Other stories worth reading this weekend:
Dolphin deaths peaked in Virginia coastal waters in July, with dozens of carcasses found (link no longer active)
Officials are still working to determine the cause of the sharp increase in dolphin deaths in Virginia and along the East Coast. So far this year, the stranding team has collected the remains of 87 dolphins in Virginia — they typically only collect 60 in an entire year. There have been no signs of physical trauma and there has been no increase or change in the use of sonar, so officials are stumped.
The Washington FWC extended protection for giant Pacific octopuses in Puget Sound by prohibiting the recreational take at seven popular scuba diving sites. Managing the recreational harvest of the octopus became an issue in October 2012 and the Commission began to review the policies in January 2013.
The latest water sport in Hawaii, JetLev, involves soaring over the water with the help of a water-powered jet pack. In addition to safety concerns, officials are also worrying about the impact that these devices have on the environment. Fishermen, scientists and state officials are concerned about the noise, which will scare away fish, and the possibility of people accidentally crashing into reefs.
A colorful new fish was discovered in the waters surrounding the Desventuradas Islands in February. National Geographic is currently holding a naming contest and the winner will get the chance to go on a ten-day trip to the Galapagos. They’re accepting entries until August 26!
Global Ocean Commissioner Luiz Furlan recently told a Brazilian newspaper that “if the ocean were a business, it would be heading to bankruptcy.” He was referring to the many problems our oceans face, including overfishing, ocean acidification, global warming and pollution. The good news is that Commission Co-chair Trevor Manuel says even though the ocean is “slipping ever further into the red,” we can bring it “swiftly and efficiently back into the black.”
Migaloo, the albino humpback whale, was recently spotted off Queensland’s coast along with a pod of dolphins. Check out this post to see some great pictures of the unique whale.
Subway riders in New York City had an unexpected companion: a dead (but still wet) 18-inch long shark. Unfortunately, the shark was stuffed in a garbage bag and thrown away so we don’t know how it got there or even what kind of shark it was.
Well, Shark Week might be more conservation-based than in the past, but there are plenty of people who are displeased, to say the least, about the programming. This year, Shark Week kicked off with a fake documentary about Megalodon and scientists are mad. Watch the video from CNN to see why.
Sea otters aren’t just cute and cuddly, they are an extremely important part in the fight against climate change. A new study assess their impact on kelp and sea urchin populations and found that more CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere when sea otters are present.
The National Marine Fisheries Service decided that Puget Sound killer whales will still be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The decision came in response to a petition by Pacific Legal Foundation stating that southern resident killer whales are not a distinct population.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.