Marine Technology Reporter Blogs - species

Abrolhos National Maine Park – Part 2

November 21, 2014

baleias jubarte banco de abrolhos
An important marine reserve system started with the Abrolhos National Marine Park (Parque Nacional Marinho Dos Abrolhos) in 1983 and has been expanded to include three carefully managed "Marine Extractive Reserves": Canavieiras (2006), Corumbau, and, most recently, the Cassurubá Marine Extractive Reserve. This network of marine reserves is the first of its kind in Brazil and serves as a model for marine conservation. Nearly 20,000 families make a living from traditional fisheries in the Abrolhos region and they are becoming important conservation partners as they come to understand that marine protected areas are an effective tool for fisheries recovery.

Potential Environmental Consequences of Deep Sea Mining

May 12, 2014

nautilus impacts
In order for deep sea mining to be safely implemented, it is necessary to ensure the protection of sensitive ecosystems and minimize the potential environmental impact of the mining operations. Hydrothermal vents are the primary source for deep sea minerals. The magma below these vents heats the surrounding seawater, which causes metals within the sediment to leach into the water. The subsequent shock of the cold water causes the metals to precipitate and form as solids in the sediment surrounding the vents. Because of these high concentrations, most deep sea mining would occur in the chimneys above the vents. The vents themselves would be preserved undamaged, but the chimneys would be destroyed in order to mine the metals encrusted on them.

25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

March 24, 2014

a d bf c ef e a a c wi
On March 24, 1989 the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil across 1,300 miles of coastline. The tankers grounding and subsequent oil spill lead to one of the most thorough examinations of the effects of oil on the environment. While the vast majority of the spill area now appears to have recovered, pockets of crude oil remain in some locations, and there is evidence that not all resources affected by the spill have recovered to the previous state. No one anticipated any unusual problems as the Exxon Valdez left the Alyeska Pipeline Terminal at 9:12 p.m., Alaska Standard Time, on March 23,1989.

Small Cetaceans in Desperate Situation

December 13, 2013

Baiji
Small, lesser-known species of cetaceans, such as the baiji (or Yangtze River dolphin) may not survive the next decade. The same holds true for Hector’s Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) and Maui’s Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) in New Zealand. In New Zealand’s case, three international scientific bodies have repeatedly urged the New Zealand Government to protect the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins from extinction. But the calls by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) have not been heeded. Recently the SMM, the pre-eminent body of international marine mammal scientists…

Small Cetaceans in Desperate Situation

December 13, 2013

Small, lesser-known species of cetaceans, such as the baiji (or Yangtze River dolphin) may not survive the next decade. The same holds true for Hector’s Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) and Maui’s Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) in New Zealand. In New Zealand’s case, three international scientific bodies have repeatedly urged the New Zealand Government to protect the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins from extinction. But the calls by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Society for Marine Mammalogy (SMM) have not been heeded. Recently the SMM, the pre-eminent body of international marine mammal scientists…

Abrolhos National Maine Park – Part 1

November 17, 2014

ABROLHOS BA
The Abrolhos Marine National Park is located in the Abrolhos Archipelago since 1983. The Abrolhos are an archipelago of five islands with coral reefs off the southern coast of the state of Bahia state in the northeast of Brazil, between 17º25’–18º09’ S and 38º33’–39º05’ W., the so-called Whale Coast (Costa das Baleias). The marine biodiversity in the South Atlantic Ocean reaches its maximum level in the Abrolhos region. Seasonal populations of humpback whales go there to mate and give birth (and to nowhere else in the South Atlantic). It harbors some of Brazil's most important seabird colonies, extensive coral reefs, and several species of the world's most threatened sea turtles.

Preventing Ballast Water Invasive Species Propagation

July 13, 2013

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Ballast water is used to stabilize ships at sea, being pumped-in to weigh down a ship for safe navigational conditions when the ships hull is not filled with cargo for a voyage. Controlling the amount of ballast water embarked helps to reduce stress on the hull while providing transverse stability when underway. The correct use of ballast also makes ship propulsion more efficient and increases maneuverability. By correctly controlling the amount and location of ballast within the hull an officer can compensate for weight lost due to fuel and water consumption during a voyage, always maintaining optimum stability. Just by reading the paragraph above it becomes clear to any landlubber that ballast water is vital for safe ship operations.

Ship-borne Invasive Species

June 15, 2013

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Scientists have developed the first global model that analyses the routes taken by marine invasive species. The researchers examined the movements of cargo ships around the world to identify the hot spots where these aquatic aliens might thrive. Marine species are taken in with ballast water on freighters and wreak havoc in new locations, potentially driving native species to extinction. The research was published in the Journal Ecology Letters. As Brazil is experiencing a great increase in shipping, mostly due to the ongoing O&G boom spearheaded by huge deepwater pre-salt reservoirs recently being uncorked, this study can be considered of particular importance for Brazilian environmental agencies such as IBAMA…

Treasures of the Deep – Mineral Exploration Under the Seabed

August 4, 2012

Seamount
Located hundreds and even thousands of meters deep, vast deposits of precious metals and other marketable minerals are closer to being explored. Advances in marine geology, hundreds of deposits containing gold, silver, cobalt, lead and zinc, valued at trillions of dollars, have already been identified under the seabed, usually around fumaroles (hot gas fountains of volcanic origin). These are spread out along more than 73 thousand kilometers of underwater fissures on the earth´s crust. This interest has already come to the attention of environmentalists and environmental organizations as these locations are usually populated by unique species that live along the borders of the fumaroles, due to the heads and chemical elements that emanate from these underwater chimneys.
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