Marine Science

Dolphin Numbers Still Low Despite “Safe” Tuna Fishing, Experts Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 26, 2007   View Article

Spotted and spinner dolphin populations in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have yet to recover, despite nearly 20 years of friendlier tuna fishing practices, researchers say.

But no one is quite sure why the dolphins are having a hard time bouncing back.

Warming Oceans Put Kink in Food Chain, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 30, 2007   View Article

The growth of tiny plants at the base of the ocean food chain is tightly linked to changes in the climate, according to a recent study.

The finding shows that as temperatures warm, the growth of single-celled ocean plants called phytoplankton slows at Earth’s mid and low latitudes. The plants’ growth increases when the climate cools.

Seafood May Be Gone by 2048, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2006   View Article

Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.

According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed. If the long-term trend continues, in 30 years there will be little or no seafood available for sustainable harvest.

Iceland Breaks Whale-Hunt Ban, Kills Fin Whale

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 23, 2006   View Article

Icelandic whalers killed an endangered fin whale Saturday, breaking a 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling in the Scandinavian country.

Television images Sunday showed a 65-foot-long (20-meter-long) fin whale being towed into an Icelandic harbor. The whale was harpooned in the North Atlantic about 200 miles (320 kilometers) west of the country.

Manatee Protections in Belize Should Be World Model, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 27, 2006   View Article

Efforts to protect manatees in the coastal waters of Belize stand to benefit the global conservation of the huge, sluggish marine mammals, a leading expert says.

“In Belize they’ve got a strong [manatee] population, probably the densest in all of Central and South America,” said Caryn Self-Sullivan, a doctoral candidate in wildlife and fisheries at Texas A&M University in College Station.

“Walking” Sharks Among 50 New Species Found in Indonesia Reefs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 18, 2006   View Article

More than 50 new species have been discovered off the coast of Indonesia, including small, slender-bodied sharks that “walk” with their fins along coral reefs, researchers announced today.

Oil Platforms, Deep Seas, Mined for New Drugs

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 25, 2006   View Article

The thousands of oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico may soon become a source for blockbuster drugs, researchers say.

“They are all very, very rich in organisms” that could provide ingredients for powerful pharmaceuticals, said Lawrence Rouse, the director of the Coastal Marine Institute at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach