Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge


Right whale and calf. Photo source: NOAA

Excerpts;

North Atlantic right whales are one of the world’s most critically endangered large whales.

For a few decades, the math for North Atlantic right whales seemed to be working out, and the whales appeared to be experiencing a tentative recovery. But beginning in 2010, the tiny gains in their numbers began eroding…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (12-07-2017)

US, Canada to investigate deaths of endangered whales; ABC News (08-25-2017)
Marine authorities in the U.S. and Canada said Friday they will marshal resources to try to find out what’s behind a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales…

World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales – and it’s not Whaling; IPS News (10-24-2016)

Study: Why Blue Whales Can’t Avoid Barges, Ocean Liners, Huffington Green (05-06-2015)
A new study reveals why ocean-going ships pose such a big threat to the whales: the gentle giants simply don’t know how to get out of the way…

Sonic Sea, Film Documentary; NRDC May 19th, 2016
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. “Sonic Sea” is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution…

NOAA Asks Public to Report Injured Whales; Coastal Review Online (05-01-2017)

Worldwide Ship Traffic Up 300 Percent Since 1992, AGU (11-29-2014)
Maritime traffic on the world’s oceans has increased four-fold over the past 20 years…

“FREIGHTENED – The Real Price of Shipping,” a movie by multi award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac-©-2016; (03-31-2016)
90% of the goods we consume in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The cargo shipping industry is a key player in world economy and forms the basis of our very model of modern civilisation; without it, it would be impossible to fulfil the ever-increasing demands of our societies. Yet the functioning and regulations of this business remain largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points…

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish


“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. Indeed, it is found that debris often accumulates in the animals’ gut and give a false sense of fullness, causing the animal to stop eating and slowly starve to death.” —Captions and Photo: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches, including plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (12-18-2017)

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

Sea Turtles Face Plastic Pollution Peril, University of Exeter (10-09-2015)
A new global review that set out to investigate the hazards of marine plastic pollution has warned that all seven species of marine turtles can ingest or become entangled in the discarded debris that currently litters the oceans, and nesting beaches…

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

Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures; Guardian UK (11-15-2017)

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…

More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, Guardian UK (01-19-2016)
One refuse truck’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea every minute, and the situation is getting worse, according to a new report launched at the World Economic Forum today. New plastics will consume 20% of all oil production within 35 years, up from an estimated 5% today…

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.

Plastic Pollution / When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, Coastal Care
“The unprecedented plastic waste tide plaguing our oceans and shores, can become as limited as our chosen relationship with plastics, which involves a dramatic behavioral change on our part…”

Can Data Save Dolphins? How Scientists Are Using NASA Data to Study Link Between Solar Storms and Animal Beachings


Beached pilot whales, New Zealand. 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

By NASA;

The age-old mystery of why otherwise healthy dolphins, whales and porpoises get stranded along coasts worldwide deepens: After a collaboration between NASA scientists and marine biologists, new research suggests space weather is not the primary cause of animal beachings — but the research continues. The collaboration is now seeking others to join their search for the factors that send ocean mammals off course, in the hopes of perhaps one day predicting strandings before they happen.

Scientists have long sought the answer to why these animals beach, and one recent collaboration hoped to find a clear-cut solution: Researchers from a cross-section of fields pooled massive data sets to see if disturbances to the magnetic field around Earth could be what confuses these sea creatures, known as cetaceans. Cetaceans are thought to use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Since intense solar storms can disturb the magnetic field, the scientists wanted to determine whether they could, by extension, actually interfere with animals’ internal compasses and lead them astray.

During their first investigation, the scientists — from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW; and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM — were not able to hammer down a causal connection.

“We’ve learned so far there is no smoking gun indicating space weather is the primary driver,” said Goddard space weather scientist Antti Pulkkinen. “But there is a sense that geomagnetic conditions may be part of a cocktail of contributing factors.”

Now, the team is opening their study up much wider: They’re asking other scientists to participate in their work and contribute data to the search for the complex set of causes for such standings…

Read Full Article And Watch Video, NASA (12-08-2017)

Are Solar Storms Causing Mysterious Sea Animal Beachings?; LiveScience (02-03-2017)
Why do otherwise healthy sea creatures end up stranded along coastal areas around the world? NASA scientists are searching for the answer…

Whale Mass Stranding Attributed to Sonar Mapping For First Time; Wildlife Conservation Society (09-26-2013)

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature

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

Soul-crushing’ video of starving polar bear exposes climate crisis, experts say


Polar bear chewing on a plastic bag, Kaktovik, AK on the Arctic Ocean. Photo source: ©© Anita Ritenour.

Excerpts;

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…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (12-08-2017)

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…

Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Population Declined in the 2000s; USGS (11-18-2014)
Scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent…

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…

Protect Whales and Other Marine Mammals from Big Oil: NRDC

baby-dolohin
Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care

Excerpts;

“Not a single marine mammal has gone extinct in U.S. waters since the Marine Mammal Protection Act was enacted 45 years ago.

This bedrock conservation bill has helped us protect whales, dolphins, seals, and manatees against dangerous industrial activities, including offshore oil and gas operations. But all this could quickly change if Congress votes to gut this critical Act.

Speak out today to protect the remarkable mammals that call the sea their home.” — NRDC

Read Full Article And Learn More, NRDC

Hundreds of Sea Turtles Found Dead


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

As many as 300 to 400 dead sea turtles were found off the coast of El Salvador in Jiquilisco Bay late last month.

The massive die off in El Salvador raises big questions for scientists, as authorities are still in the process of collecting information, and details on exact numbers or the cause of the die off have been scarce…

Read Full Article, National Geographic (11-03-2017)

Hundreds of dead sea turtles found off El Salvador, CBC (11-07-2017)
While they are uncertain what caused the deaths, NASA satellite images suggest chlorophyll levels off the coast have increased to 12 milligrams per cubic metre, far above the normal rate of the approximately three milligrams per cubic metre.

Hundreds of Sea Turtles Found Dead Off the Coast of El Salvador; Smithsonian (11-03-2017)
Authorities aren’t sure what caused the die-off, but a prime suspect is a toxic algal bloom…

New Federal Study: Dredging is harming more endangered fish

sand-dredger
Onboard a sand dredger, Miami, Florida.
“Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water…”.”Captions and Photograph by “Sand Wars” Award-Winning Filmmaker: Denis Delestrac. ©2013
As of 2011-2012, when investigative filmmaker Denis Delestrac and team, were collecting and unveiling sand mining datas and information from the professionals involved, “…the sand business was estimated to be a $70 billion industry, worldwide…!”—Denis Delestrac (©-2013)

Excerpts;

A study from the National Marine Fisheries Service says a few more endangered sturgeon and sea turtles have been killed as a result of the dredging in the Savannah River…

“What this report shows us is that the number of endangered species out there is actually more robust than originally thought…”

Read Full Article; WSAV (10-31-2017)

A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths; The Outer Banks Voice (08-22-2017)
Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect. In the eight-week period beginning May 21, reports produced by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission show a total of 101 incidental takes which are interactions with sea turtles. “Takes” mean any type of interaction and aren’t equated to mortality. During that time frame, about five dozen are attributed to the beach nourishment projects in the northern municipalities…

Study: Sand nourishment linked to fewer marine life, Palm Beach Daily News (04-2016)
A recent study examining the impact of beach nourishment projects on marine life should provoke further research by local scientists, according to a Palm Beach Atlantic University biologist…

Beach replenishment may have far reaching impacts on ecosystems;” Phys.Org (03-29-2016)
UC San Diego biologists who examined the biological impact of replenishing eroded beaches with offshore sand found that such beach replenishment efforts could have long-term negative impacts on coastal ecosystems…

Palm Beach Sea Turtles Killed During Beach Renourishment Project, Broward Palm Beach New Times (04-28-2015)

Green group questions beach renourishment costs, environmental effects; Myrtle News (04-11-2016)

Beach renourishment sand could affect coral reefs off Broward; Fla.; The Sun-Sentinel (11-25-2016)

Economy Winner, Environment Loser in Renourishment; Pensacola News Journal (12-02-2015)

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The State (08-17-2016)
Rob Young, who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said the government is subsidizing coastal development with renourishment money – and that’s costing taxpayers. Communities across the country have spent millions of dollars renourishing beaches. Those efforts encourage people to rebuild after every major hurricane…

Is Beach Renourishment Worth The Money?, WWAY News (02-16-2015)

Palm Beach Mid-Town Dredge Project, A Youtube Video (02-04-2015)
“Beach nourishment projects like this have become commonplace along the US East and Gulf Coasts. These projects have immediate environmental impacts through burial of nearshore habitat and increased turbidity during project placement.The cumulative environmental impacts of doing this repeatedly on the same beach while conducting projects from Maine to Texas is unknown. But, we should be concerned. ” —Robert S. Young, PhD, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University

Prozac in ocean water a possible threat to sea life

bernard-l'ermite
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Oregon shore crabs exhibit risky behavior when they’re exposed to the antidepressant Prozac, making it easier for predators to catch them, according to a new study from Portland State University (PSU)…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (10-20-2017)

California’s Crab Fiasco Is Worse for Marine Life Than Humans; Wired (11-06-2015)

Microplastics Worse For Crabs And Other Marine Life Than Previously Thought; Science Daily (07-18-2014)

The Book: “All The Way To The Ocean,” by Joel Harper (© 2010)
A book teaching kids and parents that sewage pollution runs “All the Way to the Ocean.”

Even modest oil exposure can harm coastal and marine birds

refugio-oil-spill-cc
Refugio Beach, California, oil along the coastline. Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.

Excerpts;

Many birds and other wildlife die following an oil spill, but there are also other potential long-terms effects of oil exposure on animals.

The findings show that even modest oil exposure can cause problems for individual birds and bird populations…

Read Full Article; SETAC (10-12-2017)

Small offshore oil spills put seabirds at risk; Science Daily (05-26-2016)
Chronic pollution from many small oil spills may have greater population-level impacts on seabirds than a single large spill, suggest researchers…