Weekly Roundup 32
Other stories worth reading this weekend:
Conservation fish hatcheries raise certain species that are threatened in the wild, like cod and salmon, and release them once they reach a certain age. The problem with these hatcheries is that not many of the released fish survive. A team of researchers recently solved this problem: make the fish tanks like playgrounds and obstacle courses to make the fish smarter, thus improving their chances of surviving in the wild.
In one day, a pod of killer whales and an 8-foot squid were spotted in Cayman’s territorial waters last Friday. Researchers believe the squid is a deep-water species known as Megalocranchia, but DNA tests are being done to confirm this. The squid will likely be sent to the US for further analysis as it is pretty rare to find one of this size intact.
According to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, Indonesia and India are the world’s biggest shark-catchers. They are at the top of the list of the 20 countries that account for nearly 80 percent of the total shark catch reported between 2002 and 2011. The other countries on the list are Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil, Japan, France, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, Nigeria, Iran, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Yemen.
A stuffed whale shark is now on display at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History. The shark (the largest species of fish in the world) was found dead off the Karachi coast in February 2012 and was preserved for educational purposes–a process that took 18 months to complete. The shark was estimated to be around 50 years old and weighed 16 tons.
A new marine navigation app, Plan2Nav from Jeppesen, allows you to navigate straight from your Android. If you’re a boater, check out this great review!
The white abalone is a deep-water marine snail that became the first invertebrate to gain protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2001. New research shows that this endangered snail is in even more trouble than previously thought. The study suggests that the only way to save the abalone is through captive breeding.
A new study reveals that no-take marine reserves may make coral reefs up to six times more resilient to coral bleaching and other disturbances. The main reason for this is that in no-take reserves, there are plenty of parrotfish which eat algae. Without excess algae corals are better able to recover from disturbances.
Environmental groups are thrilled with new proposals from the Scottish Government that could potentially reverse hundreds of years of environmental decline in the ocean. The plans involve creating a network of marine protected areas inshore and offshore in order to give marine life a chance to recover. The MPAs will allow the sustainable use of resources.
New research from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa shows that large, predatory fishes around Hawai’i are eating a lot of plastic and other marine debris. Researchers investigated the stomach contents of 595 fish from 10 predatory species over a six-year period and found that seven out of 10 species had ingested some form of debris. The results suggest that more attention should be directed towards marine debris in deeper water and what this level of debris consumption means for humans.
Check out some cool photos of one of the most advanced research vessels in the world. The Bell M. Shimada is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is currently surveying schools of sardines and hake along the Pacific coast.
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