Lionfish Reported at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Lionfish, a venomous invasive marine species considered one of the top predators in many coral reef environments in the Atlantic, have been documented at NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary – the first instance of the invader in the sanctuary since the species spread to U.S. East Coast waters in 2000.

Read the full story at NOAA National Marine Sanctuary News…

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

Penguins Suffer as Antarctic Krill Declines

By Mark Kinver Science and environment reporter, BBC News

The study suggests krill availability affects the population trends of penguins, such as chinstraps

A number of penguin species found in western Antarctica are declining as a result of a fall in the availability of krill, a study has suggested.

Researchers, examining 30 years of data, said chinstrap and Adelie penguin numbers had been falling since 1986.

Warming waters, less sea-ice cover and more whale and seal numbers was cited as reducing the abundance of krill, the main food source for the penguins.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a shrimp-like creature that reach lengths of about 6cm (2in) and is considered to be one of the most abundant species on the planet, being found in densities of up to 30,000 creatures in a cubic-metre of seawater.

It is also one of the key species in the ecosystems in and around Antarctica, as it is the dominant prey of nearly all vertebrates in the region, including chinstrap and Adelie penguins.

Read the rest of the story at BBC.co.uk…

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

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.

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.

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.

Shark Nations Failing on Conservation Pledges

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News

The wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic and the Pew Environment Group say most of the main shark fishing nations do not manage fisheries well.

Ten years ago, governments agreed a global plan to conserve sharks.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year, with nearly a third of species at risk of extinction.

Many fisheries target the fins for use in shark fin soup; and a number of countries, including the US, have recently passed measures aimed at regulating the trade.

Neither of the two countries catching the most sharks – Indonesia and India – has yet finalised national plans of action for protecting sharks.

Read the rest…

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

BP’s Disaster Down Under

Australians continue to raise their barbie sticks to say “no” to the proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) plant in the country’s pristine, untouched Kimberley region, off its west coast.

Currently, the massive area’s sprinkling of residents enjoy the company of endangered marine life, including snubfin dolphins, sawfish, turtles, dugongs and lots of fish. They are also fortunate to host the world’s largest population of humpback whales. One of the endangered species endemic to this region is flatback turtles, with approximately 1,000 of them nesting annually at an island off the coast.

However, the unspoiled, delicate environment could soon be over-run with visitors from unsavory entities such as Woodside Petroleum, Chevron, Shell, BP and BHP Billiton. If one remembers our Gulf of Mexico disaster last summer, it’s obvious that these companies aren’t exactly ocean-friendly neighbors.

[Read more…]

Extreme Heat Bleaches Coral, and Threat Is Seen

From Thailand to Texas, many corals are reacting to heat stress by shedding their color and going into survival mode, putting the oceans’ richest ecosystems and fisheries at risk.

Read the full New York Times article…

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

New Orleans Fish Market Struggles After Gulf Spill

Ruth Graves makes a point of thanking all her customers for supporting what she calls “seafood people”.

She has been selling shrimp, crabs and fish at the Westwego market just outside New Orleans for three decades, but her family is now in a desperate situation.

“This is my only livelihood,” says Ms Graves, 51. “My husband is diabetic so he can’t work, so it’s just me supporting the whole family.”

Read more at BBC

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

Oil and Ice: Worse than the Gulf Spill?

(Reuters) – When writer Anton Chekhov arrived on the Russian island of Sakhalin in 1890, he was overwhelmed by the harsh conditions at the Tsarist penal colony. It wasn’t just the floggings, forced prostitution and ill-treatment of children in the colony. It was the environment itself. “There is no climate on Sakhalin, just nasty weather,” Chekhov wrote. “And this Island is the foulest place in all of Russia.”

More than a century on, Sakhalin’s prisoners have been replaced by oil and gas workers, most of whom seem to agree that Chekhov’s description still fits.

The sparsely populated island — which is the length of Britain — has some of the most extreme weather on earth. Marine cyclones and violent snowstorms rip through its forested hills, and the ocean waters off its northern coast freeze solid for a good part of the year. In winter, temperatures drop to minus 40 Celsius and snow can pile three meters high.

Workers at Exxon’s Odoptu oil field, eight km (five miles) off the northeast coast of Sakhalin, had to shovel their way out of their dormitory last winter to clear pipe valves and free oil pipelines of snow. “The blizzards were so bad that at one point we had to evacuate half of the staff,” says Pavel Garkin, head of the field’s operations.

Now Moscow hopes to attract global oil players to another extreme location: its icy Arctic waters. Shared by Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia and the United States, the Arctic may hold around one-fifth of the world’s untapped oil and gas reserves according to a U.S. Geological survey. The past few years have seen a rush of activity in the region, with UK oil explorer Cairn Energy drilling for oil off the west coast of Greenland and Norway’s Statoil, one of the world’s largest offshore oil producers, pushing further and further up the Nordic country’s serpentine coastline, drilling wells inside the Arctic Circle beneath both the Norwegian and Barents Seas…

To read the rest of this article, visit the link below:

SeaWeb – Ocean News

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