Short news updates on California Sea Lions, Bluefin Tuna and Fairy Penguins and fecal material in beach sand.
Condition of Oceans
What does an unhealthy sea have to do with the midwest? Frank Bonaccorso and Gregg Bemis have some thoughts about that.
Everyone’s favorite cool supermarket, Trader Joe’s hits the bottom when it comes to selling unsustainable seafood.
With 90% of the large fish in the sea gone, researchers predict that major fisheries will collapse.
The recent crash of a jet in the Atlantic, also brought the issue of mass garbage floats in the Atlantic Ocean.
Brian Williams Couriermail.com.au Brisbane May 29, 2009 12:00am CHEMICAL contamination that caused gross deformities to millions of fish larvae may be more widespread in Noosa waterways than first thought. Data from the Department of Primary Industries showing chemical contamination… Read More ›
A Monterey Bay Aquarium Release Now, at last, the scientific community is speaking with a single voice about the best ways to address the threats and preserve a healthy Pacific. More than 400 leading scientists from nearly two-dozen countries have… Read More ›
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Hard to stomach: Scientists were shocked to discover this rubbish inside the gut of a dead minke whale in 2002
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The minke was found on the Normandy coast. At first, it was assumed she had died of natural causes.
When her stomach was cut open, scientists were amazed to find nearly two pounds of plastic bags, eaten by mistake as she searched for food.
The 2lb haul included two plastic bags from English supermarkets, seven transparent plastic bags, and fragments from seven dustbin bags.
In an ironic twist, one of the bags found in the gut of the dead whale appears to read: “We support good farm animal welfare.”
Most worrying of all, there was no proper food in her stomach.
Minkes are among the smallest of the whales and the fastest moving. They can be seen swimming off the coasts of Scotland, Ireland and the South West.
The females are around 24ft long and weigh between five and ten tons. They can live for up to 60 years.
Although minkes are not threatened with immediate extinction, whale campaigners are concerned about their numbers. There are thought to be fewer than 184,000 left in the Atlantic.
Until the 1980s their biggest danger was hunters from Japan, Norway and Iceland. But another major threat has emerged in the plastic debris and rubbish in the seas.
Minkes feed by sieving huge amounts of water through plates in their mouths. The technique is supposed to catch small fish.
But as the seas get more polluted, the whales are also swallowing more rubbish.
The plastic can block their digestive tracts, causing serious internal damage. If the creatures consume enough bags, their stomachs become full, they stop eating and they starve.
A spokesman for the Marine Conservation Society said the Normandy minke had shocked the scientific world.
“It is an appalling amount of plastic to find in one female whale,” he said. “It brings home what happens if we allow plastics into the marine environment
Frank Bonaccorso recently visited Cape Town, South Africa’s Tow Oceans Aquarium. It inspired his soul, but what awaited him outside, broke his heart.
The Marine Mammal Rescue and triage center in Morro Bay says about 10-20% of their rescues are from entanglement.