August 2022 Research Summaries and Sustainability Tips

Stay cool this summer with another month of research and sustainability tips!

AUGUST 5: RESEARCH SUMMARY - QUEER IN MARINE SCIENCE

While we know the importance of representation, research published at the beginning of this year in Marine Policy emphasizes the importance of creating a safe working environment within marine science and “is key in humankind achieving truly global science in pursuit of more sustainable and equitable ocean management.” Along with other minorities, LGBTQIA+ inclusion and representation allows for a clearer picture of the problems facing our oceans, as well as the solutions to those problems. Creating an inclusive and diverse work environment within ocean advocacy and careers helps us to #keeptheoceaneverblue.


RESEARCH: Safe working environments are key to improving inclusion in open-ocean, deep-ocean, and high-seas science. Amon et al. 2022.


AUGUST 6: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - QUEER IN MARINE SCIENCE

Pride month is over, but love and inclusivity isn’t! We can all do better to support our queer friends and family. We encourage you to ask your queer colleagues, neighbors, and friends about how you can create a more safe and inclusive work environment. After implementing their suggestions, find more tips on how to create a more queer friendly space by following


Want to do more? Consider becoming a regular donor to Everblue. Your contributions support our queer marine scientists and create a safe space for all.


AUGUST 11: RESEARCH SUMMARY - GREEN IS GOOD

This study done in the Bermudas looked at green sea turtle foraging over a span of five decades in response to declining seagrass availability. The lack of seagrass has caused turtle densities to decline, and there have been increased foraging efforts outside of their known foraging grounds. Limited seagrass availability stemming from human-caused climate stressors will continue to limit seagrass availability, and green sea turtles may be forced to search even further to find food.


AUGUST 12: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - BEING BETTER BOATERS

Recreational boating is super fun! But careless boating can cause lasting damage to underwater seagrass meadows. When boat propellers cut through seagrass and their sediment, they can take as long as several years to grow back, putting many species (including green sea turtles) out of a vital food source. Here are some important boating tips you should know to protect seagrasses!

  • Wear polarized sunglasses: these sunglasses reduce glare, increasing your ability to see shallow areas and seagrass beds.

  • Know your boating signs and markers: following the channel markers and no wake zone signs ensures you are staying in deeper water, which protects both seagrass beds and coral reefs.

  • Pay attention to your depth: if you’re unsure about the water depth, slow down and idle your engine. Look to see if you’ve left a muddy trail behind you; if you have, you are cutting into sediment and seagrass, and need to carefully pole or walk your boat out to deeper water.

  • Lastly, know your area! Navigational charts, fishing maps, and local boating guides can help you become familiar with the bathymetry (the layout of the ocean floor) of your waterways, and will help you steer clear of shallow seagrass beds.

Happy boating!


AUGUST 17: RESEARCH SUMMARY - GREAT GANNETS

This study in the Bay of Biscay researched trophic connections between northern gannets and other local apex predators. It found that the seabirds hunt baitfish such as sprat, sardine, and anchovy in lower trophic levels where feeding grounds overlap with many other species. Common guillemots and even cetaceans like the short-beaked common dolphin also hunt these baitfish. Because these species' foraging grounds are shared by human fisheries, it is essential to understand their trophic connections so that holistic environmental management tactics (such as MPAs) may be used to prevent overfishing and protect delicate marine ecosystems.

RESEARCH: Trophic ecology of northern gannets Morus bassanus highlights the extent of isotopic niche overlap with other apex predators within the Bay of Biscay. Gaspar et al. 2022.


AUGUST 19: SUSTAINABILITY TIP - TROPHIC TENDENCIES

Have you ever thought about how much trophic energy it takes to sustain your food? According to NPR, you need 6.7 pounds of grain, 52.8 gallons of water, 74.5 sq feet of land, and 1,036 Btus of fossil fuel energy to create a single quarter-pound hamburger! The same supplies that go into creating one hamburger could feed thousands more people as is, rather than being used to raise cattle. Join us on No Meat Mondays to cut down on your meat consumption by one day a week; it makes a huge positive impact on the environment!


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