Tag Archives: U.S. Geological Survey

Lake harvests are likely more fruitful than we knew

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.,,  Freshwater ecosystems across the planet provide valuable services, such as drinking water, hydropower, irrigation for agriculture and economically important recreation and tourism. The USGS, Michigan State University and partners estimated the 2011 fish harvest from over 246,000 lakes worldwide. They found that the harvest was 18.5 billion pounds, or the weight of more than a million large African elephants. click here to read the story 15:31

81 False killer whales die off South Florida coast

81 false killer whales have died after stranding themselves off the South Florida coast. NOAA announced the grim news on Monday afternoon. NOAA initially reported that 95 false killer whales were stranded in South Florida. Then on Monday afternoon, NOAA Fish Southeast tweeted that 81 whales had died and also said the whales were at a remote location off of Hog Key in the Everglades. One whale was seen alive on Monday and 13 others are unaccounted for, NOAA Fish Southeast said on Twitter on Monday afternoon. The National Park Service has closed the area around the whale stranding location. The National Park Service is asking that aircraft not fly over the area and that boats stay away from the area. Read the rest here 15:14

California sea otter population reaches record high number

20160829_040311_ottersA growth in the amount of sea urchins, one of the otters’ favorite foods, seems to be the leading reason why otter numbers along the California coast have grown to 3,272 this year, up 11 percent since 2013, experts said as they released the latest survey. “The population is slowly but steadily recovering,” said Tim Tinker, a research biologist in Santa Cruz who leads the U.S. Geological Survey’s otter program. “And that’s good news because sea otters bring ecological benefits.”In fact, the otter population is likely at its highest level in at least 100 years, Tinker said. And for the first time, the otter numbers have exceeded 3,090, the total that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says is needed to be met for three years in a row before they can be considered for removal from the endangered species list. Read the story here 13:45

Disease in herring threatens broader food web

0131_KSLO_HerringTiny herring eggs and larvae are eaten by a multitude of invertebrates, such as crabs and amphipods. They are also important to fish, such as juvenile salmon and smelt, as well as numerous marine and diving birds. As herring grow into juveniles and adults, they enter into the larger food web, including numerous marine mammals, from harbor seals to orcas; vast numbers of birds, from tufted puffins to great blue herons; and a wide variety of fish, from Chinook salmon to halibut. Paul Hershberger, research fisheries biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, has been studying diseases of herring at his lab on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend. Read the article here 21:22

Oxygen levels critically low at site of fish die-off in Peconic River, experts say

dead menhadenOxygen levels remain critically low to nonexistent along a stretch of the Peconic River that has seen two massive fish kills in recent weeks, creating a large dead zone in which little life can survive, experts said.Over the two-day period since the most recent die-off of menhaden, when tens of thousands of fish massed in Riverhead boatyards,,, Higher levels of nitrogen and the alga blooms that accompany them have been cited as the main culprit for this week’s die-off. Read the rest here 12:14

Voluntary plan to reduce fertilizers not enough to shrink Gulf’s ‘Dead Zone’, new study says

Major voluntary strategies used on Midwest farmland to curb fertilizers that feed the annual low oxygen “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico don’t remove enough nutrients to succeed, according to a new, peer reviewed scientific study.  The study, conducted by a team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Defense Fund,,. Read the rest here 21:39

Drive to Mine the Deep Sea Raises Concerns Over Impacts

Nautilus-AR-2012-600Armed with new high-tech equipment, mining companies are targeting vast areas of the deep ocean for mineral extraction. But with few regulations in place, critics fear such development could threaten seabed ecosystems that scientists say are only now being fully understood. Read the rest here 17:50

NOAA and partners release first federal ocean acidification strategic research plan

Today, NOAA and its partners released the first federal strategic plan to guide research and monitoring investments that will improve our understanding of ocean acidification, its potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies. Read more here  10:04

Sea lampreys may be established in inland waterway

The findings are preliminary but show the importance of determining whether the same thing is happening in other inland lakes, said Marc Gaden, spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which spends about $21 million a year keeping lamprey numbers down Read [email protected]  11:51

Drakes Bay Oyster Company fighting for the survival – federal agencies purposefully manipulated and misrepresented scientific data

townhall.com – Despite the President’s pledge, the government officials involved in the decision to close the doors of DBOC were persuaded by science that was manipulated by several government agencies – the Marine Mammal Commission, the U.S. Geological SurveyService, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior. All of these agencies lack significant oversight, accountability, and transparency, and as a result have gone unchecked in their manipulation of data. continued

Protest delays potential ship build by Burger Boat – U.S. Geological Survey awards contract but losing bidder objects

MANITOWOC — Earlier this month, the U.S. Geological Survey awarded a $5.59 million contract for construction of a large research vessel to Burger Boat Co. But, now, it’s not a done deal as late protests filed with federal officials by one or more losing bidders have prompted an adjudication process, said Russell Strach, director of the USGS Great Lake Science Center. continued