This Week in Marine Science

Written by on November 1, 2013 in Other News

Other stories worth reading this weekend:

Are Atlantic cod pushing out Arctic relatives?
A recent research cruise confirmed that Atlantic cod are moving north as waters warm. The scientists found large shoals of Atlantic cod all the way up in Arctic waters off the coast of Spitsbergen. They are now investigating to what extent the native Arctic cod will compete with the invading Atlantic cod, in addition to determining which species will be able to adapt to changing conditions in the Arctic waters.

Bombed by Blackfish, fallout continues for SeaWorld
This Op-Ed by Elizabeth Batt in the Digital Journal examines some of the backlash that SeaWorld is experiencing as a result of Blackfish. Blackfish, the documentary that explores killer whale captivity, aired last week on CNN and, due to its popularity, will play again several times this weekend. Lots of celebrities and (former) SeaWorld visitors are taking the movie very seriously and it’s having a negative impact on the marine park. For more SeaWorld drama, read about SeaWorld’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines and the U.S. appeals court case that begins this month: SeaWorld appeal could force taming of its popular orca shows after trainer’s death.

Southern Resident killer whales near the San Juan Islands.

Southern Resident killer whales near the San Juan Islands. Photo credit: NOAA.

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP calls for federal protection of southern resident orcas
Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison is calling for federal protection of southern resident orcas. His plan focuses on the whales living in the waters off southern Vancouver Island, which includes about 81 individuals. The population lives close to big urban areas, like Seattle and Vancouver, which puts them at risk of ship strikes and increases their exposure to oil spills. Other primary risks include chemical pollutants which affect the species on which the orcas feed.

Listen Up: Oysters May Use Sound to Select a Home
Oysters begin life as little drifters and they settle on reefs when they mature. New research shows that the sounds of the reef may attract young oysters to their new homes. Reefs are busy habitats with lots of noise from the other residents and although they oysters don’t have ears, they can most likely sense the vibration from those sounds.

Ocean conservation: art inspiring action
This is a great piece about how photography can be the key to conservation. Photographer Shawn Heinrichs took a few photos of whale sharks in a fishing village in the southern Philippines that went viral. Fishermen used to target whale sharks for their fins, but now they are beginning to make money from ecotourism based on those sharks.

Here’s one that’s just for fun: pictures of an elephant seal looking ridiculous after it rolled around in the same area where thousands of penguins were molting. Photographer John Eastcott captured the moment in Right Whale Bay on South Georgia Island. Check it out: Elephant seal gets a fetching new look after rolling in penguin feathers.

Ocean seen as key to economy
During a discussion at the Monterey Institute of International Studies panelists concluded that the fate of the U.S. economy is tied to the oceans. The panel, hosted by the Commonwealth of California program Climate One, included biological, economic and business perspectives and addressed the future of the “blue economy” as the climate changes.

Super-trawler heads down under
Last year, the world’s second-largest fishing boat was forced out of the Tasman Sea after Seafish Tasmania tried to use it to catch pelagic fish in the area. Now, the 9500-ton 142-meter super-trawler is being used in the South Pacific east of new Zealand to catch Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi). Earlier this year, the New Zealand government hosted a meeting in a bid to stop overfishing of jack mackerel.

Whale and Dolphin Trafficking Heads East
According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a total of seven orcas have been captured in Russian waters to be be sent to marine parks and aquariums. The first capture happened in mid-August and all three orcas were transported to a makeshift pen where a young female named Narnia has been living for over a year. Four more orcas were captured last month and are also thought to be living in the pen.

View of the Bay of Bengal.

View of the Bay of Bengal. Photo credit: PriyadarshiC via photopin cc.

What is cooking underwater in the Bay of Bengal?
Check out this beautiful photo gallery of the construction of an artificial reef in the Bay of Bengal. A small team of divers and fishermen completed the reef on October 8 and only hours later marine life was spotted in the area.

Young parrotfish explore, while adults stay at home
A new study reveals that young parrotfish are much more adventurous than adults. By mapping the movements of individuals of all ages in an area of the Great Barrier Reef, researchers found that small parrotfish expanded their range immediately after settling on the reef. Expansion stopped when the fish matured, but it’s final range has nothing to do with body size or diet, which is a little unusual.

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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