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Our Oceans

Our Oceans

Our Oceans
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Explore our blue planet! Let this BBC Science Focus special edition open your eyes to the incredible world beneath the waves. IN THIS ISSUE: What if we banned fishing? | The DNA detectives | How to clean the ocean of plastic | The mission to scan every fish | New technology to explore the deep sea | Why we need to rethink fish intelligence.

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Land:
United Kingdom
Sprog:
English
Udgiver:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frekvens:
One-off
KØB UDGIVELSE
107,94 kr.(Inkl. moms)

i denne udgave

1 min.
welcome

When the world’s population found its movements restricted by the pandemic, we witnessed how our planet’s wild places can benefit from the absence of humans. The oceans saw noise levels plummet – thanks to a reduction in international shipping – which gave marine life a bit of a break. Restaurant closures led to less demand for fish and seafood exports, while fewer tourists meant decreased pressure on hotspots like coral reefs, beaches and mangroves. But it’s not all good. Our new, hygiene-conscious lives have caused a rise in single-use items, with some regions overturning previous bans on single-use plastic – that widespread scourge of the oceans. It remains to be seen whether there will be lasting environmental impact – good or bad – from the pandemic, but it strikes me that…

1 min.
eye opener

Hide and seek WEST PAPUA,INDONESIA A tiny Denise’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) peeps out from its home in a sea fan (Annella sp.). It has the smallest home range of any fish and will stay on this gorgonian coral for the rest of its life. Measuring no more than 2.4cm, it’s too tiny to fend o! predators, so it has turned to camouflage instead, adapting its colour to blend in with the surrounding coral. Covering the seahorse’s body are small bumps, called tubercles, which further aid its clever disguise, mimicking the polyps that make up the sea fan. But don’t be fooled by its small size. This pygmy seahorse is a master of stealth, sneaking up to within one millimetre of its unsuspecting copepod prey before striking. It is unclear what the sea fan…

1 min.
how we can save the oceans and how they can save us

Seven-tenths of the world is covered by the oceans. They put food on our plates, regulate the climate, and provide up to 50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe. But human activity is putting that at risk. On 25 September 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change presented a report on the oceans that made dire reading. It said that even if greenhouse gas emissions declined sharply and global warming was limited to less than 2°C, sea levels could still rise by 30 to 60cm by 2100. Plus, we’re emptying the oceans of animals, having passed the point of ‘peak fish’ in 1992 when total global catch began a relentless decline. A third of marine mammals are at risk of extinction. Our carbon emissions have made the oceans 30…

6 min.
part one

THE SMART MACHINE THAT CATCHES PLASTIC AT THE SOURCE Plastic particles have become ubiquitous in our seas. They have been spotted in remote areas of the poles and in the deepest ocean trenches. While a number of projects focus on removing plastics from the seas, tech start-up Ichthion has developed a system for extracting plastic waste from rivers. Rivers play a big part in the plastic problem in the oceans, because they sweep tonnes of waste from land out to sea. “What we’re doing hundreds of thousands of miles inland really does have an impact,” explains conservation scientist Dr Heather Koldewey, who recently took part in an expedition that tracked plastic waste along the River Ganges. Ichthion's Azure device sits on a river's surface and diverts floating objects towards the river banks, where…

7 min.
part two

AN UNOPENED MEDICINE CHEST Modern medicine is becoming threatened by antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA. With lifesaving drugs losing their efficacy, some experts warn of a return to the Dark Ages if this continues. As a consequence, an urgent search is underway for new medicines to battle against resistance, and one place people are looking is in the oceans. “Sponges and corals are the most promising sources of natural products that have medical properties,” says Prof Kerry Howell, a marine ecologist from Plymouth University. That’s because these animals are commonly colonised by bacteria that have evolved chemicals to defeat and kill each other, making the ideal basis for antibiotic drugs. As a deep-sea biologist, Howell is among the first to know about any new molecules discovered in the oceans. Howell and her colleague…

8 min.
there aren’t plenty more fish in the sea

A reef shark slides past, an arm’s length away, then another. And moments later a third. These sleek hunters pay me no attention and seem accustomed to having people nearby. Scuba divers like me flock to visit the sharks and other marine life flourishing around the remote islands of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean. This special place offers a glimpse of how things used to be before human activities began emptying the oceans. Palau remains a rare underwater wonderland, in part because the government takes marine protection seriously. In 2015, the country’s president, Tommy Remengesau Jr, declared 80 per cent of the nation’s waters off-limits to fishing. This is one of a new generation of marine reserves. More recently, in August 2016, Barack Obama, who was then the US president,…