A blog dedicated to marine
biology.


Turks & Caicos – Photograph by IPWNNOOBS

Fellow blogger Tom Moran from Urban Ghosts inspired this post. His excellent article on ‘Ship Graveyards: Abandoned Ships, Boats and Shipyards‘ sent me on a quest to find some incredible photographs of shipwrecks around the world.

The United Nations estimates that there are more than 3 million shipwrecks on the ocean floor [Source: Wikipedia]. These once mighty vessels, both sunken and beached, are a haunting reminder that nothing lasts forever. These beautiful ships used to rule the seas they traveled. Now they serve as a window into our past.

2. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands


Photograph by WOLLEX

3. Gytheio, Greece


Photograph by JUSTELINE

4. Zakynthos, Greece


Photograph by TO GIAN

5. Oregon, United States


Photograph by MATT CONWELL

6. Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal


Photograph by FRANK ZILLMANN

7. Unknown


Photograph by DARTH

8. Woody Point, Redcliffe Peninsula, Australia


Photograph by GORKATH

9. Grytviken, South Georgia


Photograph by NOAA PHOTO LIBRARY

10. Truk Lagoon, Micronesia


Photograph by GH0STDOT

11. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


Photograph by HAWKFISH

12. Tobermory, Ontario, Canada


Photograph by ALIJA BOS

13. Truk Lagoon, Micronesia


Photograph by GH0STDOT

14. Batumi, Georgia


Photograph by RICHARD BARTZ

15. Cairnbulg Point, United Kingdom


Photograph by LAIRD TURNER

16. Italy


Photograph by Klaus Leidorf

17. Mar del Plata, Argentina


Photograph by SEARAIDER

18. Grytviken, South Georgia


Photograph by SERGE OUACHEE

19. Mo’ynoq, Uzbekistan


Photograph by MISSALIONA

20. Red Sea


Photograph by JOOS J. BAKKER

21. Tromso, Norway


Photograph by DIVENORWAY

22. Lakonia Peloponissos, Greece


Photograph by MAKIS

23. Fraser Island, Australia


Photograph by DRAICONE

24. Amorgos Island, Greece


Photograph by JIMISOFLOU

25. Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, Canada


Photograph by MANUMADOR

Great Lakes

Steamer “Chicora” lost in January 1895
Steamer “Edmund Fitzgerald” lost in November 1975

There are several thousand shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum uses the approximate figures of 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives lost.[87] David D. Swayze has compiled a list which details over 4,750 well-documented shipwrecks, mostly of commercial vessels and a list of known names of over 5,000 victims of those sinkings.[88] A three volume work by Georgann and Mike Wachter, Erie Wrecks East (2nd Ed.), Erie Wrecks West, and Erie Wrecks & Lights, identifies 110, 103, and 45 wreck locations respectively.[89] In History of Great Lakes, J.B. Mansfield documented 5,999 shipwrecks occurring between 1878 and 1897. Nearly one quarter of these shipwrecks were listed as total losses and a total of 1,166 lives were lost in this 20-year period.[90] Historian and mariner Mark Thompson estimated the total number of casualties over more than 300 years of Great Lakes shipping is likely more than 25,000. In the period between 1816 when the Invincible was lost to the sinking of the Fitzgerald in 1975, the Whitefish Point area has claimed at least 240 ships.[91]

ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2012) — A study of the tropical coral reef system along the coastline of Kenya has found dramatic effects of overfishing that could threaten the long-term health of the reefs. Led by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the study was published in the journal Coral Reefs.


The researchers found that the loss of predatory fish leads to a cascade of effects throughout the reef ecosystem, starting with an explosion in sea urchin populations. Excessive grazing by sea urchins damages the reef structure and reduces the extent of a poorly studied but crucially important component of the reefs known as crustose coralline algae. Coralline algae deposit calcium carbonate in their cell walls and form a hard crust on the substrates where they grow, helping to build and stabilize reefs. They also play a crucial role in the life cycle of corals.

"Some coralline algae produce a chemical that induces coral settlement, in which the larval stage in the water settles on the ocean floor to grow into an adult. This settlement must happen for reefs to recover after disturbance," said lead author Jennifer O’Leary, a research associate with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.

The ability of coralline algae to induce the settlement of coral larvae has been well studied in the laboratory, but few studies have been done to investigate this relationship in the field. O’Leary set out to study the role of coralline algae in reef ecosystems as a UCSC graduate student working with Donald Potts, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a coauthor of the paper.

In Kenya, O’Leary teamed up with Tim McClanahan, a UCSC alumnus who now heads the Wildlife Conservation Society’s marine programs in Kenya. The researchers compared the types of coralline algae and the number of juvenile corals on Kenyan reefs under three different management conditions: closed, gear-restricted, and open access. On fished reefs (both those open to all fishing and those with gear restrictions), sea urchin populations were much higher than on closed reefs, resulting in lower abundance of crustose coralline algae and lower coral densities.

"Outside the protected areas, we’re seeing the ecosystem collapse," O’Leary said. "When you look at the effects of fishing, you can’t just think about the species that are being removed. You have to look at how the effects are carried down through the ecosystem."

Most of the young corals found in the surveys were growing on crustose coralline algae. Juveniles of four common coral families were more abundant on coralline algae than on any other settlement substrate. The results suggest that fishing can indirectly reduce coral recruitment or the success of juvenile corals by reducing the abundance of settlement-inducing coralline algae.

"The loss of crustose coralline algae has huge implications for regeneration of coral reefs," O’Leary said. "In our surveys, we found no difference between gear-restricted areas and fully fished areas, so gear restrictions are not working to keep urchin populations down. We need to consider ecosystem-wide effects as we develop new management strategies."

Potts said he hopes the new study will raise awareness of the role that coralline algae play in the health of coral reefs, especially in developing countries. “Most managers and conservationists, and even many scientists, are unaware of the existence, abundance, and importance of coralline algae, so management regimes intended to enhance the health of reefs may actually be detrimental,” he said.

The coauthors of the paper include O’Leary, Potts, McClanahan, and Juan Carlos Braga of the University of Granada, Spain. Funding for this research was provided by UC Santa Cruz, Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, ARCS Foundation, Project Aware, and Wildlife Conservation Society.

dreamy-shinigami:

Hidden world by *cat-meff

dreamy-shinigami:

Hidden world by *cat-meff

themed by coryjohnny for tumblr