Seabed Habitats Blog Carnival- Happy World Oceans Day!

Happy World Ocean’s Day to you! To celebrate this year, we are hosting our Seabed Habitats Blog Carnival especially for World Ocean’s Day!!! Today on the 8th of June, people around our planet Earth celebrate and honour the ocean, which links us all. Hence, here is the anthology of posts nominated or selected for you to enjoy today from a diverse range of bloggers!

Lophelia pertusa and Eunice norvegica-_Solvin_Zankl_LRLove between coral and worm NIOZ News. A couple of years ago, I went on a cold water corals cruise to help a fellow PhD candidate Anna Rengstorf with her data acquisition aboard the Celtic Explorer in the North East Atlantic as part of the CoralFISH project. During this trip, during a coral sampling exercise, we came across, to my amazement, Eunice norvegica, the worm that lives inside the coral, and saw first-hand the love between the coral and the worm! “The relationship between a cold-water coral and a worm is beneficial for both partners involved,” Christina Mueller, NIOZ.

Common sun star, MARLINMarine Invertebrates MarineBio.org. This wonderful blog introduces us to all the major phyla of invertebrates in simple language. The most common marine invertebrates are sponges, cnidarians (coral, anemones, hydozoans and jelly fish), marine worms, lophophorates (bryozoans), mollusks (oysters, chitons, clams, snails, slugs, octopus, and squid), arthropods (spiders, lobsters, crabs, barnacles, and shrimp), echinoderms (with five-point radial symmetry) and the hemichordates (our closest invertebrate relatives!).

manta raysManta Madness- a world famous snorkel experience in Kona, Hawaii, Seaing Blue, Natalie Reichenbacher. Manta rays are large eagle rays, which evolved from bottom-dwelling stingrays, eventually developing more wing-like pectoral fins. Night snorkelling in the moon shimmered Pacific Ocean, Natalie tells us of their  flamboyant display with mantas cartwheeling as they feed on the plankton in the water column. They can be seen moving through the water by the wing-like movements of their pectoral fins. Once in a lifetime underwater experience!

Maerl Beds in the Fal Estuary with Harbour crab - Liocarcinus depuratorConservation of maerl habitats Cornwall Wildlife Trust. Maerl beds in the St. Mawes Bank, Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation (SAC) include the largest maerl beds in south-west UK. Slow-growing over time, maerl beds are amongst the oldest marine plants in Europe, with beds being up to 8000 years old and are a protected seabed habitat in danger of disappearance. Following proposals of dredging, a proposal to make a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) was made. Here, sensitive issues are discussed openly and transparently with marine stakeholders to clarify their stance on maerl conservation and strategies to protect maerl for future generations.

Great Scallop - MARLIN

Epifauna and their importance in regeneration of the seabed Arran Coast. The Community of Arran Seabed Trust, Scotland are a community organisation working for the protection and restoration of the marine environment around Arran and the Clyde. This guest post discusses life at the benthos and the recoverability following an anthropogenic disturbance, such as dredging and bottom trawling -fishing activity. Epifauna play a role in reducing the three-dimensional habitat destruction due to dredging.

WaveDrivenCurrentsSpringFlood

What lies beneath? NUI Galway Marine Science Blog. This post by marine geomatician and geomorphologist Dr. Garret Duffy, is about the hidden landscape beneath us- the seabed. It explores some of the physical oceanographic processes responsible for shaping the spatial variability of the seabed and its sediment dynamics. It finishes with a specific example of sediment ‘waves’ in Galway Bay, West of Ireland.

RVKearyHydrographic surveying in Dingle Bay INFOMAR Blog, Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). INFOMAR is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute and is the successor to the Irish National Seabed Survey. As one of the 26 INFOMAR priority bays to survey, Dingle Bay was recently surveyed using the multibeam echosounder, aboard the R.V. Keary, M.V. Cosantóir Bradán and the R.V. Geo. The INFOMAR programme is a leading example of a national seabed mapping initiative and application of technologies to answering scientific questions about the seabed.

Multibeam BackscatterMultibeam Backscatter NOAA Ocean Science. Acoustic Mapping Specialist Will Sautter describes multibeam backscatter as painting a portrait of the seafloor of Grand Reserve of Puerto Rico, to be used for seabed classification. He uses an excellent analogy of the tennis court, with different surfaces of grass, clay, concrete etc bouncing/returning the tennis ball with a different intensity, just like the acoustic signal at the seabed.

sunriseSmart Sea School in the West of Ireland University College Cork and partners.  Marine micropalaeontologist, Margaret Browne writes about her cruise with Prof. Andy Wheeler’s team, to the Moria Mounds, West Porcupine Bank and inner shelf off the West of Ireland as part of the West of Ireland Coring Programme (WICPro). The cruise studied the glacial depositional history and ice sheet limits, using the gravity corer and box corer.

MARLIN

Pheronema sea belt and the muddy deep sea Plymouth University. This blog post introduces the Pheronema carpenteri, the bird’s nest sponge, forms dense aggregations in the deep sea, forming a belt at the Procupine Seabight, North Atlantic. The post also describes neighbouring deep-sea habitats and discusses the importance of deep-sea stewardship. It was lovely to find out about this little documented and rare seabed habitat virtually unknown! Image Crown copyright © 2006, Marlin.

 

SmartBayOcean observatories ESONET members. An ocean observatory is a a sub-sea networked infrastructure of  sensors to measure the physical, chemical, geological and biological variables in the ocean and seabed. The European Sea Floor Observatory Network (ESONET), with the Procupine/Celtic leg, enhances the long term monitoring capability in geophysics, geotechnics, chemistry, biochemistry, oceanography, biology and fisheries in Europe. Coral-covered carbonate mounds of the Belgica Mound Province, north-eastern Porcupine Seabight are main targets for proposed long-term seafloor observatories.

Mining at Deep Sea Vents – what are the impacts on marine life? Deep Sea Mining Out of Our Depth. Dr. Jon Copley, University of Southampton asks the question – what are the impacts of deep sea mining on the organisms at deep-sea vents? Increasing levels of experimental deep sea mining are being proposed to take place at vent fields. Mineral extraction at deep sea hydrothermal vents has been proposed by mining companies after “seafloor massive sulfide” (SMS) deposits. There has been a surprisingly mixed response from the deep-sea scientific community regarding conservation/exploitation, however it is agreed that as a minimum, effective regulation is essential for deep sea vent mining, if not a complete ban.

Gebco_grid

Setting Priorities to Conserve Marine Biodiversity Global Partnership for Oceans. This blog post by Conservation International discusses which places globally should be a priority for conservation in the marine environment and how to identify which are the most critical ocean habitats. High diversity – high impact places should be conserved first with analysis of the broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and human impacts. Wonderful initiative towards a global solution to maximise ocean health and to apply in practice.

Success of MPAs depends on these 5 things Conservation International. This blog discusses the reasons behind the success of  Cocos Island, Marine Protected Area (MPA) a revered diving site and ecotourism destination. It explores five features of this MPA, discussed in a new accompanying Nature paper and sustainable management strategies; those being how much fishing is allowed, enforcement levels, how long protection has been in place, area and degree of isolation. (© Conservation International/photo by Sebastian Troëng)

 

Marine Litter

How Bad is Marine Litter? Marine Science Blogs, Cefas. This blog post from Cefas discusses the source of marine litter and quantifying the impacts of plastics and microplastics on the oceans. It also highlights the importance of scientific research blogging and science communication initiatives to creatively and reliably educate the wider public, especially from scientists of the UK government.

 

mariner_albatrossPoem for Vayda Seamount Tropics- Illuminating the Deep. To conclude, a beautiful poem about the Vayda Seamount, written by Sarah Robinson, as part of the Tropics (Tracing ocean processes using corals and sediments) cruise. An inspirational poem from the deep!!

 

 

waves

 

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements, sincere thanks and most thumbnail image credits go out to the creators of the posts for taking part in this blog carnival. A special thank you especially to Natalie for sharing her phenomenal experience underwater with the Manta rays! Image credit for Conservation of Maerl Habitats is to Ross Bullimore. Posts are in logical order by subject matter. It has been a joy to create this post- would love to hear your views on this Blog Carnival here!! Also, thank you to World Ocean Day organiser for putting up the details of the event on their website. Happy World Oceans Day to you!

Tasmania’s Disappearing Kelp Forests

Giant kelp forests off of south-eastern Tasmania. Forest locations were Fortescue Bay and Munro Bight. As of January 2013, the forest at Fortescue no longer exists. Reasons attributed to the decline of this kelp forest and numerous others along the east coast of Tasmania include: warming waters, increasing occurrence of invasive species and a disruption of the natural food chain due to overfishing. This video is a tribute to the beauty of these forests in the hope that the attention they are finally getting from the government is not too late to prevent their extinction.

 

Coastal Monitoring: Terrestrial Laser Scanning of Sand Dunes

The GEOCOAST project is aimed at development of the online educational resource about Ireland’s coastal and marine environments with particular focus on coastal geology and geomorphology. It is envisaged that this project should contribute towards dissemination and outreach of scientific knowledge to the public through the use of modern day technology including online mapping and videos. GEOCOAST produced a dedicated YouTube Channel: GEOCOAST, based at University College Cork. Also check out their website at the following link.

Plastic pollution

Surprising Amount of Trash Found on Deep-Sea Floor
Surprising Amount of Trash Found on Deep-Sea Floor

One of the greatest threats to the ocean is also one of the most insidious because chances are it’s so mundane you don’t even notice it. Look around you right now: how much plastic do you see? The ocean is downstream from all of us so no matter where we live, so we can all help address the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. Each year a huge amount of plastic eventually makes it into coastal waters and harms ocean life. Many animals such as seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins, and whales die every year from plastic entanglement or starvation because they fill up their stomachs on plastic they mistake for food. Take action for the oceans and prevent plastic from harming ocean wildlife!

Reduce plastic use . Help stop plastic pollution at its source! As consumers, we each have the power to reduce demand. And if you encourage family and friends to do the same, the more the more good we can do to keep the ocean clean and safe. Here are a few disposable plastic products everyone can reduce in our daily lives:

Plastic water bottles. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and filter water if necessary. Help the ocean and save money; it’s a win-win for you and the blue. On average, Americans now use 4 plastic water bottles a day—the highest ever recorded! Let’s turn the tide against wasteful plastic consumption.

Plastic bags. People use nearly 1 trillion plastic bags each year, and unfortunately, many of those end up ingested by sea turtles that mistake plastic for jellyfish. Remember to bring a reusable bag for food (including vegetables) and other shopping and save a life!

Straws, cups to-go, food containers, and utensils. Bring your own reusable products like mugs when you get coffee and take a pass on the plastic utensils when you get take-out food. And if you must have a straw, there a number affordable options!

Be aware of packaging. Pay attention to how much incidental plastic that comes with what you buy—your candy, headphones, pens, etc., all come in plastic packaging. Strive to cut down on your daily plastic consumption and reward corporations that package responsibly!

Take action!

  • Hold a ‘Switch for the Sea’ contest! Ask friends and family to switch one of their disposable plastic habits for a sustainable, ocean-friendly one: such as bringing reusable food containers from home when eating out for your ‘doggie bag.’
  • Organize an aquatic clean-up! Head out to your nearest and dearest body of water with some friends and pick up all the trash you find. You’ll be surprised at how much of it is plastic.
  • Ban the bag in your town (or country!). Many communities around the world are banning plastic bags from being used at their stores. Learn how to start a campaign to stop plastic bags use in your town!