Science

20 September, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE

Amsterdam: September 20, 2021

 The Annual Meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) opens today. The Deep Sea Conservation is calling on the member countries of NAFO to agree to close seamounts and all areas identified by the Scientific Council of NAFO such as deepwater coral and sponge ecosystems to bottom trawling. 

NAFO is responsible for managing bottom fisheries on the high seas of the Northwest Atlantic.  This year, scientists have advised that all seamounts and related ‘underwater features’ within the NAFO Convention Area be closed to bottom fishing. Scientists have also completed a review of existing fisheries closures to assess whether they are adequate to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems, including deep-sea habitat-forming species such as sponges and corals. 

“Following initial progress in the previous decade,  NAFO has since dragged its feet on implementing scientific advice on protecting deep-sea habitats.”

Matthew Gianni, Policy Advisor to the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, an observer to NAFO. 

All NAFO member countries have signed up to repeated global commitments adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, beginning in 2006, to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems on the high seas from the harmful impacts of bottom fishing, in particular bottom trawling. 

“Given the continued ringing of alarm bells on the state of the world’s biodiversity, it is imperative that countries who fish on the high seas live up to their UN commitments to make sure that biodiversity is protected and our ocean can continue to be resilient and support healthy fisheries,” says Gianni. “There is absolutely no reason to continue destroying species and habitats that may take hundreds or thousands of years to recover”. 

The DSCC is expecting Contracting Parties to NAFO to agree to all recommended additions to closed areas, a full closure of all seamounts and related features, further conservation measures for Greenland Shark, and adherence to science advice for all regulated fisheries. 

The NAFO meeting ends on September 24th. The Member countries (Contracting Parties) are Canada, Cuba, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the European Union,  France (in respect of St. Pierre et Miquelon), Iceland, Japan, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.

13 July, 2021

Source: Vox

Author: Dr Robin George Andrews 

Underwater mountains and volcanoes have been found to be more biodiverse than originally thought. Volcanologist, Dr Robin George Andrews, explores why these ecosystems are so important for life in the deep and the many, and growing, threats that they face.

Read the full article here

20 October, 2020

Source: Science News
Author: Maria Temming

Things are heating up at the seafloor.

Thermometers moored at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean recorded an average temperature increase of about 0.02 degrees Celsius over the last decade, researchers report in the Sept. 28 Geophysical Research Letters. That warming may be a consequence of human-driven climate change, which has boosted ocean temperatures near the surface (SN: 9/25/19), but it’s unclear since so little is known about the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean.

Continue reading Even the deepest, coldest parts of the ocean are getting warmer

19 October, 2020

Source: Nerdist
Author: Matthew Hart

Free-floating Crinoids, a.k.a. feather stars, are mesmerizing deep-sea creatures that dance in water like stars dance around a black hole: that is to say, gracefully. The smooth-moving feather stars ribbon their limbs through the ocean for motive force, and put on an entrancing show while doing so. The one in the clip immediately below, for example, may possess you with its bizarre fluidity.

Continue reading Undulating Feather Stars Put on a Soothing Deep-Sea Show

15 October, 2020

Source: Science News for Students
Author: Stephen Ornes

Last October, a team of marine explorers sent Hercules — a remote-controlled vehicle — to the bottom of the ocean. Its mission: to visit an octopus neighborhood. It was off the coast of central California, near an undersea volcano. Late one night, after scanning a long stretch of empty seafloor, Hercules’ spotlight and camera revealed a parade of curious creatures. First was a slender bottom-feeder called an eelpout. It was half-buried in the sediment. Then came a sea pig — a squishy thing that looks like a living pink balloon, but with tentacles.

Continue reading Whales get a second life as deep-sea buffets

2 July, 2020

Source: Gizmodo Earther

The Great Barrier Reef has been having a rough year. Warm waters have led to record coral bleaching this year and could hasten the reef’s die-off. But while surface corals are suffering, nearly a mile beneath the surface, deep-sea corals near the Great Barrier Reef are thriving.

Continue reading The Great Barrier Reef Is Bleaching—but These Striking Deep-Sea Coral Gardens Near It Are Hanging on