The Lenfest Ocean Program is pleased to announce a new research project now underway. North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered marine species, with fewer than 500 individuals remaining. In the last few years, the species seems to have shifted northward in summer. There has also recently been an unprecedented number of right whale deaths in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence, an area where right whale sightings had previously been rare. Officials in both the U.S. and Canada would like to know what is causing the range shift.
Maine Public interviews Leslie about new ocean conservation database
Environmental groups release results of three-year project that shows how Arctic being altered by climate change
"If the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disastrous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidizers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn't even know..."
--- Microbiologist Tom Curtis in Nature, 2006
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools and methods for facilitating EBM and MSP processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.
The last two issues of MEAM featured two Skimmers chock full of cutting edge research and insights from some of our climate change researcher heroes. If you didn’t have a chance to check them out yet, we highly recommend doing so now!
The United Nations Is Considering Banning High-Seas Fishing
In a recent study, published through Science Advances, researchers try to determine how influential high sea fisheries are for global supplies. The results show that the answer is very little. Another question to ask though is “how important is the high seas for the overall health of global fish stocks?” (via Hakai Magazine)
On Waste Plastics at Sea, She Finds Unique Microbial Multitudes
Microbes are everywhere, on everything, even the tiny microscopic bits of plastic in the ocean. In this interview with Quanta Magazine, Maria-Luiza Pedrotti of France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) discusses the role of microbes in the marine ecosystem, the fear of transferred infectious diseases, and the possibility microbes breaking down plastics. (via Quanta Magazine)
Wait, So How Much of the Ocean Is Actually Fished?
A couple weeks ago a study by Global Fishing Watch claimed that only 4% of the ocean was being actively fished, in a new study, the results vastly differed with 55% of the ocean being fished. How did this happen? Possibly by how the researchers decided to break the ocean up for study. (via The Atlantic)
Hundreds of Researchers From Harvard, Yale and Stanford Were Published in Fake Academic Journals
An undercover study, performed by a German team led by journalist Silvia Eckert, discovered that hundreds of papers were submitted to predatory journals by real researchers from prominent institutions. These journals go on to create fake conferences with “experts” to draw in millions of dollars. One plausible explanation for these researchers to submit to these inauthentic journals is purely to say they were published. ( via Motherboard)
Concern over endangered orcas blows up approval of Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada
In a major win for the environment and especially for the protection of the southern resident killer whale population, the trans-Atlantic pipeline expansion has been revoked by the government of Canada. This comes after many months of protest by Canadian First Nations, US tribes, and many environmental groups. (via The Seattle Times)
Tracking marine migrations across geopolitical boundaries aids conservation
In a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, lead author Autumn-Lynn Harrison uses data obtained by Stanford University’s Tagging of Pacific Predators program to assess where and when a species will be in a country’s EEZ. Harrison hopes this data will help with international cooperation for protection of endangered migratory species. (via Phys.org)
Coastal Labs Studying Increased Flooding Consider Moving Because Of Increased Flooding
In a somewhat ironic situation, the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium lab which specializes in informing communities at-risk of flooding due to rising sea levels, is at-risk of being flooded out due to their precarious location. (via NPR)
How Whale Poop Could Counter Calls to Resume Commercial Hunting
Researchers continue to explore the importance of whales for the overall vitality of ocean. Results have shown that fecal wastes from whales increase abundance of sea life, especially that of phytoplankton, which in turn consumes atmospheric carbon helping to mediate climate change. The IWC Scientific Committee will use this information, and more, to decide on the fate of commercial whaling. (via Scientific American)
Dosed salmon, clipped fins, a ‘dinner bell’: How far is too far in helping starving orca?
J50 is one of the 75 remaining residential Salish Sea orcas, and she is dying. Sick with intestinal worms and suffering from a fungal infection, J50 needs help fast. Oral medication is necessary to treat these ailments, and to supply these is going to require some ingenuity. (via Seattle Times)
150 Years of Shifting Global Fishing
Reg Watson of the University of Tasmania and Alex Tidd of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland have created a virtual map allowing users to trace back 150 years of fishing worldwide. The researchers created this map to better display global trends and to understand how best to advance in fisheries management. (via Hakai Magazine)
Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record
The Arctic is losing its oldest sea ice. Once old age ice is lost, it is incredibly difficult to recover, as warming waters makes new ice sheet formations much more vulnerable. (via The Guardian)