This week marks International Cephalopod Awareness Days, a time to celebrate these invertebrates and bring attention to their conservation. Earlier this week, Oceana discussed octopus vision, and also recently celebrated them during Cephalopod Week. Now, Oceana is bringing attention to a lesser-known cephalopod through a Creature Feature.
- It turns out that pollution and runoff may be having a much bigger impact on the Great Barrier Reef than previously thought. New research shows that pollution may be decreasing organisms’ ability to photosynthesize, thereby making it harder to absorb CO2. The Guardian
The Great Blue Hole, a Belizean National Monument and World Heritage Site, is one of the most gorgeous marine settings in the world. Situated just over 50 miles east of Belize City in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the rare reef formation stretches over 1,000 feet wide and over 400 feet deep. Previously an above-ground cave that’s sunk underwater, this sinkhole is teeming with marine life and is a haven for divers and ocean enthusiasts. Belize is home to three of the Caribbean’s four natural coral reef atolls.
- Scientists have recently discovered that some mangroves are offering coral reef shelter and protection from climate change. In Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat in the U.S. Virgin Islands, scientists found 30 species of coral growing underwater. Science Daily
It was a year ago this month when champion big-wave surfer Maya Gabeira set out to ride the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman off Nazaré, Portugal. She's surfed 46-foot waves in South Africa, but nothing like the monstrous 50-foot-plus waves that formed off the underwater cliffs in the Atlantic last October. As Gabeira set out to ride one of these massive waves, she fell into the surf and suffered a near-fatal accident before being rescued.
- Humans, cetaceans, and some birds are some of the only species known to practice vocal learning—communicating with sounds that aren’t just innate. Researchers found orcas not only practice this, but orcas engage in cross-species vocal learning, meaning they shift sounds depending on who they’re hanging out with. Science Daily
- Scientists have detected a 40 percent decline in calcium carbonate in one section of the Great Barrier Reef near Lizard Island. Calcium carbonate serves as building blocks for coral reefs, so scientists say this study calls for “an arrest to ocean acidification.” The Sydney Morning Herald
Late last month, Chile became the first nation in South America to tax carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The new tax—$5 per ton of CO2 emitted—targets 50 megawatt or higher fossil fuel-emitting power plants, while smaller plants and those fueled by renewable sources will remain exempt. Most of the funds will go into Chile’s education system, says Blue and Green tomorrow.
- New research shows that fish aren’t quickly adapting to climate change, and it may take them several generations to do so. Researchers found that young spiny damselfish fish were no better than their parents at adapting to higher CO2 levels in seawater. The Guardian
In September, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released new data showing the bycatch reported by federal observers of the California-based drift gillnet fishery that predominantly targets swordfish and thresher sharks. Alarmingly, the data indicates this fishery killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014.