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WORLDWIDE: Fisheries Another Victim of Japan Tsunami

WORLDWIDE: Fisheries Another Victim of Japan Tsunami | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it

The devastating earthquake that ravaged Japan in 2011 may have also wreaked havoc on vital fisheries, researchers say.

 

The magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki temblor in 2011 was the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history, and set off a tsunami that lay waste to the country's northeastern coast, claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people.

 

Past studies have analyzed the effects of tsunamis on marine ecosystems, for example investigating the effects the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had on coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. A recent study also showed how the tsunami affected the seafloor by leaving behind huge, underwater dunes.

 

However, until now, scientists had not looked into the effects of a major tsunami on fisheries, one of Japan's most important industries.

 

Since 2008, researchers had regularly surveyed fishery resources at the port of Tomarihama, the coastal area closest to the epicenter of the quake. To see what effects the tsunami had, scientists took a fisherman's boat to analyze this site via scuba diving three months after the catastrophe. Trees and structures up to 50 feet (15 meters) high on the area's coast were almost entirely destroyed by the disaster, suggesting the tsunami reached at least that height there.

 

"More than 90 percent of the boats around the survey point were swept away or destroyed by the tsunami, so it was difficult to rent a boat after the disaster," said researcher Hideki Takami, a marine biologist at the Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute in Japan.

 

The scientists focused their survey on two types of marine life, abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) and sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus nudus). Both are valuable fisheries resources in Japan, and since they are common and abundant grazers there, both may exert strong influences on the marine ecosystems where they live.

 

The researchers found that levels of adult abalone dropped by more than half after the tsunami. In addition, "juvenile abalone and sea urchins largely decreased, to 14 and 5 percent of the densities just before the disaster, respectively," Takami told OurAmazingPlanet.

 

Underwater visibility at the site was much lower than it was before the earthquake due to sediment in the ocean, even three months after the tsunami. The researchers suggest the great turbulence the tsunami caused washed away many of the animals in the ecosystem.

 

The researchers do note these findings are based on surveys conducted at just one site, "so the overall picture of effects of the earthquake and tsunami event on rocky shore ecosystems remains largely unknown," Takami said. Still, given the drop in juvenile abalone levels, "since the age at first capture of abalone is at four to five years old, "the future commercial catch may considerably decrease for at least four to five years after the event," he said.

 

Future research should continuously monitor the ocean ecosystems "to avoid collapse of these ecologically and economically important resources," Takami said.

 

Takami and his colleagues Nam-il Won and Tomohiko Kawamura will detail their findings in a future issue of the journal Fisheries Oceanography.

 

- 7 Craziest Ways Japan's Earthquake Affected Earth: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/2572-craziest-japan-earthquake-effects.html

 

- Waves of Destruction: History's Biggest Tsunamis: http://www.livescience.com/19618-history-biggest-tsunamis.html

 

- 7 Ways the Earth Changes in the Blink of an Eye: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/239-seven-ways-the-earth-changes-in-the-blink-of-an-eye-100809html.html

 

Copyright 2013 OurAmazingPlanet, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tsunami Facts for Kids - Interesting Information about Tsunamis

Tsunami Facts for Kids - Interesting Information about Tsunamis | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
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Weather Wiz Kids is a fun and safe website for kids about all the weather info they need to know.
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Floods

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Earthquake Facts, Earthquake Information, Earthquake Videos, Earthquake Photos - National Geographic

Earthquake Facts, Earthquake Information, Earthquake Videos, Earthquake Photos - National Geographic | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
Get Earthquake facts, photos, wallpapers, news and safety tips at National Geographic.
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Tornadoes [Earth facts for kids] | Pitara Kids Network

Tornadoes [Earth facts for kids] | Pitara Kids Network | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
Tornadoes: If you ever happen to see a dark greenish sky with a wall cloud, large hail and a loud roar akin to that of a freight train, just scoot, as it could be a twister | Earth facts for kids
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Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids

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All About Hurricanes

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Hurricanes are one of the most damaging and deadliest natural disasters of the world. Learn more about this tropical storm that destroys everything in its path.
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Why It's So Hard To Predict Hurricanes | Popular Science

Why It's So Hard To Predict Hurricanes | Popular Science | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
At 6:10am on August 29, 2005, the eye of Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Buras-Triumph, La., going on to devastate much of the Gulf Coast. In a.
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WORLDWIDE: Fisheries Another Victim of Japan Tsunami

WORLDWIDE: Fisheries Another Victim of Japan Tsunami | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it

The devastating earthquake that ravaged Japan in 2011 may have also wreaked havoc on vital fisheries, researchers say.

 

The magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki temblor in 2011 was the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history, and set off a tsunami that lay waste to the country's northeastern coast, claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people.

 

Past studies have analyzed the effects of tsunamis on marine ecosystems, for example investigating the effects the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had on coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. A recent study also showed how the tsunami affected the seafloor by leaving behind huge, underwater dunes.

 

However, until now, scientists had not looked into the effects of a major tsunami on fisheries, one of Japan's most important industries.

 

Since 2008, researchers had regularly surveyed fishery resources at the port of Tomarihama, the coastal area closest to the epicenter of the quake. To see what effects the tsunami had, scientists took a fisherman's boat to analyze this site via scuba diving three months after the catastrophe. Trees and structures up to 50 feet (15 meters) high on the area's coast were almost entirely destroyed by the disaster, suggesting the tsunami reached at least that height there.

 

"More than 90 percent of the boats around the survey point were swept away or destroyed by the tsunami, so it was difficult to rent a boat after the disaster," said researcher Hideki Takami, a marine biologist at the Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute in Japan.

 

The scientists focused their survey on two types of marine life, abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) and sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus nudus). Both are valuable fisheries resources in Japan, and since they are common and abundant grazers there, both may exert strong influences on the marine ecosystems where they live.

 

The researchers found that levels of adult abalone dropped by more than half after the tsunami. In addition, "juvenile abalone and sea urchins largely decreased, to 14 and 5 percent of the densities just before the disaster, respectively," Takami told OurAmazingPlanet.

 

Underwater visibility at the site was much lower than it was before the earthquake due to sediment in the ocean, even three months after the tsunami. The researchers suggest the great turbulence the tsunami caused washed away many of the animals in the ecosystem.

 

The researchers do note these findings are based on surveys conducted at just one site, "so the overall picture of effects of the earthquake and tsunami event on rocky shore ecosystems remains largely unknown," Takami said. Still, given the drop in juvenile abalone levels, "since the age at first capture of abalone is at four to five years old, "the future commercial catch may considerably decrease for at least four to five years after the event," he said.

 

Future research should continuously monitor the ocean ecosystems "to avoid collapse of these ecologically and economically important resources," Takami said.

 

Takami and his colleagues Nam-il Won and Tomohiko Kawamura will detail their findings in a future issue of the journal Fisheries Oceanography.

 

- 7 Craziest Ways Japan's Earthquake Affected Earth: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/2572-craziest-japan-earthquake-effects.html

 

- Waves of Destruction: History's Biggest Tsunamis: http://www.livescience.com/19618-history-biggest-tsunamis.html

 

- 7 Ways the Earth Changes in the Blink of an Eye: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/239-seven-ways-the-earth-changes-in-the-blink-of-an-eye-100809html.html

 

Copyright 2013 OurAmazingPlanet, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Ahead of the wave

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Scientists are working to predict — and tame — the tsunamis that can threaten some coastal communities
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Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids

Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
Weather Wiz Kids is a fun and safe website for kids about all the weather info they need to know.
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Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids

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The Science of Earthquakes

The Science of Earthquakes | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, responsible for monitoring, reporting, and researching earthquakes and earthquake hazards
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Tornado: EnchantedLearning.com

Tornado - read about tornadoes, how they form, preparing for a tornado, surviving one, and the end of the storm.
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Weather Wiz Kids weather information for kids

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Computer Technology - Maureen Baker - Hurricanes and How They Work

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Tornado Tracks: 56 Years Of America’s Most Terrifying Tornadoes Visualized

Tornado Tracks: 56 Years Of America’s Most Terrifying Tornadoes Visualized | Natural Disasters | Scoop.it

Tornadoes form under a certain set of weather conditions in which three very different types of air come together in a certain way. Near the ground lies a layer of warm and humid air, along with strong south winds. Colder air and strong west or southwest winds lie in the upper atmosphere. Temperature and moisture differences between the surface and the upper levels create what we call instability. A necessary ingredient for tornado formation. The change in wind speed and direction with height is known as wind shear. This wind shear is linked to the eventual development of rotation from which a tornado may form.

 

A third layer of hot dry air becomes established between the warm moist air at low levels and the cool dry air aloft. This hot layer acts as a cap and allows the warm air underneath to warm further...making the air even more unstable. Things start to happen when a storm system aloft moves east and begins to lift the various layers. Through this lifting process the cap is removed, thereby setting the stage for explosive thunderstorm development as strong updrafts develop. Complex interactions between the updraft and the surrounding winds may cause the updraft to begin rotating-and a tornado is born.

 

The Great Plains of the Central United States are uniquely suited to bring all of these ingredients together, and so have become known as "Tornado Alley." The main factors are the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and a terrain that slopes downward from west to east.

 

During the spring and summer months southerly winds prevail across the plains. At the origin of those south winds lie the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, which provide plenty of warm, humid air needed to fuel severe thunderstorm development. Hot dry air forms over the higher elevations to the west, and becomes the cap as it spreads eastward over the moist Gulf air. Where the dry air and the Gulf air meet near the ground, a boundary known as a dry line forms to the west of Oklahoma. A storm system moving out of the southern Rockies may push the dry line eastward, with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes forming along the dry line or in the moist air just ahead of it.

 

What is the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale? Dr. T. Theodore Fujita, a pioneer in the study of tornadoes and severe thunderstorm phenomena, developed the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale (F-Scale) to provide estimates of tornado strength based on damage surveys. Since it is extremely difficult to make direct measurements of tornado winds, an estimate of the winds based on damage is the best way to classify them. The new Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale) addresses some of the limitations identified by meteorologists and engineers since the introduction of the Fujita Scale in 1971. Variability in the quality of construction and different local building codes made classifying tornadoes in a uniform manner difficult. In many cases, these inconsistencies led to overestimates in the strength of tornadoes. The new scale identifies 28 different free standing structures most affected by tornadoes taking into account construction quality and maintenance. The range of tornado intensities remains as before, zero to five, with 'EF0' being the weakest, associated with very little damage and 'EF5' representing complete destruction, which was the case in Greensburg, Kansas on May 4th, 2007, the first tornado classified as 'EF5'. The EF scale was adopted on February 1, 2007.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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weather-wherever's curator insight, June 7, 2013 9:28 AM

Fascinating! 

Rachel Strauss's comment, July 8, 2013 11:54 PM
This article gives insight on some of the biggest tornadoes and the distruction that they left behind. I think that it is very intresting to see the different effects over the years.
Logan Willits's curator insight, July 19, 2015 10:17 PM

Link showing map and frequency of tornadoes across the United States for the last 50+ years.