So 785 charts (1659 including sub-charts) are available in the Canada CHS layer. (see coverage)
Note : don't forget to visit 'Notices to Mariners' published monthly and available from the Canadian Coast Guard both online or through a free hardcopy subscription service. This essential publication provides the latest information on changes to the aids to navigation system, as well as updates from CHS regarding CHS charts and publications. See also written Notices to Shipping and Navarea warnings : NOTSHIP
It's like a scene out of a sci-fi movie -- thousands, possibly millions, of king crabs are marching through icy, deep-sea waters and up the Antarctic slope. "They are coming from the deep, somewhere between 6,000 to 9,000 feet down," says James McClintock, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Endowed Professor of Polar and Marine Biology. Source: UAB
King crabs have been found on the edge of Antarctica, probably as a result of warming in the region, scientists say.
Writing in the journal Proceedings B, scientists report a large, reproductive population of crabs in the Palmer Deep, a basin cut in the continental shelf. They suggest the crabs were washed in during an upsurge of warmer water. The crabs are voracious crushers of sea floor animals and will probably change the ecosystem profoundly if and when they spread further, researchers warn.
Related species have been found around islands off the Antarctic Peninsula and on the outer edge of the continental shelf. But here the crabs (Neolithodes yaldwyni) are living and reproducing in abundance right on the edge of the continent itself.
Search for life
The researchers sent the Genesis, a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from the University of Ghent in Belgium, into the Palmer Deep in March last year.
The idea was to look at what life was down there, rather than specifically to look for crabs; and the team was somewhat surprised by how many they found. Judging by the density of the crabs and their tracks, the scientists estimate there may be 1.5 million crabs in the basin. A female crab retrieved from the area was found to be carrying mature eggs and larvae.
"Our best guess is there was an event, or maybe more than one, where warmer water flushed up across the shelf and carried some of the larvae into the basin," said project leader Craig Smith from the University of Hawaii.
It is believed that this species cannot tolerate water colder than 1.4C. The seas here get warmer as you descend; and the crabs were only found below 850m. The researchers calculate that they have probably been there only for 30-40 years; before that, the water would have been too cold even at the bottom of the Palmer Deep. They cannot as yet survive on the continental shelf, which is at a depth of about 500m; but that could change. "If you look at the rate at which the seas are warming, (the continental shelf) should be above 1.4C within a couple of decades, so the crabs are likely then to come into shallower waters," Professor Smith told BBC News.
The upper limit of the crab-dwelling zone - 850m - also marks the line between abundant seabed life above and depleted life below. "Above the crab zone, the abundance and diversity of plants and animals was high, with echinoderms including brittlestars, sea lilies and sea cucumbers," said Professor Smith. "We found none of them in the crab zone itself, and when we went 50-100m above we found very few - so we think the crabs are venturing up into shallow waters to feed. "We would expect (local) extinctions in some of these organisms."
These findings reinforce the belief of other scientists that king crabs will change the ecology of the Antarctic perimeter once they arrive - and that they would arrive at some point, washed from warmer waters along the South American coast, has long been expected.
With a legspan of up to a metre, the animals are generally top predators in the seafloor ecosystem. The king (or stone) crabs are a group of about 120 species - and one member, the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is already having an ecological impact in Norwegian waters following its slow spread from Russia. However, in Northern latitudes they are also now important commercially, with Norwegian fishermen alone allocated a quota of thousands each year.
Fishing crabs for profit in this part of the Antarctic would not be permitted. But fishing could in time be used as a means to control them, said Professor Smith, if their ecological impacts become too severe.
Dr. Gregor Cailliet, Professor Emeritus at Moss Landing Marine Labs, has studied deep-sea fishes since the 1960s. As a leader in the field of age and growth, he was among the first to discover that deep-sea fishes grow slower, live longer, and reproduce later, all of which make them highly vulnerable to fishing pressure. Here Dr. Cailliet discusses the sensitivity of deep-sea fishes and why fisheries managers might consider proceeding with caution when initiating commercial exploitation.
Describing the open ocean as “more akin to a watery desert,” the scientists argue that vessels have targeted patches of productive areas sequentially, depleting the fish there and destroying deep-sea corals before moving on to new areas.
Certain deep-sea species have gained widespread popularity — including orange roughy and Patagonian toothfish, otherwise known as Chilean sea bass — only to crash within a matter of years.
Elliott Norse, president of the Marine Conservation Institute and the paper’s lead author, said the world has turned to deep-sea fishing “out of desperation” without realizing fish stocks there take much longer to recover.
“We’re now fishing in the worst places to fish,” Norse said in an interview. “These things don’t come back.”
“What they’re doing out there is more like mining than fishing,” said Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
The estimated mean depth of fishing has more than tripled since the 1950s, from 492 feet to 1,706 feet in 2004, according to Telmo Morato, a marine biologist with the department of oceanography and fisheries at the University of the Azores in Portugal and one of the paper’s authors.
Fishing subsidies help sustain this practice, according to Rashid Sumaila, the paper’s other author, who directs the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. He said high-seas trawlers around the world receive roughly $162 million each year in government handouts, which amounts to a quarter of the value of the fleets’ catch.
Industrial fishing in the deep sea should be banned because it has depleted fish stocks that take longer to recover than other species, according to a paper to be released this week by an international team of marine scientists.
The article, published in the scientific journal Marine Policy, describes fishing operations that have in recent decades targeted the unregulated high seas after stocks near shore were overfished.
“That is what is keeping most of them in business,” Sumaila said.
Bottom-trawling can crush deep-sea corals, which can live for as long as 4,000 years, the scientists noted. Some fish species of the deep live for more than a century, and while they can spawn many eggs, there can be several years in which juveniles fail to make it into adulthood.
Orange roughy, which Australia declared a threatened species in 2006, take 30 years to reach sexual maturity and live up to 149 years. The leafscale gulper shark, one of several deep-water sharks targeted for its liver oil, “matures late, has only 5-8 pups per year and lives to be 70 years old,” the authors write.
Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fisheries science, questioned the paper on the grounds that several long-lived species off the Pacific Coast, such as geoduck clams, have been harvested sustainably at very low levels. In many cases, fishing operations take just 1 percent of the population, he said, and this keeps the stocks from collapsing. “There’s no question [a ban] can be done,” Hilborn said in an interview, adding that the international regulatory regimes may not be up for the task. “The question is, is it worth it?”
Hilborn said that while deep-sea corals might be sacrificed in the pursuit of fishing, humans had accepted similar trade-offs when clearing old-growth forests for farmland. “Some of these habitats will probably be changed by fishing. Some of those corals will be gone,” he said. “From a conservation perspective, maybe we shouldn’t fish at all, and the ocean should be left pristine. Where is the food going to come from?”
But Daniel Pauly, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia, said the costs of deep-sea fishing far outweigh the benefits. “It’s a waste of resources, it’s a waste of biodiversity, it’s a waste of everything,” Pauly said. “In the end, there is nothing left.”
Maria Damanaki, the European Union’s commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, said in an interview that she would like to reduce fishing on the high seas and cut subsidies for deep-sea trawlers. “I’ll try. I really agree there’s a danger there, so we have to be prudent,” said Damanaki, adding that nations such as France, Denmark, Portugal and Spain resist such efforts. “We have to try to persuade them to stop this.” Links :
NOAA : U.S., European Union to strengthen cooperation to combat illegal fishing
The German Freya Hoffmeister is well known for her long distance kayak adventurers. September 1st she left Buenos Aires on her next big undertaking. She will try to circumnavigate South Africa on her own in a kayak. The trip will cover more than 24.000 kilometers and last over 24 months.
Freya Hoffmeister has kayaked round continents and big islands before. In 2007 she did a 33 days speed record for paddling around Iceland together with Greg Stamer. Two years later she was up for a paddle that took tens times longer. She did a solo circumnavigation of Australia in 332 days.
This time she is heading out for an even bigger adventure. South America has it all when it comes to probable adventure stoppers along the way: Huge seas right on the nose round Cape Horn, horrendous winds in Patagonia and long distances where both the Atlantic and Pacific ocean gets to hammer her.
But the same areas also will give her the most fantastic experiences if she manages to hold it all together. In a kayak you get as close to nature as you possibly can, and the intense feeling of handling the sometimes brute force of the ocean alone in some of the most remote parts of the world must be worth all the hardship.
The German kayaker has divided the expedition in to three stages in a clockwise direction. The first will take her from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile. Then to Georgetown, Guyana, and she plans to finish her circumnavigation on her 50th birthday on May 19th in 2014.
By then she will have paddled 24.000 kilometers through 12 countries.
Researchers at King's College London have discovered how coral produces natural sunscreen compounds to protect itself from damaging UV rays, leading scientists to believe these compounds could be the basis for a new type of sunscreen in humans. Dr Paul Long, from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King's, discusses how they conducted their research in the Great Barrier Reef, and what they have found.
Scientists hope to harness coral's natural defence against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays to make a sunscreen pill for humans.
The King's College London team visited Australia's Great Barrier Reef to uncover the genetic and biochemical processes behind coral's innate gift. By studying a few samples of the endangered Acropora coral they believe they can synthetically replicate in the lab the key compounds responsible. Tests on human skin could begin soon.
Before creating a tablet version, the team, led by Dr Paul Long, plan to test a lotion containing the same compounds as those found in coral. To do this, they will copy the genetic code the coral uses to make the compounds and put it into bacteria in the lab that can rapidly replicate to produce large quantities of it. Once we recreate the compounds we can put them into a lotion and test them on skin discarded after cosmetic surgery tummy tucks”
He said scientists had known for some time that coral and some algae could protect themselves from the harsh UV rays in tropical climates by producing their own sunscreens but, until now, they didn't know how. "What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae. "Not only does this protect them both from UV damage, but we have seen that fish that feed on the coral also benefit from this sunscreen protection, so it is clearly passed up the food chain." This could ultimately mean that people might be able to get inbuilt sun protection for their skin and eyes by taking a tablet containing the compounds. But for now, Dr Long's team are focusing their efforts on a lotion. "Once we recreate the compounds we can put them into a lotion and test them on skin discarded after cosmetic surgery tummy tucks. "We will not know how much protection against the sun it might give until we begin testing. But there is a need for better sunscreens."
Another long-term goal of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded study is to look at whether the processes could also be used for developing sustainable agriculture in the Third World. The natural sunscreen compounds found in coral could be used to produce UV-tolerant crop plants capable of withstanding harsh tropical UV light.
From LiveSciences (This Research in Action article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation).
It is a little-known, but significant, fact that about 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by clouds at any given time.
But, not all clouds are the same; different types of clouds affect the Earth's climate differently.
While some types of clouds help to warm the Earth, others help to cool it.
Currently, all of the Earth's clouds exert a net cooling effect on our planet.
But the substantial and opposing influences of clouds begs the question:
What will be the net effect of all of the Earth's clouds on climate as the Earth continues to warm in the future?
Will clouds accelerate warming or help offset, or dull, warming?
Right now, "the scientific community is uncertain about how the effects of clouds will change in the future," says Hugh Morrison, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
One of two ways
Most scientists doubt that the net cooling effect of clouds will ever be large enough to completely offset ongoing warming.
But many scientists say that if warming were to increase cooling clouds or decrease warming clouds, the current net cooling effect of clouds on the Earth's climate would probably increase.
This would moderate, or offset, ongoing warming.
The result: The Earth's end-of-the-century temperature may be pulled down toward the lower end of its predicted range.
But if, on the other hand, warming were to increase warming clouds or decrease cooling clouds, scientists say the current net cooling effect of clouds on the Earth's climate would probably decrease, and an important moderating force on ongoing warming would thereby diminish.
The result: The Earth's end-of-the-century temperature may be pushed up toward the upper end of its predicted range.
The resulting rise in temperature would, in a positive feedback loop, tend to promote the formation of even more warming clouds or further reduce the presence of cooling clouds.
Either way, temperatures would rise even higher.
Source of uncertainty
This dual role of clouds is why, in 1997, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described clouds as "the largest source of uncertainty" in predictions of climate change.
To reduce this uncertainty and improve predictions of climate change and global warming, scientists are now working to better understand the relationships between clouds and climate.
“For most people the North Sea is a source of food, a source of fuel – oil and gas, a playground for catching waves or simply a mass of water that needs to be navigated.
Few are aware its these cold grey waters cover a prehistoric landscape that once joined England to Europe.
Yet between 18000 and 5500 BC, global warming raised sea levels to the extent that this area known as Doggerland was engulfed by water and the area that had been home to mankind disappeared.
This entire land sank beneath the North Sea.
Is it this former land that we North Sea surfers now surf.”
– Mark Waters