One problem is that fisheries often target what scientists call BOFFFFs: big, old, fat, fecund, female fish. Their large bodies are prized by fishers, but BOFFFFs are a vital source of new baby fish. Take these away and the size spectrum quickly veers out of kilter. One way to manage this is to encourage the fishing industry to target medium-size fish, allowing mature ones to replenish depleted populations.
“We documented for first time marked changes in the pelagic food web length in response to various natural and anthropogenic related stressors,” said lead author Rocio I. Ruiz-Cooley, formerly of NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center and now at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. “This tells us that the food web is very dynamic, and reveals changes with the ecosystem around it.”
The amphipods were contaminated with PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — toxic chemicals used for decades in industry, as well as other industrial pollutants known as persistent organic pollutants.
“Every sample we had,” Jamieson says, “had contaminants in it at very high or extraordinarily high levels.”
A slogan of the last century was ‘think globally, act locally.’ But if we’re to deal with the collapse of living systems today we have to think and act locally, regionally and globally simultaneously. That would probably not be possible without the communications tools we now have on our laptops and other devices.
In the vast and chaotic climate systems that govern our atmosphere and oceans, making sense of how one change — diminished sea ice — affects places or people thousands of miles away is a task of such extraordinary complexity that it strains even the most sophisticated supercomputers.
What’s more concerning is that plastic has been found to act like a sort of sponge, concentrating toxic chemicals that are diluted in oceans and lakes. Such toxins include heavy metals and chemicals that have long been banned, such as DDT or PCBs, that can have severe environmental effects and are known to cause cancer and birth defects.
Scientists in Maine are competing for a share of $11 million of NASA grant money in hopes of creating a real-time lobster distribution monitoring system. The proposed project is a joint collaboration between the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and… Read More ›
Editor’s note: Visit http://www.seastarwasting.org for more information Starfish dying from disease in SLO County tide pools By David Sneed firstname.lastname@example.orgFebruary 18, 2014 Updated 9 hours ago Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/02/18/2932233/starfish-disease-tide-pools-death.html#storylink=cpy Starfish in San Luis Obispo County are suffering from a… Read More ›