Australia suffers not only the loss of coral reefs.

Research just in reveals that extreme events from climate change (2011-2017) have damaged 45% of Australia’s coastal habitats, including coral reefs, mangroves, kelp forests and seagrass.  These habitats provide food and shelter for a huge range of marine and estuarine species, including large fish, turtles and dugongs.  Vital for fisheries, these key habitats are also used and much … Continue reading Australia suffers not only the loss of coral reefs.

Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) gazetted in resource-poor areas of the seascape

Theres a new paper out by Edgar et al in Ecological Applications that tracks the ecosystem effects of 14 MPA’s, and exploited companion sites, in southern Australia and Tanzania over a 16 year period. The effects of the MPAs are interesting: biomass of large predators is on a steep increasing trend, while prey-species such as … Continue reading Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) gazetted in resource-poor areas of the seascape

Tropical Storms Ana, Bil and Hurricane Guillermo mark the late onset of the Hurricane season in the Caribbean

Hurricane season has started late this year. NOAA are issuing advisories on Hurricane Guillermo (Category 3) affecting the Pacific Baja Penninsula and heading towards Hawaii, and Tropical Storms Ana and Bill are heading straight towards the Dutch Antilles. Quite a few commentators are describing this as an ‘odd‘ season – usually the first ‘named’ storm … Continue reading Tropical Storms Ana, Bil and Hurricane Guillermo mark the late onset of the Hurricane season in the Caribbean

SeaSponge SmartPants

Dr Bernie Degnan and his team have been sequencing the genome of the simple sea sponge here at the University of Queensland and have made some pretty astonishing findings in regards to humans and stem cells:

CARLY LAIRD: For anyone who thought the cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, was a bit far fetched, think again. Bernie Degnan is a professor of marine biology at the University of Queensland. He says although sea sponges certainly can’t talk and don’t have their own apartments under the sea, they are indeed clever marine animals.

BERNIE DEGNAN: Sponges just by their natural biology do things that we only wish we can engineer in a biomedical laboratory. Continue reading SeaSponge SmartPants

Caribbean lionfish invasion

A new Reef Site in Coral Reefs (Green and Cote 2009) describes the striking densities of non-native lionfish on coral reefs in the Bahamas. Lionfish (Pterois volitans), a predator from the central and western Pacific ocean, were first sighted in 1992 off Florida and have been spreading rapidly throughout the Caribbean (USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database 2009). On deep offshore reefs off of North Carolina, they are now the second most abundant fish (Whitfield et al. 2007). Continue reading Caribbean lionfish invasion