The Beacon

Ocean News: Japan Confirms Plans for 2015 Whale Hunt, Judge Says Seismic Research off New Jersey Can Continue, and More

A minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), one of the species caught during Japan’s whale hunt. (Photo: Tom Benson / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Despite a ruling by the UN’s International Court of Justice to halt whaling practices, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed this week that its annual whale hunt will continue in 2015. Japan continues to claim that the Southern Ocean annual whale hunt is for research purposes. The Dodo

- Researchers found that female snapping shrimp are more aggressive than males—an unexpected trait since males have bigger claw sizes and tend to benefit more from aggressiveness. These shrimp can kill enemies with a direct snap of their claw or by stunning prey with a jet of bubbles. BBC

- Efforts to save a pod of 12 whales that stranded on a beach in Ireland on Monday have ended, as the four remaining whales continuously beach themselves despite rescue efforts. Experts say they likely behaved this way to be with the rest of their deceased and dying pod. BBC

- A federal judge rejected New Jersey’s request to stop research that involves blasting the sea floor with sound waves to examine sediment patterns. Governor Chris Christie’s administration tried to stop the blasts in fear of potential harm to marine life. CBS

- Scientists have discovered that the ocean’s most abundant organism, SAR11 (a line of bacteria), can create methane—a byproduct from breaking down phosphorus. The discovery is an important step in understanding the world’s methane cycle, say the researchers.

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