Sharks play an important and often overlooked role in the ocean ecosystem. As apex predators, or predators at the top of their food chain, sharks regulate the diversity and diets of species below them, ensuring a healthy ocean habitat. For instance, the decline of sharks in many areas has been shown to directly correlate with the demise of coral reefs and seagrass beds. Despite their … Continue reading Using Satellites to Protect Shark Sanctuaries
Where scientists previously assumed a harsh transition from reef life to deep-sea life, scientists have found a ‘missing link’ in oceanic life: the rariphotic zone. Between 150m-300m below the surface, this ‘twilight zone’ in the Caribbean houses a ‘deep sea reef’, complete with 30 new invertebrate species and 71 new species of reef fish. It was previously thought that reef fish couldn’t survive this deep, and their presence is a surprise to everyone. Continue reading Who lives in the Twilight Zone under the sea?
A team of Australian scientists lead by Rocky De Nys (James Cook University) discovered that a certain type of red seaweed, called Asparagopsis taxiformis, can decrease the amount of methane produced by the bacteria found in a cow’s stomach. Lauren Kuntz explains that methane is a very potent but short-lived greenhouse gas. Limiting methane produced by livestock, a major source of the gas, could help … Continue reading Seaweed May Cut Cows Methane Production
President Obama has recently established the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off of the coast of New England. The monument is the first in the Atlantic Ocean and measures in at 4,913 square miles, roughly the size of Connecticut. This move comes a month after President Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii by 442,781 square miles. Christopher Horvat explains that … Continue reading Marine Memorial Established Off New England Coast