Oceanography SciStarter Blog 

Diving into Citizen Science with Ocean Sanctuaries

by Michael Bear Since 2000, I’ve been an avid scuba diver in Southern California. When the Yukon, a 366 ft. long Canadian warship, sunk off the coast of San Diego in July of 2000, it became an artificial reef for divers to explore, piquing my interest in and igniting a lifelong passion for diving. In late 2006, my dive buddy, Barbara Lloyd, and I found ourselves at a crossroads. Both of us had earned various diving certifications, up to and including Rescue Diver and Master Diver. We had logged over…

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Book Reviews Ecology Oceanography SciStarter Blog 

Book Review: World Without Fish

By Patricia Balbon Day-to-day encounters of fish—at the grocery store, visiting an aquarium—passively reinforce a notion of triviality about aquatic life until we are prompted to take a pause and spare a thought for a breathtaking world beyond the shore. This month’s selection in our ongoing book review series, World Without Fish, prompts such reflection; however, as the pages turn, we witness the marine world’s vulnerability alongside its majesty.  Through Mark Kurlansky’s words and Frank Stockton’s art, we are challenged by the crisis of disappearing biodiversity in our oceans.  This…

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Green sea turtles swimming near North Stradbroke Island, Australia (Photos by Kathy Townsend) Environment Oceanography Zoology 

Sea Turtles Poisoned by Plastic

By Kate Stone Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it? (The Graduate, 1967) An international study led by the University of Queensland has revealed that more than half the world’s sea turtles have ingested plastic and other rubbish. The study, led by Dr. Qamar Schuyler from UQ’s…

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Shellfish threatened by climate change: A mussel farm in South India (Photo courtesy of Lucy Turner) Environment Oceanography 

Will Climate Change Take Shellfish Off Menus?

Climate change may dramatically affect the availability of shellfish. As the oceans become warmer and less salty, bacteria could threaten the shellfish. Do you enjoy a tasty shrimp scampi, or perhaps some steamed mussels with lemon? How about a few oysters on the half shell? If so, you won’t be happy to hear that those and other shellfish dishes may soon be harder to come by. Climate change models are predicting rising sea temperatures around the world. In the tropics, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration…

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