Rescued Sea Turtles, Bowhead Whales and Dolphin-Safe Tuna

Written by on April 9, 2013 in Marine Life

Daily Summary

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. Photo credit: Kate Sampson, NOAA/NERO.

52 rescued sea turtles return to ocean at Little Talbot Island

We love a story with a happy ending, and it’s not often that it happens in the ocean. But for these 52 sea turtles that nearly froze to death in Massachusetts last November and December, the story ends well. After being rescued from the cold, they were nursed back to health and recently released at the beach of Little Talbot Island in Jacksonville, Florida. These were the most sea turtles ever returned to the ocean at the same time. The group included loggerheads, Kemp’s Ridley and green sea turtles.

Ice Age bowhead whales’ survival surprises scientists

While most cold-adapted species went extinct or experienced a dramatic population decline at the end of the Ice Age, the opposite is true for the bowhead whale. Today, bowhead whales are found only in Arctic seas where they feed on tiny crustaceans under the ice. By analyzing DNA from party-fossilized whale remains, scientists were able to determine that at the end of the Ice Age, bowheads shifted their range, moving northwards to the colder water. During this transitional period, their range nearly tripled and they actually experienced a big population increase.

Bowhead whale.

Bowhead whale. Photo credit: Pete Duley, NOAA/NEFSC.

NOAA Ducks on “Dolphin-Safe”

Bummer. It looks like the article we cited before (NOAA expanding dolphin-safe tuna certification requirements) contains some misleading information. A previous version of this post stated that the revised rule would require all on-board observes and boat captains to certify that “no dolphins were killed or seriously injured” during the fishing process and that it would require tuna caught in a dolphin-safe way to be unloaded and stored separately from other tuna. However, according to The Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna, this isn’t exactly the case. The new regulations would continue to mislead consumers. The proposed changes do acknowledge the issues with current regulations (which don’t adequately ensure consumers that no dolphins were harmed in the process) but that’s it. The changes won’t “correct the current consumer deception” which means many consumers will be buying tuna they think is dolphin-friendly even though it probably isn’t.

We’ll have a more detailed article on this topic next week, so check back soon to learn more about “dolphin-safe” tuna!

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Photo credit: Allison Henry, NOAA/NEFSC.

Oceans may explain slowdown in climate change: study

The 10 hottest years since we began keeping track have all happened since 1998. However, since 2000, the rate at which the earth’s surface is warming has slowed somewhat. Scientists have recently found that the reason for the slowdown is the ocean. Unfortunately, the authors of the study indicate that this pause is only temporary because if the heat absorbed by the ocean gets released, climate change will quickly get much worse.

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 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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