It’s Fishermen vs Pirates in the Great Barrier Reef

Written by on January 7, 2014 in Other News

Daily Summary

Gray whale mother and calf.

Gray whale mother and calf. Photo credit: NOAA.

A seagull’s view of the gray whale migration
Whale watching season is beginning in San Diego and this is a pretty great video clip of the gray whale migration from a view that “very few people will get ever to see.” It’s the view from above. The footage was taken by SciFly pilot Eddie Kisfaludy. Gray whales spend half of their lives in the Arctic where they feed. When it freezes over they migrate south, about 5,000 miles to Baja Mexico. Most people won’t have the opportunity to see the whales from a plane but don’t worry – if you’re in San Diego, you’ll probably be able to see a few from a whale watching boat.

Antarctic Ship Drama: What Is an Icebreaker, Really?
The 52 passengers aboard the trapped Russian vessel, M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy, were helicoptered to safety after not one but two icebreakers sent to rescue the ship also got stuck. So what exactly is an icebreaker and how could it possibly get stuck in the ice? It turns out that most of the ships involved in this incident should really be classified as “ice-capable” at different scales. Check out this interview in National Geographic with retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Jeffrey M. Garrett about ships and ice.

Fishermen declare war on Cape York sea pirates, backed by Chinese crime gangs, who are plundering Great Barrier Reef
Pirates backed by Chinese organized crime syndicates are pillaging the tip of the Great Barrier Reef, taking thousands of tons of marine life including sea cucumber, abalone, turtle, shark and more. The price for a single dry sea cucumber has risen from $10/kg to $30/kg. It is considered a delicacy in China and since the Chinese Government began to crack down on officials buying it in restaurants, public appetite for the ‘medicinal benefits’ of sea cucumber has increased.

Sea cucumber in the Great Barrier Reef.

Sea cucumber in the Great Barrier Reef. Photo credit: NOAA NMFS.

Copyright © 2014 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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