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Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy



Microplastics in Paradise

Posted On May 12, 2016 by

At first glance, the waters of St. John, USVI, are pristine: Rich blues and greens mix in a postcard-ready Caribbean vista while schools of tropical fish dart just below the surface.

But beneath the shimmering turquoise waters lurks a hidden peril: microplastics.

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Lionfish: A Crash Course

Posted On March 17, 2016 by

There’s big news in the fight against invasive lionfish. This week, Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida’s 26th District introduced a bill that would make more funding available for researchers studying lionfish in their invaded range. The bill directs the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to award $1,500,000 in higher education grants to combat lionfish, including projects that help us learn about lionfish impacts and how to mitigate them.

In honor of this newly-introduced bill, we pulled together a refresher course on the lionfish invasion. Read on to see how lionfish are impacting the ecosystem (and what people are doing about it!)

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New Caribbean Parasite Named After Bob Marley

Posted On July 11, 2012 by

Bob Marley and Gnathia marleyi, the blood-sucking parasite named after him. Credit: Ueli Frey and John Artim, Department of Biology, Arkansas State University

Really? Yes, really.

A newly discovered crustacean parasite found in Caribbean waters has been named after Bob Marley, the iconic, rebellious and soccer-loving (among other things) Reggae singer and guitarist. The species, known as Gnathia marleyi, was named after Marley “because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music. Plus, this species is uniquely Caribbean as was Marley,” according to Paul Sikkel, an assistant professor of marine ecology and a field marine biologist at Arkansas State University, who discovered the species.

So, just how similar to Marley is this tiny parasite? Let’s consider its eating habits:

“By concealing themselves within coral rubble, sea sponge or algae, juvenile Gnathia marleyi are able to launch surprise attacks on fish and then infest them.”

Yowsers! As a blogger and Bob Marley box set owner (and former Bob Marley black light poster owner) I am going to say, with some authority, that this crustacean is nothing like Bob Marley. But it’s still a pretty cool story.

Found on BoingBoing, Reuters and yes, National Science Foundation.

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