Ocean Roundup: Crabs Found to Look Out for Corals, 35,000 Walruses Gather on Alaskan Beach, and More - Oceana USA
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2014-10-02 00:00:00

Ocean Roundup: Crabs Found to Look Out for Corals, 35,000 Walruses Gather on Alaskan Beach, and More

A coral crab (Trapezia sp.) actively defends its host, a cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.). Yankee Reef, Great Barrier Reef

– New research shows that some coral may have natural “crab guards” that help them fight off predatory sea stars. Researchers found that coral off the island of Moorea in French Polynesia have a symbiotic relationship with these crabs, offering them shelter and nutrition in exchange for protection. Smithsonian

– Earlier this week, scientists spotted an estimated 35,000 walruses on a barrier island beach in northwestern Alaska, forced onto land as Arctic sea ice reached its sixth-lowest extent ever. Airlines diverted flights and officials urged the media to stay away as to not cause any extra disturbance that may cause the walruses to stampede each other. The Guardian

A new study found “alarming” levels of toxins in fish in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River, including heavy metals, toxic flame retardants, cancer-causing PCBs, and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Study authors warned that it’s mostly low-income and ethnic groups who are eating the fish, and that it presents an environmental justice issue. Hood River News

– Over the weekend, about 50 dead sharks washed up on a southern North Carolina beach, all about one to four feet in length. Officials suspect the sharks were caught and killed as bycatch before washing ashore. WWAY-TV

Long Read:

– This article traces how cod fishery off Newfoundland crashed, alongside the fishing town that built up specifically for the industry. Now, New England’s declining cod fishery and its surrounding culture are at risk of the same decline. Environment & Energy Publishing