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Using a “patient monitoring” device attached to a whale entangled in fishing gear, scientists showed for the first time how fishing lines changed a whale’s diving and swimming behavior. The monitoring revealed how fishing gear hinders whales’ ability to eat and migrate, depletes their energy as they drag gear for months or years, and can result in a slow death.
A group of oceanographic experts is calling for the establishment of a national network to monitor the diversity of marine life, a key bellwether of ocean and human health. Their work is described in the April 11 issue of BioScience.
Two robots equipped with instruments designed to “listen” for the calls of baleen whales detected nine endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine last month. The robots reported the detections to shore-based researchers within hours of hearing the whales (i.e., in real time), demonstrating a new and powerful tool for managing interactions between whales and human activities.
There are more microbes in a bucket of seawater than there are people on Earth. Despite their abundance, humans are only just beginning to fathom the complex role marine microbes play in the ocean ecosystem.
An analysis by WHOI biologist Rebecca Gast examines water quality data to determine whether a growing population of gray seals along Cape Cod beaches can be blamed for beach closures.
New Research Consortium Brings Scientists, Fishermen, and Managers Together to Address Seal Issues in the Northeast
People come from miles away to see the seals off the shores of Cape Cod and surrounding regions, but the animals are creating some challenges for local fishermen. Recent increases in local seal abundance have led to concerns about fisheries interactions. The urgency of documenting, understanding, and mitigating these interactions has become more apparent.
Japan fisheries data provides insight into the fate and impacts of radionuclides from Fukushima 18 months after the worst accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history.
The ability of deep-sea corals to harbor a broad array of marine life, including commercially important fish species, make these habitat-forming organisms of immediate interest to conservationists, managers, and scientists. Understanding and protecting corals requires knowledge of the historical processes that have shaped their biodiversity and biogeography.
Ocean scientists have long known that juvenile coral reef fishes use coastal seagrass and mangrove habitats as nurseries, later moving as adults onto coral reefs. But the fishes’ movements, and the connections between different tropical habitats, are much more complex than previously realized, according to a study published September 3 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings have important implications for management and protection of coral reefs and other marine environments.
Scientists from the WHOI, University of Washington, and University of Maine are combining models with data from a flotilla of high-tech robots to shed new light on life-sustaining phytoplankton, including when their spring bloom begins and the role that small-scale eddies play in promoting their growth.
At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarctica’s largest sea bird—and thanks to films like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet,” it’s also one of the continent’s most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a new study by led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The study was published in the June 20th edition of the journal Global Change Biology.
A team of researchers, including scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice.
Studying algal cultures and seawater samples from the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, a team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the J. Craig Venter Institute have revealed a key cog in the biochemical machinery that allows marine algae at the base of the oceanic food chain to thrive. They have discovered a previously unknown protein in algae that grabs an essential but scarce nutrient out of seawater, vitamin B12.
Scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. But a new study by WHOI scientists shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way and mitigate the warming near a handful of islands right on the equator. As a result these Pacific islands may become isolated refuges for corals and fish.
For decades, scientists have known that dolphins and other toothed whales have specialized fats associated with their jaws, which efficiently convey sound waves from the ocean to their ears. But until now, the hearing systems of their toothless grazing cousins, baleen whales, remained a mystery, largely because specimens to study are hard to get. Now, a new study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has shown that some baleen whales also have fats leading to their ears.
Six scientists from WHOI have contributed to a new report finding "compelling evidence" that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has impacted deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The study utilized all the National Deep Submergence Facility vehicles to investigate the corals, and employed an advanced technique pioneered at WHOI for use in oil spill research.
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), University of Hawaii, Whitman College and international colleagues will conduct the first systematic study of life in the deepest marine habitat on Earth—ocean trenches.
A WHOI-led project is one of several major awards recently announced by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Dimensions in Biodiversity research program. The multi-disciplinary, international collaborative effort will advance our understanding of deep-sea hydrothermal vent microbial communities and their global impact.
In a study published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team that includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has confirmed that bubbles do form in live, stranded dolphins. But in many cases, those animals are able to “manage” those bubbles and can resume relatively normal lives of swimming and diving in the ocean.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet’s climate.
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