Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
- New research on baby corals shows hope for coral reefs in the face of climate change, finding that some baby corals are able to adapt to more acidic conditions. The research primarily focused on staghorn corals, which is a key reef-building species in the Indian and Pacific. The Guardian
You’ve probably encountered coral reefs in some form—whether that’s diving with them in tropical waters or seeing them depicted in movies, like Finding Nemo. As you know, coral reefs are absolutely breathtaking with their many vibrant colors and unique shapes. Not only are they beautiful, but coral reefs are said to be the most diverse marine ecosystem—home to about one-fourth of marine wildlife!
- Scientists have found that humpback whales in the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct in the world. The scientists say they have remained isolated from other populations for 70,000 years—a trait that’s quite rare for animals that embark on such long migrations. Discovery News
Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule that weakens protections for the endangered western population of Steller sea lions.
The dark, cold deep sea is home to a vast amount of creatures that seem like something out of a horror film rather than ocean animals—and their names are often just as terrifying, like the spookfish or the fangtooth fish. While we speculate on just how scary many of the creatures are, many of these animals are poorly understood since they live in environments that are so difficult to access.
- New research shows that healthy coral reef systems are actually quite noisy, but are quieting down after damage from acidification, harmful fishing practices, pollution, and more. Researchers looked at coral reefs in the Philippines and found that noise stemming from unprotected reefs was about a third of that in healthy reef communities. Grist
I am writing to you to introduce our new chairman for Oceana’s board of directors, Simon Sidamon-Eristoff, and other new board leaders.
Our board of directors develops all strategy, budgets, and direction for Oceana’s campaigns around the world. Comprised of 19 leaders in business, academia, philanthropy, and the arts, the board has overseen the organization’s international expansion from the Unites States to Central and South America, Europe, and Asia — including Oceana’s latest openings in Brazil and the Philippines earlier this year.
In the Southern Hemisphere, humpback whales migrate between feeding grounds around Antarctica to breeding grounds in tropical waters, but an understanding of these stocks—divided into “Breeding Stocks A-G” for management purposes—has long been hazy because of a lack of data. But recently, researchers analyzed an unsuspecting feature of humpback whales to better understand their migration patterns: scars on their flukes.
- Scientists say that chemicals in soaps, lotions, sunscreen, and other fragrances have made it to Antarctic waters. The scientists also found traces of chemicals in clams, fish, and sea urchins, and say that some predators like seals could now possibly become exposed to the chemicals. The Guardian
Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court rejected a lawsuit filed by Royal Dutch Shell roughly two years ago against 13 environmental and Alaska Native entities, including Oceana. Shell sued the groups in a “preemptive” move to keep them from being able to sue Shell over its plans to drill in the Arctic. The court ruled that this was a “novel” move by Shell—and one that wasn’t permitted under the United States Constitution.