California’s Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked
The expansion in the marijuana growing industry might be good news for some people, but it’s turning out to be bad news for already struggling salmon. The problem is that marijuana plantations “guzzle enormous amounts of water while also spilling pesticides, fertilizers and stream-clogging sediments into waterways,” including rivers that are vital to Chinook salmon and other related populations. ‘Enormous amounts of water’, in this case, can be up to six gallons per day per plant during the growing season and that water is usually taken directly from small streams. The excessive water consumption coupled with increased pollution is expected to result in poor returns of Chinook and Coho salmon. Although some say marijuana growers are being unfairly blamed for what is actually a much bigger problem.
Dynamite fishing threatens Cambodia’s seahorses
Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) is trying to save seahorses whose populations have been decimated by destructive fishing practices. MCC volunteers document the seabed and marine life around Cambodia and record the size and sex of any seahorse they see. The volunteers dive four times a day to monitor the seahorses. The dramatic decline in seahorse populations is due primarily to bottom trawling, which is done with weighted nets that drag along the sea floor and scrape up everything and anything in its path. Local fishermen have agreed to fish with only sustainable methods, but that doesn’t stop foreign vessels from trawling. MCC is working with the government to take action and implement stricter policies.
Glacier’s retreat is now irreversible
Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier is shrinking and new research reveals that it “may have begun an irreversible process that could see the amount of water it is adding to the ocean increase five-fold.” An international team of scientists studied how the glacier’s ice flows and used computer models to study how it will change in the near future. They found that more ice is flowing from the glacier into the ocean and that the glacier will continue to retreat for tens of kilometers. The Pine Island Glacier retreat could contribute 3.5-5 millimeters of sea level rise a year, in addition to the current 2mm a year we already experience.
Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.