Understanding The Movements Of Hawksbill Sea Turtles

It is important that researchers and conservationists have a clear understanding of the movement, distribution and habitat preferences of endangered animals during their most vulnerable life stages to ensure proper conservation and management of the species. The loss of global biodiversity due to extinction is an irreversible problem that urgently

Just How Dangerous Is Africa’s Explosive Lake Kivu?

A Picturesque But Lethal Lake  Goma sits on the shore of Lake Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A geological anomaly containing 300 cubic kilometers of dissolved carbon dioxide and 60 cubic kilometers of poisonous hydrogen sulfide-laced methane. The gorgeous lake, tucked between the DRC and Rwanda,

Coral Decline Threatens To Halve Fish Diversity

Coral reefs are known for their aesthetic beauty and rich diversity of fish, making them popular tourist destinations, as well as providing sustainable livelihoods for coastal communities worldwide. Unfortunately coral reefs, and the species they sustain, are declining across the world, due to climate change and human impacts on marine

A Deeper Look Into Marine Artificial Reefs

Coral reefs provide a home for an abundance of animal and plant species, many endemic to the reef ecosystems. Corals also act as nurseries for many fish species, providing shelter and food. Reefs do not only benefit marine life, but also provide ecosystem services to humans, such as coastal protection

Pandemic Upheaval Offers A Huge Natural Experiment

One of the few good things that have come out of the global coronavirus pandemic is the unique research opportunities that became available for scientists. During the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, physicians in some countries noticed something rather unexpected – the amount of babies born prematurely seemed to be significantly

Ocean Deoxygenation: A Driver Of Coral Reef Demise

Warming of the oceans and acidification due to increased carbon absorption are destroying the world’s coral reefs and the diverse ecosystem they support. It has been estimated that coral reef habitats have already declined by an estimated 30 – 50 percent since the 1980s, and some coral reef researchers fear

Water Transformed Into Shiny, Golden Metal

At some point or another, we have all wished we had the Midas Touch and could turn anything we touched into gold. And although alchemy – a speculative chemical science to achieve the transmutation of base metals into gold – still eludes us, scientists may have discovered the next best

How Will Climate Change Affect Waves?

Fluctuations in global temperatures as a result of climate change have already had many observable effects on our surrounding environment. Glaciers have decreased in size, plant and animal ranges are shifting and we are experiencing more intense heat waves and more frequent and powerful storms. Scientists have high confidence that

Newly Discovered Sharks Can Walk On Their Fins

Movies like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea have fostered an innate fear of sharks in many people, and shark researchers have now discovered new species of sharks that can walk! But don’t worry yet, these sharks are still very far from chasing humans through the waves and across the beach

The Role Of Art In Marine Conservation

Art Activism Marine conservation has never been more important than it is now. Our oceans are facing a plethora of threats from all sides, the majority of which humans have caused. As a result, inspiring and educating people about our oceans and the marine species that inhabit them is vital. One of the

The Nightmarish Sex Lives Of Deep-sea Anglerfish

Many of us got our first glimpse of the terrifying creature that is the deep sea anglerfish (Melanocetus johnsonii) in the movie Finding Nemo, when our hero, Marlin, is lured to the terrifying jaws by a fluorescent lantern attached to the fish. Perhaps, if the makers of the movie knew

Fossilized Barnacles Uncover Ancient Whale Migration Routes

Scientists have shown that ancient whale migrations have been recorded in the most unusual of places – in the shell plates of the little barnacle hitchhikers which commonly sprinkle the skin of these majestic creatures. These coronulid barnacles act as little time capsules which sequentially record the whales’ geographic location

The Science Behind Bioluminescence

Bioluminescence has inspired myths and folklore throughout the centuries. The oldest surviving written text on bioluminescence comes from Aristotle – in De Anima Aristotle wrote in 350 BC, “not everything is visible in light, but only the color proper to each thing, for some things are not seen in the

The Importance And Impact Of Deep-sea Mining

Deep-sea mining is the process of retrieving mineral deposits from the ocean floor at depths below 200 m. As terrestrial resources are becoming scarcer and demand for precious metals is rising, especially in countries such as China, Japan, Korea and India, there has been an increasing interest in sourcing minerals

Ocean Acidification May Cause Corrosion Of Shark Skin

When people think of sharks, they conjure up images of the terrifying sharks in Jaws or Megalodon, or perhaps the ragged tooth sharks swimming stoically in their local aquarium. Sharks are synonymous with being the top predators in the ocean, fearing nothing and no one. Unfortunately, the tough exteriors of

Deep-sea Microbes Can Turn CO2 Back Into Fuel

Can carbon dioxide (CO2) be turned back into fuel? Since the 1990s, various efforts have been underway to find a cheap and efficient way to recycle the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into hydrocarbon fuels that can be used by communities. About ten years ago, the predominant thinking regarding CO2

Afterglow: Why Are Corals Glowing After Bleaching?

A new study conducted across the world has finally revealed exactly why corals appear to be glowing during heatwaves – the answer is survival. Colorful Struggles for Survival Avid divers, snorkelers, and/or admirers of the deep might have noticed that some coral reefs appear to glow during warmer days. They

Scientists Discover New Penguin Colonies From Space

Nothing is as strongly associated with the icy habitats of Antarctica like the Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). These well-loved tuxedoed birds rose to international fame with the movie Happy Feet in 2006, a movie which, behind the singing and dancing penguins, highlighted the environmental plight of these birds due to

Zebrafish Genes May Hold The Key To Fixing Human Scars

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) may seem like an unsuspecting contribution to any tropical freshwater aquarium, but this fish belonging to the minnow family (Cyprinidae) has the potential to be a lifesaver to humans due to its one extraordinary attribute – its ability to rapidly heal itself and regenerate body parts. What

The Effects Of Offshore Wind Farms On Marine Life

The impacts of burning fossil fuels for energy generation on the environment, specifically increasing the rate of climate change, is well documented and studied. In recent years there has been a shift to renewable energy sources, with solar and wind farms growing in popularity. This global adoption of renewable energy

Is Scottish Farmed Salmon Sustainable?

This is a complicated question and one which is particularly hard to answer because there are so many factors involved.  Essentially, we are faced with the following problem: there are not enough fish in the ocean to meet the growing demand for human consumption (especially for favored fish species) by

Cayman Islands Expand Protected Areas

Resilience has become synonymous with communities capable of withstanding hardships, adjusting themselves accordingly, and bouncing back. And resilience is exactly what has been demonstrated on the small grouping of Caymanian islands. Marine Park Expansion First talks of a protected area expansion in the home of one of the world’s best

What is Remote Electronic Monitoring?

If we cannot measure something, then we cannot be expected to manage it. At least not very well. The same goes for the law: if it is not monitored and enforced, then it may as well not even exist. How It Works To make sure that we are not hypocrites

The Incredible Vision of Dragonfish

Fish of the deep seas are not just the things that haunt your nightmares, they are also pretty amazing in their ability to just exist in such extreme darkness. Discord of the Deep The slow-moving, toothy, lamplighters of the deep are indeed beings that make us think twice about whether

Everything You Need To Know About Shark Squalene

An estimated three to six million sharks are killed every year to supply the beauty industry with “secret ingredient” squalane. Squalene Is Produced By All Animals And Plants Squalene is an organic compound, naturally produced by the body. In humans, an estimated 12% of squalene is found in the sebum

Marine Areas And Benefits To Mental Health

The coast is not just where the shore meets the sea. It is also an abundant provider of therapeutic and restorative sources for human health. Nature’s Secret Weapon Much like enveloping yourself in nature—taking a forest walk or even just chilling in your garden—lower blood pressure by releasing brain activity

What Is Ocean Acidification and Why Does it Matter?

Ocean acidification is a major issue that threatens our ocean and way of life. It’s even been dubbed the “evil twin” of climate change. We now know more than ever about what causes ocean acidification, what its implications are, and how to prevent its worst repercussions, thanks to a growing

Plastic Pollution Mapped Worldwide

A new interactive map has been developed that pinpoints the global culprits responsible for the plastic wasteland we have created out in the ocean. In happier news, the map has helped scientists and officials take huge leaps towards addressing the source, and halting its entry into our seas. The Plastic

What Are Nurdles And Why Are They A Problem?

Have you ever walked along your favorite beach or estuary and noticed small round plastic pellets among the shells, sand, and debris? These tiny pellets are called nurdles, and they are causing devastating damage to our marine habitats. What Is A Nurdle? A nurdles, also called a “pre-production pellet” is

Researching Coral Health — What is CoralWatch?

Coral reefs are some of the most spectacular and diverse ocean ecosystems. Unfortunately, they are also among the most heavily degraded marine ecosystems. Over the last two decades, coral communities have experienced drastic health declines in response to increasingly stressful environmental conditions. Let’s Go Back a Step You may be

Using Microalgae In Sustainable Aquaculture

Wild fish populations are in decline across the world, as they are being exploited beyond their ability to replenish themselves. Aquaculture, or the farming of aquatic species including finfish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic plants, such as algae or seaweed, is seen as a promising solution to meet the world’s growing

Four New Species of Sponges Discovered in California

The oceans are a massive and unexplored ecosystem. We assume that humans have a thorough understanding of life on this planet and that there is very little possibility of new species being discovered, at least in densely populated regions. The oceans cover a gargantuan 71 percent of Earth’s surface and

Could Seafood Be Negatively Affecting Our Mental Health?

While seafood has long been associated with improving mental health due to its nutrient rich nature and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, researchers are starting to investigate the potential negative side effects of a seafood-rich diet due to increasing levels of marine pollution.  Marine pollution is a global issue,

Corals In the Arctic? An Undiscovered Treasure Trove

When hearing the term ‘corals’, it is easy to slip into vacation daydream-mode, picturing warm waters, vibrant colors and an occasional turtle spotting. But what if we told you that more than half of all coral species alive today take residence in icy, and much deeper waters? That holiday dreamscape

PCB Contamination in Icelandic Orcas Due To Diet: Study

Orcas are one of the most intelligent and misunderstood predators in the world. Displaying that impressive dolphin intelligence, they were staples in ocean shows across the world where they performed stunts for large crowds. This increased captive populations and led to more orca human interactions. This unfavorable scenario earned them

The Evolutionary Survival of Coral Reefs

A recently released 2020 scientific paper has identified key evolutionary traits among Scleratinian coral species, which have allowed them to survive Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) mass extinction event. The researchers then went one step further and compared these traits among modern species and their status on the IUCN Red List of endangered

Marine Life Spotlight: Sea Turtles

Regarded as the easy-going, patient, and wise, sea turtles are an emblem of longevity and stability across many of the world’s cultures. Native American folklore declares that the Great Spirit created their homeland by placing the earth on the back of a giant sea turtle. In other mythological fables, the

The Importance of Seagrass Meadows to Marine Life

Seagrass meadows are undeniably important in our oceans. Seagrass meadows are one of the most endangered and underappreciated ecosystems on the planet. These apparently innocuous aquatic flowering plants play a critical role in maintaining the health of our oceans and providing shelter for a diverse range of marine life. With

How Probiotics Could Help Prevent Coral Bleaching

Conservationists and the general public alike are becoming increasingly aware of coral bleaching and the negative impact it has on the marine ecosystem. This natural phenomenon has been studied and in the past decade, several discoveries have shed light on the factors that trigger it and possible measures we can

How The Ocean Could Cure Cancer

Coral reefs are valued for their beauty, tourism value, and ecosystem services, such as nursery provision for fish and barriers against storm damage, and are one of the most diverse habitats on earth. Recently, coral reefs have also been described as “the medicine cabinets of the 21st century” due to

5 Reasons to Organise A Beach Clean-up

What Is A Beach Clean-up? There is almost nothing better than the bliss of a walk along the beach, feeling the salty breath of the sea breeze on your face, the sunshine warming your back and the soft sand filtering between your toes. But, there is also almost nothing worse

The Roles Of Pigments In Reef-building Corals

Coral reefs aren’t just known for the amazingly colorful fish that inhabit them, but also for the beautiful colors of the corals themselves. The colors of the coral don’t just come from the corals alone, but from the combination of the colors of the corals and the little microalgae, or

Plastic – A Novel Cause Of Diseases In Coral Reefs

Fabrics, storage containers, carrier bags and even airplanes – plastics have revolutionized our lives since the mass production of plastic polymers began in the 20th century. It is estimated that 9.1 billion tons of plastic was produced worldwide between 1950 and 2015, with only 10% of global production being recycled.

The Truth About Shark Finning

Shark finning is the practice of removing a shark’s fins when it is still alive. The fins are mainly sold for use in shark fin soup, an East Asian dish synonymous with luxury and celebration. In reality, the practice of shark finning leaves nothing to celebrate. Shark Finning By Numbers

Where Are The Turtles?

Six of the seven recognized turtle species are classified as vulnerable to extinction, threatened, or critically endangered. The population status of the seventh species, the flatback turtle, is unknown due to a lack of data. A variety of human actions have harmed the turtle’s ecosystems and placed its future in

Whale Sharks Can Heal Wounds, Regrow Fins: Study

Whale Sharks are the world’s largest fish. Adored by millions due to their popularity in famous aquariums across the globe, the magnificent whale shark is an endangered species of fish that has held our fascination for a long time.  The unique name that sets them apart is derived from their

Fish Personality Test: Way a Fish Swims Reveals A Lot

We’ve all spent long lazy afternoons answering questions that could help identify our personality type. Popular social media sites are filled with quizzes and questionnaires that help you figure out why you are the way you are. We have engaged in long-standing debates about if animals have personalities and if

What Would Happen If There Were No More Coral Reefs?

As more and more climate change impacts are being witnessed – from hurricanes increasing in frequency and intensity to ice caps melting over Greenland – the world is beginning to pay more attention to climate change and realize the severity of the situation. Not only are individual species disappearing in

Importance Of Mapping Threats To Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are among the most productive and biodiverse ecosystems on earth. They are important habitat, spawning and breeding grounds for many important marine species, both fish and invertebrate species. Humans rely on coral reefs for many resources, such as seafood and new medicines, as well as a number of

How Do Invertebrates Rely On Coral Reefs?

Coral reefs are widely known for their incredible biodiversity and species richness. While many people associate coral reefs with their incredible fish diversity, the majority of species on coral reefs are actually invertebrates! What Is An Invertebrate? An invertebrate is an animal that does not have a vertebral column, derived

How Sustainable Farming Impacts Coral Reef Conservation

Agriculture is the world’s largest industry, and employs more than one billion people annually, generating approximately $1.3 trillion worth of food. Agricultural practices like pastures and crops occupy 50% of the Earth’s habitable surface. It is therefore important that farming practices are sustainable, to ensure the continued provision of food

What Is Coral IVF and How Does It Help Reef Conservation?

Coral reefs offer marine protection for communities, fish sanctuary and millions of dollars in conservation and tourism, among other benefits. Yet corals are also seriously endangered by increasingly deteriorating environmental conditions. Learn how Coral IVF is aiming to preserve these ecologically important ecosystems. Why Do We Need Coral Reef Restoration?

Why Are Corals Crucial to Fish?

Our aim is to raise awareness of coral reefs and the threats they face. Coral reefs are bleaching and dying, and therefore so many delicate and diverse ecosystems around the world are under threat. But, in order to fully understand how significant this is, we need to understand the importance

Will Coral Gardening Save Coral Reefs?

Coral reefs are dying. The beautiful ecosystems that took thousands of years to grow and expand are being quickly killed by the actions of humanity. They are dying because of bleaching, which is directly linked to global warming and pollution.  Mass coral bleaching events are occurring more and more regularly,

How Does Sunscreen Impact Coral Reefs?

Sunscreen is super important when we are wanting to go out in the sun. It reduces UV exposure and lowers the risk of skin cancer and damage. However, did you know that some sunscreen can actually damage coral reefs?  In this article, we will look at the effects of some

How Does Plastic Pollution Impact Coral Reefs?

It is not a surprise that plastic is harmful to our marine ecosystems. According to the United Nations Environment, between 60% and 80% of the rubbish in our oceans is plastic. Furthermore, it impacts over 800 aquatic animals. Whilst floating plastic, such as those seen in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, are estimated to only make

How Old Are Coral Reefs?

We wish to support conservation organizations and spread the word about how we need to act now in order to save our coral reefs. They are under a huge amount of threat, with mass coral bleaching events occurring regularly, and reefs all across the globe dying.  We are at a

What Is Coral Restoration?

Coral reefs have been in existence for millions of years; they are an intricate ecosystem and home to countless species of aquatic organisms. Their life is vital to the health and sustainability of the aquatic environment, which in turn directly influences our own well-being. Unfortunately, these magical marine communities all

The Importance Of Sustainable Fishing For Coral Reefs

Seafood is a major source of animal protein for the people and communities in the Coral Triangle region, the world’s tropical coral reef hot spot. However, the gap between the fish required for food security and the sustainable fishing harvests from coastal fisheries is growing.  Sustainable fishing is crucial in

Can We Outplant Staghorn Corals?

A new study that was recently conducted tested how well staghorn coral skeletons withstand the forces of nature and humans. This gives us information about how we need to keep this species of coral safe, and how to transplant coral into the wild. So, what did the team of researchers

What Are The Main Threats To Coral Reefs?

Coral reef ecosystems are being damaged all over the world through a number of direct and indirect anthropogenic (i.e. human) threats, including coral bleaching, coral disease, coral predator outbreaks, ship groundings, and anchor damage, destructive fishing, and land-based runoff or sedimentation.  Almost 50% of all coral reefs are experiencing a

How Is eDNA Revolutionising Coral Conservation?

For many years underwater visual surveys have been widely used to survey coral reef ecosystems across the world, and have been crucial in many coral reef monitoring programs. The drawbacks of using visual surveys are that they generally need to be conducted using SCUBA, which makes them time-consuming, logistically challenging,

How Do Corals Help Flood Mitigation?

In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey published a detailed study into the economic value of coral reefs in the United States. The results were incredible. The study found that coral reefs provide natural flood protection to more than 18,000 people, which contributed an estimated value of $1.8 billion worth of

Will Corals Vanish By The End Of The Century?

A recent report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in November 2020 has warned that the world is at serious risk of losing coral reefs by the end of the century. Coral reef ecosystems provide food and livelihoods to millions of people around the world. Despite only covering

What Happens To A Reef During A Heatwave?

Coral bleaching is caused by global warming, which causes corals to expel essential algae that live in their tissues, resulting in the death of these species. Now, scientists have identified a much more lethal threat, marine heatwaves. These heat waves kill corals even faster than previously believed according to new