Justine Hausheer's blog

Measles-Like Virus Likely Responsible for Atlantic Dolphin Strandings

Posted Mon, Sep 9, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to atlantic, dolphin, dolphin strandings, mass strandings, noaa

Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are suffering from a viral epidemic. (Photo: Oceana)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that a measles-like virus is responsible for hundreds of bottlenose dolphin strandings along the mid-Atlantic coast this summer.

Since early July, unusually high numbers of dead or dying bottlenose dolphins have washed ashore from New York to North Carolina. About 155 dolphins strand in the mid-Atlantic from January to late August during a normal year, but this year almost 500 dolphins washed ashore in the same time period. The sudden increase prompted NOAA to declare an Unusual Mortality Event for bottlenose dolphins.


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Creature Feature: Lionfish

Posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to atlantic, cool marine creatures, creature feature, invasive species, lionfish

Up close and personal with a lionfish

Up close and personal with a lionfish. (Photo: Kjeld Friis)

It’s venomous, voracious, and taking over reefs across the western Atlantic.

This strange-looking predator is a lionfish, a.k.a. Pterois volitans. Native to Indo-Pacific reefs, lionfish are anything but subtle. The large, striped spines protruding from their bodies are their main defense, filled with neurotoxic venom to deter predators. While the venom isn’t deadly to humans, running afoul of a lionfish isn’t fun—side effects include excruciating pain, headaches, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. Lesson learned: don’t mess with a lionfish. 


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Pacific Expedition Featured on Local Oregon News

Posted Thu, Sep 5, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to oregon, oregon expedition, press, ROV

The expedition team poses with the underwater ROV. (Photo: Oceana)

 

Great news from our Pacific expedition team! On September 3 the local Portland station KGW featured the expedition on the evening news.

This August, Oceana set sail to document deep sea corals and sponges off the rugged Oregon Coast using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) outfitted with high-definition underwater cameras. The areas they explored are places that we proposed be protected from bottom trawling, which destroys important habitat on the sea floor.  


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Offshore Wind Development Expands Along Virginia’s Coast

Posted Wed, Sep 4, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to lease sale, offshore wind, virginia

Offshore wind turbines can help stop deadly drilling disasters like the 2010 Gulf Oilspill. (Photo: phault) 

 

We have some exciting news to share on our efforts to promote renewable energy: today the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leased almost 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia for wind energy development in a live auction.


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Whales Get Sunburns, Too

Posted Tue, Sep 3, 2013 by Justine Hausheer to blue whales, fin whales, research, sperm whales

Sperm whales can develop sunburn-like blisters when swimming near the surface. (Photo: Paul Richards)

 

If you head to the beach without sunscreen, you’ll probably return home with a scarlet, painful sunburn. That’s because you’ve exposed your skin to several hours of UV rays, which damage DNA within your skin cells. But did you know that whales can get sunburned, too?


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