Tag Archives: Marine Animals

Florida surfer uses drone to capture awe-inspiring views of sharks

black-tip-shark
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

A Florida surfer didn’t realize just how many sharks were swimming around him until he recorded drone video over the beach…

Read Full Article; CNN (02-20-2020)

Researchers captured footage of a rare shark nursery 2,500 feet below the coastal waters of Ireland; BusinessInsider (11-12-2018)
Drone footage of a rare shark nursery, found 200 miles off Ireland’s western coast, has been revealed. It’s being called a discovery on a “scale not previously documented in Irish waters…”

How Should We Respond When Humans and Sharks Collide? National Geographic (07-05-2013)

Plastic pollution poses new threat to a turtle paradise


“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;

The oceanic island of Príncipe lies in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa. In 2012, the entire island was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The waters surrounding Príncipe harbour five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle and this remote island’s relatively pristine beaches provide crucial nesting sites.

Arguably, the most insidious threat is the plastic permeating Príncipe’s waters and piling up on its beaches…

Read Full Article; PhysOrg (02-17-2020)

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest; Phys Org (09-26-2018)
Scientists found an average of 5,300 particles of plastic per cubic metre at depths of 60cm (2ft) on beaches in Cyprus used by green turtles and loggerheads. These beaches in Cyprus are located far from industrial practices and aren’t visited by large numbers of people. The findings support the theory that beaches act as a “sink” for marine micro plastics…

Micronizing ocean plastics threaten sea turtle populations, ocean life cycle; Science Daily (09-17-2018)
Ingestion of degrading ocean plastics likely poses a substantial risk to the survival of post-hatchling sea turtles because the particles can lead to blockages and nutritional deficiencies, according to new research…

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

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish; Science Daily (12-18-2017)

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

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…”

Climate Change is Decimating the Chinstrap Penguins of Antarctica

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

Excerpts;

Scientists conducting a chinstrap census along the Antarctic Peninsula have discovered drastic declines in many colonies, with some seeing population reductions of up to 77% since they were last surveyed, about 50 years ago…

Read Full Article; TIME (02-10-2020)

Global warming cited as Antarctica’s chinstrap penguin population drops by half; CBS News (01-16-2020)
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…

Scientists listen to whales, walruses and seals in a changing Arctic seascape


Beluga whales’ incredibly sophisticated series of vocal repertoires and acoustic systems suggest that they are capable of forming very complex relationships and groups. Credit: Lisa Barry, NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/MML.

Excerpts;

A year-round acoustic study of marine mammals in the northern Bering Sea is providing scientists with a valuable snapshot of an Arctic world already under drastic pressure from climate change…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (02-03-2020)

Marine Heat Wave Linked to Sharp Increase in Whale Entanglements


Humpback whale breaching shows line entanglement through mouth, around left pectoral flipper, with trailing towards tail. Photo: Mark Girardeau. NMFS MMHSRP.
In 2018, entanglements were reported throughout the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, but were concentrated in central and southern California. However, entanglement report locations may not reflect where the entanglement originally occurred. Captions and Photo source: NOAA

Excerpts;

An ocean heat wave off the U.S. West Coast from 2014 to 2016 drove humpback whales into a narrow band of cooler water, leading to a dramatic increase in whale entanglements with crab-fishing gear, according to a new study.

The large expanse of warm water off the West Coast drove the prey, and the whales, into a much smaller area of cool water near the coast, where Dungeness crab fishermen place much of their gear. As a result, confirmed whale entanglements rose from 10 in 2014 to 53 in 2015 and 55 in 2016, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Communications…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (01-28-2020)

Plastic Pollution: When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide, By Claire Le Guern – ©
“According to NOAA, plastic debris kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually, millions of birds and fishes. The largest pieces of marine plastic debris, miles long discarded fishing nets and lines mostly, take an obvious toll on animals. These derelicts nets, called “ghost nets”, snare and drown thousands of larger sea creatures per year, such as seals, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugons, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures. Acting as designed, these nets restrict movement causing starvation, laceration, infection, and, in animals that need to return to the surface to breathe, suffocation.”

Ghost netting: Image emerges of decomposed turtle wrapped in plastic net; The Independent (08-18-2018)
Pictures taken from the upcoming environmental film Blue, which will be shown at the Ocean Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, show the horrific effects of plastic pollution and ghost nets on marine life and the world’s oceans…

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…

West Coast Large Whale Entanglement Response Program; NOAA

Scientists alarmed to discover warm water at vital point beneath Antarctica’s doomsday glacier, CBS News (02-01-2020)
Scientists have found for the first time, warm water beneath Antarctica’s “doomsday glacier,” a nickname used because it is one of Antarctica’s fastest melting glaciers…

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…