marine environment

Seismic surveys affect health of lobsters, study finds

A new study of the effect on marine life of seismic air guns, used in geological surveys of the seafloor, has discovered that the sensory organs and righting reflexes of rock lobster can be damaged by exposure to air gun signals. The damage was taking place at the time of exposure and remained for at least one year, even after the exposed lobsters moulted.

Offshore wind developer to protect whales

Vineyard Wind, U.S. offshore wind developer, agreed to take measures in order to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales while installing and operating turbines at its proposed 84-turbine project 14 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The agreement in favour of Whales and other mammal species, was between the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and Conservation Law Foundation. The organisations wish that the agreement will provide a model for future offshore wind developments to follow.

New project to explore deep-seafloor mineral deposits

The UK’s Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) has funded a new project aiming to reduce the potential environmental impact of future mining by making exploration for deep-seafloor mineral deposits much more effective. ‘Project ULTRA’ will use a robotic drilling rig to drill the deposits on the seafloor in a bid to ensure that the future exploration could be able to minimize disturbance.

US moves forward with seismic search for oil in Atlantic

The US decided to allow a first-in-a-generation seismic search for oil and gas in the Atlantic ocean. This move was made in spite of protests claiming that these tests will use loud air gun blasts that will harm marine animals like whales, dolphins and other animals.

Deep sea mining zone hosts CO2-consuming bacteria, says new study

Until now, scientists believed the main source of biomass on the seafloor was the organic matter, as dead fish and plankton, that floated down towards the depths. However, now scientists from the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh discovered that bacteria in the deepest parts of the seafloor are absorbing CO2 and could be turning themselves into an additional food source for other deep-sea life.

New Zealand court quashes seabed mining off Pātea

New Zealand’s High Court has quashed the EPA’s green light for Trans-Tasman Resources’ experimental seabed mining operation off Pātea, in Taranaki and environmentalists are celebrating as the country’s only known population of blue whale ‘has been granted a reprieve’.

Oil spill reported from Cliff Head Alfa platform off Perth

Australia-based Triangle confirmed an oil spill on 24 July at its Cliff Head Alpha Offshore Platform, 14 km offshore in the Perth Basin, around 300 km north of Perth. An aerial and shoreline surveillance on Thursday however showed no hydrocarbons in the marine environment.

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