The Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals , Third Edition covers the ecology, behavior, conservation, evolution, form and function of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, manatees, dugongs, otters and polar bears. This edition provides new content on anthropogenic concerns, latest information on emerging threats such as ocean noise, and impacts of climate change. With authors and editors who are world experts, this new edition is a critical resource for all who are interested in marine mammals, especially upper level undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and managers, and is a top reference for those in related fields, from oceanographers to environmental scientists. His specialties are behavior and social strategies, especially as related to human disturbance. He has published and co-published about peer review papers, over 50 popular articles, and 7 books. His work with the sense organs of modern whales explores the impact of global change on marine mammal populations.
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Tool use by aquatic animalsVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: Sardine Feeding Frenzy: Whale, Shark, Dolphin and Sea Lions - The Hunt - BBC Earth
Plastic surrounds us. It is not just the obvious places—like water bottles and straws. It is also used to build our cars and is found in our face washes and fabrics. With the invention of plastic in the early 20th century, we became a world that relished the privilege of cheap, easy-to-produce plastic pieces. Plastic has many benefits—it has allowed us to prevent heart attacks stents that open up arteries are often made of plastic and provide water to people in need. Depending on the type of plastic and where it lands, items can take days to hundreds of years to break down into very small pieces, which likely never biodegrade.
Because of these traits and our intensive use of it, plastic trash is now found in essentially every ecosystem on the planet—including throughout the ocean. Tiny pieces of plastic are also now found in the food we eat and beverages we drink. Plastic is, simply, unavoidable. Plastic was developed mainly to do just that—take the shape of any object. The invention of plastic came about as the demand for ivory elephant tusks was rising and elephant populations were dramatically decreasing.
Commonly used for billiard balls as well as combs and other items , ivory became prohibitively expensive as the table sport became more popular. This gave John Wesley Hyatt the idea to create a synthetic polymer made of cotton and nitric acid, which he and his brother called celluloid.
As it would turn out, celluloid was not very good for billiard balls, but it was good for molding into the different shapes, ranging from piano keys to film canisters. When celluloid hit the market, it was advertised as an animal-friendly alternative to ivory and tortoise shells. The process of creating celluloid was dangerous, though, as it was highly flammable. Later, in , Leo Baekeland was looking to create an alternative to shellac. A natural substance, shellac comes from the excretion of the lac beetle, and it takes a long time to produce.
Baekeland wanted a material that was durable, heat-resistant, and a good insulator. He used phenol from coal tar in his creation, which he called Bakelite. The invention of Bakelite paved the way for the development of newer plastics that are still manufactured today such as polystyrene, polyester, PVC, polythene and nylon.
The production of plastics boomed during World War II. Plastic was a cheap alternative to a variety of other materials during a time of penny-pinching. Nylon was used for everything from parachutes and ropes, to body armor and helmet liners. Even after the war, people continued to use plastic because it was cheap, and production levels remained high as people found more uses for it. You might just assume that because you see a recycling sign, the object is recyclable.
This is not necessarily the case. The number you see is called the recycling code number, and it refers to the type of plastic that was used to make the object. Not all of the different types of plastics are recyclable everywhere, so you should check with your local recycling company to see which types of plastic you can recycle. Plastic waste that makes its way into the environment can break down due to the photodegradative effect, where UV light from the sun provides the energy for oxygen atoms to incorporate into the polymer of the plastic, and from wind and waves.
The plastic then becomes brittle and breaks into smaller pieces. This process takes some time, but it can take even longer on the seafloor because of the lack of sunlight and oxygen, and cooler temperatures. When the plastic fragments over time, microplastics result. Microplastics make up as much as 85 percent of plastic pollution found on shorelines around the world. Animals often ingest the tiny pieces of plastic and it can build up in their stomachs. Tiny pieces of plastic have been detected in sea creatures that humans like to eat such as fish, shrimp, mussels, and oysters.
Additionally, some microplastics in the ocean are from microfibers. When we wash clothes in a washing machine, small fibers come off of the fabric similar to lint in a dryer and while some are captured by the wastewater treatment systems, some also wind up being released in freshwater systems and the ocean.
One fleece jacket alone can produce up to 2 grams of microfibers , or the equivalent of , fibers, in one wash alone. Fibers like this can be released from clothes made with polyester, nylon, spandex and acrylic. The study also found that fleece jackets release seven times more fiber when in a top-loading washing machine. Another source of microplastic in the ocean is microbeads. These tiny plastic beads often polyethylene are added to many personal care products, such as cleansers and toothpaste.
The beads act as an exfoliant in these products. When people wash off products with microbeads, however, they go down the drain, with some eventually reaching our waterways and the ocean, similar to microfibers.
According to the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons in Britain, a single shower can send , particles of plastic to the ocean. Much of the plastic in the ocean today comes directly from sources on land, often reaching the ocean as runoff that moves improperly discarded trash from land to river and finally, the ocean.
A study assessing plastic waste management , from data, found that there is on average 8 million metric tons of plastic that enters the ocean from land every year, but that the actual amount could vary between 4. This is enough plastic to fill every foot of coastline in the world with five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic, and this occurs every year. While this is the most comprehensive study of marine plastics to date, it still does not factor in plastic debris dumped by ships or swept out to sea during natural disasters, like a tsunami or hurricane, suggesting the total amount of plastic entering the ocean could be even greater.
Another group of scientists analyzed plastic debris information from around the world and found that over a quarter of the plastic waste that goes into the ocean every year likely comes from the runoff of just ten rivers.
These ten rivers, eight of which are in Asia and two in Africa, are located adjacent to large cities where hundreds of millions of people live.
Most of the global population lives near coastal areas, but even those who live far from the sea contribute to ocean pollution when their waste gets into rivers that dump into the ocean. Marine waste can go directly into the ocean as well.
For decades countries intentionally dumped waste directly into the ocean, ranging from sewage and radioactive waste to plastics and other petroleum products. Further regulations are a part of the London Protocol, an update to the convention that began in Certain ocean dumping is still allowed under these international treaties, such as large inert structures and dredged material, but as described in MARPOL Annex V , plastic is not allowed to be discharged to the sea.
Mistakes do happen, however, and natural disasters can quickly move plastics and other trash into the ocean. Cargo ships can lose shipping containers due to human error, high winds, or storms at sea.
It is estimated that over 10, containers are lost every year, which equates to about one every hour. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in , five million tons of debris was moved and much of this found its way to the ocean.
A lot of the debris sank, but it is estimated that 1 million tons floated and portions drifted all the way across the ocean to be found along the west coast of the United States.
Other natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, also contribute to plastic debris in the ocean. Since the widespread production of plastic following World War II, an estimated 8. Only about nine percent of plastic produced is recycled on average globally. The study in Science Advances that estimated 8. Twelve percent of the plastic produced has been incinerated at disposal, which leaves close to 80 percent being sent to a landfill or into the environment. But as images from around the world document, oftentimes, plastic fails to move through a solid waste collection system, is improperly disposed of or simply littered, and we are now witnessing a massive accumulation of unwanted plastic in even the most remote corners of the globe.
The far reaching, visible presence of plastic in the ocean is undeniable, but exactly how much plastic is in the ocean? Scientists are currently trying to tackle this question, but the sheer size of the ocean makes it tough to get an exact answer. Most of the studies looking to answer this question focus on floating plastic, a portion of the problem that is easier to see. Floating plastic is easier to spot and collect using nets and amounts are still debated.
A study estimates that there are 5. A study found that 79, metric tons of plastic are floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And the European Space Agency plans to use new technology to measure the amount of floating ocean plastic that exists from space. Another study explored how much plastic falls to the ocean floor and estimates that 8.
From the equator to the poles, the highly populated to the remote, and from beaches to the deepest trenches at the bottom of the sea, plastic waste is found all over the globe. Not only is plastic durable, it is also usually light—perfect for getting caught in the wind or swept along with an ocean current and traveling long distances.
Some plastics have been recorded traveling thousands of miles from their source. In a accident-turned-science experiment, a shipping container of 28, plastic toy ducks fell overboard in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Over the next 20 years the ducks began washing ashore in Hawaii, Australia, Scotland, Newfoundland, Maine, Washington state, Chile, and even in the Arctic, allowing scientists to document the extent to which plastic could travel.
Now, some of the most remote islands have the highest densities of plastic along their shores. Despite being located in the center of the open ocean and far from dense human populations, they are deposition sites for floating plastic based upon their location in the ocean currents.
While plastic litter that washes ashore is an easy visual indicator of accumulation in the ocean, oftentimes plastic gets stuck out at sea. Floating on the ocean surface, the plastic litter may get caught in one of the many wind-driven ocean currents and then make its way to the center of an ocean gyre —a massive circling ocean current.
Persistent, global winds tug at the surface ocean water, causing it to move and create a point where the water is higher. Additionally, the spinning of the Earth deflects the moving water in what is called the Coriolis effect, causing the moving water to deflect to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.
The combined wind and Coriolis forces create these gyres, or massive rotating currents, that span the entire ocean basin. Northern hemisphere gyres spin clockwise and southern hemisphere gyres spin counter-clockwise. All five gyres lend themselves to areas of plastic accumulation, and other locations where ocean currents meet one another can also accumulate plastic. The gyre accumulation of plastic was largely unnoticed until the early s, when Captain Charles Moore, head of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation , sailed through a rarely traveled area between Hawaii and mainland U.
Over the course of a week, despite being hundreds of miles from land, Moore watched a continuous stream of plastic trash float by. Although fishermen and sailors have noted the debris in this area for years, it was Captain Moore who brought the location and problem further into the public sphere.
Not even the remote poles are immune to the plastic trash buildup. Aided by large ocean currents, masses of microplastics are catching a ride from the densely populated North Atlantic up to the Arctic. The ocean is constantly moving through a network of large ocean currents. Driven by salinity and temperature, this thermohaline circulation moves massive quantities of ocean water from one end of the globe to the other.
In the process, plants, animals, and now plastic can get caught up in the current and transported from one ocean basin to another. It was once believed that the Southern Ocean would be isolated from human plastic debris owing to the massive circumpolar current that sweeps around the Antarctic continent, but recent studies show that not only are microplastics present in the water, they are also finding their way into the Antarctic food web when animals accidentally eat them.
Its name makes it sound like a piece of sexy lingerie , but don't be fooled: The pink see-through fantasia is a sea cucumber, found about a mile and a half deep in the Celebes Sea in the western Pacific east of Borneo. The frilled shark is one of the gnarliest looking creatures in the sea. If it looks like an ancient beast that's because it kind of is; Mental Floss reports that frilled sharks "have changed so little since prehistoric times. Found in the Celebes Sea, this worm is, well Scientists call it a squidworm.
Take a Breath, Thank a Whale
Whales are always on the move, so they have to eat a lot to keep them going. Fortunately, the ocean offers a range of dining options. All whales are divided into two suborders: Odontoceti those that have teeth and Mysticeti which have baleen plates instead. A whale's diet depends on its suborder. But not all whales within each group eat exactly the same thing. Each species has a favourite food. And no matter where they are or what they eat, whales are almost always on the hunt for a tasty meal.
These sharks are recognizable not just for being the largest fish in the sea, growing longer than 40 feet, but also for their unique pattern of blue-gray to brown coloration with white spots centered between pale horizontal and vertical stripes. They are filter feeders, often swimming near the surface of the open sea, gulping in water and filtering everything from plankton and fish eggs, to crustaceans and schooling fish, to occasional larger prey like squid or tuna. Despite their size, they are considered harmless to humans, and will often interact docilely with divers to the extent of allowing the divers to grab on to a fin and hitch a ride. Whale shark , basking shark, and whaleshark are common names in the English language used to refer to this fish. In the past, the whale shark has been of little interest to man. At present, commercial fisheries for whale sharks are limited, but may expand from an increased demand for food products.
Plastic surrounds us. It is not just the obvious places—like water bottles and straws. It is also used to build our cars and is found in our face washes and fabrics. With the invention of plastic in the early 20th century, we became a world that relished the privilege of cheap, easy-to-produce plastic pieces. Plastic has many benefits—it has allowed us to prevent heart attacks stents that open up arteries are often made of plastic and provide water to people in need. Depending on the type of plastic and where it lands, items can take days to hundreds of years to break down into very small pieces, which likely never biodegrade. Because of these traits and our intensive use of it, plastic trash is now found in essentially every ecosystem on the planet—including throughout the ocean. Tiny pieces of plastic are also now found in the food we eat and beverages we drink. Plastic is, simply, unavoidable. Plastic was developed mainly to do just that—take the shape of any object.
Minke whales are members of the baleen whale family and are the smallest of the "great whales" or rorquals. They are the most abundant rorqual in the world, and their population status is considered stable throughout almost their entire range especially when compared to other species of large whales. Commercial whaling practices may have reduced minke whale populations in the western North Pacific and the northeastern North Atlantic may have been reduced by as much as half. The scientific names for minke whales translate to: "winged whale," Balaenoptera "sharp snout" acutorostrata.
Springer Shop Empik. This open access book provides a comprehensive examination of the European Landing Obligation policy from many relevant perspectives. It includes evaluations of its impacts at economical, socio-cultural, ecological and institutional levels. It also discusses the feasibility and benefits of several potential mitigation strategies. The book was timely published, exactly at the time where the Landing Obligation was planned to be fully implemented. This book is of significant interest to all stakeholders involved, but also to the general public of Europe and to other jurisdictions throughout the world that are also searching for ways to deal with by-catch and discard issues. Wybrane strony Strona Strona Cultural Institutional and MultiJurisdictional Challenges. Control Monitoring and Surveillance. Prawa autorskie.
It provides a treasured source of recreation for humans. It is mined for minerals salt, sand, gravel, and some manganese, copper, nickel, iron, and cobalt can be found in the deep sea and drilled for crude oil. Oil Rig off Santa Barbara. The ocean plays a critical role in removing carbon from the atmosphere and providing oxygen. The ocean is an increasingly important source of biomedical organisms with enormous potential for fighting disease. These are just a few examples of the importance of the ocean to life on land. Explore them in greater detail to understand why we must keep the ocean healthy for future generations. The oceans have been fished for thousands of years and are an integral part of human society.
Learn which whales were hunted and why; how they captured and processed them; how technology changed the industry. Whaling was an exceptionally dangerous business both physically and economically. In the Yankee whale fishery injuries and death were common to almost every voyage. Many vessels were lost. Few individuals got rich whaling and most of those were owners and agents.
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants — deliberately or accidentally - into our seas and oceans. It can cause harm and long term impact to whales and dolphins and of course, their home, the wider marine environment. Oil, sewage, litter, chemicals and plastics , are all examples of pollution.
Aquatic food webs
North Atlantic right whales, bound for Canada or other summer habitats, come by, gorging on crustaceans known as copepods. Humpbacks, meanwhile, stay through the fall as they indulge on small fish: sand lance, menhaden, and herring. Thus nourished, the whales pack carbon in their massive bodies.
35 Utterly Weird Sea Animals
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Filter feeders are a sub-group of suspension feeding animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized filtering structure. Some animals that use this method of feeding are clams , krill , sponges , baleen whales , and many fish including some sharks.