With only an estimated 360 left, the fight to save the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet, has grown urgent — in the water and in the courts, as Rene Ebersole explains in FERN's latest story, published with Yale Environment 360. (No paywall)
This past spring, Louisiana-based professor Dr. Nancy Rabalais, perhaps the world’s most renowned researcher on marine dead zones, predicted that the summer of 2017 would see the largest hypoxic area in the Gulf of Mexico in recorded history. Last month she was proven right.
The world started paying attention to the problem of plastic trash in the ocean when seabirds turned up with plastic rings from six-packs of beer twisted about their necks. Now researchers say tiny bits of degraded plastic are showing up in fish and shellfish at the grocery store, says CBC News.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a federal agency, expects to publish a draft environmental impact statement this spring on offshore aquaculture in the Pacific Islands Region, which included Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas, says Civil Eats.
“Counting fish is like counting trees, but the trees are invisible and constantly on the move,” says The Atlantic, explaining the often unreliable science behind marine population estimates. To get more accurate numbers, marine scientists are putting artificial intelligence, autonomous submarines, and drones to work.