Fish, squids and corals full of organisms whose names you can’t even begin to pronounce - our oceans are brimming with life. Yet sometimes it seems that many on land have forgotten that life once began in the ocean and still plays a big role in maintaining the balance on this planet. Even in this modern day, despite all the scientific evidence and policy achievements, there is a lot to be done in order to safeguard many of our key marine species and ecosystems
1.- The combined size of the world’s MPAs exceeds the size of Europe. While that might sound like a very large area, the MPAs in fact cover less than 3 percent of the world’s oceans according to IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Here’s a Valentine’s Day fish for you – a fish that literally builds its own love nest. The three-spined stickleback and its subspecies are spread out across many coastal waters of the northern hemisphere. It’s very adaptable and can live in fresh, brackish or salt water.
Is there anything we can learn from all the animals that we share the planet with? I think most people would say a definitive yes, but when quizzed about exactly what, I’m not so sure all of us could come up with a well thought-out answer. Personally, I think we can learn something about behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not the first one with that thought. Animal behavioural studies have been around for almost one hundred years, so I missed my claim to fame by a century or so, but still I see something interesting there.
No, it’s not a figment of my imagination haunting my nightmares, but a real life form found by Oceana at the Chella bank, a seamount just off the southeast coast of Spain. But this place holds even more secrets than meat-eating sponges; it’s practically brimming with biodiversity. Deep-sea coral reefs, cetaceans, octopuses, sharks and a multitude of fish can all be found around this set of elevations, with the highest one found at 80 meters deep.
Last week the cream of the crop of Baltic Sea experts met in Stockholm to discuss how to put a price on the services that our ecosystems provide. Scientists, researchers, foundations, authorities and NGOs – everybody was asked to put their view forward.
The concept of ecosystem services have been around for quite a while, but in the last couple of years it has risen to become somewhat of an “it-thing” among Baltic Sea region environmentalists.
Since Oceana is a global organization you get to learn a lot about what’s going on in other parts of the world. Every week I get to see pictures from the beautiful Mediterranean or the rich waters off the coast of Chile, for example. Compared to these places my good old Baltic Sea is not as beautiful, at least not at first glance.
During our most recent expedition in the Baltic Sea, we stumbled upon this guy along the coast of the Åland islands between Sweden and Finland. It’s a European flounder (Platichthys flesus), or Skrubbskädda, as we call them in Sweden.