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Blog Tags: Mollusks

Ocean Roundup: Rufa Red Knot Receives Federal Protection, New Ancient Mollusk Discovered in the Arctic, and More

Rufa red knots gained protection as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) at Mispillion Harbor, Delaware. Red knots received protection under the Endangered Species Act yesterday as threatened. (Photo: Greg Breese / USFWS / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rufa subspecies of the red knot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The new rule prohibits killing, hunting, or harming these shorebirds in any form. The Associated Press


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Introducing the Nudibranch: Multicolored Mollusks that Dazzle the Seafloor (Photos)

Nudibranch (Cratena peregrina) feeding on hydrozoan polyps in the Maddalena National Park, Sardinia, Italy. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

You may have heard of nudibranchs before, a group of soft-bodied mollusks that are just as quirky looking as their name suggests. More than 3,000 nudibranch species exist—commonly known as sea slugs—and dot shallow water habitat around the world with their vibrant colors, shapes, and sizes.


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Ocean Acidification Threatens Global Food Security

oysters

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

It makes sense that ocean acidification is bad for marine life. But who knew it could have far-reaching effects on human health as well?

A new report by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that ocean acidification is threatening global food security by hindering the growth of clam, oyster, and other mollusk populations – staples in many nations’ diets.

Without healthy and reliable mollusk populations, countries may be forced to switch to aquaculture. Countries like Haiti, Senegal, and Madagascar, however, lack the ability to make this switch and are thus especially vulnerable to the impacts of mollusk shortages. And of course, problems like this never exist in a vacuum; even developed countries such as the U.S. will feel the effects via a potential drop in GDP.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a theoretical problem – the deleterious effects can already be seen in both ecosystems and economic realms alike. In Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists have observed that coral growth has slowed, and Pacific Northwest oyster farms have already experienced declining economic yields. Further effects, which will no doubt be broader in scope, will probably be seen in 10 to 50 years if we do not make a concerted effort to halt ocean acidification.


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