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
Please Let It Be Whale Vomit, Not Just Sea Junk Photo: Gordon M. Grant for The New York Times If conserving the creatures that live in the ocean doesn’t appeal to you (or more likely, someone else you know) on the basis of biodiversity, cancer cures, tourism dollars or aesthetic value, maybe COLD HARD CASH … Continue reading Whale Vomit
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
The day Boris Worm’s study got media spotlight, so many friends contacted me and asked, “What do you think of the projected fisheries collapse in 2048? Is it true?” I always wanted to say that it’s not the year that matters. 2048? 2047? 2049? It doesn’t matter. The moral of the story is that biodiversity … Continue reading
The New York Times came out with an article today addressing the cost benefits of reducing carbon emissions sooner rather than later, and how climate change is as much an economic problem as it is an environmental problem. One of the interesting things the article states is that by using current technology carbon emissions could … Continue reading Putting a Price Tag on Carbon
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)
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.
Another marine mammal appears on the brink of extinction, the Vaquita. This tiny (1.5 m) charismatic porpoise is endemic to the north-western corner of the Gulf of California, Mexico. It is estimated that there are less than 600 left in the wild. Who’s to blame? Recent research published in Mammal Review points the finger at … Continue reading Next up for extinction, the Vaquita?
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?
The deep water coral Madrepora oculata, from the Straits of Florida (image courtesy Reed 2006) Dec. 7th was a cold dark day for deep cold-water corals, as the UNGA formally adopted its resolution negotiated last month in New York through the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS). … Continue reading Deep sea corals – One step back, two steps forward?