Category: Seas / Oceans


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Pelamis platurus, related to the cobra family (Elapidae)
Yellowbelly Sea Snake      Carpenter0     Wikipedia.org

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El Nino washes a SECOND posionous sea snake onto popular California beach which has not seen any for THIRTY YEARS

For the second time in two months, a rare deadly sea snake has washed ashore at one of southern California’s most popular beaches.

A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by volunteers for the Surfrider Foundation in Huntington Beach, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In October, a two-foot-long yellow bellied sea snake was discovered slithering onto Silver Strand State Beach in Ventura County, but it died shortly after being taken to a US Fish and Wildlife Service office nearby.

The venomous sea serpent, known to scientists as Pelamis platura, was first spotted in 1972 during an El Niño in San Clemente.

 

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

A descendant of Australian tiger snakes, experts believe the arrival of the sea snake is a harbinger of El Niño because the last time it appeared in California was during the weather system in the ’80s.

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The Boston Globe

Scores of rare turtles found stranded on Cape

Rescuers placed cold-stunned turtles in fruit boxes.

Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Rescuers placed cold-stunned turtles in fruit boxes.

Massachusetts Audubon Society volunteers recovered about 120 “cold-stunned” sea turtles during the weekend after strong winds caused them to wash up on the shores of Cape Cod Bay.

The majority of the reptiles found on the beaches of Wellfleet, Truro, Eastham, and Brewster were Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species and the rarest type of sea turtle.

It was an unusually large late-season stranding for the turtles, who most often get stuck on Cape Cod shores around Thanksgiving as they try to make their way south to warmer waters for the winter.

Young sea turtles often feed in Cape Cod Bay during the summer but can get trapped in the “hook” of the Cape and become hypothermic as temperatures drop, according to Mass Audubon.

Despite their rarity, Kemp’s ridleys are the type of turtle most often found stranded on Massachusetts beaches.

 

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To deliver electricity in a stable and safe. Each employee will continue to support it with a passion and mission of each as a company take charge of an important lifeline.

THE KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC.

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JAPAN TODAY

Fukui governor to give consent for nuclear plant restart

FUKUI —

Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa will soon give his consent for the restart of two nuclear reactors in the prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, sources close to the matter said Sunday, as the central government seeks to bring more reactors back online after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The governor will visit the site of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Takahama plant on Monday to check safety measures before expressing his consent, they said. The governor’s consent is necessary to restart the reactors.

Earlier in the day, industry minister Motoo Hayashi, in charge of the country’s energy policy, met with Nishikawa at the Fukui prefectural office and sought the Fukui governor’s consent for the restart of the two nuclear reactors.

 

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NBC NEWS
News
Dec 14 2015, 4:51 pm ET

Algae Causing Sea Lion Brain Damage in California, Study Shows

Image: ENVIRONMENT-US-RESEARCH-BIOLOGY-NATURE-ANIMAL-FILES

In this September 11, 2013 file photo, a sea lion scratches himself on Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California. DON EMMERT / AFP – Getty Images

WASHINGTON — A toxin produced by marine algae is inflicting brain damage on sea lions along California’s coast, causing neurological and behavioral changes that can impair their ability to navigate in the sea and survive in the wild, scientists said on Monday.

Brain scans on 30 California sea lions detected damage in the hippocampus, a brain structure associated with memory and spatial navigation, in animals naturally exposed to the toxin known as domoic acid, the researchers said.

Domoic acid mimics glutamate, a chemical that transmits nerve impulses in the brain, and leads to over-activation of hippocampus nerve cells and chronic epilepsy, according to Emory University cognitive psychologist Peter Cook, who worked on the study while at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

“The behavioral deficits accompanying brain damage with domoic acid are severe, and may negatively impact foraging and navigation in sea lions, driving strandings and mortality,” Cook said.

Hundreds of sea lions annually are found stranded on California beaches with signs of domoic acid poisoning such as disorientation and seizures. Thousands are thought to be exposed to the toxin.

 

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NaturalNews

 

Sea lions

(NaturalNews) The Marine Mammal Center rescued over a hundred sea lions in a 10-day period off the West Coast of California in the winter of 2015. The influx of stranded sea lions is a sign that the health of the ocean is deteriorating. From January 1 to February 12, 2015, National Geographic counted nearly 500 rescued sea lions, an amount that is alarming scientists. Something has gone awry in the West Coast waters.

The sea lions are not finding food, they are losing strength, and many are starting to wash ashore. The startling trend didn’t start in 2015. The number of stranded sea lions began rising in the winter of 2013, when scientists started noticing waves of sea lion pups washing ashore. Scientists believe the ocean’s temperatures have shifted. Warmer currents may be affecting food sources that the sea lions depend on. Others see problems in ocean water acidity. The animals are being forced to go on longer quests to find food. Many of the pups are being left behind, stranded, while their parents search for food.

One-third of sea lions born last summer wiped out

The death of this sentinel species is an indication of changes in ocean climate and ecosystem. Sea lion prey, which include sardines and crayfish, are reportedly disappearing in numbers as well, forcing the starving sea lions to go on longer quests in search of food. Scientists are concerned about ocean pH and rising acidity of the waters. According to San Jose Mercury News, marine biologists warn that, if the trend continues, an entire generation of California sea lions could be wiped out.

When speaking to NBC News, Sea World San Diego senior veterinarian Hendrick Nollens reported, “We had rescued 19 California sea lions in January [2013]. This year we already rescued 87 pups in that same month. So this event seems to be much larger.”

According to the Daily Breeze, the “unusual mortality event” wiped out two-thirds of the sea lion pup population off the West Coast in 2013.

Rehabilitation centers are taking several hundred pups in this year to save the species from total extinction.

NOAA wildlife biologist Sharon Melin confirmed that most pups captured in the wild in 2013 were only half their weight. After they are released back into the wild, they are expected to maintain their weight. When Melin went on a research trip in September 2013, she reported that the weight of the pups was still low. She brought back the bad news: “We’ve told the centers to prepare for the worst.”

The U-T San Diego concurred, reporting that pups in the Channel Island rookeries continued to struggle despite rehabilitation efforts. On average, pups were 19% below their average weight, even after rehabilitation.

Jim Milbury of NOAA Fisheries says that West Coast sea lions have a birth rate of about 50,000 a year, and San Diego 6 reported on Jan. 28, 2015, that nearly 1 of 3 pups born the previous summer have already died.

If 33% of pups born in 2014 have already died, then based on the average birth rate, over 15,000 have passed away in that short time frame.

Ocean water acidity on the rise, subjecting aquatic life to disease

According to Jennifer Palma of Global News, ocean health is deteriorating, indicated by a die off of scallops and oysters. “Getting pacific oysters and scallops is next to impossible; the industry is in crisis. … So what’s killing the Pacific oysters and scallops? A possible combination of factors including warmer oceans, decreasing acidity levels and potentially disease,” she said in a report.

University of British Columbia marine microbiology professor Curtis Suttle is concerned about changes in the pH of ocean waters. “The hypothesis — there’s a working hypothesis –w is that these changes, these excursions in pH, are making the shellfish vulnerable to infection by diseases that they would normally be resistant to.”

Sources for this article include:

http://enenews.com

http://enenews.com

http://enenews.com

http://www.dailybreeze.com

 

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The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NaturalNews Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

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‘Fukushima Fingerprint’: Highest-Yet Radiation Levels Found Off US Coast

‘The changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific.’

Scientists test seawater samples off the coast of Japan near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. (Photo: IAEA Imagebank/flickr/cc)

Radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan has been detected at an increased number of sites off U.S. shores, including the highest level in the area detected to date, scientists announced Thursday.

While the levels are still too low to be considered a threat to human or marine life by the government’s standards, tests of hundreds of samples of Pacific Ocean water reveal that the Fukushima Daiichi plant has continued to leak radioactive isotopes more than four years after the meltdown—and must not be dismissed, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine radiochemist Ken Buesseler.

“Despite the fact that the levels of contamination off our shores remain well below government-established safety limits for human health or to marine life, the changing values underscore the need to more closely monitor contamination levels across the Pacific,” Buesseler said Thursday. “[F]inding values that are still elevated off Fukushima confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”

Scientists from the WHOI and Buesseler’s citizen-science project Our Radioactive Ocean discovered trace amounts of cesium-134, the “fingerprint” of Fukushima, in 110 new Pacific samples off U.S. shores in 2015 alone.

The isotope is unique to Fukushima and has a relatively short two-year half life, which means “the only source of this cesium-134 in the Pacific today is from Fukushima,” Buesseler said.

Map shows the location of seawater samples taken by scientists and citizen scientists that were analyzed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for radioactive cesium as part of Our Radioactive Ocean. Cesium-137 is found throughout the Pacific Ocean and was detectable in all samples collected, while cesium-134 (yellow/orange dots), an indicator of contamination from Fukushima, has been observed offshore and in select coastal areas. (Figure by Jessica Drysdale, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)Map shows the location of seawater samples taken by scientists and citizen scientists that were analyzed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for radioactive cesium as part of Our Radioactive Ocean. Cesium-137 is found throughout the Pacific Ocean and was detectable in all samples collected, while cesium-134 (yellow/orange dots), an indicator of contamination from Fukushima, has been observed offshore and in select coastal areas. (Figure by Jessica Drysdale, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

One sample collected roughly 1,600 miles west of San Francisco revealed the highest radiation level detected to date off the West Coast, the researchers said in a post on the project’s website. “[In] one cubic meter of seawater (about 264 gallons), 11 radioactive decay events per second can be attributed to cesium atoms of both isotopes. That is 50 percent higher than we’ve seen before.”

“[T]hese long-lived radioisotopes will serve as markers for years to come for scientists studying ocean currents and mixing in coastal and offshore waters,” Buesseler continued.

The 2011 accident, prompted by an earthquake and tsunami off Japan’s east coast, was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 and resulted in the near-total meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant and a mass evacuation of the prefecture. Despite ongoing warnings about long-term health and environmental impacts and widespread opposition to nuclear power in the wake of the meltdown, Japan in August restarted a reactor at the Sendai power plant, about 620 miles southwest of Tokyo.

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Hawaii marine biologists celebrate extremely rare footage of the giant Whiplash squid as it glides through the darkest depths of the Pacific

  • The majestic squid is called ‘Taningia Danae’ or ‘whiplash squid’ 
  • Experts say that the whiplash squid has rarely been seen alive 
  • The squid can travel between two and two-and-a-half miles per hour 
  • It attached itself onto a remotely operated underwater vehicle
  • Scientists will study the footage to learn more about the squid

This is the magical moment that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists captured footage of a rare deep sea squid.

The majestic sea creature, which is around one to two meters long, is called ‘Taningia Danae’ or ‘whiplash squid.’

As it descended to the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii on September 19, 2015 a remotely operated underwater vehicle caught it on camera.

This is the magical moment that NOAA scientists captured footage of a rare deep sea squid

This is the magical moment that NOAA scientists captured footage of a rare deep sea squid

 

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Biodegradable is Bunk: World’s ‘Ocean Waste Baskets’ Still Filled With Plastic Trash

Such products ‘will not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment,’ UN report states.

Pieces of plastic litter a black rock beach on the island of Hawaii in 2008.  (Photo: LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps./via flickr/cc)

Plastics in the world’s oceans, whether floating or resting at the bottom, is a problem that’s on the rise, and is said to have “reached crisis proportion.”

And while they may be assumed to be more eco-friendly, plastics labeled “biodegradable” still pose a threat to marine environments, a new United Nations study has found.

The report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter. Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments (pdf), explains how these products still fail to tackle the growing problem.

The agency’s executive director, Achim Steiner, underscored the magnitude of the problem. “Recent estimates from UNEP have shown as much as 20 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans each year. Once in the ocean, plastic does not go away, but breaks down into microplastic particles.”

The report notes that just what proportion of this plastic is biodegradable versus non-biodegradable has yet to be analyzed.

One of the problems, the report states, is that in order for some of the plastic debris to be completely broken down, conditions found in industrial compositing units that can achieve prolonged temperatures of above 50°C are needed. Yet those conditions “are rarely if ever met in the marine environment.”

And while some have the inclusion of a pro-oxidant, which would induce degradation, “[t]he fate of these fragments (microplastics) is unclear, but it should be assumed that oxo-degradable polymers will add to the quantity of microplastics in the oceans, until overwhelming independent evidence suggests otherwise.”

Contributing to the problem, the report says, is evidence suggesting the biodegradable label could make the public more likely to litter.

The report concludes that “the adoption of plastic products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ will not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment, on the balance of current scientific evidence.”

Peter Kershaw, one of the authors of the study, put the problem in blunt terms.

“Essentially the ocean is being used as a waste basket and the waste basket is getting fuller and fuller, and so the impacts of that plastic litter are just going to keep on increasing,” he toldCBC News.

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New Scientist

Daily news

4 November 2015

Most of Earth's mass extinctions caused by… mineral deficiencies

Image credit: Sheila Terry/SPL

Are you getting enough minerals? A new theory suggests most of Earth’s mass extinction events could have been caused by a lack of essential trace elements in the world’s oceans, causing fatal deficiencies in marine animals, from plankton to reptiles.

Earth has been hit with five mass extinction events. The two most dramatic ones had pretty clear causes. The dinosaurs were probably wiped out 66 million years ago thanks to a massive meteor falling on modern-day Mexico, while the end-Permian extinction, which wiped out 90 per cent of species 252 million years ago, was probably the result of massive volcanoes in Siberia.

But that leaves three other mass extinctions, with no agreed cause.

“It’s a complex scenario,” says John Long from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He says there are probably a lot of causes conspiring to drive these mass extinctions. But his latest work suggests fluctuations in essential minerals in the ocean could be an important, and so-far completely unexplored, cause.

Essential selenium

Earlier this year, researchers discovered that periods when the ocean had high levels of trace elements – like zinc, copper, manganese and selenium – seemed to overlap with periods of high productivity, including the Cambrian explosion, when most groups of living animals first appeared.

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UC Davis Home Page

September 24, 2015

 

Man holding a big fish to the camera in a fish market with baskets of fish in the background

UC Davis researchers found plastic and fibrous debris in 25 percent of the fish sold in Indonesian and California markets. (Dale Trockel/photo)

Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained human-made debris — plastic or fibrous material — in their guts, according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

The study, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the first to directly link plastic and human-made debris to the fish on consumers’ dinner plates.

“It’s interesting that there isn’t a big difference in the amount of debris in the fish from each location, but in the type — plastic or fiber,” said lead author Chelsea Rochman, a David H. Smith postdoctoral fellow in the Aquatic Health Program at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “We think the type of debris in the fish is driven by differences in local waste management.”

‘Waiter, there’s some plastic in my fish’

The researchers sampled 76 fish from markets in Makassar, Indonesia, and 64 from Half Moon Bay and Princeton in California. All of the fragments recovered from fish in Indonesia were plastic. In contrast, 80 percent of the debris found in California fish was fibers, whereas not a single strand of fiber was found in Indonesian fish.

 

 

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