For the first time, researchers have discovered a whale skeleton on the ocean floor near Antarctica. It is only the sixth natural whale skeleton to ever be found on the seafloor. This was a surprising and important discovery because it provides new information on life in the deep sea. It was found in a crater nearly a mile below the surface along with nine other new organisms that lived off the bones. The study was published today in Deep-Sea Research Part II – Topical Studies in Oceanography: The discovery of a natural whale fall in the Antarctic deep sea
Research published today from Bangor University states that over-harvesting of large fish leads to a population of smaller, less fertile fish in only a few generations. The researchers are urging other scientists, policy makers and managers to rethink current fishing policies. But, even if we changed the way we fish now, it would take at least five to 10 times longer than anticipated for fish to recover from these genetic changes and return to larger sizes–if it happens at all. You can read more here: Urgent action required to stop irreversible genetic changes to fish stocks.
A new study found that microbes are thriving in the ocean’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench, 11,000 meters (36,000 feet or 7 miles) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. In the trench, the researchers found twice the amount of bacteria as they found in a nearby spot that was only 6,000 meters deep. The researchers speculate that this is because dead plants and fish that fall down the Mariana Trench slide along the sides straight to the bottom, forming a ‘hotspot’ for the microbes. You can read more here: Deepest ocean ‘teems with microbes’
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