Tag Archives: Marine Animals

The ‘Blob,’ a massive marine heat wave, led to an unprecedented seabird die-off

refugio-oil-spill-cc
Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

From 2015–2016, 62,000 dead common murres washed onto U.S. and Canadian Pacific coast beaches. All together, an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the region’s total population was wiped out…

Read Full Article; Science News (01-15-2020)

A giant ‘blob’ of hot water larger than New South Wales threatens the survival of fish and coral near New Zealand (12-28-2019)
About 800 kilometres east of New Zealand’s South Island, near the Chatham Islands, ocean temperatures have spiked to almost 6 degrees Celsius warmer than average. When sea-surface temperatures spike precipitously, it’s considered a marine heat wave…

Global warming cited as Antarctica’s chinstrap penguin population drops by half

boulders-south-africa
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

The numbers have dropped across the region as average temperatures have soared by more than five degrees over 50 years. That increase is about five-times the global average.

“It’s very dramatic to have a wildlife population decline by 50% – an unexploited wildlife population. They’re not hunted,” says activist and researcher Steve Forrest. “I think climate change is driving almost all of the processes down here now in a way they’ve never experienced before…”

Read Full Article; CBS News (01-16-2020)

Why do ocean animals eat plastic?


Polar bear chewing on a plastic bag, Kaktovik, AK on the Arctic Ocean. Photo source: ©© Anita Ritenour.
“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death.” — Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

Why would an apex ocean predator eat gloves? Or rope? Or plastic cups? How does a whale end up with more than 200 pounds of waste in its stomach?

Conventional wisdom suggests that animals eat plastic because it’s there and they don’t know any better (to some animals, like anchovies, plastic may smell like food). But that doesn’t explain why only certain types of whales—deep-diving toothed whales, such as sperm whales, pilot whales, and beaked whales—turn up dead on beaches with stomachs full of plastic…

Read Full Article; National Geographic – MSN (12-05-2019)

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach; CBS News (12-03-2019)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)
Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

Beached sperm whale found with 220 pounds of trash in his stomach


Photo courtesy of Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker: © Denis Delestrac
“When plastic ingestion occurs, it blocks the digestive tract, gets lodged in animals windpipes cutting airflow causing suffocation, or fills the stomach, resulting in malnutrition, starvation and potentially death.” — Claire Le Guern, author of “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide” ©.

Excerpts;

A sperm whale that washed up on a beach was found with 220 pounds of plastic trash in his stomach. The whale beached itself and died on a northern Scottish island last Thursday, according to local researchers, who found the carcass several days later…

Read Full Article; CBS News (12-03-2019)

Pregnant whale washed up in Italian tourist spot had 22 kilograms of plastic in its stomach; CNN (04-01-2019)

Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach; CNN (03-18-2019)
A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of “dehydration and starvation” after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found….

Whale found In Thailand dies from eating over 80 plastic bags; Huffington Green (06-03-2018)

Whale found dying off coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags in its stomach; Telegraph UK (02-03-2017)

Kenya: Marine debris threaten to suffocate sea animals; The Star Kenya (01-24-2017)
Marine researchers spotted a dolphin suffocating in a plastic bag last week in Watamu, Kenya. The incident, the first to be witnessed there, has raised concern on the safety of the millions of sea animals in the Indian Ocean waters due to the increased cases of plastic waste.

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)
The study, led by academics at Newcastle University, found animals from trenches across the Pacific Ocean were contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes…

60% of Loggerhead Turtles Stranded on Beaches in South Africa Had Ingested Plastic, EcoWatch (05-031-2016)

The Plastic Found In a Single Turtle’s Stomach, Independent UK (03-24-2011)

90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Their Stomachs, Newsweek (09-01-2015)
By 2050, nearly all seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. Already, 9 out of 10 of the birds have some of the substance in their digestive tracts. Such are the sobering conclusions of a study published August 31 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic; Science Daily (02-27-2015)
Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs…

Taste, not appearance, drives corals to eat plastics; Duke University (10-24-2017)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study; Guardian UK (02-05-2018)
Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests…

Video captures moment plastic enters food chain, BBC News (03-11-2017)
A scientist has filmed the moment plastic microfibre is ingested by plankton, illustrating how the material is affecting life beneath the waves. The footage shows one way that plastic waste could be entering the marine and global food chain…

Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water, Science Daily (09-25-2017)
A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish…

How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected; Science Daily (10-23-2018)

New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions; United Nations (12-05-2016)
Marine debris is negatively affecting more than 800 animal species and causing serious losses to many countries’ economies, according to a United Nations report launched December 5th, 2016…

Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic; CBS News (08-05-2018)
Piece by piece, an environmental threat is piling up, and we’re ALL to blame. Worse yet, even those of us trying to bring an end to the problem may not be doing as much good as we think…

These 10 companies are flooding the planet with throwaway plastic; Greenpeace (10-09-2018)
Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem…

More Recycling Won’t Solve Plastic Pollution; Scientific American (07-06-2018)

More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded; Science Daily (07-19-2017)
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.

Biodegradable plastic ‘false solution’ for ocean waste problem; Guardian UK (05-23-2016)

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry, The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
Washed out on our coasts in obvious and clearly visible form, the plastic pollution spectacle blatantly unveiling on our beaches is only the prelude of the greater story that unfolded further away in the world’s oceans, yet mostly originating from where we stand: the land…

Scientists rush to rescue sea turtles threatened by mysterious Brazil oil spill


Atlantic coast, Brazil. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Crude oil has been washing up on the coast of the Brazilian northeast for over a month, leaving more than 150 of Brazil’s postcard-perfect beaches covered in thick, sludgy black patches.

The origin of the oil, found in nine Brazilian states along a 1,200-mile stretch of coastline, remains unknown. It is also along this coastline that olive ridley and loggerhead sea turtles come to make their nests and lay their eggs.

Read Full Article; PRI (10-15-2019)

Mysterious Oil Spill Becomes New Environmental Crisis for Brazil; The NYT (10-08-2019)
A mysterious oil spill that has polluted shores along a vast area of Brazil’s northeast may have resulted from unspecified criminal activity. An estimated 100 tons of crude has drifted toward land since early September, polluting some of the country’s most pristine beaches…

A whale found dead, 3 others euthanized on South Carolina beach


Photo source: ©© Angieandsteeve.
“Of all cetaceans – whales and dolphins – pilot whales are the species most likely to strand themselves. Their name itself, pilot whale, comes from their propensity to follow a single leader…” Captions: Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan or, The Whale

Excerpts;

Biologists will perform necropsies on one whale that died and three that were euthanized after becoming stranded on a South Carolina beach.

Pilot whales are usually at least 100 miles offshore, “so when you see them come this close to shore, it’s definitely alarming…”

Read Full Article; CBS News (09-29-2019)

Mass Strandings of Pilot Whales: A Study, Science Daily (03-14-2013)
Biologists since Aristotle have puzzled over the reasons for mass strandings of whales and dolphins, in which groups of up to several hundred individuals drive themselves up onto a beach…

Are humans to blame for mass whale strandings? by Philip Hoare, Guardian UK (05-201-2011)

We know they aren’t feeding’: fears for polar bears over shrinking Arctic ice

polar-bears
Photo source: ©© Jidanchaomian

Excerpts;

This year’s annual minimum of the Arctic sea ice tied with the second-lowest extent on record, a mere 1.6m sq miles, and badly affected polar bear populations that live and hunt on the north slope of Alaska, plus those that live on the ice floes in the Bering Sea…

Read Full Article; Guardian UK (09-29-2019)

Polar bears could become extinct faster than was feared, study says; Guardian UK (02-01-2018)

Soul-crushing’ video of starving polar bear exposes climate crisis, experts say; Guardian UK (12-08-2017)
Video footage captured in Canada’s Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region…

Busy Times at the World’s Largest Polar Bear Prison; The Atlantic (12-16-2016)
Sea ice has done some extremely odd things in 2016, as climate change is reshaping the Arctic faster than the rest of the planet. According to a new study, there’s a 71 percent chance that the global polar bear population will fall by over 30 percent in the next three decades. The only hope for the polar bear is to reduce carbon emissions, in the hope that the runaway pace of Arctic warming will eventually stabilize and reverse…

Polar Bears Shifting to Areas with More Sea Ice, Genetic Study Reveals; USGS (01-06-2015)
Scientists from around the Arctic have shown that recent generations of polar bears are moving towards areas with more persistent year-round sea ice…

Stranded Polar Bears at Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska; Guardian UK (11-21-2011)
Possibly hundreds of bears are becoming stranded on the coastal plain of North Alaska, because they cannot reach the retreating sea ice. Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander, captured shots of stranded polar bears as part of “70° North”, a multimedia project documenting the impact of climate change and resources exploration in the Arctic…

Save The Arctic Video, Greenpeace; Greenpeace (09-01-2012)
Greenpeace, Jude Law, Radiohead and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are coming together to demand we save the Arctic from oil drilling, industrial fishing and militarization…