Hacking Extinction, fishing for hagfish, itchy crabs, clam cavalcades, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: June 4, 2018

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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Obama’s ocean monuments, deep diving seals, and sustainable US fisheries: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, May 24th, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

Saturation diving, destroying the world with Bitcoin mining, deep-sea mining, Arctic shrinkage, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 21, 2018

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)

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Meet me in Borneo, exploitation on the high seas, navy sonars, creature reports, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: March 12, 2018.

Happy Monday-est Monday!

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Tweet about potential confirmation of Amelia Earhart's remains.

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Have you heard the good news about shark populations? Shark population increases are cause for #OceanOptimism

Did you know that some shark populations have declined due to overfishing? Did you know that some once-declined shark populations have recovered? If you’re like my twitter followers, it’s likely that you’ve heard the bad news, but have not heard the good news.

Why does this matter?
It’s important to share bad news so that people know there’s a problem, and that we need to act to solve that problem. However, it’s also important to share good news so that people know that a problem is solvable! This idea was behind the birth of the #OceanOptimism online outreach campaign.

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HAGFISH! Also deep-sea mining, climate change, The Ocean Cleanup, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: July 17, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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Monday Morning Salvage: NOAA Special Edition (call your representatives!)

This weekend, the Washington Post reported on a leaked proposed budget from the Administration which includes drastic, agency-breaking cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This comes in the wake of new Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross pledging to protect peer-reviewed researchers and shield NOAA climate scientists from partisan attacks and that the Department of Commerce will continue “to research, monitor and report weather and climate information“. Researchers within NOAA breathed a sigh of relief earlier last week when Ross again reiterated his support for their work, pledge to enhance US fisheries programs, support the satellite program, and talked at length about NOAA’s role within Commerce. Ross’s full statement is available online:

That Ross’s vision seems to directly contradict the president’s proposed budget is curious.

Fortunately, our friends from around the internet have been writing about all the good, important, essential work that NOAA does.

Here’s the thing: The president does not set the budget, Congress does. This is the new administration’s wish list. Call *your* representatives (please don’t waste you time calling congresspeople who don’t represent you, they don’t care and you’re tying up the lines that their constituents need to reach them) and tell them that NOAA is vital to our economy, to our health, and to our way of life and that you oppose any reduction in NOAA’s budget. Find your representatives. Here’s a script for you:

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I am a constituent of [CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR].

I’m calling to ask [CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR] to oppose any reduction in the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA provides essential services to the American people, including weather services, coastal resilience, hurricane monitoring, and fisheries management. Programs like SeaGrant are the lifeblood of coastal communities, providing education, job training, and research grants to fund local development. NOAA’s Hurricane Center is critical for tracking hurricanes. One-third of the US economy relies upon services provided by NOAA. Any reduction in NOAA’s budget would be catastrophic to the United States’ coastal economy.

Thank you.

If your livelihood depends on NOAA, consider adding “I am a [FISHERMAN/BUSINESS OWNER/AQUACULTURIST/ETC] in [CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR]’s district and my livelihood and family depend on the services that NOAA provides.”

Fun Science FRIEDay – The worlds largest sponge.

Recently a team of scientists on a deep sea expedition in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands aboard the R/V Okeanos Explorer made a monumental discovery… pun intended. While exploring the depths of the seafloor in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, with their remotely operated vehicles (ROV) Seirios and Deep Discover, they discovered and documented the largest sponge ever observed on this planet… or any planet for that matter.

Large hexactinellid sponge found in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Photo credit: NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research)

Large hexactinellid sponge found in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Photo credit: NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research)

Lateral view of a large hexactinellid sponge found in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (Photo credit: NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research)

Lateral view of a large hexactinellid sponge found in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
(Photo credit: NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beaufort NOAA Lab Builds Community: It would be a huge loss to say goodbye

Hopefully many of our faithful readers have seen the sad announcement that the NOAA lab in Beaufort, NC may be no more. The main reason cited for the potential closure is financial – the cost of maintaining an aging building. Our friends over at the fisheries blog have written a sound debunking of this reasoning, also lamenting the loss of an institution over a century old and hub of fisheries research for the mid-Atlantic. In short, the Beaufort Lab represents a strong history of productive research, recent investment into infrastructure, and a critical part of a much larger marine science community in the region. It’s fair to say that the lab is the founding member and backbone of a marine science consortium  with the Rachel Carson National Estuarine Research Reserves, Duke University, NC State, the University of North Carolina, NC Division of Marine Fisheries, and Carteret Community College.

Beyond the institutions in a list, the Beaufort lab cements a broader community and economy of Carteret County, which is still largely based on fishing. While relations with the universities and state fisheries enforcement can sometimes be strained, NOAA rises above as a voice of reason and glue of collaboration around protecting our marine resources for food, economy, and society. If you believe me, there are steps you should take right now to voice your support for the lab by contacting local Congressional representation – those with the power to stop the closure: Congressman Walter Jones, Senator Kay Hagen, and Senator Richard Burr – and write a public comment to the House Committee currently reviewing the decision. For those who need a little more context and information, read on for some personal testimony demonstrating the value of the Beaufort lab I observed during my dissertation work in the area, which was focused on collaborative fisheries research. In a nutshell, I’ve observed how the Beaufort lab builds relationships between scientists and fishermen and therefore, indirectly, trust in NOAA. Read More

Changes Proposed for U.S. Fisheries Management: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This past Tuesday, the draft bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act was released by the U.S. House.  The Magnuson-Stevens Act is a big deal because this is the law that lays out how fisheries management works in the United States.  This time, a number of changes have been proposed by Representative Doc Hastings, some of which could fundamentally change fisheries management and fisheries science in U.S. waters.  The proposed changes immediately became controversial, garnering overwhelming support from witnesses to the House Natural Resources Committee hearing of the bill (witnesses included representatives from the recreational and commercial fishing industries as well as the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council) while the Pew Charitable Trust strongly opposed the bill, calling it the “Empty Oceans Act” (translated into GIFs by Upwell for your viewing pleasure).

How might the Hastings bill affect your favorite marine species (both in the water and on your dinner plate)?  Read on to see the good, bad, and ugly aspects of these proposed changes, at least according to this particular fisheries scientist.

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