This Week in Marine Science

Written by on September 13, 2013 in Other News

Other stories worth reading this weekend:

Ever Wondered: Why is wild salmon a deeper red than farmed salmon?
The answer is pretty simple: salmon meat gets its color through the fish’s diet. The more little crustaceans (like shrimp) it eats, the redder it gets. Farmed salmon don’t have the same natural diet; they eat dried pellets that contain things like soybean meal and wheat gluten. That’s why it’s easy to tell farmed and wild fish apart at a fish market — look for that deep, red hue.

Ghana’s dead whales: Oil linked denied
Environmental groups are blaming oil operations for the increase in whale deaths in Ghana, saying that the deaths only started after oil production began in 2009. Ghana has dismissed those accusations and oil firms are not commenting on the issue. The Environmental Protection Agency says that there are no links between the oil industry and the beached whales.

Fishing vessels at Poro Point, near San Fernando La Union, Philippines.

Fishing vessels at Poro Point, near San Fernando La Union, Philippines. Photo credit: express000 via photopin cc.

Gov’t urged to implement stronger fisheries management measure
At the 15th National Tuna Congress last weekend, Greenpeace and other groups urged the government of the Philippines to establish stronger fisheries management measures and to cooperate with other Pacific nations to effectively manage all sectors of the tuna industry. The western and central Pacific ocean is home to the world’s largest tuna fishery and they argued that action needs to be taken now, before it is too late.

The Greens have unveiled a $1 million a year plan to clean up marine debris
Australian Greens have promised $1 million a year for research to put a stop to marine debris. Plastic pollution was recognized as a threat to wildlife in 2003, but no resources were ever designated to solving the problem, until now. The money will go towards researching the impact of marine debris and finding efficient ways to remove it.

Hawaii molasses spill killing thousands of fish (link no longer active)
A leaky pipe caused 1,400 tons (as much as 233,000 gallons) of molasses to spill into a Honolulu harbor, killing fish and possibly attracting predators like sharks and other larger fish. Officials are collecting dead fish and keeping them on ice to be tested later. Water samples will also be tested to reveal the severity of the contamination and the duration of the damage.

‘Human dolphin’ flies through waves with jetpack
Using a £15,000 FlyBoard aquatic jetpack, Ross Ceaton has perfected the technique of flying in and out of the water just like a dolphin. Ceaton is the only person in the UK to own a FlyBoard jetpack.

James Bond’s Lotus Esprit submarine car sells for $968,000
James Bond’s submarine car from the 1977 film, “The Spy Who Loved Me” has spent years in a Long Island storage locker but now gets to see the world again. The “fully functional” car just sold at a London auction for $968,000. Fully functional refers to the car’s submarine ability — it doesn’t actually have wheels but it can be ‘driven’ underwater.

Lobstermen brace after LI Sound closed to fishing
The Long Island Sound is officially closed to lobster fishing for the first time ever. The closure began on September 8 and will run through November 28. Lobstermen were required to remove their traps from the water.

New ‘Most Wanted’ List from INTERPOL Targets Illegal Fishing
Project SCALE, launched in February in order to fight illegal fishing around the world, has identified the fishing vessel Snake, which has a long history of illegal fishing. The Snake is the first fishing vessel to receive INTERPOL’s “Purple Notice”. The notice will help national authorities identify illegal vessels and will help reduce illegal fishing.

NOAA, government and academia partners deploy underwater robots to improve hurricane science
NOAA and partners are deploying 12-16 autonomous underwater robotic vehicles (gliders) from Nova Scotia to Georgia to help improve storm intensity forecasts during hurricane season. The gliders will remain in the water for three to eight weeks and will continuously collect data on ocean conditions for three to eight weeks straight.

Oceana Delivers 100K Petitions to BOEM to Protect Marine Life
Last Friday, Oceana delivered more than 100,000 petitions to the director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) calling for the U.S. government to stop the proposed use of seismic airguns off the East Coast. Currently, Oceana’s request is supported by about 50 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Six-clawed lobster finds new home in Maine
That’s right. It has six claws — one normal one on the right and five on the left. The four-pound lobster, named Lola, was caught by a fishing vessel off the coast of Hyannis, Massachusetts. The crew donated Lola to the Maine State Aquarium.

Scuba divers gather in Lebanon to give seabed a deep clean
On Saturday (Sept 14), scuba-divers in Lebanon are gathering to clean up the coastal seabed. The most commonly found items include beverage cans, tires and fishing gear. The event is designed not only to clean up the coast but to raise awareness about pollution and properly disposing of garbage.

Hydnophora rigida corals in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.

Hydnophora rigida corals in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Photo credit: Randi Rotjan via en.wikipedia.

Something’s Fishy
The Central Pacific nation of Kiribati gained international bragging rights when it created one of the world’s largest no-take marine reserves in the world. The 150,000 square mile Phoenix Islands Protected Area lies in one of the moves intensively fish areas in the world, making it even more impressive that the reserve is off limits to fishing and other “extractive uses.” The only problem is that it might not be true at all. Find out why the Earth Island Journal says “marine life inside the reserve is anything but safe.”

Stranded Whales Killed for Meat in Iceland
About 40 pilot whales recently stranded on the western coast of Iceland as a result of bad weather. We don’t officially know the status of the stranded whales at the time, but several locals rushed to the scene and killed some of the whales for meat before authorities arrived. From an animal rights standpoint, Whale and Dolphin Conservation is disturbed by this reaction, but there are also serious health concerns. Pilot whale meat is known to be highly contaminated with heavy metals like mercury and can be dangerous to eat.

U.S. Is Successfully Ending Overfishing and We Can’t Afford to Stop Now
It’s not often that we read about overfishing success stories so this is a nice change. A new report states that 43 percent of overfished populations have been rebuilt already or will be rebuilt within a decade. If the Magnuson-Stevens Act continues to work, an additional 31 percent will be rebuilt.

Why Haven’t the Cod Come Back?
Using fish scales that have been collected since the 1930s, researchers from WHOI are learning more about the history of the oceans. The scales contain clues to changes in the ecosystems that could be responsible for compromising one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds. These clues may explain why stocks of codfish and other species never fully recovered, even after strict management policies were put in place to end overfishing.

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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