Marine Biology News

Courtesy of Science Daily

Welcome to Sea and Sky's Marine Biology News. Here you can find links to the latest ocean news headlines in the topic of marine biology. Click on any yellow title below to view the full news article. The news article will open in a new browser window. Simply close the browser window when you are finished reading the article to return to the news article listing. You can use the "Click for More" link to go to a page with more news headlines.


15-year analysis of blue whale range off California finds conflict with shipping lanes
A comprehensive analysis of the movements of blue whales off the West Coast found that their favored feeding areas are bisected by heavily used shipping lanes, increasing the threat of injury and mortality. But moving the shipping lanes off Los Angeles and San Francisco to slightly different areas -- at least, during summer and fall when blue whales are most abundant -- could significantly decrease the probability of ships striking the whales.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:17:20 EDT

Major impact of climate change on Antarctic fur seals
Genetic analysis of Antarctic fur seals, alongside decades of in-depth monitoring, has provided unique insights into the effect of climate change on a population of top-predators. The findings show that the seals have significantly altered in accordance with changes in food availability that are associated with climate conditions. Despite a shift in the population towards 'fitter' individuals, this fitness is not passing down through generations, leaving the population in decline.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:14:07 EDT

Calcification in changing oceans
What do mollusks, starfish, and corals have in common? Aside from their shared marine habitat, they are all calcifiers -- organisms that use calcium from their environment to create hard carbonate skeletons and shells for stability and protection.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:42:02 EDT

Safeguarding Belize's barrier reef with conservation drones
Seeking to gain a high-tech edge over illegal fishers, the Government of Belize will use “eyes in the sky” to enforce fishing regulations in the biodiverse Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and other reef systems in what is the first use of conservation drones to monitor marine protected areas.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:24:32 EDT

Vulnerability of sharks as collateral damage in commercial fishing shown by study
A new study that examined the survival rates of 12 different shark species when captured as unintentional bycatch in commercial longline fishing operations found large differences in survival rates across the 12 species, with bigeye thresher, dusky, and scalloped hammerhead being the most vulnerable.
Publ.Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:27:02 EDT

Seals forage at offshore wind farms
By using sophisticated GPS tracking to monitor seals' every movement, researchers have shown for the first time that some individual seals are repeatedly drawn to offshore wind farms and pipelines. Those human-made structures probably serve as artificial reefs and attractive hunting grounds, according to a study.
Publ.Date : Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:38:19 EDT

Microplastics worse for crabs and other marine life than previously thought: Enter through gills
The tiny plastic particles polluting our seas are not only orally ingested by marine creatures, but also enter their systems through their gills, according to a new study. When microplastics are drawn in through this method they take over six times longer to leave the body compared with standard digestion.
Publ.Date : Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:56:26 EDT

Nature's strongest glue comes unstuck
Over a 150 years since it was first described by Darwin, scientists are finally uncovering the secrets behind the super strength of barnacle glue. Still far better than anything we have been able to develop synthetically, barnacle glue -- or cement -- sticks to any surface, under any conditions. But exactly how this superglue of superglues works has remained a mystery -- until now.
Publ.Date : Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:54:18 EDT

Atlantic salmon show capacity to adapt to warmer waters
Populations of Atlantic salmon have a surprisingly good capacity to adjust to warmer temperatures that are being seen with climate change, a group of scientists has discovered. The finding about Atlantic species adds to recent research on heat tolerance of Pacific salmon. The study addressed questions around how climate change might affect salmon species distribution and abundance.
Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Jul 2014 14:20:47 EDT

Dredging linked to diseased corals by new study
Dredging activity near coral reefs can increase the frequency of diseases affecting corals. researchers say after a a world-first study. 'At dredging sites, we found more than twice as much coral disease than at our control sites,' says the lead author of the study. "Corals require both light and food to survive," researchers explain. "And unfortunately, dredging impacts corals on two fronts: increased turbidity means less light for photosynthesis, while increased levels of sediment falling onto the coral can interfere with their ability to feed."
Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:11:24 EDT

Indus river dolphin's declining range: Patterns of river fragmentation provide insight into river dolphin conservation
Removal of river water for irrigation and habitat fragmentation by irrigation dams were shown to be the principal factors contributing to the decline of the Indus river dolphin.
Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:13:06 EDT

Whale shark fringe migration: 16-year study suggests Azore islands may play increasing role in whale shark habitat
At the fringe of the whale shark range, the volcanic Azore islands may play an increasing role for the north Atlantic population as sea surface temperatures rise.
Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:13:04 EDT

Animal foraging tactics unchanged for 50 million years
Animals have used the same technique to search for food that's in short supply for at least 50 million years, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed fossilized sea urchin trails from northern Spain and found the tracks reflect a search pattern still used by a huge range of creatures today.
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:57:30 EDT

Glowing red in the big blue: Red fluorescence at great depths
Many fish species glow red and can see red light, even at depths where the red part of the sunlight spectrum has been absorbed by the water above. It was long assumed that red light did not play a role at depths of 10m or more. However, researchers have not only discovered and investigated the phenomenon of red fluorescence; they have now described a new detail which offers important clues to the function of glowing red.
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:42:15 EDT

Organic pollutants not factor in turtle tumor disease, study finds
A new study casts doubt on long-held suspicions that persistent organic pollutants in the environment make green turtle more susceptible to the virus that causes fibropapilomatosis, a disease that forms large benign tumors that can inhibit the animal's sight, mobility and feeding ability.
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:26:56 EDT

New mite species from a Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystem named after J-Lo
During a recent survey of organisms collected from Bajo de Sico, a mesophotic coral reef ecosystem in Mona Passage off Puerto Rico, one pontarachnid mite species new to science was discovered. The new species was named after the famous Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez.
Publ.Date : Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:45:23 EDT

Marine, terrestrial wildlife haven becomes four million-acre biosphere reserve
A rugged peninsula in Argentina’s Patagonia region teeming with wildlife has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Environmental, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Publ.Date : Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:19:19 EDT

Rethinking fish farming to offset its public health and environmental risks
As government agencies recommend greater consumption of seafood for its health benefits, a new analysis urges medical and public health professionals to consider the environmental and health impact of seafood sourcing, particularly aquaculture, or the farming of fish, shellfish and crustaceans.
Publ.Date : Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:23:24 EDT

Belize's lobster, conch, and fish populations rebuild in no-take zones
A new report shows that no-take zones in Belize can not only help economically valuable species such as lobster, conch, and fish recover from overfishing, but may also help re-colonize nearby reef areas. According to past studies, the recovery of lobster, conch, and other exploited species within marine protected areas with no-take zones, or fully protected reserves, could take as little as 1-6 years. Full recovery of exploited species, however, could take decades.
Publ.Date : Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:55:16 EDT

Ecologists make first image of food niche
The ecological niche concept is very important in ecology. But what a niche looks like is fairly abstract. Now, for the first time, researchers have concretely visualized the ecological niche. The biologists have been able to determine the position of fourteen fish species in relationship to their food in a four-dimensional food diagram.
Publ.Date : Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:13:02 EDT