TAG: Marine life

Polluting The Seas

biofouling-on-boat-hull

If you have ever walked by a sea harbour, you may have noticed a few organisms attached to a docked large ship by the waterline. These attachments may be telling of a worse situation that lies beneath the water than the naked eye can sea. These attachments consist of micro-organism, plants, algae, molluscs and other marine organisms, and such attachment is known as biofouling. Biofouling is not a new phenomenon, it can occur on all marine vessels if appropriate anti- fouling measures are not taken. Environmental scientists have long stated that biofouling provides transportation of non-indigenous species of aquatic plant… read more

Our Lives Depend Upon It

Oceans

After years of polluting our oceans we now appreciate the many benefits they provide to humans. Essential nutrition, climate regulation, and oxygen generation are just some of the ways in which our lives are effected. The oceans face a constant threat of pollution and the creatures that live beneath the waves of habitat loss. The sad part is these effects can last decades and some may be irreversable. Oceans and coastlines provide shelter to 40 percent of the global population, help to support 350 million jobs and contribute more than $3 trillion to the world’s material wealth each year. The… read more

Uncovering Under-Water “Mystery Circles”

ohama_beach_amami_oshima_japan

In the perilous waters of Amami Oshima, Southern Japan, sea beds lay inscribed with ornate circles of a once mysterious origin. Within these circles intricate sweeps and grooves create shapely mounds of sand that come together and part to constellate geometric works of art that mirror the symbolic art of ancient Celts just as much as they emulate crop circles. The “mystery circles” were first discovered 20 years ago, some 80 ft below the water’s surface. Images of the circles were captured by Yoji Ookata, a deep sea photographer, while diving in the southern tip of Japan’s coast. Having obtained his… read more

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Disrupted

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Disrupted

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest coral reef expanse in the world. With almost 3000 different reef systems, it includes more than 900 islands that are home to countless marine life and thousands of other living species, some of which are endangered. It is now also housing some unexpected, intrusive guests. Last week, 2 U.S. military aircraft had to drop 4 inactive bombs close to the Great Barrier Reef area. The emergency drop occurred during a military training exercise that went on longer than planned, and the in flight jets were in danger of running out of… read more

Sea Squirts Could Provide Renewable Biofuel Feedstock

Sea Squirts Could Provide Renewable Biofuel Feedstock

When trying to produce a viable and sustainable biofuel, one that can be produced from renewable resources and used in conventional combustion engines, one of the big hangups is the need to use large tracts of land to grow the feedstock. But technologies such as algae biofuel are promising more efficient land use in biofuel production, and it turns out that another great source for biofuel feedstock can be found in the ocean, in the form of the sea squirt. Researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) and Uni Research have identified a specific kind of tunicate, ascidiacea, as great… read more

Who Should Take Credit For Looking After Our Ocean?

Ocean Conservation

Every now and then, Blacklemag likes to highlight the endeavors of specific organizations we feel are doing a great job of working to save the environment. Today, we’d like to take a look at the work Ocean Conservancy is doing to promote awareness and protect the oceans. The Ocean Conservancy group “educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean.” They have several lists of facts on their website showcasing the importance of our oceans to the overall health of the planet. The organization was founded in 1972, since then, they’ve contributed to the 144, 606, 491 pounds… read more

Deep Water Gas Emissions

NOAA

NOAA ocean explorers used an advanced multibeam sonar mapping system on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer in November to discover and map the first deep water gas seeps found off the U.S. Atlantic Coast north of Cape Hatteras. The seeps were found at water depths greater than 3,300 feet. Based on preliminary information, scientists believe the seeps are likely emitting methane gas. Locating seeps with this advanced technology will expand opportunities for researchers to study how seeps in the deep ocean environment affect ocean chemistry. NOAA’s use of advanced technology to discover seeps will benefit other agencies, including the U.S. Geological… read more

Warfare Threats

Chemical and biological warfare

The utilisation of harmful chemicals as a weapon in combat was banned by the international community through the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention) of 1997. The secretary general of the United Nations Dr Ban Ki-moon made a press statement wherein he emphatically discouraged Syria from using biological warfare against anti-government insurgents. The secretary general intimated that there would be dire consequences for Syria if it did not heed the call to refrain from using biological warfare, because chemical weapons have no place in the… read more

Government Indifference

chemicals-in-ocean

Government institutions are meant to be at the forefront in the fight to protect the environment from attack. This means that government is expected to at least refrain from activity which would be seen and proven to have adverse effects on environmental media. When government fails to do so, this constitutes a grave injustice. A prime example is a situation that has ensued in the United States. A host of environmental groups in the United States have filed a lawsuit against the government asserting that it has failed to regulate military drills involving the sinking of old ships in the… read more