This Week in Marine Science

Written by on February 7, 2014 in Other News

Other stories worth reading this weekend:

Big Fish Stories Getting Littler
The biggest trophy fish in pictures from the 1950s were over six feet long. In 2007, the biggest ones averaged only a foot. Long-term overfishing of our oceans has made fish smaller, but because it’s happening gradually, many recreational fishers aren’t noticing. A new paper examines how they have changed over time with help from photos from fishing tour boats stretching back to the 1950s.

Salinity sensor attached to a lobster trap.

Salinity sensor attached to a lobster trap. Photo credit: NOAA NEFSC.

Data from the deep
Temperature gauges, salinity sensors, acoustic listening devices and cameras have been installed on lobster traps in New England waters. These devices help monitor and research the effects of weather patterns, tides, river runoffs and its impacts on various fisheries. In addition to helping researchers, lobster fishermen will also learn about their fishery.

Greenland’s fastest glacier sets new speed record
Ice from Greenland’s largest glacier is moving from land to sea at a speed that appears to be the fastest ever recorded. In the 1990s, the Jakobshavn Glacier was believed to be the fastest glacier in Greenland and in 2012 and 2013, research shows that summer speeds were more than four times what they were then. This means that the glacier is contributing to sea level rise by adding more and more ice to the ocean.

Maryland Introduces Bill to Reduce Seafood Fraud
This week, Maryland Del. Eric Luedtke introduced the “Maryland Seafood Authenticity and Enforcement Act.” This bill aims to reduce seafood fraud by providing Maryland residents with more information about the seafood they purchase. It will require that seafood is properly identified at the point of sale and would prohibit a seller from knowingly mislabeling a species.

Plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution. Photo credit: via photopin cc.

The Most Dangerous Sea Creatures In The World Are On This Graphic
This great infographic shows you some of the scariest things in the ocean. Can you guess what they are? Hint: It’s probably not what you’re thinking.

Mystery Surrounds Deaths of 500 Dolphins Washed Up in Peru
At least 500 dolphins have washed up dead along an 88 mile stretch of coastline in northern Peru over the last few weeks. Preliminary research shows that some dolphins died at sea while others were alive when they beached. Investigations are ongoing.

No Orcas or Dolphins for Sochi Olympics
“No orcas will be exhibited at the Olympics in Sochi,” reports WDC research fellow Eric Hoyt. The plan to send two orcas to Sochi was postponed. The whales will remain in small pens in Moscow.

Coral reef in Palau.

Coral reef in Palau. Photo credit: NOAA.

Palau president declares nation to become marine sanctuary
Yesterday, Palau’s president Tommy Remengesau declared the Pacific nation will become a marine sanctuary where no commercial fishing will be allowed to take place. Palau’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone will become a “100 percent marine sanctuary.”

Researchers identify nine steps to save waterways
A team of Canadian biologists has identified “nine guiding principles of water management” that are the key to clean water and sustainable fisheries. Freshwater ecosystems are nurseries for several commercially important fish species, but they are threatened by land development and other human impacts. The nine principles range from maintaining biodiversity to understanding the impact that humans will have on future generations of fish.

Benthic foraminiferans.

Benthic foraminiferans. Photo credit: USGS.

Seashells provide million-year-old weather report
Foraminifera, a kind of plankton that’s only about one tenth of a millimeter big, have been around for over 150 million years. As they grow, Foraminifera build their hard shells bit by bit every day, which means that their shells act as a record of the then-current ocean conditions. Any impurities in the shells can give scientists a snapshot of ancient ocean chemistry. Researchers are drilling into the seafloor to determine how ocean temperatures 150 million years ago varied from day to day.

Winter storm blamed for sea turtle deaths
More than 130 cold-stunned endangered and threatened sea turtles were rescued last week in Pensacola, Florida. About a dozen more turtles, pelicans and other wildlife were also found. The deaths and injuries are being blamed on the winter storm that struck the Florida Panhandle.

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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