The Beacon

Blog Tags: Ocean Acidification

Coral Reefs Turning Silent from Overfishing, Other Human Impacts

Coral reefs are becoming silent from human activity

A coral community off of Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

Did you know that coral reefs are home to about one fourth of all marine life? As the most diverse of the marine ecosystems, they’re aptly nicknamed “rainforests of the sea,” says the Smithsonian. With all of the spawning, feeding, and other activity occurring on coral reefs, it’s no surprise that coral reefs are actually pretty noisy environments.


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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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During Corals Week, a Look at the Value of Coral Reef Ecosystems (Photos)

Corals week is celebrated to raise awareness for corals

Coral in the Gulf of Mexico, pictured during a 2010 Gulf of Mexico expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

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!


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Ocean News: Loggerhead Sea Turtles Can Get the Bends, Global Sea Surface Temperatures at Highest Point, and More

Loggerhead sea turtles can get the bends after interaction with fisheries

A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. New research shows loggerheads can get the bends after commercial fishing capture. (Photo:  Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that it was adding Pacific bluefin tuna to their "red list" of threatened species during the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney. The group cited its massive demand in Asian sushi and sashimi markets as reasons for population declines over the past 22 years. Business Insider


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Ocean Roundup: Costa Rica Restricts Industrial Tuna Fishing, West Coast Sea Stars May Be Making a Comeback, and More

Sea stars may be reviving on the West Coast

A sunflower sea star. Sea stars are said to be making a comeback from sea star wasting syndrome. (Photo: light-bends / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The United Kingdom’s chief scientist is sounding the alarm on climate change, warning that the oceans can only absorb about one-third of what they’re emitting. His warning comes after new studies highlight how ocean acidification affects animals from sea urchins to lugworms. BBC News


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Ocean Roundup: Great Barrier Reef Health “Never Been Worse,” Coral Could Be New Substitute for Bone Grafts, and More

Coal ports and development threatens the Great Barrier Reef

The Ribbon Reef, located within the Great Barrier Reef. Reef health has been heavily compromised by development along the coast. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new report found that ospreys don’t carry “significant” amounts of pharmaceutical chemicals, despite widespread presence in waters and some fish. This was the first study that looked at bioaccumulation of chemicals in osprey food webs. EurekAlert


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Ocean Roundup: Federal Agencies Called Out on Ocean Acidification Inaction, Steller Sea Lions May Have a New Predator, and More

Pacific sleeper sharks may be preying on steller sea lions

Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) pups. New research shows Pacific sleeper sharks may be preying on Steller sea lions. (Photo: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The Government Accountability Office has called out federal agencies for not implementing key parts of a 2009 law on ocean acidification, like estimating research costs. Some say that the news is troubling, especially since the federal government plays a key role in addressing ocean acidification. The Hill


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Ocean Roundup: Seaweed Transporting Disease to Sea Otters, Lego to Break Ties with Shell, and More

Seaweed particles are helping spread disease among sea otters

Seaweed particles are helping spread disease among sea otters. (Photo: Vicki & Chuck Rogers / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Video: Ocean Acidification Masking Sharks’ Sense of Smell

Ocean acidication hurts sharks' ability to smell food

Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). Acidic seawater has been found to impact their sense of smell. (Photo: EricksonSmith / Flickr Creative Commons)

Ocean acidification is already making it harder for fish to find friends, for corals to grow, and for mussels to remain attached to hard surfaces, just to name a few effects.


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Ocean Roundup: Leatherback Coloration May Play Important Role, UK Sees New Voluntary Seafood Labeling Scheme, and More

Leatherback pink spots may help with their migration

A leatherback sea turtle. Leatherback “pink spots” may play an important physiological role. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Researchers have discovered that the “pink spot” on leatherback sea turtles’ heads may actually play a useful physiological role. It may detect sunlight patterns, clueing leatherbacks into changes in seasonal patterns to inform their migrational and foraging habits. Smithsonian


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