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Posted on February 9, 2018 - 11:22am, by raye

Via Hakai Magazine

"This shipping superhighway sees more than 36 ships ply its waters each day, including massive cargo vessels weighing hundreds of thousands of tonnes. Until recently, unregulated shipping patterns caused whales and ships to frequently collide, damaging vessels and injuring or killing the animals. From 2009 to 2012, there were 13 whale deaths in the gulf, many thought to be the result of ship strikes."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on February 9, 2018 - 10:29am, by raye


"A fellow diver first brought Raines here after a local fisherman discovered the site. He had hit a sweet red snapper spot that spread over a wider area than the artificial reefs and sunken ships where anglers typically find fish. When divers explored further, they found a half-mile stretch of stumps running along a trench that was likely once a river bed."

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Posted on February 9, 2018 - 9:57am, by raye

Via Mongabay

"Technological advances have revolutionized the global fishing industry. Depth-finders and sonar have taken much of the guesswork out of locating fish, and larger, more durable nets and trawls have drastically increased catch numbers."

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Posted on February 9, 2018 - 9:45am, by raye

Via UW News

"The researchers found that economic benefits were minor when ecological interactions were factored into the equation. Instead, this ecosystem-based approach offers other benefits to the fishing industry — namely, a simple set of rules to avoid scenarios that could cause a worst-case outcome for fishes and their surrounding environments."

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Posted on February 8, 2018 - 3:25pm, by abrown

By Spencer Showalter

For this week’s dose of #OceanOptimism, let’s fly across the Pacific to meet Hawaii’s state marine mammal: the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi)! This charismatic animal is the oldest seal species on the planet—evidence indicates that they have lived on the Hawaiian islands for several million years. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most endangered marine mammal species in the world. Presently, their population is estimated at about 1,400 seals, which comes out to about 30% of historic estimates for the species. Between 1950 and 2013 the species declined continuously due to a number of forces, including food limitations, shark predation, and most importantly, humans. Fishermen leave behind marine debris and inactive fishing nets, which lead to potentially fatal entanglement. Tourists take over beaches where monk seals historically hauled out to rest, escape predation, and raise young. Finally, beachgoers often feed monk seals, which can be dangerous to the seal and limit their capacity to learn to hunt for themselves.

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Posted on February 8, 2018 - 3:21pm, by abrown

By Ashley Bagley

Ocean acidification is Puget Sound’s silent killer for marine organisms – acidifying seawater cannot be readily seen, yet its effects are pervasive and detrimental to the Sound’s ecology and renowned shellfish industry. Ocean acidification occurs when the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which creates a foundational change in seawater chemistry – carbon dioxide reacts with water to create carbonate and bicarbonate ions. As a result, seawater becomes more acidic.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on February 8, 2018 - 11:01am, by nwehner

Via The New York Times

"China has spent years building military outposts on a group of contested islands in the South China Sea — a project that has left the country at odds with many of its neighbors and the United States."

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Posted on February 8, 2018 - 10:38am, by raye

Via Los Angeles Times

"We remember the 1969 Santa Barbara oil-rig blowout that unleashed millions of gallons of crude oil, killing seabirds, poisoning seals and dolphins, and coating 35 miles of coastlinewith up to 6 inches of oil. More recently, a 2015 pipeline leak fouled Refugio State Beach and forced the closure of commercial and recreational fishing for weeks. Cleanup costs topped $90 million."