Océano Profundo 2015: At The Bottom of the Caribbean

With measured precision remotely operated vehicles D2 and Seirios are lowered into the deep blue waters of the Caribbean. Ready for the unknown, they begin the descent through the water column to the seafloor hundreds of meters below. February 18 marked the beginning of NOAA’s first expedition for this year – Océano Profundo: Caribbean Trenches … Continue reading Océano Profundo 2015: At The Bottom of the Caribbean

Dottyback reef fish is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”

A new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge has shown that the dottyback, a small predatory reef fish, can change the colour of its body to imitate a variety of other reef fish species, allowing the dottyback to sneak up undetected and eat their young. Its Latin name, Pseudochromis, means false damselfish – … Continue reading Dottyback reef fish is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”

Ocean bacteria “pumped-up” by dying plankton

Scientists have discovered a surprising new short-circuit to the biological pump. They found that sinking particles of stressed and dying phytoplankton release chemicals that have a steroid-like effect on marine bacteria feeding on the particles. The chemicals juice up the bacteria’s metabolism causing them to more rapidly convert organic carbon in the particles back into … Continue reading Ocean bacteria “pumped-up” by dying plankton

Goodbye to sunburn

Sunburn can ruin a scuba diving holiday, but you could soon tell when to cover up thanks to an early warning sunburn indicator, developed by Queen’s University Belfast. Researchers at Queen’s have developed a strip of plastic, containing ‘smart’ ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet … Continue reading Goodbye to sunburn

US Makes Progress on Over-Fishing: Fish Stocks Recovering

The number of US fish stocks listed as overfished, or subject to overfishing, has dropped to an all-time low since NOAA Fisheries began monitoring began in 1997. Their report, released this week, highlights the United States’ continued progress towards sustainably managing fish stocks. NOAA Fisheries maintain three lists: Overfishing, Overfished and Rebuilt. A fish stock … Continue reading US Makes Progress on Over-Fishing: Fish Stocks Recovering

Exploring the Ocean with the Okeanos Explorer

The ocean is vast and has been greatly explored in the last decades. But there is still much to be discovered. With clear plans for 2015, NOAA’s research vessel – the Okeanos Explorer – has already begun its field season and is currently mapping in the Caribbean. Last year saw two successful expeditions, one in … Continue reading Exploring the Ocean with the Okeanos Explorer

European fish are on the move with increasing temperature

We all have our favourite types of environment and weather.  Some love those warm, sunny days spent on a beach of golden sands.  Some love those rainy days in the forest, when everything glistens with the raindrops.  Some love nothing more than a cold crisp day in snowy mountains.  We humans are lucky.  We can … Continue reading European fish are on the move with increasing temperature

Scientists urge Brazil to take a stand on protecting marine life

Brazil fisheries have no bag or size limits for any species of fish and even the most basic fisheries statistics, such as the numbers and weights of fish being caught, are a blank space. The newly published Red List of Brazilian species at risk from extinction, identifies 83 types of marine animal aslo commercially exploited by fisheries. The Galapagos shark is an example of a keystone species thought to have been fished to regional extinction due to decades of nonexistent fisheries regulations. This species is one of many that could have greatly benefited from management plans that help reduce by-catch and prevent the overexploitation of fishing stocks.

Sensor sniffs out methane in deep-sea vents and cows

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat about 20 times more effectively than carbon dioxide. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet. Now a research team including scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods … Continue reading Sensor sniffs out methane in deep-sea vents and cows