into the water and moving through the water grabbing not only fish but innocent sea turtles. Not only does it kill the fish but it also destroys the beautiful coral reefs that have grown there. Bottom-Trawling is a destructive way of capturing fish and we are also to blame for supporting this kind of fishing by buying from the people that do this. I agree with the author when he says that Bottom-Trawling should be banned, its destroying the world as we know it. By the time I'm able to become a marine biologist, we will have messed up the world so much that I don't think there will be much for me to study and save. We need to end this before it's too late.

 

Levitt, Tom. "Overfished and Under-protected: Oceans on the Brink of Catastrophic Collapse." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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Sharks Along Florida Coast Cause Beach Closures : DNews

Sharks Along Florida Coast Cause Beach Closures : DNews | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of sharks have been spotted migrating along the Florida coast, causing beach closures. ->
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

Planning on going to Florida for Spring Break and enjoying the beach? Well you might have to make other plans because most of the beaches are closed. According to WPTV, thousands of sharks have been spotted from Boca Raton to Jupiter, Florida. It may seem early for shark migrations but due to the change in the ocean's temperatures, the sharks are headed on their way back up the coast. The most common shark seen would be the spinner shark known for lurking under its prey and shooting up while spinning to grab their prey from below. Although all sharks may seem vicious, spinner sharks aren't known to fatally hurt anyone because their teeth aren't built to tear flesh. Humans pose more of a threat on the spinner sharks because we often hunt them for their meat and fins. Although sharks may appear scary, many of them aren't as ferocious as we portray them to be. Often when we see a shark immediately we are filled with fear but majority of sharks won't even attack us because they don't like mammals. This article shows us that global warming is not only affecting the weather but also animal migrations which can lead to major problems in the future.

 

Wall, Tim. "Sharks Along Florida Coast Cause Beach Closures." DNews. Discovery Communications, 7 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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Marianne Farrell's comment, April 1, 2013 11:47 AM
I, like Ericson, actually have a huge fascination with ocean wildlife and I’ve always loved the ocean and marine biology. However, this article is one of the main reasons why I don’t want to become a marine biologist or work with sea life. The job can be incredibly dangerous. This article that Ericson chose is about spinner shark spottings off the coast of Jupiter, Florida. Fortunately these spinner sharks tend to stay away from mammals and their teeth are mostly made for chewing fish. We should be more afraid of the great white sharks that would attack a human. These sharks are being spotted off the coast of South Carolina. I have been hearing a lot about these close shark encounters. Sharks are strangely coming close to the shore, as well as other ocean dwellers. Fairly recently, a whale floated ashore and died. These strange occurrences might be because of global warming.
Overall I think Ericson would be a great marine biologist and summarized the article in a fun, yet still factual way. Even though I think I would stay away from sharks and the field of oceanography, Ericson would be great at it due to his great sense of adventure.
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Plastic garbage in oceans: Understanding marine pollution from microplastic particles

Plastic garbage in oceans: Understanding marine pollution from microplastic particles | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
Biologists have prepared guidelines for a more precise investigation into marine pollution from microplastic particles.
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

Although you may not realize it but the plastic that you throw away doesn't just disappear. Although you may see some bottles wash up onto the ocean shore, you are unable to see the ultra-small plastic objects floating in the water due to the fact that they are too small to see with the naked eye. Although you may not think that this may affect you because you do not live in the ocean, but as they say, what goes around comes around. The plastic found in the ocean is often mistaken for prey by many creatures and is swallowed and sent through the digestive system. When we capture fish and eat them the plastic inside of their tissues is than put into our own digestive system. Sometimes poisonous toxins attach to the plastics and can cause numerous problems when entered into the food chain. Plastic is a substance that cannot be destroyed. It can be reused, to help save the planet, or it can break down into even smaller pieces due to the sunlight and wave, killing and affecting numerous species, including us. If you pay attention to how much plastic you use a day, you will realize that this is a huge problem that we need to solve before more creatures die.

 

Understanding marine pollution from microplastic particles." ScienceDaily, 17 Apr. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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John F Campbell's comment, April 2, 2013 9:25 PM
Ericson Hernandez makes an excellent point with his analysis of this article. For hundreds of years, humans have fed off of fish and other marine animals that they caught in the ocean. However, in late years we, as a population, have begun to loose respect for our oceans. We have pumped sewage and feces into rivers, which lead directly to the open ocean. Dozens of barges a year dump tons of plastic and garbage into the Pacific every year. The continuous pollution of these oceans has caused many injuries and fatalities in the marine population. Fish have swallowed microscopic particles of plastic and trash, mistaking it for food. Many of these fish are then caught by commercial fishing boats, which then sell them to us. When we eat these fish, we might also be eating the plastic forks and knives that we discarded a few months before. People must become aware of what is happening so that we can help improve the conditions of our planet’s most valuable resource.
Sophia Laino's comment, April 7, 2013 8:11 PM
Plastic garbage is a problem affecting the world everyday and Ericson picked a really good article to show how. The garbage that we throw out doesn't just disappear, it gets thrown into landfills. We have never actually seen all of the things that we are pretty much throwing into the ocean(not directly). Now most people wouldn't really care about it but it is becoming to be a very serious problem. As Ericson pointed out what goes around comes around. A lot of the fish and other marine life are mistaking the plastic and other garbage as their prey. That means that they eat it. Then after it is already digested we go out and catch them. The sea creatures are processed and many of them end up on our dinner tables every night, the plastic and other toxins are still in their systems. We end up eating our own garbage which I find disgusting. Ericson shows some really good enthusiasm about this topic that all of us should be inspired about. This is a problem we all need to fix. We should fix not only for the health of the sea life but for our health as well.
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A marine animal to feed your eco-car

A marine animal to feed your eco-car | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
The marine animal tunicate can be used both as biofuel and fish food, according to new research. On the ocean floor, under the pier, and on ship ropes – that’s where the tunicates live.
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

Tunicates may be exactly what some people seem to be looking for today to power our cars and help bring a stop to the global warming process. Tunicates are marine filter feeders commonly found under docks and piers along the ocean. Korea and Japan have both found these marine animals to be useful in cleaning bacteria from the water as well as a good source of food for fish. Trunicates are found in every ocean and may become more common in the future due to the fact that they can be used in many different ways. Because of its abundant source of cellulose which can be turned into ethanol used as a bio-fuel in cars, Trunicates is a abundant source of gas for today's cars. This is a great discovery because all the pollution used by cars running on fossil fuels today are causing major issues pollution wise. Trunicates seem to be an abundant source found in many places which is great because that means it can provide a stable source of gas for our country’s, and other country’s cars. This article shows that scientists are looking for ways to power today’s economy efficiently and the answer can be right under our nose, or in this case our piers.   

Dregelid, Solrun. "A Marine Animal to Feed Your Eco-Car." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013. 

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Katarina Trubelja's comment, April 2, 2013 6:45 PM
The goal of this article was to explain the versatility of the sea creature Tunicates. Tunicates are marine filter feeders that are found in all oceans and are a potential source of biofuel and nutrition for other marine animals. Their abundance of cellulose, proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids give them their unique multi-functional characteristics. The article goes on to say that there is already a patent for using tunicates as biofuel and that it could be commercially viable. I agree with both the article and Ericson that in our society, we are long overdue for better fuel efficiency and need to take better care of our environment. I also agree with Ericson that before we research harvesting energy from difficult and rare sources, we should look at what is already offered to us; we should find plenty of reliable energy sources, just like the researchers found with these tunicates. Marine Biology is a fascinating career, and I would definitely consider pursuing it for I love biology, animals and the ocean. Ericson chose a very interesting article and did a very well reflecting upon it!
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Seabirds need effective marine conservation in wake of discard ban, warns study

Seabirds need effective marine conservation in wake of discard ban, warns study | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
Conservationists have renewed urgent calls for effective marine protection in European waters, after a new study revealed that the recent EU ban on fish discards could have a significant short-term impact on some seabirds.
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

One major problem that many fishermen are facing today is Discards. Discards are the group of fish that are thrown back into the ocean, often dead, because they are not wanted or not needed. Whatever the reason may be Discarding is a problem because it gives fishermen this mind set that they can capture a lot of fish and so what if they capture too much fish they'll just throw some back into the water. The up-side of this is that it provides a source of food for seabirds. The problem now is that Europe has created a discard ban which will help bring awareness to how much fish is being taken from the ocean but will cause many seabirds to lose their source of food. The RSPB is pushing for more Marine Protected Areas to allow seabirds areas in which they can hunt for prey. I feel like this idea is a good idea because it is making fishermen more aware of how much fish they should capture instead of being greedy but also it is giving a reason to create more Marine Protected Areas which will in favor not only give an abundant food source for the seabirds but also a clean shelter. I agree with the author that this ban is long overdue and am glad that it is in affect.

 

British Ecological Society (BES). "Seabirds need effective marine conservation in wake of discard ban, warns study." ScienceDaily, 22 Mar. 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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Mystery of mass squid 'suicides' possibly solved

Mystery of mass squid 'suicides' possibly solved | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
Thousands of jumbo squid have beached themselves on central California shores this week, committing mass "suicide." But despite decades of study into the phenomenon in which the squid essentially fling themselves onto shore, the cause of these mass...
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

The beaches of Central California were flooded with thousand of humbo squids that appear to have commited "suicide" by willing trhowing themselves onto the shore. Scientists are curious as to why this behavior has occured and are worried since there was such a large amount of squids dead along the beach. Scientists assume that the cause of these actions has to do with a poisounous algae called red tides. The algae takes control of the organisms nerves causing them to attempt suicide by throwing themselves onto the beach. Some people have tried throwing the squids back into the water only to find that they just swim back to shore and throw themselves yet again. This isn't something new to the area since they have been experiencing these kinds of actions for years without fully understanding why. Although most scientists assume that its the algea known as red tides, others believe its an acid called domoic acid released by red tides. 

 

Ghose, Tia. "Mystery of Mass Squid 'suicides' Possibly Solved." Fox News. FOX News Network, 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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Kiera Xanthos's comment, April 2, 2013 10:30 AM
Scientist have recently discovered the possible conclusion as to why squids are beaching themselves and committing mass suicide. Ericson did a great job of summarizing the article. The summary exactly captures the point of the article; however there is no real reflection to the material. This does not really seem like a problem because his overview of the article is so accurate and engaging. I completely agree with everything he says, as he is completely right. As a child, I have been interested in the ocean. I have taken camps on ocean wildlife and have done projects on oceanic animals. I think while I am interested in this area of research, this job may not be for me. This is because while I love learning about animals, I would only like being up close with certain animals, such as sharks or fish. Most of the animals that would be studied would be animals such as squid, which are cool to look at, but scary to see up close. So while I am fascinated with the ocean and am interested in this engaging article, I do not believe that being a marine biologist is the right career decision for me.
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Skin cancer threat to Great Barrier Reef fish

Skin cancer threat to Great Barrier Reef fish | Marine Biologist: Exploration of Ocean Life | Scoop.it
Humans aren't the only ones who suffer from Australia's strong sun - fish are prone to skin cancers too, says study.
Ericson Hernandez's insight:

A study in Australia shows that a malignant tumor associated with skin cancer was found in wild fish populations along the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Similar to the discovery that Whales can also suffer from sun burn, these fish seem to be affected by what is known as ultra-violet radiation. The study hosted by UK's Newcastle University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, reports that out of 136 coral trout caught from a marine park in less than 20m of water with no known pollution shows that 15% of the fish contained dark areas that have suffered significant damage but seem to be healthy. Marine Biologists have come the realization that UV radiation can go as deep as 60m into the water affecting many fish. Marine biologists are worried because they are not sure whether this may be a major problem or something having no affect on marine life. I find it extraordinary that other organisms are suffering from many of the same issues that we are suffering, this shows that even though all organisms may look different but we share more in common than we know. As a young “marine biologist in training,” I would hate to loose any marine species because that shrinks the marine world that I want to study in the future. 

 

AAP WITH AG STAFF. "Skin Cancer Threat to Great Barrier Reef Fish - Australian Geographic." Australian Geographic. Australian Geographic, 2 Aug. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

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