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27 Fun Facts about the Puffer Fish You Might Not Know

27 Fun Facts about the Puffer Fish You Might Not Know
When you read Puffer Fish do you think poison? Or a fish that can triple in width in a moment? If you did you are correct on both counts. The Puffer Fish is one of the most fascinating creatures in our oceans. Here are 27 Fun Facts about the Puffer Fish You Might Not Know - plus some more fun facts about animals
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Coral reefs have lost half their ability to support human communities, Canadian researchers say

Coral reefs have lost half their ability to support human communities, Canadian researchers say
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Blue food revolution can help solve climate change, malnutrition & economic crisis: Study

Blue food revolution can help solve climate change, malnutrition & economic crisis: Study

New research has revealed how aquatic food sectors can play a vital role in providing healthy diets and a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system across the globe. The proceedings of the study were published in the journal Nature. The study highlighted the opportunity that the vast diversity of aquatic, or "blue" foods can provide in the coming decades, which can solve the problem of malnutrition, provide livelihoods, restore ecological harmony, and lower food crises across the world.

According to the lead researcher, Ben Halpern, who is also a marine ecologist at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, claims that "People are trying to make more informed choices about the food they eat, in particular, the environmental footprint of their food". Halpern, along with his other team members, carried out a study on the environmental sustainability of aquatic foods, small-scale producers, and the climate risks faced by the aquatic food systems. The researchers gathered the findings of over a hundred studies to find out more about the aquatic food sector. It was observed that blue foods provided a great option for sustainable food.

Study claims, 'blue food' can help solve climate change, malnutrition & economic crisis

The research claims that demand for blue foods in the global market is likely to double in the next 30 years and will be met primarily through increased aquaculture production and not by capturing fisheries. Investing in innovation and improving fishing management can enhance the consumption level and have profound effects on malnutrition. The lead author of the study claimed that "small-scale fishers—the individuals and small boats that fish in places all around the world—are a huge part of the global seafood system and are incredibly diverse in who they are and how they fish, who also directs the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis at UCSB. That diversity creates both opportunities and challenges for sustainably managing the oceans. We unpacked this diversity to help guide better management. "

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The study states that blue foods are ranked more highly than terrestrial animal-sourced foods in terms of their nutritional benefits and sustainability. Many blue food species have more nutritional value compared to chicken. Trout contained 19 times more omega-3 fatty acids, while oysters and mussels had 76 times more vitamin B-12 and more iron and calcium.

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Deep impact: the underwater photographers bringing the ocean’s silent struggle to life

Deep impact: the underwater photographers bringing the ocean’s silent struggle to life

In July, off the Turkish port city of Bodrum, Kerim Sabuncuoğlu stepped from the edge of a boat into the azure Aegean Sea and began to descend. A scuba diver with more than 30 years’ experience, he took up underwater photography in 2002 and has since devoted considerable amounts of time and money to his “out-of-control hobby” – capturing the wonders of the ocean on camera so that “the less fortunate people above” can also marvel at them.

Sabuncuoğlu has travelled the world, photographing marine life in Palau, Cuba and the Galápagos islands and winning several awards for his work. Closer to home in Bodrum, he was embarking on a standard dive with a group of friends, equipped with a Nikon D800 camera. The camera had an 85mm micro Nikkor lens and was clad in Nexus underwater housing, with a single Backscatter snoot to train light on the subject.

A lizardfish attempts to eat a cigarette end. ‘This image illustrates the environmental issue of people carelessly disposing of trash and the harm it does to wildlife,’ says photographer Steven Kovacs. Photograph: Steven Kovacs

Soon after reaching the sandy bottom and making a right turn towards a cluster of rocks, he spotted a broken fishing line on the sea floor. A grouper was caught on one of the hooks, still alive, so he took it to the surface, removed the hook and set it free.

“I went back to see what else was there, with the pliers,” says Sabuncuoğlu from his home in Istanbul, where he runs an event management company, “and that’s when I found this poor animal: a moray eel. Its favourite food is octopus, and of course when it found the arm of an octopus on the floor, it took a great bite.” A hook concealed in the octopus arm went straight through the moray’s jaw. It spun its body frantically to free itself, but succeeded only in entangling itself in the fishing line. Eventually the eel suffocated and died.

A female paper nautilus drifts along on a piece of rubbish, Anilao, the Philippines. Photographer Steven Kovacs notes that they normally hitch a ride on jellyfish for protection and to preserve energy. Photograph: Steven Kovacs

Sabuncuoğlu had witnessed the result of what’s known as ghost fishing. “When a fisherman leaves his equipment under the water, like a fishing net or line, it keeps on killing fish for many years to come,” he explains. “If I had left this moray eel, some other fish would have eaten the hook, and died as well.”

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This 'floating continent' could collect and recycle plastic from the ocean in future

This 'floating continent' could collect and recycle plastic from the ocean in future

'The 8th continent' is an award-winning design that recycles ocean plastic and is completely self-sustainable.

Its five-part structure contains everything from greenhouses and living quarters to biodegradable waste collectors.

Senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects in London, Lenka Petráková, developed the idea for her student master thesis a few years ago in Vienna, Austria, having studied ocean pollution at university.

The architect says the prototype is named after the sheer amount of plastic waste coagulating in the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch'.

"I realised how destroyed the oceans are and how many species are extinct, how much pollution is there, and that the parts that may have never seen a human being, feel the effects of our activities," she says.

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This Bizarre Pig-Faced Shark Was Just Pulled Out Of The Mediterranean Sea

This Bizarre Pig-Faced Shark Was Just Pulled Out Of The Mediterranean Sea

The shark is called an angular roughshark and is distinguished by its wide-set eyes and its short, blunt snout, giving it the appearance of a pig.

Isola d’Elba App/FacebookThe shark was about three feet long and already dead when recovered from the ocean surface.

On August 19, a group of Italian naval officers on the island of Elba came across an unusual fish floating in the water. But when they pulled it to the surface, they realized it was no ordinary specimen but a lifeless, pig-faced shark.

The sailors were stationed at Medici marina in Elba’s largest city of Portoferraio when they made the confounding find that caused a local stir.

It didn’t take long for its captors to get on social media to publish photos of the creature on the Isola d’Elba Facebook page. According to Toscana Media News, the post received hundreds of likes, shares, and comments from people around the world desperate for answers. Fortunately, one expert just provided some.

The shark has been identified as an angular roughshark (Oxynotus centrina), and it’s unlike any of its peers. Colloquially known as a “pig fish,” this shark species is distinguished by its large, pink snout and bulbous, wide-set eyes.

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Faroes PM pledges dolphin hunt review amid outcry at carnage

Faroes PM pledges dolphin hunt review amid outcry at carnage

In a parked car overlooking the ocean sit two of the biggest whale killers in the Faroe Islands. They look exhausted, but not from hunting. Ólavur Sjúrðaberg, 75, and Hans J Hermansen, 73, have been on the phone constantly since a mass killing of 1,428 white-sided dolphins in the Faroe Islands on Sunday sparked international outrage and led the Faroes prime minister to announce on Thursday that the government would review the dolphin hunt.

Neither Sjúrðaberg nor Hermansen participated in the killing, but they are the current and former chairman of the Faroese Whalers Association, founded in 1992 to explain and defend the traditional killing of whales in the islands, known as the “grind”, and ensure it is as efficient and respectful as possible.

But while more than 83% of the 53,000 islanders still support the killing of pilot whales – which are also a species of dolphin – 53% are opposed to killing the white-sided dolphin, according to a poll published on Monday by the broadcaster Kringvarp Føroya.

“We’re fighting on one more front now,” said Sjúrðaberg as Hermansen fields another call, referring to the fact that so many Faroese are against the killing of white-sided dolphins. “We have to evaluate the killing every time, including when it may not go according to plan.”

Faroese people have been killing whales and dolphins since Viking times, and the practice was even regulated in the oldest preserved Faroese law, dating from 1298. Practically all whaling in the modern era has involved pilot whales. Pilot whales are the second largest species of oceanic dolphin, surpassed in size only by the orca. All killings of pilot whales have been officially recorded since 1584, and since 2000, an average of about 660 pilot whales and 211 white-sided dolphins have been killed every year in the islands.

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Killer whale named Hugo ‘committed SUICIDE’ by ramming head against tank

Killer whale named Hugo ‘committed SUICIDE’ by ramming head against tank

HUGO the killer whale was said to have been so unhappy in his captivity at an aquarium that he slammed his head into the wall of his tank until he died.

The orca suffered a brain aneurysm after repeatedly ramming against the edge of his enclosure in a case often cited by animal rights activists as proof whales should not be kept at sea parks.

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Hugo the whale carries a butterfly on his noseCredit: Getty

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Hugo performed for 12 years with his trainersCredit: Getty

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The sea’s next big plastic problem? Old paint

The sea’s next big plastic problem? Old paint

Ninety-two percent of the Oceans’ plastic pollution, by one estimate, is due to microplastics: pieces of plastic under five millimetres in size, which contaminate deep-sea sediments and infiltrate sealife, with unknown consequences on the health of humans eating that fish. The Atlantic Ocean alone is thought to harbour as much as 21 million tonnes of microplastics.

A surprisingly major source of these microplastics? Paint. Industrial structures in the ocean – such as oil rigs, wind turbines, and bridges – are covered with paint protecting them from corrosion. Preventing rusting is necessary, but paint lasts a maximum of 25 years. When a touchup is due, old paint and rust are typically removed using abrasive blasting and high-pressure water jets. Much of the debris falls into the water below, and as many of the constituents that make up paint are plastic, that means microplastics tumble into the ocean too. This has resulted in paint being the second largest source of microplastics in the ocean, according to the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Pinovo, a Norwegian company, wants to clean it up. It has designed a cleaner way of maintaining the paint which involves, to put it simply, sticking a vacuum cleaner at the end of the blasting tube. This can then catch all the old paint and blasting materials as they come off before they can drop into the ocean. Capturing the grit used to blast the surfaces means it can also be reused, and the old paint can be safely disposed of. “We can stop paint microplastic emissions,” Declan Mc Adams, the chairman of Pinovo, explains. “You go from 100 per cent paint microplastic emissions to zero.”

Pinovo aims to license this technology, and current users already include Equinor, EDF and the UK and Norwegian navies. A big part of Pinovo’s mission is also raising awareness about paint as a major source of microplastics, and lobbying regulatory bodies like the EU to enforce stricter regulations on industry to curb these microplastic emissions. Mc Adams thinks that over 90 per cent of companies still rely on these traditional, dirty methods of paint removal. “You've got to force the people who own the assets – their oil rigs, ships, nuclear power stations – to maintain them cleanly,” he says. 

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