Food Chain News

A marine technician hauls in the CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) rosette on a research cruise in the Sargasso Sea. © Maya Thompson

BIOS: North Atlantic Carbon Sink Shrinking Due to Warming

.One particular layer in the North Atlantic Ocean, a water mass called the North Atlantic Subtropical Mode Water (STMW), represents around 20% of the entire carbon dioxide uptake in the mid-latitude North Atlantic and is an important nutrient reservoir for phytoplankton—the base of the marine food chain. “The oceans play a vital role in buffering the Earth from climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and heat at the surface and transporting it in the deep ocean,” said Sam Stevens, doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia and lead author on the study. “Studying

©Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation/Ken Marks

Global Reef Expedition: Mission to Tonga

Tonga, KSLOF concluded that overall, the reefs in Tonga are moderately healthy. While the corals themselves were thriving in some places, the reef fish and invertebrate communities were in poor condition. Although there were many kinds of fish seen on reefs in Tonga, the fish were small and low on the food chain. Few large and commercially valuable fish remained.To the credit of The Ministry of Fisheries, the Kingdom of Tonga has done substantial work in establishing conservation areas to protect the country’s marine resources. The Foundation commends these efforts and hopes this information can

Photo credit: ©Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

The Global Reef Expedition: Kingdom of Tonga

kinds of fish seen on reefs in Tonga, the fish were small. Few large and commercially valuable fish remained. But with continued fisheries management, there is hope these reefs can recover.“The coral reef fish communities we observed in Tonga were dominated by small fish considered low on the food chain, raising concern for the long-term sustainability of the fishery,” said Renee Carlton, author and Marine Ecologist for the Foundation. “We saw very few fish that are particularly important to local fishers, such as parrotfish, emperors, snapper, and groupers. Our findings highlight

A marine debris team member gathers a handful of disposable cigarette lighters picked up at a beach cleanup site. (NOAA)

NOAA: $2.7M for Marine Trash Studies

habitat in St. Paul Island, Alaska; the removal of 441,000 pounds of medium-to-large debris at two critical salt marsh sites in the New York City borough of Queens; and research by Rutgers University in New Jersey to study how microplastics move from rivers to the ocean, and how they may enter the food chain.Approximately $1.5 million in grants will support 10 community-driven removal projects in Alaska, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska), California, Guam, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Washington) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grantees

Photo: David Vargas/Lindblad Expeditions

MTR100: #3 Sven Lindblad, Lindblad Expeditions

, with what he did with Lindblad Travel.”The renowned adventure-travel pioneer, Lars Lindblad, led the first laymen traveler groups to the Galapagos, Antarctica and other regions, all of which need careful care for future generations.“Think about coral reefs disappearing entirely, the whole food chain of the ocean interrupted and ceasing to function,” he said. “That’s scary, motivating stuff. The greatest wonder on earth are coral reefs. The temperature of the world is heating up, and our environment is threatened by that. Coral reefs depend on water temperatures that don&rsquo

Fig. 1: Teledyne RDI ADCP attached to a hydrographic package before lowering to great depths. Credit: J. Lemus (U. Hawaii).

Full-Depth Current Profiling Around the Global Ocean

ADCPs (LADCP) have provided well-resolved, full-depth current profiles since the early 1990s.Deep currents store, carry, and redistribute important properties for life in and out of the sea. For example, oxygen and nutrient levels are vital where the deep waters upwell to supply the ocean’s food chain. Yet until the mid-1970s, deep currents rivaled the dark side of the moon for mystery. Stimulated by findings from improved observations, there is now intense interest in how deep currents take part in the global climate system. Especially important are the changing heat and CO2 content of the

© Lovell / Adobe Stock

Pope Urges Action Against Plastic in Oceans

the Vatican for the occasion, saying that "each of us has to be responsible for others and for the future of our planet".United Nations figures show eight million tonnes of plastic -- bottles, packaging and other waste -- enter the ocean each year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain.Scientists have urged tougher restrictions on plastic waste. In December, almost 200 nations agreed to limit plastic pollution of the oceans, warning it could outweigh fish by 2030.Francis wrote a major document called "Laudato Si" (Praised Be) on protecting the environment from global

Cefas’ Wave Glider Lyra sailing away on the start of the 41 day mission after being deployed from RV Cefas Endeavour. (Photo: Cefas)

Scientists Complete 1700km Autonomous Acoustics Mission

of experts at Cefas including scientists, mechanical and electronic engineers, software developers and technicians.”“These autonomous vehicles could eventually take over elements of ship-based monitoring of the fish and zooplankton community by being able to identify these components of the food chain from the acoustic data alone and thus saving money by reducing the durations of ship-intensive surveys.”Dr. Jeroen van der Kooij, Cefas Pelagic Fisheries Scientists, added, “After seeing the preliminary data we collected, I am extremely excited about the future for autonomous vehicles

© dtatiana / Adobe Stock

Vietnam Beach Awash with Tide of Blue Waste

to wherever the sea level rises," she said.Vietnam is the fourth-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution globally, a 2015 study by the University of Georgia showed.Globally, eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, according to the U.N. Environment Programme.The latest example was a pilot whale that died in Thailand with some 80 pieces of plastic rubbish found in its stomach.The theme of World Environment Day on Tuesday is beating plastic pollution, with a call for citizens, companies and civil society groups

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