Coral forests thrive near Sicilys underwater volcanoes

July 10, 2018 by  
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Nearly one kilometer below the water surface near Sicily, a rare ecosystem of corals, sponges and wildlife is thriving. A recent study from conservation agency Oceana discovered healthy and active coral forests near underwater volcanoes just north of Sicily. These coral forests were previously undiscovered by humans but have not been spared from their impact via pollution. As an under-researched area, scientists wanted to learn more about the wildlife near the Aeolians Islands north of Sicily, the location of several underwater volcanoes . Exploring around a kilometer under the surface, the team found coral forests rich with endangered species. At the shallowest levels, a research robot found red algae beds that support both plants and sea animals in the area. Sea fans and horse mackerel were abundant near the surface. At intermediate depths, sharks laid eggs in beds of black coral, complemented with beds of red coral and yellow tree coral. Both colored corals are considered threatened species in the Mediterranean Sea . Related: Red List expands to 26,000 endangered species The most exciting discoveries were found at the bottom of the ocean floor. As far down as 981 meters, researchers found naturally growing bamboo corals on the endangered species list , as well as sea squirts and carnivorous sea sponges that were not known to live in the area. The deep dive also revealed two species never before seen in the area: the skinny sea star  Zoroaster fulgens and a goby fish originally found near the Adriatic Sea. Unfortunately, this unique environment isn’t immune to human damage. The diving robot discovered extensive evidence of fishing pollution , including abandoned traps, nets and fishing lines. Some of those contributed to the death of the wildlife, including turtles and corals. Other discarded waste found includes single-use plastic flatware, glass and even tires. “We have found tens of features that are internationally protected in the Mediterranean, from impressive coralligenous beds to loggerhead turtles and many species of corals and molluscs,” Ricardo Aguilar, senior research director for Oceania, said in a statement. “However, we also found widespread impacts of human activity, even in the farthest and deepest areas, and it is vital that we stop harming marine life if we are to preserve the uniqueness of this part of the Tyrrhenian Sea.” The discoveries will help scientists develop a plan to protect the unique ecosystem from future damage. Oceana’s expedition is part of bigger research expedition with the Blue Marine Foundation to better understand the Aeolians Islands and their  environment . + Oceana Images via  © Oceana

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Coral forests thrive near Sicilys underwater volcanoes

Researchers discover a completely new ocean zone swimming with new species

March 21, 2018 by  
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After six years of researching the uncharted depths of coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, scientists have discovered an entirely new ocean zone called the rariphotic zone. This column of water sits 130 to 490 feet below the sea surface, where it is too dark for photosynthesis, but above the dark fathoms of the aphotic zone . Even though photosynthetic reef building isn’t happening here, the newly-designated zone is anything but barren – read on for a first glimpse at the life below. Scientists found 4,436 individual fish around Curacao Island over 80 dives – and so far they’ve named 30 new species and identified six new genera of rariphotic specialists. There will be plenty more to come, as a fifth of the fish that the researchers saw have never been identified before. The research indicates that life can exist in depths far lower than we ever thought before. Related: Scientists discover a 600-mile-long coral reef in the most unlikely place “Reef ecosystems just below the mesophotic are globally underexplored, and the conventional view based on the few studies that mention them was that mesophotic ecosystems transition directly into those of the deep sea,” said Carole Baldwin , lead researcher and director of the Smithsonian’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). “Our study reveals a previously unrecognized zone comprising reef vs. deep-sea fishes that links mesophotic and deep-sea ecosystems.” The research was published this week in the journal Nature . + Nature Via IFLScience Images via Nature

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Researchers discover a completely new ocean zone swimming with new species

Scientists find first contagious cancer transmissible between species

June 30, 2016 by  
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Scientists have seen contagious cancer before, in Tasmanian devils, in dogs, and in soft-shell clams in Prince Edward Island. Now, researchers are adding one more occurrence to the list: a contagious, leukemia-like disease that appears to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, called bivalves, such as clams, mussels, and cockles. Researchers discovered evidence, for the first time ever, that this particular disease can spread between species , making it slightly more terrifying. A team of Spanish scientists initially found the cancerous phenomenon in shellfish off the coast of Galicia, Spain but other researchers working in Canada have also observed the contagious disease. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir5H-yZONg8 Scientists learned that the disease was spreading among ocean creatures  belonging to related, but different species after a genetic analysis of the cancer cells. Cancer originates from mutated cells but are genetically similar to the host, so analyzing the cancer cells helped researchers determine their origin. So far, the disease has been found in mussels off the coast of British Columbia and in cockles and golden carpet shell clams in Spain, and it is very similar to a disease soft-shell clams in Prince Edward Island have suffered. Related: Clams could clean up oil spills without chemicals This discovery of a transmissible cancer is probably just the beginning, according to study coauthor Jim Sherry, an Environment Canada scientist based in Burlington, Ontario. “It may be more widespread in nature than we know,” he said. Instead of being very similar to the genetic makeup of their host, cancer cells of this variety are “wildly different from the host,” according to lead author Stephen Goff, a professor of microbiology at Columbia University. The cancer cells they found in golden carpet shell clams had originated in the pullet carpet shell, a related species of shellfish . “This had to be a case of cross-species transmission,” Goff said. Luckily, the scientists think the contagious cancer is a rare occurrence, and isn’t likely to spread to unrelated species. The study, published in the journal Nature , describes the nature of the contagious cancer in shellfish in Spain, Canada, and the northern United States. Via CBC Images via CUMC

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Scientists find first contagious cancer transmissible between species

The humble mussel is as important and threatened as bees

January 12, 2016 by  
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The world is in need of some mussel building. The humble mussel is not only a delicious seafood dish, it also is one of the most important species in the sea (and various salt-free bodies of water). Mussels act as a natural filtration system by pulling excessive nutrients from the water, which might otherwise have contributed to algal blooms and “ dead zones .” Researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal and the Technical University of Munich have compiled the first comprehensive database of mussel populations in Europe’s freshwater, which they hope will be used to protect these essential mollusks. Read the rest of The humble mussel is as important and threatened as bees

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The humble mussel is as important and threatened as bees

US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems

January 22, 2015 by  
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A couple of weeks ago, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), an environmental law firm that sues the US government on behalf of the environment, filed a suit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service . The CBD allege that outdated, “once-through” water cooling intake structures are responsible for the deaths of sea turtles and other protected species. This suit is being supported by organizations such as the Sierra Club, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Waterkeeper Alliance, and several others. Read the rest of US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , Atlantic sturgeon , Biodiversity , center for biodiversity , cooling systems , dying sea turtles , endangered sea life , endangered species , Environment , federal , fish , Fish and Wildlife Service , florida , Hudson Riverkeeper , industry , killer whales , lawsuit , lawyers , manatees , national , national marine fisheries service , Nature , ocean , ocean life , orca , orcas , power plants , protected species , river organisms , sea life , sea lions , sea turtles , seals , shortnose sturgeon , Sierra Club , status quo , sturgeon , suing , Suncoast Waterkeeper , turtles , u.s. , water issues , waterkeeper alliance , Wildlife

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US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems

Ambio lamp glows with bioluminescent bacteria instead of electricity

January 5, 2015 by  
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A Dutch designer has created a lamp that needs no electricity: it consists of a glass tube filled with bioluminescent bacteria taken from octopuses and suspended in a saltwater solution. All it needs in order to light up is a gentle tap every so often to keep it swaying. It’s not uncommon for designers to be inspired by the beauty of nature , but Ambio takes it a bit further. In a complete marriage of design and biology, Teresa van Dongen developed her glowing lamp as her graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven. Read the rest of Ambio lamp glows with bioluminescent bacteria instead of electricity Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bacteria , bioluminescence , bioluminescent , Design Academy Eindhoven , dutch , dutch design , lamp , Light , Netherlands , ocean life , Octopus , sea life , Teresa van Dongen

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Ambio lamp glows with bioluminescent bacteria instead of electricity

Jason deCaires Taylor’s Newest Underwater Sculpture ‘Ocean Atlas’ Will Blow Your Mind

October 20, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Jason deCaires Taylor’s Newest Underwater Sculpture ‘Ocean Atlas’ Will Blow Your Mind Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Art , B.R.E.E.F , bahamas art , Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation , coral reef protection , jason decaires taylor , Ocean Atlas , ocean initiatives , ocean life , ocean reefs , Sir Nicholas Nuttall , stressed natural reef , underwater sculpture , underwater sculpture garden

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Jason deCaires Taylor’s Newest Underwater Sculpture ‘Ocean Atlas’ Will Blow Your Mind

Bycatch: There’s More Than Just Your Seafood on the Line

April 3, 2014 by  
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Americans love to eat seafood . In fact, seafood consumption in the United States has grown 50 percent in the last 50 years, with shrimp, tuna and salmon topping the list as most popular choices. What many people may not know, however, is that their shrimp cocktail or swordfish steak may come with a side-order of dead sea turtle, dolphin or shark. Bycatch , the catch of non-target fish and ocean wildlife, is a persistent threat to marine ecosystems around the world. According to some estimates, bycatch may amount to 40 percent of the world’s fishing catch, totaling 63 billion pounds a year. Read the rest of Bycatch: There’s More Than Just Your Seafood on the Line Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , by-catch , bycatch , environmental destruction , environmental issues , fish , ocean , ocean life , ocean wildlife , Oceana , S.H.R.I.M.P. , salmon , seafood , water issues        

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Bycatch: There’s More Than Just Your Seafood on the Line

Fantasized: Belgian Designer Creates Livable Products Out of Discarded Fans

April 3, 2014 by  
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Belgian designer Sep Verboom partnered with social environmentalist Hon. Nida Cabrera to innovate the waste management in Cebu City. Old fans are purchased in Philippine junkshops and combined with traditional weavings by local craftsmen. The rattan materials provide a natural touch and connect the products to a rich culture of weaving industries. Currently, Fantasized is launching at the Milan Furniture Fair with a pre-order campaign on INDIEGOGO . Become a FAN! + Fantasized The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: belgian design , Fantasized , green design , Milan Design Week , Milan Furniture Fair , rattan , reader submitted content , recycled fans , Recycled Materials , Sep Verboom        

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Fantasized: Belgian Designer Creates Livable Products Out of Discarded Fans

INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries

March 25, 2014 by  
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Did you know that some fisheries throw back almost 63% of the sea life that is hauled onto boats? A recent Oceana report reveals the horrifying cost of by-catch in nine of the dirtiest fisheries in the US, and the organization also launched an accompanying infographic that details the most devastating fishing techniques and the species at risk – including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. The infographic also offers solutions to reduce by-catch and preserve the world’s oceans – check it out after the jump! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: by-catch , bycatch , dirtiest us fisheries , environmental destruction , environmental issues , fishery , infographic , ocean life , Oceana , oceans , sea life , sustainable fishing , water issues        

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries

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