A Whale in a Fish Farm, New Seafloor and the Polar Paradox

Written by on April 1, 2013 in Marine Life

Daily Summary

Cash shortage stretches to sea bed

The UK government has admitted that the reason they are taking their time to protect marine life is because it is too expensive to do so right now. This is the reason why only 31 of 127 sites were selected to become marine protected areas–a decision that angered environmentalists. Environment Minister Richard Benyon explained that he can’t designate as many areas as he would like in the current “financial squeeze”. Currently, less than one percent of UK waters are protected, but if all 127 sites were designated that number would rise to nearly 25 percent.

Global warming expands Antarctic sea ice

New research reveals that rising ocean temperatures may be the reason for expanding sea ice in the Antarctic. It’s a strange concept, as that same reason is causing ice to melt at the other pole. The idea is that as the water warms, some Antarctic sea ice melts, forming a cool layer of fresh water on the ocean surface. This cool layer protects the rest of the sea ice from the warmer water below and is actually cool enough to allow more ice to form. To learn more, check out this article from BBC: Melt may explain Antarctica’s sea ice expansion.


Iceberg in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

An iceberg drifting in the Ross Sea, from NOAA’s At The Ends of the Earth Collection. Photo credit: Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA.

Humpback whale corpse in fish farm raises questions

An adult humpback whale was found dead inside a fish farm on the West Coast of Vancouver Island last week. Investigators from Fisheries and Oceans Canada are still trying to find out how it got there. Theories vary. Some say it died in the ocean and drifted through the net surrounding the farm; others say it became entangled in that net while feeding and drowned. Until a necropsy is done, it will be impossible to tell what actually happened. Mainstream Canada, the company that operates the fish farm, says it has never had problems with whales before. Although, environmentalists have long criticized the nets used at salmon farms, as they result in entanglement and death of many other creatures like sea lions, seals and seabirds.


Scripps Scientists Image Deep Magma beneath Pacific Seafloor Volcano

Using new electromagnetic technology developed at Scripps, a research team was able to map a large area on the seafloor off Central America where two tectonic plates are spreading apart from each other. As they spread apart, mantle rises and melts to generate magma which eventually erupts or freezes to create new seafloor.

Here you can see an underwater volcano that is about to explode. The West Mata Volcano is located in the southwest Pacific, a mile beneath the surface.

Here you can see an underwater volcano that is about to explode. The West Mata Volcano is located in the southwest Pacific, a mile beneath the surface. Photo credit: NOAA and NSF.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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