Tag Archives: Ecosystem Destruction

A Russian village swallowed by sand

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Shoyna, a Russian fishing village on the frigid shores of the White Sea, is slowly vanishing under sand that engulfs entire houses, their roofs just barely visible above the dunes…

Overfishing not only depleted local stocks; it probably ruined the area’s ecosystem. Trawlers scraped the sea floor clean of silt and seaweed. And with nothing to hold the sand in place anymore, waves started washing it ashore, each of the trillions of grains a reminder of the reckless depredation of the seas.

This disruption of the seabed, perhaps combined with a natural change in the bed of the river that flows through Shoyna and into the White Sea, is the best suspect to blame for the sand invasion, said Sergey Uvarov, the marine biodiversity project coordinator for the World Wildlife Fund in Russia…

Read Full Article; The New York Times (11-11-2018)

Marine Protected Areas overlook a large fraction of biodiversity hotspots

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care


Current marine protected areas (MPAs) leave almost three-quarters of ecologically and functionally important species unprotected, concludes a new performance assessment of the Finnish MPA network.

Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the study finds the MPAs were designated with little knowledge of local marine biodiversity — and that increasing existing networks by just 1% in ecologically most relevant areas could double conservation of the most important species.

In addition to identifying areas of high conservation value, the methodology — which uses a unique new dataset of 140,000 samples — can also be used in ecosystem-based marine spatial planning and impact avoidance, including siting of wind energy infrastructure, aquaculture and other human activities…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-08-2018)

Largest Marine Protected Area in North America Created off Mexico; National Geographic (10-06-2017)
The Mexican government has announced the creation of a new marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean Thursday, the largest protected area of its kind in North America…

Decline in shorebirds linked to climate change, experts warn

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.


Climate change could be responsible for a substantial decline in populations of shorebirds, say researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, following a study published in Science analysing population data over a period of 70 years…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-08-2018)

Modern slavery promotes overfishing

Photograph: © SAF – Coastal Care.


Labour abuses, including modern slavery, are ‘hidden subsidies’ that allow distant-water fishing fleets to remain profitable and promote overfishing, new research from the University of Western Australia and the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia has found…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (11-07-2018)

Overfishing is as big a threat to humanity as it is to our oceans; Guardian UK (02-16-2016)

Troubled Waters; UCSB Current (08-01-2018)
UCSB scientists find that wealthy nations are responsible for almost all of trackable industrial fishing across the global oceans…

Official fish trade ‘hugely underestimates’ global catches; Science Daily (10-09-2017)
Conservation of dwindling fish stocks is being severely hampered by poor controls on global trade, according to new research…

Dolphins are simplifying their calls to be heard over shipping noise

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The world’s oceans are getting noisier, humming with the near-constant sounds of ship engines, seafloor mining, and oil and gas exploration.

Now, a new study published in the journal Biology Letters has found that dolphins are being forced to simplify their calls in order to be heard over the noise…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (10-24-2018)

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…

Marine noise pollution stresses and confuses fish; Science Daily (08-10-2017)
Increased noise pollution in the oceans is confusing fish and compromising their ability to recognise and avoid predators…

Ship noise in coastal habitats could interfere with orca’s communication; Science Daily (02-03-2016)

Accoustic Pollution and Marine Mammals, Nature
In the Canary Islands, 14 beaked whales washed ashore bleeding from the ears. All eventually died. A post-mortem examination revealed that the whales showed signs of decompression sickness (what scuba divers call “the bends”). Decompression sickness can occur when a mammal swims to the ocean’s surface too quickly, and the change in pressure produces lethal nitrogen gas bubbles that clog its blood vessels. Evidence of acute decompression sickness indicates unusual behavior. Over the past 40 years, cumulative research across the globe has revealed a coincidence between naval sonar testing events and acute decompression sickness in beached marine mammals…

Whales Benefit From Action On Ocean Noise, BBC News (03-04-2013)

A Rising Tide of Noise Is Now Easy to See, The New York Times (12-15-2012)

Navy study: Sonar, Blasts Might Hurt More Sea Life (05-14-2012)

Accoustic Pollution and Naval Sonar testing, Discover Magazine (01-26-2012)

“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…

A Silent Victory For Marine Mammals, On Earth Magazine (04-03-2015)
A federal judge stands up to the noisy navy for the sake of marine mammals…

Salty water causes some freshwater harmful algae to release toxins

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


A new U.S. Geological Survey laboratory study of two potentially toxic types of freshwater cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, found that exposure to salty water can damage the cyanobacteria cells’ walls, causing them to release their toxins into the water.

The finding suggests that understanding the mixing of fresh and salt water, which takes place in many coastal water bodies around the world, will help researchers understand the toxic effects of these harmful algal blooms…

Read Full Article; USGS (10-18-2018)

Save Lighthouse Point, a true Bahamian treasure!


Lighthouse Point is one of the last great remaining wilderness places in The Bahamas. Located at the southernmost tip of Eleuthera, it is home to incredibly diverse and unique terrestrial and marine ecosystems as well as cultural and historic resources.

Unfortunately, this outstanding Bahamian treasure is at risk of being lost to externally-driven, large-scale commercial development…

TAKE ACTION: Save Lighthouse Point started this petition to Prime Minister of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas Dr. Hon. Hubert A. Minnis – Change.org

Read Full Article; Save Lighthouse Point (2018)

Sentinels of the sea at risk from changing climate

Photo source: ©© Pictoscribe


Climate change’s effect on coastal ecosystems is very likely to increase mortality risks of adult oyster populations in the next 20 years…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (10-09-2018)

The Great American Oyster Collapse; AlJazeera (07-21-2014)

The (Less Than) Eternal Sea; by Lewis Lapham, The Huffington Post (06-03-2013)