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16 news posts in Marine conservation

Earth science

09 Aug 2022

Traces of 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill still detectable in 2020

By K.E.D. Coan, science writer Image: Breck P. Kent/ Small amounts of highly weathered oil residues from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster were still present in the surroundings ten years later, shows a new report. Crude oil is a complex mixture with many components that undergo chemical reactions in the environment. These transformed chemicals, as well as longer persisting oil products, can impact local ecosystems and a better understanding of the fates of these molecules can help future clean-up efforts. The oil spilled during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 was largely transformed by the end of that summer, reports a new study in Frontiers in Marine Science. But some small quantities of chemical residues still persisted in the environment even ten years later. This latest study follows the varied fates of the leaked petroleum components, providing important insights for future spills and clean-up efforts. “The better we understand the chemicals and their chemical reactive properties as well as their physical properties, the better we will be able to mitigate oil spills and understand and detect environmental damages from oil spills,” said first author Prof Edward Overton of Louisiana State University. “Our paper describes the most abundant chemicals that make […]


26 Oct 2021

Waters off French coast in winter may be a deadly trap for small, foraging turtles

By Tania Fitzgeorge-Balfour, Science writer A tracked loggerhead turtle on the beach with satellite tracker attached to its shell. Image: Oceane Cottier Aquarium La Rochelle SAS Turtle habitat boundaries should be updated to include European waters, suggests a new study tracking stranded turtles rescued from the French coast. Their movements after release back into the Bay of Biscay appear related to their size, with larger individuals swimming westwards towards their birth home in the US or Africa, and smaller individuals potentially trapped in the region for winter. These findings will inform strategies to ensure stranded turtles survive after their release. The documented habitat boundaries of the loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and green turtles are questioned by a new study suggesting that stranded turtles rescued from European French Atlantic and Channel waters could be visiting the area to forage for food. Published in Frontiers in Marine Science, satellite tracking data reveals that while some turtles may be able to return home, after their rehabilitation and release to Florida in the US, or Cape Verde off the African coast, younger individuals are at risk of being trapped in the region. “Stranded turtles that were tracked swimming westwards presumably towards their birth homes, after […]

Featured news

18 Mar 2021

Dolphins adapt to survive invasive coastal constructions

Marine ecosystems are endangered by an increasing number of coastal development projects. A new study shows for the first time that bottlenose dolphins may adapt to anthropogenic disturbance under some circumstances. The findings draw attention to the need for proper management of coastal construction sites. By Suzanna Burgelman, Frontiers Science writer Social interaction between two bottlenose dolphins. Image: Ann Waver Bottlenose dolphins learn to cope with coastal construction activities. That is the conclusion of a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The study is the first to provide a longitudinal perspective on the cumulative impacts of coastal construction. Dolphins adapted to the construction of a bridge by establishing feeding locations outside of the construction zone, and by shifting the timings of behaviors to a time in the day when construction activities were minimized. Coastal development practices negatively impact marine wildlife Marine coastal development is characterized by unsustainable practices. Coastal development exposes 47% of coastal marine mammal species and 51% of core marine mammal habitats to extensive anthropogenic disturbance. Human activities along coastlines and in marine habitats can lead to pollution, vessel strikes, entanglement, by-catch, and debris ingestion, which disturb and harm marine wildlife. Read original article Download original article (pdf) […]

The marine environment is a precious common heritage and an incredibly rich source of biological and chemical diversity with wide applications. It is important to develop technologies that help us make use of marine resources sustainably, so they are available for future generations.


16 Oct 2017

Exploration of mesophotic coral ecosystems for new medicines

Research Topic will feed into policy recommendations to ensure sustainable practices for collecting marine resources in unexplored areas of the ocean