Those of us who can't see the ocean from our window might feel disconnected from the life there. It might seem that, because the ocean feels far away, its problems will only harm those people that fish or make their living directly from the sea. But this isn’t true: the sea is far more important than that.
Emily Frost's blog
The surface of the Earth is 71% water, so we should celebrate the ocean this Earth Day. This Earth Day on Sunday, April 22nd, think of what you can do on an everyday basis to help our Planet Ocean. The ocean provides us with so much - from beach weekends with family and friends to the regulation of our climate.
Invasive species are often in the news these days, with human-transported organisms popping up in unexpected places. But in this era of climate change, there is a whole new kind of invasive species, those that are taking advantage of changing conditions to expand into areas not previously occupied. Some species may even be returning to a part of the world that they used to occupy, and haven’t seen in hundreds or thousands of years. As a result, we are watching ecological transformations unfurl before our eyes.
It was a hot and sunny day, with barely a whiff of breeze. I boarded a boat in Oban, on the coast of Scotland, and headed west past the Isle of Mull and into the North Atlantic.
Until recently we were farmers on land and hunter-gatherers at sea, but how we get our seafood is changing rapidly. With demands for seafood growing and catch from wild fisheries stagnating, aquaculture is an increasingly important player in maintaining seafood as a viable food source around the world. The global aquaculture industry has grown by leaps and bounds since 1980—up 8 percent every year through 2012.
A manned submersible is the only way to immerse oneself in the deep sea firsthand. SCUBA equipment can’t safely take you beyond relatively shallow depths, and operating the cameras and high-tech arms of an unmanned submarine from the surface can't match the experience of dropping to the ocean's depths in the flesh. Not many people get the chance to travel this way. Even for scientists who have made multiple trips in a submersible, it is an exciting proposition every time.
Large whales are notoriously hard to study. Except when rising to breathe, they swim beneath the ocean's surface out of human sight, which makes it difficult to find and track them. They often live far from land, beyond human reach, and can be quite shy if people do approach. Even if scientists could catch up with them, large whales are too big to capture for study at sea or in captivity.