Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whale Scars Can Reveal Migration Patterns, Sea Star Die-Offs Linked to Virus, and More | Oceana USA

- In a new study, researchers say that identifying scars on humpback whales from killer whales and cookiecutter sharks is helping scientists better understand their migration patterns. Because cookiecutter sharks are typically found in warmer waters, whereas killer whales are widely distributed, scars from cookiecutters show that humpbacks recently passed through warmer waters. Independent Online

- Yesterday, the Department of the Interior offered the first right-of-way grant (ROW) for renewable energy transmission in federal waters—this time off Rhode Island. The move will pave the way for a transmission line for offshore wind energy from the Block Island Wind Farm, connecting power from Block Island, Rhode Island to the Rhode Island mainland. U.S. Department of the Interior

- Japan says it has cut its Antarctic whale hunting quota by two-thirds for the 2015 to 2016 whaling season in a move to show opponents that its whale hunt is actual science. After an International Court of Justice ruled this past March that Japan was not conducting actual science, Japan cancelled its 2014 to 2015 hunt. The Guardian

- For over a year, sea stars along the North American Pacific Coast have been “turning to goo” from a disease called sea-star wasting syndrome, but scientists have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. Now, scientists have identified a virus as the cause of sea star wasting disease, and say that climate change and warmer waters helps spread it. The Washington Post

Long Read:

- The Gulf of Maine is warming at an unprecedented rate—much faster than the world’s oceans—and it’s taking a serious toll on its ecosystems and fisheries. Now, scientists are warning that the conditions in the Gulf of Maine represent what the rest of the world’s oceans can expect to see by mid to late century. Yale Environment 360

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