Preliminary results of our oceans shows alarming amount of plastic debris

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There’s a race taking place and it doesn’t result in ribbons or plaques. It’s the “Race for Water Odyssey”. Sponsored by the Race for Water Foundation, this 300 day voyage, which will travel over 40,000 nautical miles, will create the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 “gyres” (trash vortexes)..

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The issues of oil spills – an overview and questions to ponder

Oil rig - offshore drillingRight now, somewhere on this planet, an oil spill is occurring. You may not have heard or read about it (yet) but it’s happening – with oil either gushing or seeping unfettered across some waterway or landscape.

There are a myriad of issues involved with oil spills. Unless you have a strong background in this industry – and perhaps even then – you likely won’t know or comprehend many of them. This thorny subject is the focus of an excellent article published today by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN). Its author  Jyllian Kemsley outlines both the broad strokes and daunting specifics that face scientists and the oil industry in dealing effectively with oil spills around the world.

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New report says shrimp in the Gulf are alright and growing?

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster, photo by Keith Ladner

A new scientific report published Wednesday  that looked at the abundance and size of Louisiana white and brown shrimp before and after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, says that the amount of size of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico and its local estuaries were unaffected. It’s authors noted that “shrimp populations have been predicted not to suffer dramatic effects as result of the spill.”

Seriously?

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A view of hope for our ocean and our planet – Cousteau’s Mission 31

Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, lived and worked underwater for 31 consecutive days during the project now called Mission 31. This project was a rare opportunity for scientists to become part of the world under our oceans and expand our knowledge of its issues and grandeur.

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A clear case to support the banning of gill nets for commercial fishing

Just came across this video about the emptying of marine life from the Sea of Cortez between mainland Mexico and the Baja California Peninsula. It’s a clear indictment against the serious damage that commercial overfishing and the use of gill nets have done to what once was a remarkable paradise for hundreds of types of fish and marine life.

The consequences of blatant of human destruction are clear. Watch the video. It not only shows what’s been done but offers some hope with the conservation efforts taking place. To have the locals get behind these efforts is pretty special. One van hope that these efforts will payoff – for the people who depend on fishing for their livelihood and for the Sea of Cortez to be able to return to its aquatic splendor.

Let’s use explosives and bombs to keep whales out of oil spills

whalesThis story hit the headlines today and had this writer’s jaw drop. It surely falls under the heading of “What the heck are are they thinking!!”

In today’s The Globe and Mail:

“The proponents of two controversial pipelines to British Columbia’s coast say they would consider deploying underwater firecrackers, helicopters and clanging pipes, among other methods, to ensure whales don’t swim toward any disastrous oil spill that might result from increased tanker traffic carrying bitumen to Asia.”

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The Exosuit – an exciting new tool for ocean exploration

Exosuit 1The ocean’s depths remain our “final frontier” to a large degree. Even with the development of submersibles and advanced technology, there’s a lot we still don’t know because we can’t get there to see what’s down there.

But a new aluminum alloy dive suit called the Exosuit may change all that.

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