Category Archives: Marine Biology

Wild Canadian Fish Party on Cocaine and Oxycodone

TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY FOLKS!

1-FISH ON DRUGS ONTARIO

The blog title may seem frivolous to you folks, but our drinking water is next in line for these dangerous drugs leaching into our water. The three drugs mentioned are three of many abusive drugs.

The following article link to Munchies_ Food by VICE appeared in Drinking Water Canada’s newsletter,  ~ “Why Wild Canadian Fish Are on Cocaine and Oxycodone” by Alex Swerdloff July 27, 2015

   GRAND RIVERBust out your rhinestone snuffboxes and hit up your favorite restroom, party people. It’s time to head up to Ontario’s Grand River. Cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone—among other drugs of abuse, as the scientists call them—apparently flow freely in the waters there.

JOURNALThat’s right. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry shows that way more fish have been getting their Tony Montana on than we previously believed.

The study, which comes out of McGill University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, focused on the Grand River Watershed in Southern Ontario. The research shows that water discharged from wastewater treatment plants in the area has low levels of the aforementioned drugs in it, which could affect marine life and contaminate local sources of drinking water.

PLANTHere’s the problem. Households and chemical plants discharge both figurative and literal crap into the river. A wastewater treatment plant is supposed to clean out most of these contaminants. And some distance downstream, the water then goes through an additional water treatment plant that cleans it further and prepares it for human consumption.

DRUGSBut the study showed that small quantities of drugs were found in the river water coming out of the water treatment plant, and their concentration did not decline with distance downstream from the plant. To make matters worse, the drugs were not removed completely during drinking water treatment.

In short, plants, fish and other living things in the river were swimming in water dosed with small amounts of recreational and prescription drugs. Screw Nemo—these fish seem to have more in common with Rick Ross!

YARGOBut there could be a solution. Professor Viviane Yargeau, who was the lead author of the study, argues, “Improving our wastewater treatment processes can help clean up our drinking water.”

FISH BESTWhat’s new about this research is that the scientists found drugs in the water between the wastewater treatment plant and the drinking water treatment plant. Sure, the drinking water treatment plants got most of the drugs out of the water, but not all. Improvements upstream would keep the life aquatic—including plants, insects, and fish—from inadvertently indulging.

It seems to me, however, that the researchers forgot to ask one all-important question: How in the hell does a fish line up a rail without an opposable thumb?

Back to Professor Yargeau. She explains, “We believe that if improvements are made to wastewater treatment plants to protect the sources of drinking water, this will prove a more effective way of dealing with the problem in the long run—as this strategy would also protect the aquatic environment and all the plants, insects and fish that are found there.”

WATERNext to come will be a five-year project to look into improving wastewater treatment to keep contaminants like cocaine out of Canada’s drinking water. But five years is a while away, so the fish will keep partying on in the meantime.

After all, even marine life deserves some booger sugar once in a while.

So folks now the choice is up to you ~ wait for the hammer to fall  ~ or be proactive and protect your family’s health right now.  We have great options for you as a water treatment system company.

WATER DROPLET1_FOR BLOG ICONOur RainSoft Reverse Osmosis Water system is exactly what you and I need right now.  Martin, owner of Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc. explains how this system works to provide you with safe, delicious and refreshing drinking water.  Watch the video below (truly worth your while) and call us.  We’re here to solve all your water treatment problems.

Eternally Pure Water Systems, Inc.
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World Oceans Day 2015 ~ Must See Videos

ocean dayThe following article, “4 Must-See Videos on World Oceans Day” was posted yesterday on EcoWatch 
The PEW Charitable Trusts | June 8, 2015

The ocean covers nearly three-fourths of the globe and is home to nearly half of the world’s known species—with countless yet to be discovered. It helps support more than 250 million people who depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihoods. Still, human activities increasingly threaten its health. Although 72 percent of the world is covered by the ocean, less than 2 percent of these waters are fully protected.

Global Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners, works with local communities, governments, and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments. These efforts have helped double the amount of protected marine habitat worldwide over the last nine years. That includes two recent achievements: expansion of the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in September 2014 and the British government’s announcement in March 2015 that it will create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and protecting overall ocean health. To commemorate World Oceans Day on June 8, we invite you to watch four videos that highlight why fully protected marine reserves are critical to safeguarding these waters and the broader environment.


Caring for the environment has long been an important element of Palau’s culture. For centuries, chiefs have acted to protect these Pacific waters through the traditional “bul,” a moratorium on catching key species or fishing on reefs that provide critical habitat. Commonly referred to as “one of the seven underwater wonders of the world,” Palau’s ecosystems contain remarkable biodiversity, including more than 1,300 species of fish, more than 700 species of hard and soft coral, seven of the world’s nine types of giant clam, and non-stinging jellyfish. Pew was invited by Palau’s president to help create a large fully protected marine reserve in the island nation’s exclusive economic zone.


Located in the southeastern Pacific nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) from mainland Chile, Easter Island has a rich cultural and environmental heritage. The island’s monumental sculpted heads have stood sentinel over this natural wonder, known as Rapa Nui in local Polynesian language, for centuries. Ancient Polynesians traveled through Easter Island’s waters for thousands of years using only the stars and the ocean for navigation. While largely unexplored, these seas are known to contain geological hot spots and areas of rare biodiversity that sustain highly migratory fish species. They also are known for ancient seamounts, 8.4 million to 13.1 million years old. Pew is working with the Rapa Nui community and the Chilean government to protect these ecologically important waters.


In March 2015, the British government announced its commitment to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands. A small U.K. overseas territory in the South Pacific, Pitcairn has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world. Within these waters lies one of the best-preserved ecosystems, a complex community of hard and soft corals that is home to hundreds of species of fish, including two found nowhere else on Earth. Pew, on behalf of the Global Ocean Legacy campaign partners, is working with the British government and the Pitcairn Island community to implement the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve to safeguard this important habitat for future generations.


The Kermadec region, a remote area between New Zealand’s North Island and Tonga, includes some of the most geologically active and biologically unusual features on Earth. Extending in places to a depth of more than 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), the Kermadec-Tonga Trench is the deepest in the Southern Hemisphere, five times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The waters are teeming with birds, whales, dolphins, fish, turtles, and many unique sea creatures, some that exist only there. The area provides important habitat for deep-diving mammals such as sperm whales. Half of the known beaked whales—at least 10 species—are thought to inhabit these waters, perhaps the world’s richest habitat for these rare and elusive animals.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/08/videos-world-oceans-day/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=bbecb54128-Top_News_6_8_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-bbecb54128-85936497

Plastic Is Clogging Oceans ~ Disturbing Infographic

With an estimated 6.4 million tons of plastic getting dumped in the ocean annually, build-up has become a huge problem that merits serious attention.

We have a serious plastic problem here on Earth. In less than a century, plastic has permeated every aspect of our lives, creating tremendous amounts of waste that does not degrade. Much of it ends up in the oceans – an estimated 6.4 millions tons annually – which wreaks havoc with marine wildlife. From entanglement to ingestion, sea animals are suffering as a result of our obsession with plastic and reluctance to switch to reusables.

The following infographic is called “Spiraling Out of Control: Plastic Buildup in Our Oceans” and comes via CustomMade. It provides an excellent overview of the insidious cycle of plastic use that’s causing such damage. You will never want to accept another plastic shopping bag again after reading this.

plastic-buildup-720x6888.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

Please make a commitment to do your part to save our oceans, human and aquatic life.  This can no longer be ignored.

Read more: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/disturbing-infographic-shows-how-plastic-clogging-our-oceans.html#ixzz3bvucaiaZ

http://www.care2.com/causes/disturbing-infographic-shows-how-plastic-is-clogging-our-oceans.html

Is Ottawa Still Doing This in 2015? – Alarming!!!

2015 – Ottawa is still dumping raw sewage into the Ottawa River and for some time the toxins have been getting into our drinking water!!!

The following excerpts are from an article from GREG WESTON, QMI AGENCY, entitled, |”Canada Is Full of Crap”, reposted today, May 5, 2015.  While Olympic ads are pitching Canada to the world as a land of vast beauty and pristine waters, a damning internal government report describes a country that’s full of crap. Literally. Hard to imagine in the 21st century, but a federal environmental study has found almost 400 cities and towns across the country are flushing their raw sewage directly into lakes, rivers and the ocean…The water communities are using as an open sewer is what they – and hundreds of others – use for drinking, bathing and food preparation…
How bad are the worst 399?
Apparently they are even more polluting than the nation’s capital, and Ottawa’s record is truly disgusting. In one incident, the city released over 700 million litres of raw sewage into the Ottawa River just in one nine-day period. Ottawa isn’t even on the list of the country’s worst offenders. It’s time the poop hits the fan and not the nearest river.

Ottawa Separated Sewage System?
DRY AND WET WEATHERMERITS AND DEMERITS LISTSEWERAGE SYSTEM
SEPARATE SEWER CROPPEDSeparating raw sewage from storm water may not be as easy as it appears, nor may it always be a practical solution.
Ottawa’s director of water and wastewater services, Dixon Weir, told the Sun that on a dry day in the nation’s capital 100% of the raw sewage residents create is treated.
COMBINED SEWER CROPPEDOn a wet and rainy day, when the city’s combined sewer operation is at capacity and handling not only raw sewage but storm water as well, the combined sewer operation system is capable of capturing and treating 99% of the raw sewage and storm water mixture, while the remaining 1% empties into the Ottawa River untreated.
The overflows into the river are built to prevent the system from backing up onto city streets or into basements.
Untreated runoff:DEMERITS
Weir said if the city decides to separate the raw sewage from storm water – which also carries contaminants, including E. coli- it wouldn’t be able to capture and treat any of the contaminated storm water.
SETTLING POND
In community developments built in the past 30 to 40 years, there are about 150 massive settling ponds where storm runoff sits and naturally cleanses itself before discharging into the river.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT OTTAWAOttawa would be able to direct all sewage to a wastewater treatment plant, but none of the storm water collected in older neighbourhoods – containing animal and bird feces as well as other substances like lawn and garden fertilizers- would be treated.
WESTBORO BEACHFor example, Ottawa’s Westboro Beach had consistently high levels of E.coli and been closed 20 days this summer – more than any other city beach – but that neighbourhood has a separated sewer system.
LAST PARA“It would be obvious to say that a separated system would be the best solution, but that may not be true,” said Weir.
– Derek Puddicombe

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Toxic ‘Blue-Green Algae’ in many Canadian Lakes

BLUE GREEN ALGAE
Cyanobacteria blooms pose a serious threat to drinking-water sources, because certain species contain toxins harmful to the liver or nervous system.
Cyanobacteria blooms pose a serious threat to drinking-water sources, because certain species contain toxins harmful to the liver or nervous system. (Photo credit: Dr. Ron Zurawell, Ph.D., P.Biol. Limnologist/Water Quality Specialist, Alberta Environment)(Photo credit: Dr. Ron Zurawell, Ph.D., P.Biol. Limnologist/Water Quality Specialist, Alberta Environment)
Article courtesy of ScienceDaily |February 26, 2015 | ScienceDaily | Shared as educational material
Summary:
Image result for blue green algaeThe organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries — and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century, according to an international team of researchers.
Image result for blue green algaeThe organisms commonly known as blue-green algae have proliferated much more rapidly than other algae in lakes across North America and Europe over the past two centuries — and in many cases the rate of increase has sharply accelerated since the mid-20th century, according to an international team of researchers led by scientists at McGill University.

The following youtube video is one of many published regarding the toxic blue-green algae. “Bloom – the Plight of Lake Champlain” (Part 1 of 4) is a documentary featuring Lake Champlain.


Their study, published in the journal Ecology Letters, represents the first continental-scale examination of historical changes in levels of cyanobacteria, the scientific term for the photosynthetic bacteria that form blue-green scum on the surface of ponds and lakes during hot summer months. Cyanobacteria blooms pose a serious threat to drinking-water sources, because certain species contain toxins harmful to the liver or nervous system.

Image result for blue green algae“We found that cyanobacterial populations have expanded really strongly in many lakes since the advent of industrial fertilizers and rapid urban growth,” says Zofia Taranu, who led the study as a PhD candidate in McGill’s Department of Biology. “While we already knew that cyanobacteria prefer warm and nutrient-rich conditions, our study is also the first to show that the effect of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, overwhelm those of global warming.”

Alpine lakes affected:
Researchers from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Malaysia, and across Canada contributed to the study. While the increase in cyanobacteria in agriculturally developed watersheds was in line with their expectations, the scientists were surprised to find that cyanobacteria also increased in many remote, alpine lakes. In those sites, warmer temperatures and nutrient loading from atmospheric sources are likely to have played a bigger role than direct agricultural runoff.

Dense algal blooms have become a summertime staple of media coverage — and a growing concern of lakefront homeowners — in certain regions, but until now there had been little in the way of long-term, large-scale synthesis of data on the phenomenon. This left room for doubt as to whether harmful algal blooms were truly on the rise, or whether communities were simply better equipped to identify and report blooms when they occur.

The rapid increase in cyanobacteria identified in the study points to the potential for a parallel increase in the concentration of harmful cyanotoxins, says Taranu, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Université de Montréal. While potentially toxic species don’t synthesize toxins at all times, studies have shown that one of the best predictors of toxin concentrations in lakes is the total abundance of cyanobacteria.

Image result for Cyanobacteria cause damage to the liver or nervous systemCyanobacteria can produce toxins that cause damage to the liver or nervous system. The most common symptoms of acute exposure to harmful algal blooms are skin rash or irritation, gastroenteritis and respiratory distress. Chronic, low dose exposures over a lifetime may also result in liver tumors or endocrine disruption. Preliminary studies also suggest that a recently isolated cyanotoxin may become more concentrated across food chains and may be associated with the formation of progressive neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS diseases. Although this latter work is still controversial among scientists, “our results underline the importance of further research in this area,” Taranu says.

Image result for minimizing excess fertilizer applicationCollaborations needed to tackle problem:
“Our work shows that we need to work harder as a society to reduce nutrient discharges to surface waters,” says Irene Gregory-Eaves, an associate professor of biology at McGill and co-author of the study. “Because diffuse nutrient loading (as opposed to end-of-pipe effluent) is the main issue, we need to build collaborations to tackle this complex problem. For example, partnerships among freshwater scientists and farmers are starting to happen, and more of this needs to take place, so that we can strike a balance between maximizing crop yields and minimizing excess fertilizer application.”

http://savethewater.org/2015/03/04/blue-green-algae-proliferating-lakes-2/

Tragic! Ocean choking on 8 million metric tons plastic per year

 

Episode 6 Ocean Requiem, uploaded on Jun 30, 2009.  This is a rather slow moving video but the end is very touching. This is a good relaxing video with a message so enjoy and visit seashephard.org to see how you can help. 

February 13, 2015
Plastic in oceanPromo image Lindsay Robinson/University of Georgia
As Maggie recently wrote about, there’s a lot of plastic crap in Earth’s oceans; The latest estimate was that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our seas, weighing over 250,000 tons. That’s about 700 pieces of plastic for every human on earth.

Image result for Jenna Jambeck university of GeorgiaBut a new study paints an even more alarming picture of the situation. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues at the University of Georgia found that an incredibly large amount of plastic waste is mismanaged by the populations living in coastal area, and that even a conservative estimate of how much ends up in the sea puts adds up to between 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic. Per year. (8 million is the mid-point of the estimate).

Part of the problem is that some of the countries with the largest coastal populations – mostly in Asia – are also developing nations with inadequate infrastructure to deal with all the waste that they generate.

Here one of the authors of the study explains the methodology behind the numbers and also gives a warning about the future if we don’t clean up our act on waste management:

Image result for From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plasticOur methods for this estimate were to look at per person waste generation rates in 2010 from 192 countries with a coastline in the world. Because people’s activities nearest the coast are responsible for most of the plastic going into the water, we limited our analysis to a 50km strip of the coastline. From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plastic, and what percentage of THAT is mismanaged waste (which means litter or when waste is not captured and dumped on the land). From there we had three scenarios of input into the ocean: low, mid and high. Our 8 million metric ton estimate is that mid-range scenario. 8 million metric tons of plastic is equal to 5 bags filled with plastic going into the ocean along every foot of coastline in the world. That… is HUGE.

And it can get worse. If we assume a business as usual projection with growing populations, increasing plastic consumption and increased waste generation, by 2025, this number doubles – we may be adding 17.5 million metric tons of plastic per year. If that happens, then our cumulative input over time from 2010 to 2025 is projected to be 155 million metric tons.

The solutions to this plastic pollution problem are known, we just need to actually do it. We need to cut back on plastic production in the first place, so there’s less of it in the system. Then whatever is left needs to all be captured and managed properly. This requires not only better infrastructure (especially in poorer areas of the world), but also social and cultural changes. People need to be educated on what needs to be done with their trash in general, and plastic specifically.

 

Largest Sea Creatures ~ Wow!

The following excerpt is from “Introduction to the Largest Living Sea Creatures”, By Marine Life Expert  

BLUE WHALE
The blue whale is not only the largest creature in the ocean, it’s the largest creature on Earth. The largest blue whale ever measured was 110 feet long. Their average length is about 70-90 feet.
Just to give you a better perspective, a large blue whale is about the same length as a Boeing 737 airplane, and its tongue alone weighs about 4 tons (about 8,000 pounds, or about the weight of an African elephant)…
Blue whales live throughout the world’s oceans. During warmer months, they are generally found in cooler waters, where their main activity is feeding. During cooler months, they migrate to warmer waters to mate and give birth. If you live in the U.S., one of the most common whale watching destinations for blue whales is off the coast of California.

FIN WHALE 
The second-largest sea creature – and second-largest creature on Earth – is the fin whale. Fin whales are a very slender, graceful whale species.  Fin whales can reach lengths up to 88 feet and weigh up to 80 tons.
These animals have been nicknamed “the greyhounds of the sea” because of their fast swimming speed, which is up to 23 mph…
Although these animals are very large, their movements are not well understood. Fin whales live throughout the world’s oceans and are thought to live in cold waters during the summer feeding season and warmer, subtropical waters during the winter breeding season.

WHALE SHARK 
The trophy for world’s biggest fish isn’t exactly a “trophy fish”… but it’s a big one. It’s the whale shark. The whale shark’s name comes from its size, rather than any characteristics resembling a whale. These fish max out at about 65 feet and can weigh up to 75,000 pounds, making their size rival some of the largest whales on Earth.
Similar to large whales, whale sharks eat small creatures. They filter-feed, by gulping in water, plankton, small  fish, and  crustaceans and forcing the water through their gills, where their prey gets trapped. During this process, they can filter over 1,500 gallons of water in an hour…
Whale sharks live in warmer temperate and tropical waters around the world. One place to see whale sharks close to the U.S. is Mexico.

LION'S MANE JELLY 
If you include its tentacles, the  is one of the longest creatures on Earth. These jellies have 8 groups of tentacles, with 70-150 in each group. Their tentacles are estimated to be able to grow to 120 feet in length.  This is not a web you’d want to get tangled in!  While some jellies are harmless to humans, the lion’s mane jelly can inflict a painful sting…
Lion’s mane jellies are found in cooler waters of the the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans…
Perhaps to the chagrin of swimmers, lion’s mane jellies have a healthy population size and haven’t been evaluated due to any conservation concerns.

GIANT MANTA RAY
Giant manta rays are the world’s largest ray species. With their large pectoral fins, they can reach a span of up to 30 feet across, but average-sized manta rays are about 22 feet across.
Giant manta rays feed on zooplankton, and sometimes swim in slow, graceful loops as they consume their prey. The prominent cephalic lobes extending from their head help funnel water and plankton into their mouth…
Giant manta rays live in waters between the latitudes of 35 degrees North and 35 degrees South. In the U.S., they are primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean from South Carolina south, but have been spotted as far north as New Jersey. They may also be seen in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California and Hawaii…
Giant manta rays are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Threats include harvesting for their meat, skin, liver and gill rakers, entanglement in fishing gear, pollution, habitat degradation, collisions with ships, and climate change. 

Portuguese Man o' War
The Portuguese man o’ war is another animal that is very large based on the size of its tentacles. These animals can be identified by their purplish-blue float, which is only about 6 inches across. But they have long, slender tentacles that can be more than 50 feet long. 
Portuguese man o’ wars feed using their tentacles. They have tentacles used to capture the prey, and then stinging tentacles that paralyse the prey.
Although it resembles a jellyfish, the Portuguese man o’ war is actually a siphonophore..
Although they are occasionally pushed by currents into cooler regions, Portuguese man o’ wars prefer warm tropical and subtropical waters. In the U.S., they are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans off the south-eastern portions of the U.S. and in the Gulf of Mexico…
Portuguese man o’ wars are common. 

Giant Siphonophore
Giant siphonophores (Praya dubia) can be even longer than a blue whale.  Granted, these aren’t really a single organism, but they bear mentioning in a list of the ocean’s largest creatures.
These fragile, gelatinous animals are cnidarians, which means they are related to corals, sea anemones and jellyfish.  Like corals, siphonophores are colonial organisms, so rather than one whole being (like a blue whale), they are formed by many bodies called zooids. These organisms are specialized for certain functions like feeding, movement and reproduction – and all strung together on a stem called a stolon so together, they act like one organism.
The Portuguese man o’war is a siphonophore that lives at the ocean surface, but many siphonophores, like the giant siphonophore are pelagic, spending their time floating in the open ocean. These animals can be bioluminescent.
So, how big can they get? Giant siphonophores measuring more than 130 feet have been found….
Giant siphonophores are found throughout the world’s oceans. In the United States, they are found in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean…
The giant siphonophore has not been evaluated for conservation status.

Giant Squid 
Giant squid (Architeuthis dux) are animals of legend – have you ever seen an image of a giant squid wrestling with a ship or a sperm whale? Despite their prevalence in ocean images and lore, these animals prefer the deep sea and are rarely seen in the wild. In fact, most of what we know about giant squid comes from dead specimens found by fishermen, and it wasn’t until 2006 that a live giant squid was filmed.
Measurements of the largest giant squid vary. Measuring these creatures can be complicated since tentacles may be stretched or even lost. The largest squid measurements vary from 43 feet to over 60 feet, and the largest are thought to weigh about a ton. The giant squid is estimated to have an average length of 33 feet.
In addition to being one of the largest animals in the world, giant squid also have the largest eyes of any animal – their eyes alone are about the size of a dinner plate (about 10 inches in diameter…
Not much is known about giant squid habitat, since they are rarely observed in the wild. But they are thought to frequent most of the world’s oceans, and tend to be found in temperate or subtropical waters…
The population size of giant squid is unknown, but researchers determined in 2013 that all giant squid that they sampled had very similar DNA, which led them to presume that there is one species of giant squid rather than different species in different locations.

WHITE SHARK

A list of the largest creatures in the ocean wouldn’t be complete without the ocean’s largest apex predator – the white shark, commonly called the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). There are conflicting reports as to the largest white shark, but it it thought to be about 20 feet. While white sharks in the 20-foot range have been measured, lengths of 10-15 feet are more common…
White sharks are found throughout the world’s oceans in mostly temperate waters in the pelagic zone. Places white sharks can be seen in the United States include off California and the East Coast (where they spend the winters south of the Carolinas and the summers in more northerly locales.

http://marinelife.about.com/od/marinelife101/ss/Largest-Living-Sea-Creatures.htm

 

Underwater Tunnel at Sea Life Orlando, Florida – Wow!

ICONBe one of the first to experience the all new SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium! SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium will transport you into a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing creatures! From face-to-face encounters with sharks, to a hands-on touch-pool experience, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium!  To get any closer you’d have to get wet! SEA LIFE Orlando is located in the heart of Orlando at I-Drive 360 next to Madame Tussauds Orlando and The Orlando Eye. All three attractions will open Spring 2015! Explore the amazing creatures of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans!
360 Degree Ocean Tunnel
More than 5,000 creatures
Touch pool experience
Interactive “Talking Aquarium” Educational Talks and Feeds
See how we Breed, Rescue and Protect creatures and how the SEA LIFE Trust is working to preserve our oceans for generations to come.

The short article “360 degree underwater tunnel installed inside Sea Life Orlando” appeared in attractionsmagazine.com (Orlando Attractions Magazine) on November 30, 2014 

       

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium_360 Degree Underwater Tunnel Installation

A key element has been placed in the construction of Sea Life Orlando. Workers have installed the 360 degree ocean tunnel for the brand new aquarium opening at I-Drive 360 next spring.

The acrylic tunnel weighs almost 18,000 pounds, or as much as five cars, and will provide a new immersive way for guests to view in their own habitats. The concept art below gives you a look at what the space will eventually look like:

4-24-12 --- Sea Life Aquarium, Grapevine, Texas

Sea Life Orlando will offer a new wave of underwater adventures with displays of colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses and more. Winding tunnels, floor-to-ceiling tanks, bubble aquariums and touch pools featuring more than 5,000 sea creatures from the oceans of the world provide an immersive experience for everyone. Additionally, the aquarium, will have unique educational components for young marine life enthusiasts.

Take a look around the construction site for The Orlando Eye observation wheel, Madame Tussauds wax museum, Sea Life aquarium, and view some concept renderings. The whole shopping plaza with these attractions will be called I-Drive 360 and will open in Spring 2015.

At Sea Life Orlando, you will experience a journey from the wetlands and swamps around Lake Apopka – to the fun and colorful Florida Keys and tropical shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Diverse species are displayed within authentic and fantastically themed environments, influenced by all the language and look of the subtropical southern environment.

Seahorse

Sea Life will offer a new wave of underwater adventures with beautiful displays of colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses and more. Winding tunnels, floor-to-ceiling tanks and bubble aquariums provide an immersive experience for children and adults alike. Additionally, the aquarium, known for its strong conservation efforts, will have unique educational components for young marine life enthusiasts.

Ocean tunnel Garuda

Features:
• 25,000-square-foot indoor attraction
• 360° underwater ocean tunnel
• Over 5,000 creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, octopus, jellyfish and rays
• Over 30 displays
• 350,000 gallons of water in the ocean tank
• 12’ deep ocean tank
• Interactive touch pool experience
• Educational talks and feedings throughout the day
• Kids’ quiz and activity trail
• Presentation video theater
• Children’s soft play area
• Retail store

More information can be found at visitsealife.com/orlando.

See more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/360-degree-underwater-tunnel-installed-inside-sea-life-aquarium-drive-360/#sthash.SQf3CAry.dpuf

Link to article – http://attractionsmagazine.com/360-degree-underwater-tunnel-installed-inside-sea-life-aquarium-drive-360/

Shrimpercise ~ Wha-what???

1-SHRIMPERCISE

As you’ve come to expect my Friday blogs usually deal with humorous, inspiring, bizarre, puzzling, etc. topics and this one is right up there!

What a shrimp treadmill can teach us about science funding b

The following viral (1,926, 006 views) Youtube video, “Shrimp Running On A Treadmill With The Benny Hill Theme” was posted in 2006  

When you picture the extravagancies of government spending, what do you see? If your answer is “a tiny marine crustacean jogging in place,” then your memory is a weird place — in 2011, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (Republican, duh) made some fuss about science grants awarded by the NSF to various projects, deemed by him to be “wasteful.”

Among those Coburn singled out, including the entirety of the search for extraterrestrial life and a robot that can fold laundry, was a project at the Grice Marine Laboratory at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. Coburn complained that the lab had received 12 separate grants from the National Science Foundation, for a total of $3 million … though, to be fair, this was over 10 YEARS of work.

Last week, David Scholnick, a biologist from Pacific University, slowly jogged back with his rejoinder — we can only assume with his legs and arms and miscellaneous appendages flailing. It may have taken three years, but it was worth the wait: “My name is David, and I am the marine biologist who put a shrimp on a treadmill — a burden I will forever carry.”

A burden we all must carry, Dave! Scholnick points out that reports — including a gibe from Forbes and a commercial from the AARP — of the $3 million treadmill price tag are just flat-out wrong. While it’s not chump change, a couple of million is reasonable for a decade worth of lab expenses — but the treadmill itself, he estimates, cost about $47 in spare parts. And he paid for those himself.

What’s more, the shrimp weren’t just experiencing the benefits of cardiovascular exercise for the heck of it, says Scholnick:
S[hr]imply put, my colleagues and I were studying how recent changes in the oceans could potentially affect the ability of marine organisms to fight infections — an important question, given that the amount of bacteria a shrimp is able remove from its body is directly related to how much bacteria could potentially end up on seafood-filled plates. And since shrimp are active animals in nature, it was logical to study the immune response of shrimp during activity.
In an era of public skepticism about the basic tenets of the scientific method, Scholnick’s defense of his shrimpy research stands as a defense of science in general:
In science, it is often necessary to develop creative solutions to complex problems. How do you get active marine animals to move naturally in a laboratory setting? How do marine animals fight off the glut of pathogens they are exposed to in the harsh environments where they live? These are not simple questions, there are no easy solutions, and they require an enormous amount of time and effort to answer.

Amelia thinks, “With such symbolic weight to carry, this little shrimp deserves a more dignified anthem – here’s the Grist remix:” and so ended her article with the following:

link ~ http://grist.org/news/what-a-shrimp-treadmill-can-teach-us-about-science-funding/

Have a great weekend.

TURKEY

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the U.S.A.

Baltimore Harbor Cleanup ingenuity

1-INNER HARBOR BALTIMORE

The following article, “How a Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Clean 50,000 Pounds of Trash Per Day From Baltimore’s Inner Harbor”, by Brandon Baker, June 25, 2014 on EcoWatch (link at end of article)

 FIRST IN BLOGA large wheel has been strolling the Baltimore Inner Harbor the past month, doing its best to clean the trash that has littered a city landmark and tourist attraction.

JOHN KELLERIt’s called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, and though it moves slow, it has the capability to collect 50,000 pounds of trash. The timing for John Kellett’s solar-powered creation is crucial—hands and crab nets simply can’t keep up with the growing amount of wrappers, cigarette butts, bottles and other debris carried from storm drains into the harbor.

The following youtube video, “Water Wheel operating in a rain storm (Baltimore, MD)”, published May 16, 2014 covers the Inner Harbor Water Wheel as it receives its first major flow of trash on the morning of Friday, May 16th.

“It looks sort of like a cross between a spaceship and a covered wagon and an old mill,” says Kellett told NPR. “It’s pretty unique in its look, but it’s also doing a really good job getting this trash out of the water.”

JONES FALLSThe wheel has become an integral part of the Healthy Harbor Waterfront Partnership Initiative. It receives power from the Jones Falls river’s current near the harbor, which turns the wheel and lifts trash from the water into a dumpster barge. A solar panel array keeps it running when there water current isn’t enough.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

The wheel is now docked to the harbor. Each it runs, it removes an impressive amount of debris. So far, it has never collected less than eight cubic yards of trash.

Graphic credit: Healthy Harbor

Healthy Harbor hopes to make the body of water swimmable in less than six years, and the Water Wheel could be a big part of that. 

BILL FLOHR“The water wheel has been a time-saver for us,” said Bill Flohr, who runs Baltimore Harbor’s East Marina. “It seems to be collecting probably 95 percent of what we normally had to pick up by hand.”

I wonder if a version of this might lead to the possibility of using mega-sized solar powered water wheels to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (A plastic continent) that some say is 3 times larger than the United States and 90 feet deep, and growing… 
Wikipedia – Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (two large masses of ever-accumulating trash). The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California; scientists estimate its size as two times bigger than Texas. The Western Garbage Patch forms east of Japan and west of Hawaii.  The garbage patches present numerous hazards to marine life, fishing and tourism. 

http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/25/solar-water-wheel-trashbaltimore-inner-harbor/