Kraken: Up Close and Very Personal With the Giant Squid

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February 28, 2011: Few animals provoke the imagination and wonder of the sea like the squid. The giant squid is thought to have been the basis of the myriad of sea monster tales that have been spun over the centuries. And while we now know more about these animals than ever before, there’s still an incredible amount of mystery remaining to be unveiled. The book is ?Kraken: The Curious, Exciting and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid? and its author and our guest today, Wendy Williams, award-winning writer and journalist. Also: First of a two-part look at a newly-issued report by World Resources Institute, ?Reefs at Risk Revisited? a report that history may well show is the most important report about the oceans to be released this century. It’s more than a wakeup call – it’s truly our last call to take action to save coral reefs.

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Scott’s Antarctic Samples Give Climate Clues

By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News

Samples of a marine creature collected during Captain Scott’s Antarctic trips are yielding data that may prove valuable in projecting climate change.

The expeditions in the early 1900s brought back many finds including samples of life from the sea floor.

Comparing these samples with modern ones, scientists have now shown that the growth of a bryozoan, a tiny animal, has increased in recent years.

They say this means more carbon dioxide is being locked away on the ocean bed.

The tiny bryozoan, Cellarinella nutti, looks like a branching twig that has been stuck into the sea floor.

It grows during the period in the year when it can feed, drawing plankton from the water with its tentacles.

The length of the feeding season is reflected in the size of the annual growth band – just as with tree rings

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

The 21st Century Zoo

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February 21, 2011: Nearly 80 percent of Americans live in cities or urban areas. Their number one outdoor destination? The zoo. But today’s zoo has evolved far beyond the zoo we may remember from our childhood, toward being a major force in education, conservation and community leadership. Sharing his unique perspective on the vital role of the zoo is our guest, Dr. Stuart Strahl, President/CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of one of the world’s premier zoological institutions, the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Gulf Spill’s Effects ‘May Not Be Seen for a Decade’

By Jason Palmer/Science and technology reporter, BBC News, Washington DC

In places the layer of oil and dead animals is 10cm thick

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill “devastated” life on and near the seafloor, a marine scientist has said.

Studies using a submersible found a layer, as much as 10cm thick in places, of dead animals and oil, said Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.

Knocking these animals out of the food chain will, in time, affect species relevant to fisheries.

She disputed an assessment by BP’s compensation fund that the Gulf of Mexico will recover by the end of 2012.

Oil slickMillions of barrels of oil spewed into the sea after a BP deepwater well ruptured in April 2010.

Assessments of the clean-up effort have focused on the surface oil, but much oil remains at depth.

Professor Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington that it may be a decade before the full effects on the Gulf are apparent.

She said they concluded the layers had been deposited between June and September 2010 after it was discovered that no sign of sealife from samples taken in May remained.

Professor Joye and her colleagues used the Alvin submersible to explore the bottom-most layer of the water around the well head, known as the benthos.

“The impact on the benthos was devastating,” she told BBC News.

“Filter-feeding organisms, invertebrate worms, corals, sea fans – all of those were substantially impacted – and by impacted, I mean essentially killed.

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

Whaling: Beginning of the End?

Richard Black | 12:36 UK time, Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Is this the beginning of the end for Japanese whaling in the Antarctic?

Clash between whaling ship and opponentClashes have been dramatic – enough to cause a U-turn?

That is the biggest question arising from Wednesday’s announcement in Tokyo that this season’s whaling programme was being suspended.

The Fisheries Agency (FAJ) hasn’t formally declared the season over, but it appears likely that the fleet will soon be on its way out of the Southern Ocean and back to harbour.

FAJ official Tatsuya Nakaoku blamed the suspension on harrassment by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has made life progressively more difficult for the whaling fleet each year by sending faster and better-equipped boats.

This season, it has regularly managed to park across the back of the Nisshin Maru factory ship, making it impossible to winch whales on board.

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

Japan Suspends Whale Hunt After Chase by Activists

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says their tactics in trying to stop Japan’s annual Antarctic whale hunt have been completely safe and not endangered anybody.

“There is nothing violent about what we are doing here,” Alex Cornelissen, Captain of the Sea Shepherd vessel “Bob Baker” told the BBC World Service via satellite phone.

Japan says it has suspended its whale hunt “for now” because of safety concerns, after Sea Shepherd activists chased the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese fleet’s mother ship.

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

CSI Goes Deep

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February 14, 2011: Crime Scene Investigation takes to the oceans with “Coral Reef CSI.” The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is now the home of the international Coral Reef CSI program. This new partnership will expand the field of coral reef forensic investigation in coral reef locations around the world, offering more protection to these valuable and fragile ecosystems. Our guest, Rick MacPherson, Interim Executive Director and Conservation Programs Director at CORAL fills us in. Also: Discovery of the wreck of the Nantucket whaler, “Two Brothers” in Hawaii and a special expedition announcement by The Ocean Doctor!

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

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Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

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Global Fish Consumption Hits Record High

By Mark Kinver Science and environment reporter, BBC News

The global consumption of fish has hit a record high, reaching an average of 17kg per person, a UN report has shown.

Fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 145m tonnes in 2009, providing about 16% of the population’s animal protein intake.

The findings published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also stressed that the status of global fish stocks had not improved.

It said that about 32% were overexploited, depleted or recovering.

“That there has been no improvement in the status of stocks is a matter of great concern,” said Richard Grainger, one of the report’s authors and FAO senior fish expert.

Read the rest at BBC News…

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.

Where’s the Oil Now? What’s the Gulf Worth? The Tough Questions, Answered

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February 7, 2011: We tap into the best and brightest at the National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment in Washington, DC to get answers to the tough questions. An interview with Dr. David Yoskowitz, Chair of Socioeconomics at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, with jaw-dropping statistics on what the Gulf is worth. What we all assumed about dispersants that may be all wrong. And we follow the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling as it goes before Congress.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. See the complete list of episodes.

Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook!

Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below.

Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more…]

NOAA, Partners, Launch New Website Highlighting African-American Maritime Heritage

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, in partnership with Murrain Associates, Inc., and the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS), today launched Voyage to Discovery, a new website and education initiative highlighting untold stories of African-Americans and the sea.

Read more of the NOAA News Release.

Note: Newswire stories are provided as a courtesy of OceanDoctor.org. Content of these articles is provided by external sources.