Imagine swimming through a 50,000-year-old primeval forest. That's what happened to Ben Raines off the coast of Alabama. After hearing tales of a spot replete with fish and wildlife, Raines dove in and discovered masses of ancient bald cypress trees 60 feet below the surface. He says the stumps are as big as trucks and that the trees are so well-preserved that they still smell like fresh cypress sap when they're cut. The 0.5-square-mile forest was probably preserved in an oxygen-free environment under ocean sediment until Hurricane Katrina rolled in and uncovered it in 2005.Read more
A genetically modified strain of Salmon which have been engineered with extra genes to make them grow more quickly, pass on this trait to the hybrid offspring, researchers from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, has found.Read more
Biosphere mixing appears to provide about one third the power required to bring the deep, cold waters of the world ocean to the surface, which in turn completes the ocean's conveyor belt circulation critical to the global climate system.Read more
Caffeine is found in many food and beverage products as well as some pharmaceuticals, and caffeine pollution is directly related to human activity (although many plant species produce caffeine, there are no natural sources of the substance in theRead more
The team of 17 scientists from eight nations concluded that partnerships between government, conservation groups, and local fishers – known as ‘co-management’ – were having considerable success in both meeting the livelihood needs of local communiRead more
Released this week, the study is the first IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ assessment available for all known species of marine shore-fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, corals, mangroves and seagrasses in a major marine biogeographRead more
However, at locations were there was excessive adverse impact (like pollution), the corals did not recover fully, even after eight years.
“You can imagine that when you are recovering from a sickness, it will take a lot longer if you don’t eat well or get enough rest,” said Jessica Carilli, a graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
“Similarly, a coral organism that must be constantly trying to clean itself from excess sediment particles will have a more difficult time recovering after a stressful condition like bleaching.”
Disease and overfishing also affected coral health. In places where there is overfishing, the population of bigger fishes like groupers are either significantly reduced or have vanished.
In the absence of these predatory fishes, other fish species thrive. One such species is the butterflyfish, which feed on coral and appear to be responsible for disease transmission amongst the corals.
In a study, scientists compared seven Marine Protected Areas [MPAs] where fishing had been banned for at least five years, and another seven neighbouring sites with similar diversity.
They discovered that the corals at the latter sites suffered more diseases; in some cases, the difference was twice as many. In addition, many butterflyfish were found at the sites where fishing was allowed, leading to a higher incidence of coral disease.