As a marine ecologist at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, I make about 150 dives a year, looking for threatened marine species. I focus on animals and plants that go largely unnoticed: small crustaceans and fish species such as gobies and blennies that grow 3 or 4 centimetres long.
It’s easy to lose sight of good news amid the barrage of negative stories about the threats facing the ocean—everything from growing plastic pollution to dying coral reefs.
In recent years, advancements in DNA sequencing have exposed a large amount of hidden diversity in reef-building corals: species that appear identical to one another but are genetically distinct.
Experiences in establishing and implementing a network of ecologically representative, well-managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), improving the management of existing MPAs, reducing the threat of external threats, such as human activities and climate change, to MPAs.
From August 19 to 30, an intergovernmental conference will convene at the United Nations in New York to continue negotiations toward a treaty to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the high seas—the two-thirds of the world’s ocean beyond the jurisdiction of any country.
As negotiations enter the final phase, countries are split over principles to govern exploitation; China is at the centre of the debate
Marine forests (i.e. seascapes dominated by habitat-forming seaweeds1) are among the most productive ecosystems in temperate rocky coasts, enhancing biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and habitat complexity2,3.
Juli Berwald’s love affair with coral began when she saw her first reef in college — and it changed her life. Mesmerized by the beauty of these underwater animals, she set out on a path to study marine biology, eventually earning a Ph.D.
Krill are best known as whale food. But few people realize that these small, shrimp-like creatures are also important to the health of the ocean and the atmosphere. In fact, Antarctic krill can fertilize the oceans, ultimately supporting marine life from tiny plankton through to massive whales a ...
Did you know that on June 8, 2019, the world will be celebrating World Oceans Day? Did you also know that 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans? If you didn't know, you should be thanking me right now. Without the oceans right now you and I might be nonexistent. Every living thing on t ...
The area right next to a marine protected area is a prime fishing spot—and researchers think fishermen will pay to access it.
One hundred thousand years ago, a human cousin walked a rock-ribbed beach along the Mediterranean Sea, her head lowered and her large eyes scanning the shoreline. Now and again she stopped, bent her strong body, and picked up a seashell.
In a recent paper, my colleagues and I explored what prevents and enables community protection of coastal and marine areas in South Africa. We reviewed global and South African literature to identify common factors in these types of initiatives. We then refined this list based on interviews with ...
The ocean is the most defining physical feature of Earth, covering 71% of the surface of this planet. It is home to incredible biodiversity, ranging from microscopic bacteria and viruses to the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale.
After the government allowed trawlers to come closer to Scottish shores in 1984, the marine ecosystem around the Isle of Arran steadily collapsed, as bottom-trawlers and dredgers intensively combed the seabed with their vibrating spikes.
From the surface, these 57 square kilometres of water are unexceptional. But dip beneath the surface — go down 20 or 30 metres — and you’ll find a spectacular seascape. Sponges, barnacles and tube worms cover rocky ledges on the ocean floor, forming a “live bottom.”
Off the northeast coast of Brazil, the hot morning sun reflects off the sea’s surface as a jangada, a traditional wooden fishing boat, sways gently in the rolling waves.
When Bryce Stewart dived after the toothed, steel-weighted nets of a scallop dredger rumbling over the bottom of the Irish Sea 22 years ago, he witnessed destruction he could never have seen from a boat.
Hamburg/Montreal/Washington D.C./Rome, 28 August 2012 – Six policies from five countries are now shortlisted for the 2012 Future Policy Award, an international award that celebrates effective and exemplary policies. California (USA), Namibia, Palau, the Philippines, and South Africa are still in ...
Coral reefs contain the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They're crucial for fish reproduction and protecting shorelines from tropical storms.
A major study has highlighted how sharks are threatened by commercial fishing around the globe.
For a new species to evolve, two things are essential: a characteristic—such as a colour—unique to one species and a mating preference for this characteristic. For example, individuals from a blue fish species prefer blue mates and individuals from a red fish species prefer red mates.
On a sunny afternoon in April, Katie Nichols crouched over the edges of a small oyster reef in Newport Bay, California, peering into the mud that had been exposed by the receding tide. Where all I saw was a jumble of interchangeable shell fragments, Nichols quickly spotted what she was looking for.
The old adage ‘There’s plenty more fish in the sea’ has been replaced with the inconceivable ‘By 2050 plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish’ (according to a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with The World Economic Forum).
Search “ocean zones” online, and you will see hundreds of illustrations that depict the same vertical profile of the sea. The thin, top layer is the “sunlight” or epipelagic zone, which receives enough light for photosynthesis by phytoplankton, algae and some bacteria.
An international team of scientists reports that a single amino acid change in the light-sensing rhodopsin protein played a critical role when herring adapted to the red-shifted light environment in the Baltic Sea.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are an important tool for protecting and conserving marine ecosystems and their associated services in the long term. However, MPAs require proper management to achieve their conservation objectives.
Corals are comeback creatures. As the world froze and melted and sea levels rose and fell over 30,000 years, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which is roughly the size of Italy, died and revived five times. But now, thanks to human activity, corals face the most complex concoction of conditions t ...
Most of the heat from global warming has gone into the oceans, so it is no wonder that the seas are experiencing massive heatwaves too. What's more, climate change is causing a fall in global ocean oxygen levels.
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have investigated the dynamics of ecosystems in parts of the ocean that have no dissolved oxygen to sustain animals or plants, which are known as ocean anoxic zones. In these areas, only microbes that are adapted to the environment can survive.
The presence of large sturgeon is just one indicator that the waterway is recovering from serious industrial pollution.New York’s Hudson river, once known as America’s Rhine in a nod to the famous European waterway, played a pivotal role in bolstering American power at the cost of decades of fou ...
Iron particles released by industrial activities are falling into the seas in greater quantities than previously thought
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) aren't just talented singers, they learn and steal each other's' songs. And, according to a new study, they can pull off those musical thefts even when there are whole continents separating them from their targets.
A 14-metre long humpback whale freed from entanglement in an illegal drift fishing net off the island of Mallorca has died on another Spanish beach more than 300 kilometres away.
Authorities in Ghana are investigating the deaths of hundreds of dolphins and fish that washed up on beaches in Ghana in recent days, as fears grow that contaminated fish have been sold to customers.
ICCAs— sites and landscapes/ seascapes voluntarily conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities—are a phenomenon of global significance in both terrestrial and marine and coastal environments. This event will feature tools and guidance on how CBD Parties, indigenous peoples, local commu ...
This side-event will discuss the impacts of underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity and habitats in the view of facilitating international and regional cooperation on addressing this issue within the overall context of marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
Educational organisations, aquaria, science centres, natural history museums, research centres, zoos, media and NGO are at the interface of different publics and very good vehicles for communication towards the public at large. Together they reach hundreds of millions of people each year. World ...
In Scotland's highlands, the Glenmorangie whisky distillery has gone beyond merely making whisky and into marine conservation. Working with Heriot Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society, 20,000 oysters will be introduced into the sea near the distillery in the Dornoch Firth - firth ...
New research has revealed that while we still have a chance to save coral reefs, time is quickly running out. The study from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies suggests that under an intermediate emissions scenario, the growth rate of some reefs may keep pace with sea level rise ...
This side-event will present findings of the Synthesis Document on the Impacts of Marine Debris on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/16/INF/15), and initiate a discussion on marine debris by focusing on a number of issues related to marine debris impacts on biodiversity, including ...
This side-event will discuss the impacts of underwater noise on marine and coastal biodiversity and habitats in the view of facilitating international and regional cooperation on addressing this issue within the overall context of marine biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. This event ...
This event will review and consolidate on the experiences, tools and guidance on addressing the impacts of marine debris on marine and coastal biodiversity, and provide inputs to the forthcoming CBD Expert Workshop on this issue in December 2014.
The power of the planet’s most effective carbon sinks - wetlands - can and must be better harnessed in national and global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, says the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as it marks World Wetlands Day tomorrow.
The Government of Gabon has passed landmark measures to manage and protect the country’s sharks and rays: over the past decade, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has worked with the Gabon government to identify 69 species in the country’s waters, highlighting the diversity that these measures ...
SUNGAI NIBUNG, Indonesia — The phone signal comes and goes and the electricity grid has yet to reach this patch of jungle on the west coast of Borneo.
Sierra Leone — As dawn breaks, the fishing wharf at Tamba Kula in Freetown buzzes with the movement of early-morning commerce. Fishers just back from days spent far out at sea unload their catch from wooden boats, hauling snapper, barracuda and other fish out of icy compartments into cartons car ...
One hot 2019 afternoon in Lakshadweep, as marine mammal scientist Divya Panicker sat engrossed in listening to recordings retrieved from underwater sound recorders, she came across low blue-whale moans amid the cacophony of a rooster crow.
WWF-Pakistan on Thursday appealed to the government to declare Churna Island a Marine Protected Area (MPA) after coral bleaching was reported in some areas of the island.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus the relationship people around the world have with the ocean. As lockdowns eased, people flocked to the seashore and the beaches as the oceans’ appeal to the inner stirrings of both body and soul became more pronounced.