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Japan to halt Antarctic whaling immediately

Published 2014-03-31

In 2010 Australia brought a suit against Japan accusing Japan of conducting commercial whaling despite the 1986 worldwide moratorium; today, March 31, 2014, the U.N. court found Japan in breach of its international regulations and ordered an immediately halt to all Antarctic whaling. Japan has killed ~15,000 whales since the moratorium under permits for biological research. Japan says the effort was to collect data and monitor the impact of whales on Japan's fishing industry, yet few studies have been produced despite the large number of study "animals". The U.N.'s International Court of... (more)

Visualizing coral reefs in the future

Published 2014-03-25

A new study published in Global Change Biology reveals the projected timing of bleaching and ocean acidification on coral reefs globally, questioning persistence of any reefs on Earth by the mid-century. The authors of this study used ensembles of the IPCC AR5 climate models under four different emission scenarios (business as usual=8.5, and several mitigation scenarios: most aggressive=6.0, 4.5 and least aggressive=2.6). This study assessed when annual bleaching is projected using a metric of anomalously high thermal stress (8 degree heating weeks) in which very few corals on Earth could... (more)

Tester Symposium Recap

Published 2014-03-17

This past week was the 39th Annual Tester Symposium held at UH Manoa. It was two-and-a-half days of inspiring talks and posters. In total, 75 students shared posters, 5-minute and 12-minute presentations. Dr. Silvia Earle joined the symposium as the distinguished speaker, selected by an overwhelming majority of the student body. Dr. Earle is known as a National Geographic explorer-in-residence and is often referred to as a living legend. She is a true adventurer, still holding the record for the deepest untethered dive. The students with winning papers, and organizers of next year's... (more)

Free Willy

Published 2014-03-10

A bill was just proposed by California state legislator Bloom to ban the captivity of killer whales (Orcinus orca) for entertainment. This bill would would end any routine shows, unprotected interaction between humans and Orcas, import and export of whales to captive environments (except for research purposes) and import and export of genetic material intended for artificial insemination. There are currently 10 killer whales in captivity in California for entertainment purposes, seven of which were born in captivity. This raises the question of how to move forward because these captive bred... (more)

Ocean Sciences Meeting recap, 2014

Published 2014-03-03

The Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM), held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, was a big success last week. There was great representation of SeaHarmony and COSEE IE through a 15-minute presentation, visitor booth and a COSEE-sponsored function discussing the future of ocean science education. OSM attracted almost 5,600 scientists from over 50 countries. There was exciting research shared from understanding physical movement of plankton, to global studies assessing climate change under different emission scenarios. Plenary speakers included two Hawaiian representatives: Elizabeth... (more)

Find collaborators anywhere in the U.S.!

Published 2014-02-15

Nationwide seaHarmony matches are now even easier with location preferences that let you "choose all" counties in any state, or all states in the U.S. Happy Collaborating! (more)

The microenvironment and coral polyps

Published 2014-02-10

Boundary layers The viscous properties of seawater affect flow near the surface of coral in a region called the boundary layer. Within the boundary layer there is a reduced rate of exchange with molecules such as nutrients. Molecules in contact with the coral surface remain stationary with respect to the coral itself creating what is referred to as a “no-slip condition”. In addition, the coral surface exerts stress transmitted as eddy diffusion, decreasing the magnitude of mean flow. Boundary layer thickness varies for every individual coral polyp depending on the coral texture and... (more)

New Coral Species found on the Big Island!

Published 2014-02-03

Researchers from Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources recently published an article in Coral Reefs revealing a species of Acropora coral found for the first time on the island of Hawaii. This is especially exciting because Acropora is not typically found in Hawaii, with the most stable resident population found in French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Through genetic sampling, Acropora spp. are thought to originate from Johnston Atoll, which is approximately 900 miles southwest of Hawaii. Acroporia gemmifera is the species... (more)

How do crabs and fish fight infection?

Published 2014-01-27

The major difference between invertebrate and vertebrate immunity is that invertebrates only have an innate immune system while vertebrates possess both innate and adaptive systems. The immune system exists to protect animals from infectious diseases and their toxic products (caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and protists), but also to protect against self-harm (e.g., tumors) and allogeneic conspecifics (i.e., individuals of the same species with a different genetic makeup). Both the innate and adaptive immune system have powerful mechanisms to locate, neutralize and eliminate foreign cells... (more)

How does nutrient enrichment affect coral?

Published 2014-01-20

Nutrient enrichment is often associated with promoting coral reef declines and humans are exacerbating the problem. A recently published review by D’Angela and Wiedenmann in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability provided an extensive compilation of research demonstrating the affects of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment often associated with coral reef decline, which is summarized here. The coral holobiont (coral and its associative microbiota, fluora and fauna) is responsive to nutrients in the environment. Growth of zooxanthellae (coral’s symbiotic algae) is often... (more)