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.
New Genetic Research Shows the Legacy of Fish Farm Escapees
New tests have discovered interbreeding between escaped farm salmon and native salmon stocks in Newfoundland due to the 2013 Cooke Aquaculture pen collapse in that area. This was not the first, nor the last of pen collapses for Cooke Aquaculture. During the summer of 2017, where over 260,000 farmed salmon escaped into Puget Sound, Cooke stated that survival of the escaped fish was low and interbreeding was impossible. The same statements were given in 2013. Obviously those fish did survive and found a way to flourish. (via Hakai Magazine)
"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
Most marine microbes are marine organisms too small to be seen by the unaided human eye (that is, roughly less than 0.1 mm). They make up 98 percent of ocean biomass, are the foundation of all marine food webs, and are a major driver of most of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, including those of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus (not to mention those of sulfur, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chlorine).
- England adopts marine plan for south coast
- Coastal-marine EBM pilot project for West, Central, and South Africa launched
- New toolkit compiles guidance and tools for measuring and utilizing blue carbon for promoting coastal conservation and restoration
- Case studies of sustainable financing of marine/coastal management published
- Overview of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture best practices published
- New conservation finance training available (see other available trainings)
- UN provides policy brief on ocean deoxygenation
- Scientists discover common plastics release greenhouse gasses as they degrade
- New Zealand to phase out single-use plastic bags in coming year
- UN FAO finds overfishing increasing, one-third of major commercial fish species overfished
- Arctic’s oldest, thickest sea ice breaking up for the first time
- NOAA State of the Climate Report in 2017 finds that it was the warmest non-El Niño year on record and greenhouse gasses and sea level reached record highs
- Study finds only 13 percent of global ocean remains as wilderness (Download the manuscript on MarXiv)
- European Commission calls for MSP proposals, due Oct 31
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.
In 2016, the EBM Tools Network compiled a list of hands-on activities for teaching about ecosystem services and ecosystem-based management (now updated with several more activities!). A university professor recently asked if we have any similar resources for teaching marine protected area (MPA) design and management. EBM Tools Network members pooled their collective knowledge again and came up with this fantastic list of resources for teaching about MPAs at all educational levels.
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)
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)
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)