Corals Don’t Have To Be Rare To Be Threatened by Climate Change

Written by on November 18, 2013 in Other News

Daily Summary

Anchovy worth more as food than feed
Peruvian anchovy is the world’s biggest fishery resource, generating up to a third of the world’s fishmeal supply. However a new study found that it is more valuable as food for humans than as fishmeal. Artisanal fishers, wholesalers, markets and restaurants generated $2.4 billion per year compared to the $1.1 billion generated by the fishmeal industry. Peru would greatly benefit in terms of food security and the economy if the anchovy fishery was used primarily for human consumption, not fishmeal.

NOAA announces regulations to protect marine mammals during Navy training and testing in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
NOAA fisheries recently announced final regulations requiring the U.S. Navy to implement protective measures during training and testing exercises in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in order to reduce the effects on marine mammals. Some of those effects include temporary or permanent hearing loss, behavioral changes, and other injuries from the sound generated by active sonar and detonating explosives. NOAA previously determined that the training exercises, designed to “ensure the readiness of naval forces,” would have a negligible impact on the overall species or stocks involved. However, they are requiring that the Navy use certain mitigation measures including establishing ‘mitigation zones’ around vessels using sonar, shutting down sonar operations if marine mammals are seen within those zones, and establishing a stranding response plan.

Coral reef.

Coral reef. Photo credit: NOAA.

Safety in Numbers? Not So For Corals.
New research shows that the assumption that corals do not face risk of extinction unless they are very rare or have a small range is false. Changes in climate and ocean chemistry affect corals no matter how abundant they are. The researchers propose that ocean conditions driven by excess carbon dioxide cause mortality rates independent of coral abundance. These findings highlight the vulnerability of abundant, widely dispersed corals and stress that problems need to be handled on a global basis, not just locally.

And here’s one just for fun that includes Semester at Sea:
Tug of love leads to whale rescue.
A young humpback whale became disoriented and ended up getting caught between a ship (the MV Explorer!) and the dock in Table Bay harbor in Cape Town, South Africa. With the help of Semester at Sea crew aboard the MV Explorer, the Transnet National Ports Authority and the Department of Environment coordinated a rescue operation. After several attempts, they were able to free the whale and guide it out of the harbor. It hasn’t been seen since, so hopefully the rescue was a success.

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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