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Hawaiʻians are well known for their strong ocean voyaging heritage. Archeologists have discovered that Egyptians were also adept seafarers. The Egyptians built massive ships capable of traveling over 1000 miles. Furthermore, these ships were built to be disassembled and reassembled, because the Egyptians had to break them down and carry them 100 miles across the desert to trade goods.
Rip currents, narrow plumes of water flowing out to sea, can move as quickly as eight feet per second. While panicked swimmers often try to fight the current, the easier way to get out of a rip current is to swim parallel to shore until the current releases you, and then swim back to land.
Though it sounds like something out of a Halloween movie, ghost-fishing is actually a serious problem. Ghost-fishing occurs when abandoned or lost nets and traps continue to catch animals, leaving then to die in the nets. Ghost fishing nets are a common source of marine debris that causes the needless death of numerous marine animals. Remember to properly dispose of all your netting when fishing!
Even though the oceans are vast and deep, food production for almost all of the life in the ocean occurs in only 1% of surface waters where phytoplankton can grow using the sun’s energy and nutrients from land. Our coastal waters serve as the productive farmlands for the rest of the ocean.
Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
Photo: NYTimes Hard corals are not the only organisms that bleach in warming ocean conditions. Anemones also host similar photosynthetic algae which convert sunlight into energy, but the relationship between the anemone and the algae can be disrupted during environmental disturbances. When anemones on a coral reef bleach, they may either recover or die if the environmental stress persists. Large anemones are best known for their relationship with clown fish, which use the anemone as a home and a safe place for their eggs. Although the clown fish don’t feed on the anemones, clown fish... (more)