Worrying news with scientists finding a mass extinction in the world’s oceans ‘inevitable’ if current trends continue. It’s not just the well-publicised overfishing that is causing the problem; pollution, fertilisers and seawater becoming more acidic due to the increase in carbon dioxide. Overfishing alone has reduced some fish populations by 90%, plus many sealife are killed or injured by plastic waste dumped at sea. With two-thirds of the planet covered in water it’s vital we help save our blue planet’s sealife.
Posts Tagged ‘fish’
Harbour seals can use just their whiskers to detect the fattest fish when swimming underwater. They sense the differences in the wake left by the fish which helps determine their size and shape…and therefore the best prey to go for!
Scientists in Cologne Zoo set up an experiment with paddles to mimic the disturbance created by fish. Henry the seal, wearing headphones and a mask to limit his senses, then swam up to one of the two boxes to get a fish reward. They found he could tell the size and shape of the paddle used proving how useful their whiskers are!
Selfridges have joined up with over 20 environmental and conservation groups to help promote the problem of over-fishing. Project Ocean hopes to inform people of all the threats to the ocean and how what we eat can make a big difference. Selfridges doesn’t stock endangered fish and they’ve produced a handy booklet to show which fish are good replacements for recipes containing endangered ones.
Go to their website for more info and also to donate towards helping the ZSL create Marine Reserves, protected havens for fish and wildlife.
While this Pink Handfish isn’t going to win any beauty awards…it might for its ingenuity. Instead of swimming, these angler fish walk across sea beds with their hand-like fins. The first of these species were found in 1802 but it’s only recently been properly studied and 14 separate species have been found. They all live off Southern and Eastern coasts of Australia and are considered vulnerable due to their limited ability to flee predators.
The National Geographic have some amazing footage of the annual salmon migration…and the shark that stands in its way. Every year millions of salmon heading to their spawning ground are attacked by the thousands of waiting shark in the icy Alaskan waters.
Scientists have discovered that the ocean’s most deadly predator might be colourblind. We have three types of ‘cone’ cells on the back of our retinas which allow us to see green, red and blue and therefore all the colours made of them. Sharks appear to only have type of cone; only picking up one colour meaning they probably can’t distinguish any difference in colours of light. But before brightly coloured fish rejoice…sharks have electroreceptor organs which they use to detect the electromagnetic fields all living things give off!
I wrote about this last year but now the Fish Fight has begun! Join the campaign to stop nearly a million tonnes of dead fish being thrown back into the sea. Regulations mean fishermen can only catch a certain amount…the rest is discarded but by this time, they are already dead and our depleted fish stocks are running out even faster. Find out more at their website and catch up with all the programmes on Channel 4.
The ZSL have launched a new campaign to help save the world’s endangered coral reefs, with some predicting coral reefs will nearly all have disappeared in the next 50 years.
These unique habitats provide protection for a variety of sealife…and humans, by creating a barrier against storms and flooding. But the coral reefs are in danger from the temperature change in seawater. The reefs need zooxanthellae, an algae that photosynthesize, giving the reef its colour, but the higher temperatures are killing off the algae, causing ‘coral bleaching’. Join the campaign on the ZSL site to help save these vital ecological sites.
Scientists are still trying to make sense of the apocalyptic scenes in Arkansas, Louisiana and now Sweden where thousands birds and fish have been dropping down dead.
The birds found in Arkansas have already been studied and found to have died from ‘internal trauma’ possibly from fireworks or a violent storm. The fish deaths, as they are all from one species, are thought to be from an outbreak of disease specific to that species. However from initial testing of the birds found in Sweden, it’s thought they suffered from ‘sudden, hard external blows’.
But until scientists conclude what happened to these vast populations of animals so suddenly, the internet is awash with other theories…from the end of the world to military testing.
Scientists have managed to track the beautiful leatherback turtle across the South Atlantic from their nesting site in Gabon.
The world’s biggest turtle travels several thousand kilometres every year as they return to the same birthing site every few years. The scientists found interesting results; that the turtles take different routes across the Atlantic with some reaching South America and others West Africa. They believe this is because when they hatch they are much smaller and at the mercy of the ocean’s currents. So, even when they grow up into adults, they still take the same path they took as youngsters.
These incredible creatures are on the critically endangered list with some populations such as the one in Malaysia shrinking from 10,000 females to just 37. Fishing appears to be the biggest danger, including ‘unintentional catch’ where abandoned nets remain in the ocean trapping anything that stumbles across it.