Other stories worth reading this weekend:
“Algae capture, store, and release nitrogen to feed reef-building coral” from mBiosphere
Scientists already knew that the symbiotic algae living within reef-building corals were able to serve nitrogen to their coral hosts, but a new study reveals how this process is done. Researchers were surprised to find that the algae can store excess nitrogen and slowly feed it to the corals as needed.
“Australia bid to stop ‘ocean fertilisation’” from The Sydney Morning Herald
Ocean fertilization is a kind of geo-engineering that involves dumping iron into the ocean to counter the effects of climate change by increasing carbon dioxide absorption. It’s a very controversial ‘solution’ and Australia has recently launched a bid to stop the commercial use of ocean fertilization. Australia, South Korea and Nigera are introducing a new amendment to the London Protocol that would prohibit commercial geo-engineering projects.
“Breeding better fish for aquaculture production” from SeafoodSource
Whether or not we should be eating genetically modified salmon is a controversial topic. However, one company says that salmon bred with particular characteristics through genetic selection are the future of the aquaculture industry. They say that genetically modified salmon can be healthier, not only for the fish but for the people who consume the fish.
“Cooling ocean temperature could buy more time for coral reefs” from University of Bristol
Using computer models, researchers determined how shallow-water tropical coral reef habitats will respond to climate change. They found that if sea surface temperatures continue to rise, the tropical western Pacific will experience a large habitat collapse. If we are to prevent this, warming needs to be limited.
“EU fisheries reform plan falls short of outright discards ban” from The Guardian
Fisheries ministers in Europe came to an agreement on a reform of fisheries policies this week, but environmentalists did not get all they were hoping for. The ministers agreed to ban the practice of discarding healthy fish at sea, but most of this won’t start until 2015. They also agreed to determine fish quotas based on scientific advice about the ‘maximum sustainable yield’ for each stock, but there is no date for when stock levels must be restored. To learn more about the reforms, check out this article: UK claims breakthrough in fish dumping talks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22536037
“Fatal Attraction: Debris and Sea Turtles” from RJD
Check out this interesting post about marine debris and the effect it has on sea turtles. A study of 115 sea turtles that had stranded or died at a rehabilitation facility found plastic in every single turtle.
“From ocean to land: the fishy origins of our hips” from Monash University
As you might suspect, our hips are very different from fish hips. But, a new study reveals that the evolution of the hips of walking animals from basic fish hips wasn’t so complicated. Because the fish ancestors already had the elements necessary for the transformation, it actually only took a few evolutionary steps.
“How Mussel Farming Could Help to Clean Fouled Waters” from Yale Environment 360
Mussels are incredibly easy to grow and can thrive in many different places, including water that is fairly polluted. A new study suggests that mussels could be grown in urban areas as a way to clean coastal waterways of pollution like sewage and fertilizers. Mussels are filter-feeders and although they don’t filter as much water per days as oysters, they grow much more densely so they have great potential to help clean up coastal waterways.
A new international study says that melting of ice on Greenland and Antarctica and the associated sea level rise is likely to be less severe than previously expected this century. The study estimates a maximum sea level rise of 69 cm (27 inches) which, while less than other estimates, could still dramatically change coastal environments within our lifetimes.
“Opinions about marine litter? Take part in a Europe-wide survey” from Marine Biological Association
“Perceptions about marine litter” is a large scale survey currently being conducted across Europe in order to learn more about what people know and think about marine litter. If you live in Europe and you’re interested, take the survey! It only takes about 15 minutes to complete.
“Sustainability key to Chilean fisheries” from World Fishing & Aquaculture
The New General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture has the power to transform fisheries in Chile while allowing it to remain a world power in fisheries and aquaculture. The primary objective of the new law is to ensure the sustainability of all fisheries resources in the country, but the government feels it is a win for everybody: the fish, the fishermen and the country.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.