Underwater Internet Isn’t Far Away

Written by on October 17, 2013 in Sharks, Technology

Daily Summary

Fishmonger sparks outrage selling protected shark
A fishmonger selling a 15ft thresher shark received an angry response from activists after he posted pictures of the shark on the store’s Facebook page. All three species of thresher shark were recently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and it is an offence to target them in North Atlantic waters. However, it is legal to keep Common Threshers (Alopias vulpinus), the largest species, if they are accidentally caught as bycatch. The photos were taken down and the owner apologized but said that the shark would have just been thrown away if he hadn’t bought it. Even though what he did was legal, it highlights the issue of bycatch, which continues to be a problem with many commercial fisheries.

Taking the Internet underwater
Researchers at the University of Buffalo are developing a deep-sea internet that will improve tsunami detection, offshore oil and gas exploration, surveillance, pollution monitoring, and much more. A submerged wireless network will allow researchers to collect ocean data in real time and could be available to anyone with an internet connection. Similar to the problem with fleets of unmanned gliders, underwater communication between devices is the major obstacle. Above water, wireless networks communicate via radio waves, but radio waves don’t travel well underwater so sound wave-based techniques are used instead. However, sharing data between different underwater devices is difficult because many systems are built differently. The researchers are developing a framework that would solve that problem.

World ocean systems undermined by climate change by 2100
A new study reveals that no corner of the ocean will be free from the effects of climate change by 2100. This ambitious study describes the “full chain of events” by which changes in the ocean will cascade through marine habitats from the surface to the ocean floor, eventually influencing humans. Most studies focus on only ocean warming and acidification and underestimate the full range of biological and social consequences of climate change. By including all possible factors, this new study reveals that everything in the ocean, from species abundance to ecosystem functions, will be affected by changes in ocean biogeochemistry, but the impact doesn’t stop there. The changes in the ocean will also effect humans, including food chains, fishing and tourism.

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 MarineScienceToday.com. 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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  1. Julian Pepperell says:

    Without wishing to be too pedantic, the IUCN category ‘vulnerable’ is defined as ‘high risk of endangerment in the wild’, not ‘vulnerable to extinction’. Also, IUCN listings for commercially caught species of fish don’t always coincide with whether of not fishing is permitted. The southern bluefin tuna is listed by IUCN as critically endangered, but of course is still fished and managed under strict quotas.

  2. Emily says:

    Thanks for your comment, Julian. You’re right — to avoid unnecessary confusion, I just removed the “to extinction” part of that description. Thanks!