First direct evidence of ocean mixing across the Gulf Stream

PhysOrg — New research provides the first direct evidence for the Gulf Stream blender effect, identifying a new mechanism of mixing water across the swift-moving current. The results have important implications for weather, climate and fisheries because ocean mixing plays a critical role in these processes. The Gulf Stream is one of the largest drivers of climate and biological productivity Read More…

A healthy ocean can help fight pandemics

Dialogo Chino — Covid-19 is forcing the world to rethink our economies, supply chains and science. Widespread inconsideration of biology and ecology in planning have in part led to the challenging circumstances we are now in. We must think about how we emerge in a new and more sustainable post-crisis world that places living resources at its heart. When thinking about life on Earth, there Read More…

Why we need sharks: the true nature of the ocean’s ‘monstrous…

The Guardian — Each day, as the sun sets over the coral-fringed Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia, an underwater predator stirs. As predators go, it’s not especially big or ferocious – an arm’s length from head to tail, with a snuffling, moustachioed snout. What’s unique is that it doesn’t so much swim along the seabed as walk. Using its four fins as legs, and twisting its spine Read More…

California Takes the Lead in Regulating Ropeless Fishing

NRDC — NRDC has weighed in on new regulations proposed by the state of California to protect endangered wildlife from becoming entangled in commercial Dungeness crab fishing gear. Entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of death for marine mammals worldwide. In the United States, entanglement in commercial pot and trap gear used to fish for lobster and crab is seriously Read More…

Farewell smooth handfish: What can we learn from the world’s first…

PhysOrg — Earlier this month, a group of Australian scientists confirmed a depressing landmark for our blue planet: The first marine fish of modern times has been declared extinct on the IUCN RedList. The smooth handfish (Sympterichthys unipennis) was one of 14 (now 13) species of handfish, beautifully patterned creatures with a distinctly "missing link" look about them. Residing only in Read More…

Drug trafficking could be putting ‘fragile fisheries’ at risk,…

Mongabay — The fishing boat flew a Singaporean flag as it sailed toward Batam Island in Indonesia. But when Indonesian Navy officers intercepted the vessel and boarded it in February 2018, they discovered that the boat, and its four-person crew, were actually from Taiwan. Flying a false flag wasn’t the only offense — customs officials also found 41 rice sacks packed with a ton of Read More…

Strange new species discovered in Pacific Ocean ‘abyss’

New York Post — Four new species of single-cell organisms have been discovered in the depths of the Pacific. The single-celled xenophyophores were found by researchers from the U.K.’s National Oceanography Center, the University of Hawaii and the University of Geneva in Switzerland. The species were discovered using an underwater drone in the western Clarion Clipperton Zone, where Read More…

Where are the orcas? Not in the Salish Sea, where there’s no food…

KUOW — For the second year in a row, the region's endangered orcas have been missing from their key habitat around the San Juan Islands for months at a time. Some of the endangered orcas popped up just west of San Juan Island Friday night, but they appeared to head west toward the open ocean again. Before that brief visit, none of the endangered southern resident killer whales Read More…

Under pressure, NOAA delays at-sea monitors for a month

South Coast Today — After facing significant pushback from elected officials, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration abruptly reversed course Tuesday and announced it will not resume sending observers out to sea on fishing vessels until at least August. NOAA had been planning to revive at-sea monitoring in the Northeast on Wednesday after more than three months of suspending Read More…

Worldwide slowdown in fishing unlikely to save rare species

PhysOrg — Commercial fishing taking place worldwide has dipped since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but scientists and conservation experts say it's unclear if the slowdown will help endangered species of marine life recover. Hours logged by fishermen at sea fell by nearly 10% around the world after the March 11 declaration of a pandemic, and in some hard-hit countries such as Read More…