The dawn of a new age of undersea research

Image credit University of Washington Didn’t Batman have one of these? I want one for Christmas. With a wingspan 20 feet across the XRay autonomously glides through the water collecting data for scientific modeling of oceanographic systems. The XRay was tested in Monterey Bay earlier this year. Expect schools of robot fish and other autonomous … Continue reading The dawn of a new age of undersea research

China’s freshwater dolphin driven to extinction

After surviving 20 million years, China’s goddess of the river is driven to extinction By Clifford Coonan in Beijing Published: 18 December 2006 For 20 million years, the white-fin dolphin, or baiji, swam China’s longest river, the Yangtze. But a few years of breakneck development, overfishing and a massive increase in shipping have reduced sightings … Continue reading China’s freshwater dolphin driven to extinction

Rapid Bleaching Assessment Protocol announced for Caribbean tropical corals

The Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Program (AGRRA) has announced a new rapid assessment protocol for assessing bleaching impacts on Caribbean tropical corals (dubbed BLAGARRA). The ability to quickly assess large areas is essential in monitoring the effects of mass bleaching events (immediate and delayed coral mortality, recovery, etc.). This protocol is well suited … Continue reading Rapid Bleaching Assessment Protocol announced for Caribbean tropical corals

Dissecting the deep sea coral language in H.R. 5946 – the meat and bones (mesoglea and septa)

Deep sea corals are happy today The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 (as amended to H.R. 5946) was passed by Congress on December 9 at 1:25 A.M. Two provisions of this legislation specifically address deep sea corals (sections 105 and 408): Section 105 authorizes (via discretionary authority) the Regional Fishery Management … Continue reading Dissecting the deep sea coral language in H.R. 5946 – the meat and bones (mesoglea and septa)

Ocean Acidification…the greatest ocean threat.

Elizabeth Kolbert wrote a very informative article on ocean acidifcation in the Nov 20, 2006 issue of the New Yorker titled “The Darkening Sea…What carbon emissions are doing to the ocean”. Climate change skeptics do not dispute the fact that the oceans are becoming more acidic because we are burning ever increasing quantities of fossil … Continue reading Ocean Acidification…the greatest ocean threat.

Large charismatic marine megafauna thought to be extinct, who’s next?

Say goodbye to the poor Baiji Dolphin Last sited in 1997, the poor Baiji Dolphin is expected to be extinct. The Bajii is (or was) a nearly blind finless freshwater white dolphin which apparently has scumbed to Chinas relentless economic growth. On Dec 6 the Wall Street Journal (paper edition) reported the results of a … Continue reading Large charismatic marine megafauna thought to be extinct, who’s next?