Why 30% of the Ocean Should Be Protected, According to New Study


credit: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Catching a Coral Killer

First ever case of human-caused marine disease

 

Squid possess the largest eyes of any animal which makes them eminently suitable to hunt at night. With their tentacles studded with suction cups they catch fish and crabs. Their closest relatives are shellfish. (Bonaire, Caribbean)

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News and Solutions Center

News from international sources and from individuals about coral reefs and the oceans.
The following news summaries link to the Horizon Solutions Site for the full article.


Scientists Find Coral Reefs Defy Ocean Acidification Odds in Palau: Palau reefs show few of the predicted responses

Scientists are studying coral reefs in areas where low pH is naturally occurring to answer questions about ocean acidification, which threatens coral reef ecosystems worldwide. A new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found that coral reefs in Palau seem to be defying the odds, showing none of the predicted responses to low pH except for an increase in bio-erosion--the physical breakdown of coral skeletons by boring organisms such as mollusks and worms.

Palau's beautiful coral reefs are surprisingly resistant to the effects of ocean acidification.

Photograph by WHOI courtesy of NSF.


Rapid Decline of Caribbean Corals Can Be Reversed According to Newly Released Status Report

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming…They are a major oceanic ecosystem, this is a tragedy that must be reversed,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. But the study, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, “brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”


Rare sighting today large rainbow parrotfish grazing in the Caribbean: Photograph courtesy of and © Shutterstock.com

 


Implementation of Crucial Steps to Protect and Preserve Oceans

Expanded protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean will add to the Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Marine National Monuments, designated by President George W. Bush, and the declaration of the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability by small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati.

Humpback whale tail is displayed as animal dives in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. In the Pacific, humpbacks migrate seasonally from Alaska to Hawaii--they can complete the 3,000 mile (4,830 km) trip in as few as 36 days!

Text and photograph courtesy of NOAA


Sylvia Earle Alliance’s Mission Blue and Partners Establish Ocean Hope Spots

Dr. Sylvia Earle, "Her Deepness” peering out from a porthole.

 Feature Photograph by Kip Evans / Mission Blue

On October 22, 2013, news coming from the3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3) reported that Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),  have launched 31 new Mission Blue Hope Spots -- places of special significance in the ocean where Mission Blue will focus its efforts. There are now 50 Hope Spots globally. Mission Blue calls this “a path forward for protecting our Blue Heart.”


"Ocean In Focus" Photography Contest to Advance Ocean Conservation: Finalists Announced

SeaWeb, an international non-profit ocean conservation organization, announced the six finalists of the Marine Photobank’s fifth annual “Ocean In Focus” photography contest on 12 March 2013. The contest aims to illuminate the human-ocean connection and advance ocean conservation through photography.

Photograph by Matthew Potenski Courtesy of Marine Photobank

A baitfish shoal in the Bahamas, ready to retreat to the protection of the mangroves at the first sign of a predator: The photograph of a healthy coastal ecosystem. Ocean in Focus contest continues to uncover the unsavory truths facing the ocean.


Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

The newly discovered mechanism triggering the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton, in the North Atlantic helps explain the timing of the spring and summer bloom, known to mariners and fishers for centuries and clearly visible in satellite images.

The North Atlantic Bloom: swirling artwork in the sea, plankton bloom in spring, summer.: Photograph courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory
View a photo gallery showing the North Atlantic Bloom.


 

Venezuela Ends Shark Finning, Creates Protected Area

Venezuela set forth a series of measures this week to protect sharks within its waters. Most significantly, commercial shark fishing is now prohibited throughout the 3,730 square kilometers (1,440 square miles) of the Caribbean Sea that make up the popular Los Roques and Las Aves archipelagos, whose pristine beaches and coral reefs make it a diving and fishing attraction.

Lemon sharks are now protected by the shark fishing ban implemented in the Los Roques Archipelago off of Venezuela. Shark scientist, Rafael Tavares’ research has shown that Los Roques is one of the most important shark breeding areas of the Caribbean Sea; protecting this area secures healthier shark populations throughout the region. Local fishermen have committed to protecting sharks in order to maintain the health of the ocean environment.

Photograph by Federico Cabello


A record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish populations in the last 11 years to 27, according to a report to Congress out today from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. This report documents historic progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding our nation’s fisheries, due to the commitment of fishermen, fishing communities, non-governmental organizations, scientists, and managers.

Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha: The scientific name for Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, is derived from the Greek words “onkos” (hook), “rynchos” (nose), and “tshawytscha” (the common name for the species in Siberia and Alaska). New scientific information and analyses about the Southern Resident population of killer whales and the extent of their reliance on salmon – particularly large chinook salmon – strongly suggest that chinook abundance is very important to survival and recovery of these whales. Fisheries coast wide are potentially affected by the extensive range of both chinook salmon and killer whales. Photograph courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey.


Learning from Earth’s History about Changing the Chemistry of the Atmosphere and Oceans

The oceans may be acidifying faster today than they did in the last 300 million years, according to scientists who published a paper in the March 2, 2012 issue of the journal Science. "These scientists have synthesized and evaluated evidence far back in Earth's history," said Candace Major, program officer in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research. "The ocean acidification we're seeing today is unprecedented…a result of the very fast rates at which we're changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans."

Please click on the title to go to the article.

Corals form the backbone of a reef ecosystem that supports many other creatures.
Photograph courtesy of NSF Moorea Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Research Site


Working to Protect Bermuda's 'Golden Rainforest of the Sea'

Photos of the Sargasso Sea courtesy of the Pew Environment Group


The Pew Environment Group’s Global Ocean Legacy Program is working with the government of Bermuda, nongovernmental organizations, and scientists to establish the ‘Bermuda Blue Halo,’ a very large, no-take marine reserve to protect the Sargasso Sea within Bermuda's waters. Nearly the size of the continental U.S., the Sargasso Sea was named after Sargassum. Some of the marine species relying on this habitat have evolved unique shapes and color patterns that camouflage them among the plants. The Sargasso Sea is set off from the surrounding Atlantic by four ocean currents - some of the strongest in the world.

Please click on the title to go to the article.


Pew Calls for Extra Resources to Protect Penguin Food
Actors Damon and Pitt Give Tiny Krill Big Exposure in New Happy Feet Sequel

WILL and BILL, the Krill, in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' animated adventure “HAPPY FEET TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photograph Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures


Tiny krill are about to take centre stage at the 30th Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting, where governments will consider greater protection for the shrimplike crustaceans that are the building blocks of the Antarctic food chain. The attention these little animals receive will be amplified in mid-November, when the sequel to the film “Happy Feet” opens, with Matt Damon and Brad Pitt playing krill characters.

Please click on the title to go to the article.

 


Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon Spill Effects on Fish Revealed:

Oil spill resulted in dramatic effects on fish species in Louisiana marshes

Oil contamination and minnow trap in the marsh at Grand Terre Island, Louisiana. Photograph by Andrew Whitehead

Despite low concentrations of oil constituents in Gulf of Mexico waters from the Deepwater Horizon spill, fish were dramatically affected by toxic components of the oil. So found a team led by scientists Fernando Galvez and Andrew Whitehead of Louisiana State University (LSU).

Please click on the title to go to the article


Alternative Fishing Gear Can Reduce Shark Mortality:Pew lays out simple steps to cut bycatch numbers

A new global scientific review shows that simple changes in fishing gear could significantly reduce the large number of sharks unintentionally caught in the world’s oceans. The paper, “Fisheries Bycatch of Sharks: Options for Mitigation” released today by the Pew Environment Group, outlines practical options for reducing shark injury and death from commercial fishing, a leading cause of shark population decline.

Please click on the title to go to the article.

Flares of captured gas (left) and oil (right) at the Deepwater Horizon spill site in June 2010. Photograph by David Valentine

Scientists Identify Microbes Responsible for Consuming Natural Gas in Deepwater Horizon Spill

Water temperature played key role. :In the results of a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill. The researchers found that water temperature played a key role in the way bacteria reacted to the spill. Please click on the title to go to the full article.

Some species, such as the oceanic white tip, have experienced declines of up to 99 percent. Due to their life history characteristics of slow growth, late maturity, and production of few young, sharks are exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover once depleted. Photograph by Jim Abernethy courtesy of the Pew Environment Group

World’s Largest Shark Sanctuary Declared in Central Pacific

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is now home to the world’s largest shark sanctuary. The Nitijela, the Marshallese parliament, unanimously passed legislation this week that ends commercial fishing of sharks in all 1,990,530 square kilometers (768,547 square miles) of the central Pacific country’s waters, an ocean area four times the landmass of California. Please click on the title to go to the article.

Blue sharks (Prionace glauca), as one seen here, tiger sharks (Galeocerdo curvier), Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) can be found in the region. Photograph by Jim Abernethy courtesy of Pew Environment Group

Tokelau Declares Shark Sanctuary

Tokelau, an island territory in the South Pacific, designates a shark sanctuary encompassing all 319,031 square kilometers (123,178 square miles) of Tokelau’s exclusive economic zone. Please click on the title to go to the article.

Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). Photograph by Jim Abernethy courtesy of Pew Environment Group

Blue shark. This photograph was taken off of Narragansett, Rhode Island by Karin Leonard. Photograph courtesy of the Marine Photobank

Chile Ban on Shark Finning Law Published: Praised by Pew

Chile’s ban on shark finning requires that any fisherman who catches these animals must land them with their fins naturally attached, meaning that the whole body must be taken to port intact. The law signed by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera was published on August 8, 2011 in the Diario Oficial. According to Pew, “Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year around the globe primarily for their fins, which are most often consumed in Asia in shark fin soup. This unsustainable trade is fueled by shark finning, the wasteful act of slicing off the fins and discarding the body at sea.”

Please click on the title to go to the article and videos from Pew Global Shark Conservation: "Sharks in Trouble" and "Chile Bans Shark Finning."

Shortfin mako. This photograph was taken off of San Diego, California by Masa Ushioda. Photograph courtesy of Sea Pics

 

Subseafloor Observatories Installed to Run Dynamic Experiments

Scientists will study fluid flow, chemistry, and life off British Columbia coast: Scientists estimate that a large fraction of life on Earth thrives in the "subsurface biosphere." Observatories installed in the ocean floor off British Columbia, Canada, will to run innovative experiments at the bottom of the sea. They will "measure directly, within the oceanic crust, key characteristics that govern an unseen, remote, yet geographically widespread biological world, and will support long-term chemical and biological sampling and environmental monitoring of this exotic habitat," said Jamie Allan, program director in the National Science Foundation's(NSF) Division of Ocean Sciences.

Please click on the title to go to the article.

 

 

Super-Rare 'Elkhorn' Coral Found In Pacific

An Australian scientist has discovered what could be the world’s rarest coral in the remote North Pacific Ocean.
The unique Pacific elkhorn coral was found while conducting underwater surveys of Arno atoll in the Marshall Islands, by coral researcher Dr Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS).

Please click on the title to go to the article.

The archetypal divergent branching pattern of the Pacific elkhorn closely resembles that of the Atlantic elkhorn coral - Acropora palmata.
Photo courtesy of Dr Maria Beger.

 

As storm clouds gather and seas deteriorate, a team recovers the hybrid vehicle Nereus aboard the R/V Cape Hatteras during an expedition to the Mid-Cayman Rise in October 2009. A search for new vent sites along the 110 km ridge, the expedition featured the first use of Nereus in "autonomous" or free-swimming mode. Photograph courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

 

Expedition to Mid-Cayman Rise Identifies Unusual Variety of Deep Sea Vents: Method included first use of nereus hybrid vehicle in “autonomous” mode.

The first expedition to search for deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Cayman Rise has turned up three distinct types of hydrothermal venting, reports an interdisciplinary team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hydrothermal activity occurs on spreading centers all around the world. However, the diversity of the newly discovered vent types, their geologic settings and their relative geographic isolation make the Mid-Cayman Rise a unique environment in the world's ocean.

Please click on the title to go to the article.

 

Black coral (Antipathes dichotoma). This picture and the other photographs in this article were taken by a ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) at depths lower than 300 meters.Expedition Oceana Ranger 2010: Discovering seamounts. Seco de los Olivos, Almeria, Spain. June 2010. Photograph copyright Oceana.

Oceana discovers one of the most important and threatened deep-sea coral reefs of the Mediterranean in the Alboran Sea

Oceana has discovered large colonies of white coral and a wealth of associated fauna in Spanish waters of the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean), with greater abundance at depths between 300 and 500 meters. The finding took place during the 2010 expedition of the research catamaran, the Oceana Ranger, as part of LIFE + INDEMARES project.

Please click on the title to go to the article and video.

 

 

Mangroves in Monroe County, Southeast Florida. Photograph by Ralph F. Kresge NOAA

Three Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Marine National Monuments, Established

President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes on July 19, 2010. That Executive Order adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them.

The Executive Order strengthens ocean governance and coordination, establishes guiding principles for ocean management, and adopts a flexible framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

Please click on the title to go to the article.

 


Expanded Focus of Caribbean Coral Reef Protection Efforts Recommended

In an article published in Science, scientists argue for a coral reef conservation strategy that not only takes into account biodiversity hotspots, but also focuses on evolutionary processes and the preservation of peripheral areas of species ranges, as well as connectivity among populations.

Please click on title to go to the full article.

 

Long-Distance Larvae Speed to New Undersea Vent Homes

Working in a rare, "natural seafloor laboratory" of hydrothermal vents that had just been rocked by a volcanic eruption, scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and other institutions have discovered what they believe is an undersea superhighway.

Please click on the title to go to the full article.

"Pioneer" vent species travel hundreds of kilometers to settle new deep-ocean territories. Photograph courtesy Nicole Rager-Fuller, National Science Foundation

 



Surface accumulation of the nitrogen-fixing microbe Trichodesmium in the South Pacific Ocean.
Credit: Pia Moisander

More than One: Long-Reigning Microbe Controlling Ocean Nitrogen Shares the Throne: Novel species found to be more widely distributed in world's seas

Nitrogen-fixing microorganisms are the key to the productivity of the oceans. Growth of microbes at the base of the food chain is dependent on nutrients like nitrogen, in the same way that agriculture on land depends on such nutrients. Marine scientists long believed that a microbe called Trichodesmium, a member of a group called the cyanobacteria, reigned over the ocean's nitrogen budget. New research results reported on-line on February 25, 2010 in a paper in Science Express show that Trichodesmium may have to share its nitrogen-fixing throne: two others of its kind, small spherical species of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria called UCYN-A and Crocosphaera watsonii, are also abundant in the oceans.

Click on title to go to full article.



Blue angelfish. Photo: NOAA

NOAA Report Finds Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Among the Healthiest Coral Reefs in Gulf of Mexico

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is among the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the tropical Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to a new NOAA report. The report, A Biogeographic Characterization of Fish Communities and Associated Benthic Habitats within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, offers insights into the coral and fish communities within the sanctuary based on data collected in 2006 and 2007. Sanctuary managers will use the report to track and monitor changes in the marine ecosystem located 70 to 115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.




A view of Jellyfish Lake, with golden jellyfish following the sun across a wind-rippled surface. Credit: Michael Dawson, UC-Merced
Millions of Jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake Found to “Biomix,” Churning Nutrients of the Lake
"Biomixing" by floating animals churns waters in oceans, seas, lakes: Through this process, jellyfish and other zooplankton - where they're abundant, as they are in Jellyfish Lake - may in some way affect Earth's climate. "Biomixing may be a form of 'ecosystem engineering' by jellyfish, and a major contributor to carbon sequestration, especially in semi-enclosed coastal waters," says marine scientist Michael Dawson.

Like corals, the jellies need sunlight to sustain algae-like zooxanthellae within their tissues; the zooxanthellae in turn help to sustain the jellies. If you were to snorkel just before dawn at the popular tropical Pacific destination Jellyfish Lake, you'd have lots of company: millions of golden jellyfish, known to scientists as Mastigias papua, mill around the western half of the lake, waiting for sunrise.


At Brimstone vent, ash erupts as well as volcanic gases, including clear bubbles of carbon dioxide and a yellow plume which is filled with tiny droplets of molten sulfur, which has also been deposited on the rock in the right foreground. (photo credit: copyright Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Expedition to Erupting Undersea Volcano Finds New Deep-Sea Animal Species and Massive Cone
Scientists who have just returned from an expedition to an erupting undersea volcano near the Island of Guam report that the volcano appears to be continuously active, has grown considerably in size during the past three years, and its activity supports a unique biological community thriving despite the eruptions. Animals in this unusual ecosystem include shrimp, crab, limpets and barnacles, some of which are new species.


Magic Porthole Coral Reef Contest Winners Announced

Horizon International today announced the winners of its coral reef contest, the Magic Porthole’s First Environment Achievement Contest held in honor of the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008. Individuals of all ages and organizations were invited to participate. Prize winners were chosen for best efforts and the impact of their actions.
Feb 13, 2009, 10:59pm


Fair Catch Campaign to Protect Hawaiian Fishes and Coral Reefs Acclaimed Magic Porthole Winner

Fair Catch is a campaign to restore Hawaii’s nearshore ocean by encouraging responsible fishing practices and supporting actions that protect reefs and fishes from further decline. SeaWeb, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, and Malama Hawaii launched the campaign in 2006 and claimed a first victory in 2007 with the passage of severe restrictions on indiscriminate and wasteful gill nets.
Green Turtle Photo by Ursula Keuper-Bennett and Peter Bennett
Three Pacific Marine Protected Areas, Marine National Monuments, Established In the last days of his Administration, on January 6, 2009, President George W. Bush established Marine Protected Areas in the Pacific, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, and the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. His Proclamation stated that the Marine Monuments were to "receive our Nation's highest form of marine environmental protection."
Magic Porthole at http://www.magicporthole.org has been selected for inclusion in the American Library Association's (ALA)  Great Web Sites for Kids. The ALA, established in 1853, is dedicated to providing "leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."  The Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) Children and Technology Committee established the Great Web Sites for Kids in 1997.  The ALSC is, according to its web page, "the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children."
 
The ALA's letter of congratulations to Magic Porthole said "Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best web sites for ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception.  As applied to web sites for young people, "great" should be thought to include sites of especially commendable quality; sites that reflect and encourage young people's interests in exemplary ways." 
Photo by Sasha Meret
Coral Reef Playing Cards Capture Nationwide Audiences
Horizon International’s Magic Porthole coral reef playing cards with intriguing, fun photographic mirror-images are providing a new chance to explore life in coral reefs. Launched in December in advance of the international Year of the Reef (IYOR) 2008, the cards, printed in the United States, are being sold by museums, aquaria and a wide variety of outlets and can be purchased here on the Magic Porthole Web Shop page.
Montastraea franksi (Gregory 1895) Large massive colonies, with irregular and lumpy surfaces. Colouration is basically orange-brown with many pale patches on the lumpy surface, but may be grey or greenish-brown. This species mostly grows in the open like other species of this genus but smaller, encrusting colonies are common in shaded overhangs. (Note diver in background to give an idea of the size.)
Photo by Photographs by Charles Sheppard
Coralpedia Established to Identify Corals, Soft Corals and Sponges of the Caribbean

Professor Charles Sheppard of the University of Warwick, UK, responded to what he perceived as the need to have a good, comprehensive source of identification for the main reef occupiers and builders of Caribbean reefs, namely corals, soft corals and sponges by developing Coralpedia.
A beautiful green moray eel emerges from reef in Phoenix Islands. Divers from the New England Aquarium in Boston found some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world there.
Credit: David Obura
Kiribati Creates World’s Largest Marine Protected Area

The small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has become a global conservation leader by declaring the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability. It is a California-sized ocean wilderness of pristine coral reefs and rich fish populations threatened by over-fishing and climate change.
Credit: NOAA. Reef scene with sea rods.
NOAA Helps National Coral Reef Institute Grow Coral in Laboratory for Transplantation to Damaged Reefs

Scientists at the National Coral Reef Institute are currently growing more than 400 corals from the larval stage as part of NOAA-funded research, and will transplant them to restore damaged coral reefs. Producing juvenile corals from the larval stage for transplantation is better for the health and longevity of coral reefs because it produces new coral, rather than moving around already existing fragments collected in the field.
Corals spawning at night on the Great Barrier Reef
Photo: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Possible Moonlight Trigger Found for Annual Mass Spawning of Corals
An international team of Australian and Israeli researchers has discovered what could be the aphrodisiac for the biggest moonlight sex event on Earth. An ancient light-sensitive gene has been isolated by researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) that appears to act as a trigger for the annual mass spawning of corals across a third of a million square kilometres of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, shortly after a full moon.
Pennantfish, Pyramid and Milletseed butterflyfish - school in great numbers at Rapture Reef, French Frigate Shoals
Photo NOAA
Marine Conservation Area, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument With Nearly 140,000 Square Miles Created By President Bush Under Antiquities Act

President George W. Bush created the world’s largest marine conservation area off the coast of the northern Hawaiian Islands in order to permanently protect the area’s pristine coral reefs and unique marine species. On June 15, 2007, the President used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area a national monument. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument encompasses nearly 140,000 square miles of U.S. waters, including 4,500 square miles of relatively undisturbed coral reef habitat that is home to more than 7,000 species. As of February 2008, with the establishment of the Kiribati preserve, it is now the second largest marine conservation area.
Photo by Jan Post
At night the tentacles of the brain coral come
out to catch plankton. (Caribbean)
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary management plan
The FKNMS was charged with crafting a management plan to provide for the continued public and private use of the Sanctuary while ensuring adequate resource protection. The Sanctuary’s authorizing legislation directed managers to consider using temporal and geographic zoning to achieve these goals.
Trumpet fish camouflaged among gorgonians showing a little hook on underjaw (Caribbean). Photo by Jan Post
The Bonaire National Marine Park
Bonaire National Marine Park is considered by many to be an exemplary model for marine protected areas. Tourism plays a primary role in its success.
Swarms of pastel-hued wreckfish, one of more than 385 fish species found within the Apo Reef Natural Park, the Philippines.
© Scott Tuason / WWF-Philippines
Fishing Ban Protects Largest Coral Reef in The Philippines, Apo Reef
Reef fish and other marine species can breathe easier with the introduction of a fishing ban around Apo Reef, the largest coral reef in the Philippines and the second largest contiguous reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef.
Coral Reef Playing Cards Launched In Advance of International Year of the Reef (IYOR)
Horizon International announced the launch of its Magic Porthole coral reef playing cards with photographic mirror-images of coral reef creatures. Prowling barracuda, shrimp and goby fish working together for survival, a frogfish dangling a lure to catch his prey, clown fish securing themselves in anemones, a cleaner shrimp cleaning the teeth of a Morey eel, and corals in their closed daytime posture and at night when their polyps full of water make their tentacles fan out to catch plankton are among the 52 unique pictures on both versions of the decks of cards. They can be purchased at several museums, aquariums and dive shops and a variety of stores and here on the Magic Porthole Web Shop page.
Coral from Kingman atol (Northern Line Islands). Coral ecosystems were among those profiled by the researchers.
Photo: Forest Rohwe, San Diego State University.
Window Opens on the Secret Life of Microbes: Scientists Develop First Microbial Profiles of Ecosystems

Microbial profiles serve as the ecological version of the human genome project."Now microbes can be studied by what they can do not who they are," said Lita Proctor, an National Science Foundation program director.
Corallium
Photo Sea Web
New Security for Coral Reefs: Red and Pink Corals Get United Nations Trade Protection

Trade in red and pink corals prized as jewelry for 5,000 years will be restricted to try to help the species recover after drastic over-exploitation, a United Nations wildlife conference, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES,) agreed on June 15, 2007.
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