AFP: Paradise regained then lost: Med mammals mourn lockdown end. “When Europeans retreated into their homes to observe strict stay-at-home rules to contain the coronavirus, dolphins and whales on the Mediterranean coast basked and thrived in a hitherto unknown calm. But the return of tourists, noisy boats and heavy sea transport with the end of lockdowns in France and other Mediterranean littoral countries has signalled the return of danger and harm caused by human activity for underwater creatures.”
Daily Express (Malaysia): UMS students build whale shark database. “Marine biology students at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) have been taking advantage of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to start building a database of whale shark sightings in Malaysia including using divers’ posts on social media. The travel restrictions brought on by the outbreak of coronavirus left the students unable to travel to survey sites such as Pulau Gaya where they recorded and identified their first official whale shark of the project, MY-065, on a survey just five days before the MCO was declared on Mar 13.”
ScienceDaily: Climate change’s toll on freshwater fish: A new database for science. “The Fish and Climate Change Database — or FiCli (pronounced ”fick-lee”) — is a searchable directory of peer-reviewed journal publications that describe projected or documented effects of climate change on inland fishes. Researchers, fisheries managers, conservationists, journalists and others can use FiCli to find scientific articles.”
University of Hawai’i News: Experience Waikīkī Aquarium without leaving home. “As part of an ongoing effort to keep keiki, parents and educators engaged during the State of Hawaiʻi‘s stay-at-home order, the Waikīkī Aquarium has unveiled a variety of free virtual experiences and online educational resources for both residents and visitors to enjoy.” Also three marvelous new webcams.
James Cook University: New global database to guide coral restoration. “Coral restoration projects typically focus on reintroducing coral to areas where coral reefs are degraded or lost. Common strategies include attaching small fragments of coral, reintroducing baby coral, or stabilising the material coral grows on. Dr Boström-Einarsson was part of an international team of scientists that looked at 362 case studies on active coral restoration spanning four decades in 56 countries. The researchers developed a database to document case studies of coral restoration from around the world.”
Phys .org: Updated shark tagging atlas provides more than 50 years of tagging and recapture data. “This new atlas updates an earlier version covering 1962 to 1993 and adds information on 22 species. Detailed profiles are provided for 14 shark species, including bull and tiger sharks and smooth dogfish. The updated data significantly extended their known ranges and movements.”
Big thanks to Shirl K. for this one — The Deep Sea. There’s not really a description I can quote from. It’s an illustration of the sea. You keep scrolling down and down while the page shows you some creatures who live at that depth. You keep going lower, and lower, and even when you think you’re at the end you’re not. I think it’s the physical act of scrolling that “makes it click,” when it comes to understanding just how deep the ocean is. Highly recommended.
Iceland Monitor: Stunning Marine Life Pictures Made Accessible. “A new website… offers a vast collection of pictures of marine life in Icelandic waters. The man behind the website, Erlendur Bogason, has probably spent more time under water than any other Icelander.”
Phys .org: Facebook and Instagram gave away the presence of the ‘Japan pig’ seahorse in Taiwan. “While monitoring of cryptic and elusive tiny creatures, such as pygmy seahorses that measure only 13 to 27 mm, might be too costly and time-consuming for research teams and institutions, the underwater activity might be proving of particular interest to photography and diving enthusiasts. At least, this is what comes across from the recent reports of five miniature species identified from Taiwanese waters by local citizen scientists and passed along via Facebook and Instagram.”
Phys .org: Online prototype could improve ocean migratory species governance. “An online mapping and knowledge platform prototype could soon offer free and easily accessible information on the migratory patterns of endangered species in the ocean. The Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) system has been launched by The University of Queensland’s Dr. Daniel Dunn.”
University of Washington: New portal takes you deep within the ocean’s hidden world. “The Interactiveoceans website takes you deep into the ocean, offering data on light, temperature and a whole host of other variables collected by more than 140 instruments throughout the water column and along the seafloor. It offers recordings of mammal vocalizations and video from underwater hot springs where never-before-seen organisms live. It introduces the technology and the instruments being used on the Regional Cabled Array, with data streaming to shore through fiber optic cables at the speed of broadband Internet.”
The Irish News: Citizen scientists track humpback whale travels with help of social media . “Humpback whales are known to make vast migrations between their breeding and feeding grounds, and are increasingly being seen in UK seas. Now the first ever confirmed record of a UK-sighted whale hundreds of miles away in its summer feeding grounds in the high Arctic has been revealed, after its picture was spotted on Facebook by volunteer ‘citizen scientists’.”
EurekAlert: Mapping the ocean’s unseen heroes, one microbe at a time. “Invisible to the naked eye, the health and movement of marine microbes that drift as part of the plankton is difficult to picture even for scientists – let alone everyday citizens. This challenge, to visualise the range of conditions that drifting marine microbes encounter, brought a group of expert scientists and visual designers together on a path to create the online citizen science project Adrift. Adrift is a portal that connects the public with the lives of microscopic marine microbes as they are propelled around the globe by ocean currents, with temperature and nutrient availability changing along the way.”
Phys .org: New website for tracking marine heatwaves. “In order to better understand the impacts to the ocean, Dr. [Eric] Oliver co-organizes an international working group to observe marine heatwaves through an interactive website. The website allows users to click on any location in the global ocean and see the history of marine heatwaves from current day back to 1982.”
DiverNet: Sealife Collection Wants Your Photos . “Hoping that underwater photographers will be moved to contribute their images to form the ultimate marine-life database is a new Spanish-based online platform called the Sealife Collection. The initiative is being run in partnership with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), which ‘provides the taxonomic backbone to the database and daily updates to the taxonomy’, according to Sealife Collection’s Director Bernat Garrigós.”