deep sea

13
Nov
2019

Source: SciTechDaily

A collaboration between researchers at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Hawai‘i Pacific University (HPU) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed for the first time growth rates of deep-sea coral communities and the pattern of colonization by various species.

Continue reading Growth Rates of Deep-Sea Coral Communities Revealed for the First Time

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18
Oct
2019

Source: Phys.org
Author: Kim Fulton-Bennett

In the dark depths of the ocean, pretty much the only sources of light are the animals that live there. Whether flashing, glimmering, or emitting glowing liquids, many deep-sea animals are able to produce light (bioluminesce). MBARI researchers recently found that animals that live on the seafloor are much less likely to produce light than those swimming or drifting in the “midwater.”

Continue reading Glowing to the bottom

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17
Oct
2019

Source: Mashable
Author: Mark Kaufman

Dean Grubbs thinks great white sharks are boring.

The veteran shark scientist, who has researched different shark species for 30 years, is vastly more intrigued by the little-seen dominant predator of the deep, dark, tropical and temperate oceans: the sixgill shark (most sharks have five gills).

Continue reading Most dominant shark of the deep sea tagged at depth for the first time

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17
Oct
2019

Source: The Scientist
Author: Catharine Offord

Researchers have discovered high levels of biodiversity in deep-sea plains in the Eastern Pacific Ocean—an area that’s already been divvied up by mining companies for commercial exploration. The study, published today (October 17) in Current Biology, describes several new taxa of brittle stars, relatives of sea stars, and warns that industrial exploitation of the region could lead to serious declines in these and many other poorly documented species.

Continue reading Proposed Deep-Sea Mining Zone Harbors Previously Unknown Species

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17
Oct
2019

Source: CNN

A team of researchers stumbled upon a “whale fall,” a carcass of a baleen whale, during a live-streamed deep-sea dive. Incredible video shows a wide variety of sea creatures feasting on it.

Watch the video here.

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9
Oct
2019

Source: chinadialogue ocean
Author: Jessica Aldred

Prof Mat Upton is a medical microbiologist and Dr Kerry Howell is a deep-sea marine ecologist. At the University of Plymouth they have discovered antimicrobial properties in bacteria that live in a species of deep-sea sponge ­– a potential breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic-resistant superbugs. But they warn that such potential could be lost in the drive to exploit the ocean floor for minerals.

Continue reading Deep sea sponges may hold key to antibiotic resistance

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1
Oct
2019

Source: New Internationalist
Author: Diva Amon

I’m on a ship 1,600 kilometres away from the nearest landmass. It has taken us five days to get from California to the middle of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Our team sends a remotely operated vehicle 4.5 kilometres down to a flat abyssal plain that has never been explored by humans before.

Continue reading Deep-sea dilemma

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23
Sep
2019

Source: Scoop.nz
Author: Kiwis Against Seabed Mining

Wellington – 23 September 2019 — Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM) and Greenpeace are in the Court of Appeal in Wellington this week, defending last year’s High Court ruling that quashed Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) consent to mine the South Taranaki Bight seabed.

TTR is appealing the 2018 High Court decision that removed its consent to mine a 66 square kilometre area of the Bight for ironsands, which would involve digging up 50 million tonnes of the seabed a year for 35 years.

In granting its original consent, the Environmental Protection Agency set out 109 conditions, some of which amounted to “adaptive management” which KASM, Greenpeace and other parties argued to the High Court was unlawful, and Justice Churchman agreed.

This week the Court will hear TTR argue for mining to go ahead, and cross-appeals from KASM and Greenpeace, with the other parties, on a number of other issues the High Court decision rejected (see below).

Cindy Baxter, Chairperson of KASM, says this case is of utmost importance for preventing future seabed mining in New Zealand.

“This is a precedent-setting case, and it’s important to get the law as strong as possible, in order to protect our oceans from damage by future seabed miners. We cannot stress the importance of this case enough, in terms of the impact this destructive, untested industry could have on our ocean environment,” she said.

Jessica Desmond, campaigner at Greenpeace says it’s unacceptable the unique biodiversity of this region should be put at further risk from seabed mining.

“The South Taranaki Bight is home to Aotearoa’s own population of blue whales, the critically endangered Māui dolphin, blue penguins and other ocean taonga. These species are already under a multitude of threats from destructive fishing techniques, pollution and climate change, and this case is critical in protecting their home from damage by seabed mining.”

The case will be heard over three days between 24-26 September, and the two environmental organisations will be working alongside a range of other groups, including local iwi Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui, the trustees of Te Kaahui Rauru, Forest & Bird, the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board, Te Ohu Kai Moana and a number of other fisheries interests.

The issues the two groups are cross-appealing include:

  • the application of the precautionary principle and international law;
  • the conduct of the hearing itself – including how the chairman of the EPA committee used his casting vote since there were four members, two of whom voted against granting consent;
  • the failure of the EPA to take economic costs as well as benefits into account;
  • the way the EPA dealt with issues around the effects of seabed mining crossing the boundary into the coastal marine area (within 12 miles from land); and
  • the failure to differentiate between a bond and public liability insurance

Timeline

Nov 2013: TTR applies to the EPA for a marine discharge consent for seabed mining
Mar 2014: EPA receives record number of submissions against any application in its history
Jun 2014: EPA refuses consent.
++++
Aug 2016: TTR re-applies for a marine discharge consent. Same area, same information.
Feb 2017: EPA hearings begin. Again, record submissions , again(13,700 against).
Aug 2017: EPA grants TTR consent
Apr 2018: KASM, Greenpeace et al appeal heard in the High Court
Aug 2018: High Court quashes TTR’s consent
Sep 2019: TTR takes case to Court of Appeal, other parties cross-appeal

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