Category Archives: Conservation

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Synthetic Coral to Clean the Ocean

synthetic coral 4

Photo credit: Paul Nicklen

 Coral, with its porous nature and curled structure, is extremely efficient at absorbing toxic heavy metals; deadly poisons. The mercury that is polluting our oceans is contributing to massive coral die-offs, and is building up in the food chain, eventually resulting in toxic fish. According to the WHO, between 1.5 and 17 in every thousand children living in selected subsistence fishing populations showed cognitive impacts caused by the consumption of fish containing mercury. Coral’s remarkable ability to absorb heavy metals inspired researchers at Anhui Jianzhu University in China to create nano-sized, coral-like structures that use aluminum oxide to absorb mercury out of the water. The team, led by Dr. Xianbiao Wang, published their procedures and findings this week in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. They outlined their process for creating this unique structure, which they found to be about two and a half times more effective at absorbing mercury than traditionally structured nanoparticles –  49.15 mg/g vs.19.56 mg/g.… More:

Wounded Veterans Restore Coral Reefs In The Florida Keys

vet This story speaks wonders of the possibility of healing, healing which is occuring in our coral reefs and in human spirituality . Wounded veterans, who have survived what can only be called the impossible, are now working on something that many would agree at times ia also an impossible feat: restoring our coral reefs. Biologists at Mote Marine Laboratory (“Mote”) in Sarasota, Florida have been growing threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) in their nursery, for the past eight years, with the goal for the corals to be replanted and restored into threatened coral reefs.… More:

Stranded Killer Whale Saved By Onlookers

Let’s admit it, we all love Orcas aka Killer Whales.  Well then we should commend a group of brave volunteers who did an amazing job working to save a stranded Orca on July 22nd on the rocks near Hartley Bay, BC Canada.  The whale-loving citizens spent over 6 hours working to keep the killer whale cool and wet with the hopes of saving it from an uncertain fate. orcaMore:

An Overview of Marine Fungi and Their Ecological Roles

A Labyrinthula-infected eelgrass frond.

A Labyrinthula-infected eelgrass frond.

 Sometimes regarded as rare or insignificant, marine fungi are both phylogenetically and ecologically diverse. Like all fungi, marine fungi are heterotrophic. Although a large portion of marine fungi are saprobes – organisms that feed on decaying organic matter, many species of marine fungi form symbiosis with living marine animals. While some of these relationships are best described as parasitism, there are many cases of mutualism as well. One study investigated the secondary metabolites produced by marine fungi participating in symbiotic relationships with sponges. This study revealed that symbiotic marine fungi produce chemicals that may assist their sponge host in staving off pathogens (Höller et al., 2000). Although these species of marine fungi (and many others) facilitate… More:

Surfing Champ Attacked By Great White Sharks On Live TV

As if this summer of high profile shark attacks couldn’t get any worse, a  professional surfer had an extremely close encounter with two sharks during a competition in South Africa on Sunday — and the entire dramatic ordeal was captured on live TV. 391857-40d2e086-2e1b-11e5-acc9-b1d2ead0aaf5 (1) Thankfully, the three-time World Surf League champion from Australia Mick Fanning was able to fend off the attack and escaped the dramatic confrontation unharmed. Fanning stated in an interview after the encounter that he punched one of the sharks in the back! But the scare led organizers of the J-Bay Open in Eastern Cape to cancel the finals.… More:

Sharks swarming in Britain

When you think of a large school of sharks swimming close to shore Britain is not the first place that typically comes to mind.  But, this week, a school of dozens of Starry Smooth-Hound Sharks (Mustelus asterias) was filmed gathering in a small inlet in Britain’s Medmerry Nature Reserve to feed. The sight of around 50 protruding fins is pretty cool.… More:

A Bag That’s GOOD for the Ocean

ocean cleanup 2 The Ocean Cleanup was founded in 2013 in the Netherlands by Boyan Slat, and is now the world’s largest cleanup initiatives. Approximately 100 volunteer scientists and engineers have contributed to this project, which will use long floating barriers to let the ocean current concentrate the plastic itself. They project that a 62 mile cleanup array, deployed for 10 years, will remove 42% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or 155,029,063 pounds of plastic.… More:

Jupiter, Florida Man Cited For Keeping Loggerhead Sea Turtles In Home Aquarium

071515+loggerhead+turtle+babies+in+tank+jupiterThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission cited a Jupiter, Florida man for keeping two Loggerhead Sea Turtles in his home aquarium. The man stated he found the turtles in his canal and put them in his aquarium for his daughters to see earlier this year. He stated he grew attached to the turtles, and did not release them. Although one can momentarily understand the excitement this man imagined for his daughters, coming home to see the turtles in their tank, this is a serious offense. The Loggerhead Turtle is classified as an Endangered Species. Federal Law prohibits the taking, selling, harassing or otherwise bothering Loggerheads or their nests.… More:

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