Posted on December 11, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Can Mediterranean dolphins survive the rising tide of tourism? bberwyn photo.
Pollution, boat strikes contribute to decline of Balearic population
FRISCO — Growing tourism, fishing, pollution and general marine traffic is threatening a small population of bottlenose dolphins living in coastal waters off the Pityusic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, according to a study led by University of Barcelona researchers.
The biologists said they were able for the first time to get an accurate population count of the dolphins during spring and summer, crucial seasons for the marine mammals. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Balearic Islands, bottlenose dolphins, Environment, marine mammals, ocean conservation | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Atlantic bluefin tuna are in trouble. Photo courtesy NOAA.
NOAA amends rules to protect Gulf of Mexico spawning areas
Federal resource managers this week said they’ll tweak fishing regulations to try and protect Atlantic bluefin tuna to help ensure compliance with international quotas set to maintain sustainable stocks of the commercially valuable fish.
The species is categorized as endangered on the IUCN red list. By some estimates, there has been a global decline of between 29 percent and 51 percent based on summed spawning stock biomass from both the Western and Eastern stocks over the past 21–39 years. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Atlantic bluefin tuna, Environment, ocean conservation, sustainable fisheries | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
An endangered green sea turtle swims along the sea bottom. Photo courtesy NOAA.
‘We’re drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife’
FRISCO — What goes on your lawn and garden doesn’t stay there — and that’s bad news for sea turtles in Hawaii, Duke University biologists said this week, explaining that pollution from urban areas and farms is causing often-deadly tumors in the endangered animals.
A new study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, promoting the formation of tumors on the animals’ eyes, flippers and internal organs. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Environment, green sea turtle tumors, nutrient pollution, ocean conservation, sea turtles | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 15, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists call for network of protected areas
The English Channel. Photo courtesy NASA.
FRISCO — The English Channel is all but fished out, leaving fishermen scraping the bottom of the barrel in their quest for a commercial haul.
Sharks, rays, cod, haddock and many other species at the head of the food chain are at historic lows with many removed from the area completely, according to UK marine biologists, who analyzed catches over the past 90 years and found significant evidence of the practice of fishing down the food web.
“It is clear from our analyses that fishing pressure has caused significant changes to food webs of the English Channel over the past 90 years,” said Plymouth University Professor Jason Hall Spencer, with the School of Marine Science and Engineering, and the Marine Institute.
The report, published in the PLOS ONE journal, used catch statistics from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas to establish a ‘mean trophic level’ for catches – an average for how far up the food chain the fish are located. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: commercial fishing, English Channel, Environment, ocean conservation, overfishing | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 13, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Albanian fishermen tend nets in Saranda. bberwyn photo.
Unregulated coastal fisheries, juvenile catch threaten sustainability
FRISCO — Stocks of commercially valuable fish in the Mediterranean Sea are disappearing steadily because of a lack of good planning and management, as well as inadequate enforcement of existing regulations. Without action, some species are likely to disappear, scientists warned last week in a report showing that fisheries resources in the Mediterranean have deteriorated in the past 20 years.
The report evaluated nine fish species and called for stringent monitoring of Mediterranean fishing activities, better enforcement of fisheries regulations, and advanced management plans in Mediterranean waters. The findings were published July 10 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology.
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, Environment, Mediterranean Sea, ocean conservation, sustainable fisheries | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Zoning coastal waters could help preserve marine resources for future generations. bberwyn photo.
Scientists call for ‘zoning’ of coastal waters
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Piecemeal planning and conservation efforts won’t be enough to preserve valuable ocean resources for future generations, a leading group of environmental and marine scientists said last week, calling on countries around the world to cooperate on zoning coastal waters in an approach that would mirror common land-use planning efforts.
Effective long-term conservation is crucial because about 20 percent of the world’s population — mostly in developing countries — lives within 60 miles of the coast. Growing populations and worsening climate change impacts ensure that pressures on tropical coastal waters will only grow, they warned. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: conservation, conservation planning, ocean conservation, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 17, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Are Pacific Ocean great white sharks endangered?
New study suggests there’s no need for endangered species listing
FRISCO — While California is considering endangered species status for great white sharks, some recent research suggests the apex ocean predators are doing just fine, and that populations appear to be growing.
George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said the wide-ranging study is good news for shark conservation. The study, to be published June 16 in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that conservation measures are working.
Scientists reanalyzed 3-year-old research that indicated white shark numbers in the Eastern North Pacific were alarmingly low, with only 219 counted at two sites. That study triggered petitions to list white sharks as endangered.
“White sharks are the largest and most charismatic of the predator sharks, and the poster child for sharks and the oceans in general,” said Burgess, whose research program is based at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus. “If something is wrong with the largest, most powerful group in the sea, then something is wrong with the sea, so it’s a relief to find they’re in good shape.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, Environment, great white sharks, ocean conservation, oceans | 1 Comment »