Only what is known can be protected. This is the role of modern science and the new discoveries made every day in the oceans.

A 450-Year Record of North Sea Herring, Pried from Clams

Two Arctica Islandica mussels with a small note giving information about their demography.

© Bangor University

An inconspicuous yet long living mussel species, the Arctica Islandica, provided scientists with an insight into the population development of the Herring over the last 450 years. It was made possible through chemical analysis of the mussel shells, forming annual rings similar to those of trees. How can these rings be utilized to gain insight into the population changes of various fish species? Findings like these are yet another proof of the complexity of our ecosystem. They show how closely linked the oceanic habitat is with its inhabitants, and how the climate influences all its parameters.

Hakaimagazine, June 26th, 2019, Author: Rachel Fritts

Scientists have reconstructed a detailed account of North Sea herring stocks that stretches back more than 450 years. This is the first time researchers have modeled recruitment—a measure of the number of eggs that survive to become young fish—for herring living before the 20th century. This lengthy record of herring health stems from measurements taken from a wholly unlikely source: the ocean quahog.

Ocean quahogs, palm-sized clams that live in the North Atlantic, might seem like unorthodox record keepers. But the shellfish have two very useful traits: they live for an exceedingly long time—the oldest on record was 507 when it died in 2006—and their shells have visible growth increments, much like tree rings, with a new band forming each year.
Juan Estrella-Martínez, a paleoceanography doctoral student at Bangor University in Wales, led the research. He and his colleagues used quahog shells collected from Scotland’s Fladen Ground in the North Sea to produce a data series showing how the ratios of oxygen and carbon isotopes in the shells and in the water changed from 1551 to 2005.

The isotope ratios reflect shifts in environmental conditions, such as water temperature. Providing a year-by-year account stretching centuries, the quahog shell data offers a way to better understand long-term climate patterns, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which cause changes including large-scale variations in rainfall, hurricane activity, and fish populations.

Estrella-Martínez wanted a useful application for his new centuries-long record, and decided to see if his carbon isotope data could be used to help understand long-term variability in important fisheries. “I started looking at the herring fishery because it had the most historic data available,” he says. “Without historical records, the most we could have done was speculate.” […]

The entire article can be found in the Hakai Magazine.

The 6th round table marine litter

The round table marine litter [Link:] brings together representatives of environmental conservation organisations, institutes, the Industry and economics and is hosted by the Niedersächsischen Ministerium für Umwelt, Energie, Bauen und Klimaschutz [Link:], the Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit [Link:] and the Umweltbundesamt [Link:].

The two-day conference took place in Hannover on the 29th and 30th of August this year, where lake and land-derived input were being discussed. In this setting, current projects, regulations and proposals were presented, discussed and worked on. Among others, the EU commission legislative proposal for plastic strategy, the ban of dolly-ropes, or the avoidance of using primary microplastic particles have been discussed.

DEEPWAVE took the opportunity to present the BLUE STRAW campaign as well as the current political situation under the topic substitution of household items.

New cooperation in Hamburg with FCKSTRAWS

The “Clubkinder” and the “greenmusic initiative” start things off and want to make the club scene in Hamburg more substainable by banning the single-use plastic straws from all the bars and clubs. The initiavitve is called “FCKSTRAWS”. DEEPWAVE as the cooperation partner provides the necessary knowledge to implement the campaign.

Information about the campaign can be found here.

Vancouver will be the 1st Canadian city to ban plastic straws, foam cups and foam containers

© City of Vancouver- Zero Waste 2040

Kelowna Now, 17.05.2018, Author: Josh Duncan

Vancouver City Council reached a monumental decision on Wednesday. Council voted to
adopt a policy that prohibits the use of plastic straws, as well as foam cups and take-out
containers. It’s all part of Vancouver’s plan to have zero waste by the year 2040, which is
being called the Zero Waste 2040 strategy.
“Every week in Vancouver, 2.6 million plastic-lined cups and 2 million plastic bags are
thrown in the garbage,” read a tweet from Vancouver’s Mayor’s Office. “Cups and take-out
containers make up 50% of all items in public waste bins.” That pales in comparison to the
7 million straws that end up in Vancouver’s garbages each week.

The entire article can be found here.

Report of the “Complete Zero Waste 2040” strategy:

Kelowna Now:





Climate Change bleached 60% of Maldives coral reefs

Photo: Andre Seale

Maldives coral reefs under stress from climate change: research survey reveals over 60% of corals bleached
Preliminary findings of a comprehensive scientific survey examining the impact of the climate change-related 2016 mass bleaching in the Maldives indicate that all reefs surveyed were affected by the event. Approximately 60% of all coral colonies assessed – and up to 90% in some sites – were bleached.
Higher than average sea surface water temperatures, linked to an El Niño Southern Oscillation Event, have caused mass coral bleaching around the world in 2016.

read more…

Diver filmed with huge great white: sharks must be ‘protected not feared’

©Juansharks/Juan Oliphant/AFP/Getty Images

“There’s not a lot of sympathy for sharks because of the way they’re portrayed in media” – Ocean Ramsey

The Guardian, 19.01.2019, Associated Press in Haleiwa (Hawaii)

Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, told the Associated Press that she encountered the 20ft (6-metre) shark on Tuesday near a dead sperm whale off Oahu. The event was documented and shared on social media by her fiance and business partner, Juan Oliphant.

The Hawaii department of land and natural resources said it was aware of photos of the great white and that tiger sharks also had been feeding on the whale.

Oliphant, who photographed the now viral images, said it was unclear if the shark was the famed Deep Blue, believed to be the largest great white ever recorded.

“She looks the part right now,” Oliphant said. “Maybe even more exciting that there is another massive, you know, super-size great white shark out there. Because their populations are so dwindling.” […]

The entire article can be found here.

The Guardian:



Dead whale washed up in Philippines had 40kg of plastic bags in its stomach

Darrell Blatchley pulling plastic out of the juvenile male Cuvier’s beaked whale.
© Darrell Blatchley/D’ Bone Collector Museum Inc.

The Guardian, 18.03.2019, Author: Hannah Ellis-Peterson

A young whale that washed up in the Philippines died from “gastric shock” after ingesting 40kg of plastic bags.

Marine biologists and volunteers from the D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, in the Philippine island of Mindanao, were shocked to discover the brutal cause of death for the young Cuvier’s beaked whale, which washed ashore on Saturday.

In a damning statement on their Facebook page, the museum said they uncovered “40 kilos of plastic bags, including 16 rice sacks. 4 banana plantation style bags and multiple shopping bags” in the whale’s stomach after conducting an autopsy.

Images from the autopsy showed endless piles of rubbish being extracted from the inside of the animal, which was said to have died from “gastric shock” after ingesting all the plastic.

The D’ Bone Collector Museum biologists who conducted the autopsy said it was “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale”.

“It’s disgusting,” they added. “Action must be taken by the government against those who continue to treat the waterways and ocean as dumpsters.”

The use of single-use plastic is rampant in south-east Asia. A 2017 report by Ocean Conservancy stated that China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam have been dumping more plastic into the ocean than the rest of the world combined.

Marine biologist Darrell Blatchley, who also owns the D’Bone Collector Museum, said that in the 10 years they have examined dead whales and dolphins, 57 of them were found to have died due to accumulated rubbish and plastic in their stomachs. […]

The entire article can be found here.

The Guardian:

Heatwaves sweeping oceans ‘like wildfires’, scientists reveal

© Thomas Schmitt/Getty Images

The Guardian, 04.03.2019, Author: Damian Carrington

The number of heatwaves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest”.

The damage caused in these hotspots is also harmful for humanity, which relies on the oceans for oxygen, food, storm protection and the removal of climate-warming carbon dioxide the atmosphere, they say.

Global warming is gradually increasing the average temperature of the oceans, but the new research is the first systematic global analysis of ocean heatwaves, when temperatures reach extremes for five days or more.

The research found heatwaves are becoming more frequent, prolonged and severe, with the number of heatwave days tripling in the last couple of years studied. In the longer term, the number of heatwave days jumped by more than 50% in the 30 years to 2016, compared with the period of 1925 to 1954.

As heatwaves have increased, kelp forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs have been lost. These foundation species are critical to life in the ocean. They provide shelter and food to many others, but have been hit on coasts from California to Australia to Spain.

“You have heatwave-induced wildfires that take out huge areas of forest, but this is happening underwater as well,” said Dan Smale at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK, who led the research published in Nature Climate Change. “You see the kelp and seagrasses dying in front of you. Within weeks or months they are just gone, along hundreds of kilometres of coastline.” […]

The entire article can be found here.

The Guardian:

Mutilated dolphins wash up on French coast in record numbers

© Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian, 31.03.2019, Author: Kim Willsher

A record number of dolphins have washed up on France’s Atlantic coast in the last three months, many with devastating injures.

Environmental campaigners say 1,100 mutilated dolphins have been found since January, but the real figure could be 10 times higher as many bodies sink without trace. Activists warn the marine slaughter could threaten the extinction of the European dolphin population in the region.

The cause of the deaths is not known but it is thought fishing trawlers catching sea bass off the Atlantic coast may be responsible. Autopsies suggest the dolphins sustain catastrophic injuries attempting to escape nets or when trawler crew attempt to cut them free after they are caught.

Experts at the Observatoire Pelagis, a marine research station at La Rochelle, said the dead mammals showed “extreme levels of mutilation”.

Lamya Essemlali, the president of the ecology campaign group Sea Shepherd, said the real death toll was probably between 6,500 and 10,000 dolphins a year.

She said the animals were being trapped by trawlers working in pairs and dragging a net between them. Sea Shepherd released a video of dolphins caught in trawler nets last month as part of its campaign Operation Dolphin Bycatch.

“These fishing vessels have nets that are not selective at all so when they put their net in the water and the water is full of dolphins they get in the net. Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals, and they need to get to the surface to get air,” Essemlali told Associated Press. […]

The full article can be found here.

The Guardian:

Sea Shepherd: