- Warning Issued Off the Cornwall Coast for Swimming With Dolphins
- Captive Florida Manatee Dies After Being Saved 36 Years Ago
- Ocean Acidification Responsible for Devastating Shellfish Farms
Warning Issued Off the Cornwall Coast for Swimming With Dolphins
Dolphins that inhabit the waters around UK’s Cornwall are part of the area’s heritage, but locals and travelers are being warned to keep from touching live or dead dolphins that may be found beached, as some are being discovered to harbor the bacteria Brucella ceti, which can be harmful to humans. The bacteria is thought to come from dolphins’ ingestion of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), toxic chemicals that were at one time added to paint and cement until they were banned a decade ago. The PCBs can still be found in the ocean, however, and are consumed by the fish the dolphins eat. High exposure to the bacteria may increase susceptibility to infection, as well as lead to reproductive and fertility problems.
Captive Florida Manatee Dies After Being Saved 36 Years Ago
A Florida Manatee that was rescued after serious injury from a boat propeller 36 years ago died while under sedation Tuesday morning. Staff at the facility in Homosassa Springs where the manatee lived had removed her from the water and sedated her before performing a biopsy on an enlarged mammary gland. Although the procedure is considered routine, the manatee never woke up. The manatee was housed at the Miami Seaquarium after being treated for injuries, and was later moved to Homosassa Springs, where she spent the last 25 years of her life. She was part of the Adopt a Manatee program.
Ocean Acidification Responsible for Devastating Shellfish Farms
When the operators of a shellfish hatchery on Oregon’s Netarts Bay started to notice their larvae dying by the millions, their instinct told them some kind of infection was at play. Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery provides larvae for shellfish growers all along the west coast of North America, from Mexico to Canada. Using their expertise in the field, they were able to track down a possible source — a larvae-eating bacteria called Vibrio tubiashii. Eradicating the bacteria did not stop the deaths, however. Further investigation led to the discovery of what is known as “ocean acidification”, which is caused by an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Acidic waters are fatal to developing shellfish. Because cold water can hold more CO2 than warm water, acidification happens through deep water upwelling. Scientists found that the upwellings today actually contain CO2 from 30-50 years ago, and that we are constantly replenishing the CO2 to be released at a later time. This implies that future upwellings will be even more acidic, as today we create more CO2 than ever before. The future of the shellfish industry is facing an uncertain future if that trend persists.