On a recent dive, we stumbled upon a rather private moment between a couple of simultaneous hermaphrodites, Roboastra luteolineata, doing the mutual penis dance. They were poking around for a while, and had yet to manage mutual fertilization when we (reluctantly) moved on.
Some of you might have found, that after a hundred dives or more, that although you still enjoy reefs, or fish, or the ‘prettiness’ of being underwater, that other aspects of the marine world take your fancy. I have zoomed in on macro life, and relish the challenge of finding tiny critters on a sandy bottom. And for the things that are a bit bigger, behaviour starts to catch your eye…
Not just the cost of prawns in terms of shark bycatch, but the indiscriminate killing that trawlers do to provide markets with mass quantities of seafood. They destroy the environment of the sea floor so it is harder for the shrimp or prawns to recover.
This is heartbreaking. Avoid shrimp and prawns! They are fished using a highly destructive method called bottom trawling. This fishing technique scraps anything and everything found on the seafloor. Since shrimp/prawns are tiny, the nets have to have small holes in them; this leaves no escape for sea creatures.
Not only does the trawling strip the ground of all animal life, it also rips up and destroys vital habitat leading to mass mortality of benthic encrusting organisms too.
And THEN people are like “oh this is aquacultured shrimp” well- I for one think aquacultured seafood is the way of the future. However, currently shrimp aquaculture is similar to slash and burn farming. Vast areas of rich mangrove forests are torn down to provide the coastal space for shrimp farmers. Then, when they’ve crashed the water’s ecosystem and polluted to capacity such that the water is anoxic, they move onto the next area.
The unexpected capture of a rare ray found only in a small region off South Australia could help marine scientists validate the existence of the elusive Magpie fiddler ray (Trygonorrhina melaleuca).
The species is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Endangered, but until now its very existence has rested on a single specimen found nearly 60 years ago off Kangaroo Island. That specimen is stored at the South Australian Museum and was used to describe the magpie fiddler ray species in 1954.
“This ray, caught by fisher John Marsh from the Adelaide Game Fishing’ Club, is pretty much considered the ‘Holy Grail’ specimen,” says Paul Rogers, a researcher with SARDI Aquatic Sciences Threatened, Endangered and Protected Species program. “This is because the species has been described based on one specimen only and up until now, scientists have not been able to study another specimen of the magpie fiddler ray.”…
…is a species of burrowing shrimp endemic to the Pacific coast of North America. Like most burrowing shrimp, the bay ghost shrimp constructs and lives in extensive burrow systems; these large systems are often home to a slew of other different animals. The large tunnels made by the bay ghost shrimp have become a problem in oyster production as they can mess up oyster farms and oyster farmers deem them pests. Bay ghost shrimp are simple deposit feeders and despite their large claws feed mostly on detritus. Males have one claw that is bigger than the other, which, like in fiddler crabs, is thought to serve a function in mating.
Coccolithophores are microscopic algae that first appeared 220 million years ago, and flourished during the cretaceous period. They produce peculiar plates called cocoliths out of calcium carbonate, and incorporate them into their shells. As they die and sink to the ocean floor, they remove carbon from the atmosphere and produce chalk. This biological activity is an important regulator the global carbon cycle.
…is a species of sea cucumber endemic to Indo-Pacific waters. Like most sea cucumbers S. lamperti is a detritivore and feeds on detritus, diatoms found on marine animals like sponges, mostly on the elephant ear sponge, and corals. Like other holothurians this species only feeds at night as its feeding tentacles are delicate and it is less risky to expose them at night.
The Peruvian government has released a report on the mass mortality of at least 900 dolphins along the coast of Peru that states that “natural causes” and “evolutionary forces” were the cause of death.
BlueVoice, which has funded extended and extensive research conducted by Peruvian veterinarian and marine mammal expert Dr. Carlos Yaipen Llanos, believes that conclusion is nonsense. We present here a narrative history of the mortality event and Dr. Yaipen Llanos’ hypothesis that acoustical trauma followed by rapid ascent leading to catastrophic decompression is the most likely cause of death. Dr. Yaipen Llanos makes no assertion that seismic testing for oil is associated with the dolphin mortality. However BlueVoice suggests that this form of extremely loud testing makes the seismic tests a primary “element of interest”. Seismic testing was taking place in approximately the same time frame and geographical location as the dolphin mass mortality.