Mangrove forests have decreased 20% from 1980 – 2005. Half the coral and seagrass in the world have already been destroyed and if temperatures continue to rise, then their will be no more coral reefs by 2050. The WWF says “8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped every year into the oceans and it’s estimated that there are currently more than 5 trillion plastic pieces in the sea, collectively weighing over 250,000 tons.” Tuna, mackerel, and other fish have declined 74% between 1970 – 2010. Some sharks, rays, and skates are almost extinct because of over fishing. 29% of marine fisheries are overfished.
“Writing in the introduction to the report, Marco Lambertini, the director general of WWF International, said it’s obvious where to place the blame. ‘The picture is now clearer than ever: humanity is collectively mismanaging the ocean to the brink of collapse.’
“‘The situation is urgent and the moment to act is at hand,’ he continued. ‘…The pace of change in the ocean tells us there’s no time to waste. These changes are happening in our lifetime. We can and we must correct course now.’
“However, Lambertini also highlighted the ocean’s ability to recover from its current situation if solutions are found quickly and key habitats are protected. ‘The ocean has another great advantage. It is a dynamic, interconnected global ecosystem that can bounce back relatively quickly if the pressures are dealt with effectively.'”
Here’s the story.
On January 21, 2015 fishermen in Australia were startled by a rare and endangered frilled shark! There has only been one caught before. It was caught in Japan in 2007. The frilled shark has 300 teeth in 25 rows, and it has 6 pairs of gills which is why it is called a frilled shark. It’s about 5 feet long. Its roots have been traced back 80 million years. “In the most recent of those 80 million years, the frilled shark has been scaring the bejeezus out of humans who pull it out of the water to find an animal with rows of needle-like teeth in a gaping mouth at the front of its head.” But the frilled shark is not a freak of nature, but an endangered species. See more about this cool shark at the link below.
Scientists solved the plague that was killing starfish all over the Pacific ocean! And they found a cure! So thanks to them, millions of starfish will live. “They said it’s a virus that’s different from all other known viruses infecting marine organisms. They’ve dubbed it ‘sea star associated densovirus.'” To find the culprit, they took samples of healthy and sick starfish and looked at them under a microscope then looked at the differences and found the one.
“When researchers tried to figure out where the virus may have come from, they learned that West Coast starfish have been living with the virus for decades. They detected the densovirus in preserved starfish specimens from as far back as the 1940s.”
So the problem is solved. Here is the link to the website and related links.
There is so much need for help it is almost imposible to write about it all! Most of the world is covered in water but it is unprotected. But people are making the Pristine Seas project. It is founded by Dr. Enric Sala. The Pristine Seas project protects the ocean’s last wild places.
Also President Obama is trying to create the world’s largest ocean preserve (shown above)! It will save a lot of endangered species. Here is a link from the NRDC to sign a petition to help it.
Here is another amazing link from National Geographic to all that and more!
Today is World Ocean Day! Do something to help your ocean today! It could be donating to a society or just saving water.
An adult female Cuvier’s beaked whale swims off the Big Island of Hawaii in 2008. Photograph: Robin Baird, Cascadia Research Collective
“When it comes to marine mammals, Cuvier’s beaked whale is the new champion of deep-sea diving. Up until this revelation, the southern elephant seal had been leading the marine mammal field for both depth and duration of dive. A study published in 2010 recorded an elephant seal diving to 2,388 metres. Another paper from way back in 1992 timed one seal staying submerged for 120 minutes. I’m impressed by the whales, of course. At the higher taxonomic scale of marine mammals, the beaked whale is now top of the class.”
Here is the link to the story quoted above:
“The Navy is prepared to kill nearly 1,000 whales and other marine mammals during the next five years of testing and training with dangerous sonar and explosives. Tell Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to direct the Navy to adopt commonsense safeguards that will protect marine mammals during routine training without compromising military readiness.”
“This mid-frequency sonar will bombard whales with noise so intense — up to 236 decibels — it can actually cause their internal organs to hemorrhage. It’s distressing that the Navy refuses to put commonsense precautions in place that could protect whales during routine training — especially because taking such steps would in no way compromise our military readiness. Whales should not have to suffer or die for military practice.” – -Pierce Brosnan, Actor, Activist, NRDC Member
This is very cruel and unnecessary. There are other ways to prepare for war and not kill whales. Please sign the petition to save the whales.