Just over a year ago, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game applied the pesticide rotenone to two lakes and a stream in the remote Miller Creek drainage on the northern Kenai Peninsula to eradicate the last known population of invasive northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula.
The Bering Sea’s cold pool, a critical part of the seafloor ecosystem, had shrunk to a worrying degree in recent years, but it is continuing to slowly return, according to the latest results of NOAA’s bottom trawl survey. Saffron cod, also called tomcod, seems to be bouncing back after a few bad years, and Arctic cod and blue king crab numbers were also better.
Die-offs of krill are in some cases associated with hypoxia (low oxygen) excess sediment suspended in the water column and changes in water temperature. There were recent reports of high levels of Alexandrium in water samples in the areas, and Norton Sound Health Corporation is performing some testing of krill samples (see below). There was also an unprecedented storm event only a week ago, unusual for the storm surge and early season.
Storms can bring a bounty to the beach - driftwood sometimes or in this case, clams! But be careful out there. There are new concerns about emerging levels of harmful algae in Western Alaska waters, which could impact shellfish and human health.
Scotland’s only working nuclear power plant at Torness shut down in an emergency procedure this week when jellyfish clogged the sea water-cooling intake pipes at the plant. To protect marine life and avert nuclear disasters, scientists are investigating the use of drones to provide estimates of jellyfish locations, amounts, and density.
Orthione griffenis, or O. griffenis, eventually kills its host shrimp, and soon the remaining shrimp can’t find each other to reproduce, rendering a blue mud shrimp population extinct.
A self-cloning and invincible enemy invades coastal areas. The carpet sea squirt (Didemnum vexillum) or “marine vomit” have been observed nearby Stavanger and Bergen. Large yellow flakes has spread on the seabed and kills everything beneath. It may grow on boats and can spread along the coast.
The species Japanese sea purse is found by divers in Stavanger harbour. "This is a plague we have been waiting for," says researcher Vivian Husa of the Institute of Marine Research. Now she particularly warns mussel breeders about the danger the species represents.
On 2 November 2020, the Japanese invertebarate Didemnum vexillum was detected by diver and underwater photographer Erling Svensen at Engøyholmen in Stavanger harbor. The aim of a new monitoring project is to register occurrences of the presumed recently arrived D. vexillum in the delimited areas, and then to map how it spreads locally, and also what impact it has on the local fauna.
A mass die off of fish and invertebrates has been reported in the Sea of Okhotsk, west of Kamchatka. Dozens of surfers reported symptoms including including poor eyesight, fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes and head and throat aches.
Khalaktyrsky Beach near Petropavlovsk is littered with hundreds of dead sea animals, from deep-sea Giant Pacific octopuses, to seals, sea urchins, stars, crabs and fish. Surfers were the first to raise alarm after problems with eyesight, fevers and throat aches.
A blob menacing Hawaii is now visible from space. A massive heatwave in the Pacific Ocean is killing off coral. Satellites are capturing the destruction so that scientists can learn how to rebuild the reefs.