Sonar, ‘Ocean Indigestion’ and the Indian Ocean

Written by on May 13, 2013 in Marine Life

Daily Summary

Harbor Porpoise.

Harbor Porpoise. Photo credit: NOAA.

Naval activity may contribute to porpoise strandings

A new study reveals that the mass stranding of harbor porpoises on the Danish coast in 2005 was most likely due to sonar used by the navy. The injuries sustained by the porpoises indicated that most of them had been caught in fishing nets and then fallen or been thrown back into the water already dead. The study suggests that the navy, which was active in the area at the time, is at least partly responsible, as the sonar could have distracted the porpoises, making them more likely to accidentally get caught in nets they could have otherwise avoided. To learn more about this and other strandings, check out this article: Underwater Noise May Drive Porpoises Into Fishing Nets Says Report.

Ocean Indigestion? Take Oyster Antacids

A new study compares ocean acidification to a “global-scale case of indigestion” and suggests that oysters can act as “slow-dissolving TUMS” in the stomach. The calcium carbonate in oyster shells is similar to the active ingredient in antacids. When discarded oyster shells get returned to the water (the Chesapeake Bay in this case), they serve a similar purpose. To learn more, read the full press release: Study highlights under-appreciated benefit of oyster restoration.


Oysters. Photo credit: NOAA.

Western Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami hazard potential greater than previously thought

A new study suggests that the risk from undersea earthquakes and associate tsunami in the Western Indian Ocean is much higher than previously thought. The Makran subduction zone (where tectonic plates collide and one is pushed beneath another) has shown little earthquake activity since 1945, but this research shows that the area is capable of producing earthquakes similar in magnitude to the 2004 Sumatra earthquake.

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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