Articles & News Tagged “Environment”
Raja Ampat Regency changes fees
The Government of the Raja Ampat Regency has changed both the fee for entry into the area and the way that the resulting monies are distributed. The fee is now valid for 12 months (previously a calendar year) and has doubled to IDR500.000 ($38) for domestic users and IDR1000.000 (around $76) for international visitors.
New paper suggest great whites live longer and mature slower
A new paper published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research has suggested that great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) only reach sexual maturity at age 26 for males and 33 for females. In addition the paper suggest that great whites grow slower and live longer then had been previously thought, with a possible life expectancy of 70 years. Aging was carried out by counting “band pairs” of growth on shark vertebrae. (Image from Shutterstock)
Researchers voice concern over poisonous sea slugs
Researchers have voiced concern about a new species of neurotoxic side gilled seagull that are having a dramatic increase in population off the coast of Argentina. The new species, similar to Pleurobranchaea maculata (pictured above) which is found off Australia and New Zealand, has no predators, and is hence able to outcompete indigenous species. (Image by Heike Wägele & Annette Klussmann-Kolb)
Paper quantifies plastic pollution
The journal PLoS ONE has published a paper that sets out to quantify the amount of plastic pollution that exists in the world’s seas and oceans. The report is based on 24 worldwide expeditions undertaken between 2007 and 2013 which used surface netting and visual methods to quantify the extent of the pollution. The researchers came up with a statistic that suggests that there are more than 5 trillion plastic particles, weighing over 268,940 tons, floating at sea.
CMS agrees on protection of 21 species of shark, ray and sawfish
The eleventh meeting of the “Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species” (CMS) was held last week in Quito, Ecuador. The CMS is an international treaty administered under the United Nations Environment Program and over 100 countries agreed to extend protection to 31 species, which included 21 species of sharks, rays and sawfish. In addition, discussions were held about on plastic debris, boat-based wildlife watching and the live-capture of cetaceans for entertainment.
Article shows hope for coral reefs
The BBC Earth section has posted an extended article about coral regeneration after bleaching events. Entitled ” The corals that came back from the dead”, the article talks about the “Phoenix Effect” which was first described in 1992 by David Krupp. It describes a process whereby corals can regrow from a small fragment of life after a sea temperature rise. Up until now, this has been observed only in disk corals, but the articles cites Peter Mumby’s experience with Porites sp corals in Rangiroa lagoon, French Polynesia.
Paper studies inter octopus asphyxiation
A new paper by Christine Huffard and Mike Bartick has been published in the journal Molluscan Research. Entitled “Wild Wunderpus photogenicus and Octopus cyanea employ asphyxiating ‘constricting’ in interactions with other octopuses, it catalogs several instances in which “aggressive constriction” has been seen in an instance of apparent sexual cannibalism and in an attempt to eliminate a competitor for a food source.
Study into shark social behaviour
A new study published in the Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology journal suggests that shark social behavior is determined by an individual’s predisposition to be social or not. This underlines the idea that individual sharks have differing behavioural characters, or to put it more bluntly, have personalities. Whilst this will come as no surprise to those that have experienced them in the wild, it does help to overcome the preconception that sharks are not sentient.
President Obama announces Pacific marine sanctuary
The BBC reports that the President Obama has signed a memorandum to create the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Wetpixel wrote about the plan back in June, which is now signed into law. It bans “commercial fishing, deep-sea mining and other extraction of underwater resources” in an area 200 nautical miles (1.2 million sq. km) around seven scattered Pacific islands, atolls and reefs between Hawaii and American Samoa.