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March 13, 2009

The Scanner

Happy Friday the 13th (again!), all. The blog will be quiet for a week or so as Oceana’s entire international staff (USA, Chile, Spain, and Brussels) will gather next week in Virginia. Try not to miss us too much. In the meantime:This week in ocean news,…The oil tanker that spilled off the coast of Australia splattered beaches and their inhabitants, such as sea turtle hatchlings and pelicans, who had to be relocated. …Eureka! Two chemistry professors noticed that a sea sponge (Agelas conifera) looked perfectly healthy on a coral reef smothered by nasty bacteria. They found that a compound from the sponge, paired with an antibiotic, has proved effective against previously antibiotic-resistant forms of MRSA. …Nearly seven million pounds of debris were collected during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup last September. Among the most common items: 3.2 million cigarette butts,1.4 million plastic bags, and 26,585 tires. …The Washington Post described the oxymoronic notion of “sustainable bluefin tuna” in Kindai, a new method in Japan in which bluefin tuna are farmed from hatched eggs rather than ranched as juveniles. …Fearing the further collapse of the California and Oregon salmon stocks, recreational and commercial fishermen alike proposed closing the ocean salmon fishing season for the second year in a row….At a three-day climate summit in Copenhagen, Bristol University scientists compared the current ocean acidification rate with a giant prehistoric release of greenhouse gas, which caused widespread extinction of deep water species.