Glimmer of Hope: Seagrasses Starting to Recover in Europe

Seagrasses provide vital habitat and resources for marine ecosystems. Water pollution, disease, and coastal modification have led to a decrease in 30% of seagrasses across Europe. Researchers analyzed over 1,000 studies to understand the trends of seagrasses over nearly 150 years. While overall losses have been great, the last few decades have shown seagrasses are starting to recover – likely due to strategies to decrease water pollution and protect vital habitats.

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Seaweed as far as the eye can see

In the center of the Atlantic Ocean lies the Sargasso Sea. The brown seaweed, Sargassum, gives the Sea its name; However, in the past decade this belt of Sargassum has been exploding. During certain seasons, the Sargassum belt has expanded from West Africa to the Americas. Beached seaweed has led to numerous problems and concerns for much of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Research led by Dr. Mengqiu Wang from the University of South Florida used previous data to determine what makes these seaweeds take over the ocean in order to better predict when these blooms may occur.

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Hidden fish populations protect us from ourselves!

We raise cows, chickens, and pigs on farms, but we still commonly hunt wild populations for one type of animal protein- seafood. Many fish populations are overexploited, but scientists found that despite this, Atlantic flounder populations were in better shape than expected. Why? How can we ensure that this stability continues?

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It’s Not Just About Fish: How Understanding Ecosystem Services Can Lead to Marine Conservation

What is the value of a fish? It’s role in the ecosystem, or the community that relies on the species? A team of scientists from the UK explores these interactions in their recent paper, which details the use of ecosystem services in marine conservation.

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The Five Deeps Expedition: The first attempt to dive to the deepest point in five oceans

The Five Deeps Expedition is led by Victor Vescovo, an American attempting to visit the five deepest areas of the ocean in a manned submersible. In December of 2018, he became the first human to reach the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean. Read on to learn more about this expedition, and keep an eye out for the results of the remaining four dives in 2019!

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Flame retardant sharks?

Flame retardants are found everywhere from your house to your car. Unfortunately, these chemicals can accumulate in the environment, including the ocean. Once in the ocean, flame retardants can make their way into marine organisms. The researchers in this study wanted to determine if flame retardants are transferred from mothers to offspring in sharks.

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Desalination: As If Corals Didn’t Have Enough to Worry About Already

Clean, safe drinking water is a basic human need. However, for many areas around the globe, freshwater is becoming scarce. Desalination is increasingly used to provide drinking water in some coastal regions, but the waste products – brine and antiscalants – are discharged back into the ocean with unknown consequences. A recent study by Karen Lykkebo Petersen (University of California Santa Cruz) and colleagues sought to simulate happens to coral reefs as they are increasingly exposed to desalination discharge.

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Diving deep: benefits of deep sea coral refuges in the Atlantic

Take a dive into the fascinating world of deep sea coral reefs off the South Atlantic Coast and their role in supporting diverse reef fish communities. The paper examines the differences between shallow and deep reefs and explores why they may require distinctions when setting management goals.

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