Monthly Archives: September 2011

Seafood Mercury Warning.

Source: CounterThink

One Beach.

Just found this most amazing video courtesy of my friend S. Briley. Now for those of you who know me, you know I kind of have this weird fascination with plastics in the ocean and how they shouldn’t be there. Crazy right? I also love me some good educational film making…So when I stumbled upon this…imagine the geek out moment.

Geek with me.

Directed by: Jason Baffa. A Barefoot Wine Production.

Overfishing knows no bounds.

No words needed.

“Game wardens have discovered as many as 3,000 dead adult and juvenile sharks tangled in a long stretch of illegal fishing netting off the Texas coast, the state’s Parks and Wildlife Department said.

Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said the wardens found the net off Texas’ southern South Padre Island near the border with Mexico.

‘About 3 miles of gill net was removed just past the third sandbar near the mouth of the Rio Grande,’ the department said in a statement. ‘The nets were running north to south, catching anything that attempted to get into shallow water.’

No arrests have been made, Lightfoot said, according to The Associated Press.

‘This is by far the most sharks I have ever gotten in one load,’ Texas Parks and Wildlife Sgt. James Dunks told local KGBT-TVafter making the discovery on Sept. 7.

‘We have here probably two to three miles of gill net that was placed in our waters about four miles north of the Mexico border right off the beach,’ Dunks said. ‘Unbelievable amount of sharks, anywhere between two and three thousand black tips, bonnet heads and sharp nose shark.’…”

Source&Full Story: MSNBC

With so many wins world-wide for sharks this year…this is a truly tragic event. A true example of why sharks should be more afraid of us than we are of them.

Now what’s cooler than bein’ cool?
Icefish (Notothenioid)

 How about -1.86°C?

For those of you that may not know, this is the point at which saltwater freezes, and that my friends is pretty darn cold. These sorts of temperatures make life for a marine fish in Antarctic waters a bit chilly, especially when the thermostat dips well below the freezing point of most of their body fluids. Not to mention, ice crystals that may form in the body are pretty dangerous when it comes to puncturing important organelles  and cell walls. So what’s a fish destined to the hard, cold, watery life gonna do?

Well, a group of roughly 120 species of marine fish known as the notothenioids have resorted to just making their own antifreeze. Produced in the liver, these glycoprotein compounds are used by the notothenioids to bring the tissues in their body below the freezing point of saltwater. The proteins do this by attaching themselves to the minute ice crystals that form within the body and prevent the formation of the seed crystal needed in order for more ice crystals to be created and the whole body to freeze. Other cold water non-Antarctic fish such as Atlantic Cod, Shorthorn Sculpin, and Winter Flounder also contain this physiological mechanism, however, it is somewhat energetically expensive to produce such antifreeze compounds, so they only upregulate the production of these proteins when needed.

So Cool. Literally.

And for all of you out there who don’t know what’s cooler than being cool…OutKast is here to help.


DeVries and Cheng. 2005. Antifreeze proteins and organismal freezing avoidance in polar fishes. Fish Physiology 25, 155-201.

Deepsea Disco

It’s Saturday night and I think this little guy is ready to rave.

When I grow up…

Aquarius Reef Base

Aquarius Reef Base

…I want to be an aquanaut.

Yes an aquanaut. Due to the recent end of the U.S. space program…my dreams to become an astronaut have been crushed, so I had to resort to other measures.

Some of you may be wondering…what exactly is an aquanaut and what do they do?  Well for one…it’s only the coolest job…ever. For those of you who need a bit more on the details, an aquanaut is somewhat like an underwater astronaut. Normally, most divers are limited underwater by the amount of air they have in their tanks, as well as, the nitrogen that the human body accrues while under pressure. As you can imagine, these limitations can make marine science and unlocking the knowledge of the deep a bit of a challenge. Hence, the underwater research facility was born.

Located roughly 9 miles off the coast, in the beautiful aquamarine waters of Key Largo, lies Aquarius. Currently, Aquarius is the only underwater research facility in the world and is owned and maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration along with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

The station allows researchers to remain underwater for about 10 days at a time so that they can work round the clock and not have to worry about certain limiting conditions that come with normal recreational diving.

For those of you who would like to know more, there is currently a mission in progress that a couple of friends of mine are involved in, looking at the restoration of coral reefs by manipulating herbivore density.

Dr. Mark Hay, the prinicple investigator of this mission, explains both the science currently in progress and what it is like living underwater:

And if you are truly a science geek, or just a creeper (don’t worry I do it too), you can stream the live feeds from both the inside and outside of the habitat. It’s like the “Real World: Ecology”

Take me to: Aquarius Reef Base

Just when you thought facebook was safe….

harmful algae strikes again.

Slippery slope.

Just a small reminder in case you had forgotten. Interesting footage to make us all think.

Found this from the cool kids over at DSN.

Fish Dissecting 101.

Upon cramming for my last exam, I found this little gem that I felt needed to be shared. All the fun and none of the smell. It’s suprisingly accurate and can be categorized as what I would like to refer to as “productive procrastination.” Enjoy.

Salmon Dissection Game.

From one island to the next.

Catalina Island

What a week. Sorry about my M.I. A. status. This has been the first time since I left my little spot in the sun in the S. Pacific last Monday that I have had time to even sit down and think. Basically came home, did laundry, said hola to the fambam and within two days was on a boat putt putting away to my new home. Crazy… I know.

Welcome to Santa Catalina.

A beautifully pristine segment of the Channel Islands right off the coast of the Sunshine state, Catalina is a favorite for scientists and tourists alike.  For the next semester, I will be  participating in the CSU Marine Biology Semester hosted by CSU Long Beach. I will be studying at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, learning as much as I can about all things watery.

Since we got off the boat it has been a non-stop ichthyology fishfest and I am loving every minute of it, except maybe the only getting a max of 5 hours of sleep every night (that I could live without). From 8 in the a.m. to well into the night, it has been learning about bones, behavior, identification and so much more! Every ecology nerd’s dream, so naturally I think it’s awesome. So much to learn, so little time. Hope to keep you all informed.


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