Tag Archives: marine life

Antarctic Could House World’s Biggest Marine Sanctuary

17 Jun
 Penguin on Antarctic sea ice. Photograph: John B. Weller

Penguin on Antarctic sea ice. Photograph: John B. Weller

by Graham Readfeam / The Guardian

An extraordinarily big thing might happen in the world of marine conservation next month at a meeting in Germany of a little known international commission.

And while you probably haven’t read much about it, the outcome could see the creation of the two largest areas of protected ocean on the planet that would lock out fishing from more than 1.5 million square kilometres of ocean around the Antarctic.

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Caffeine Pollution in the Ocean

7 Aug

Plastic, clothing fibers and CO2 are not the only things ending up the sea. So is caffeine.

Scientists at Portland State University and Washington State University, Vancouver, found caffeine concentrations off the coast of Oregon. To their surprise, the substance was not always concentrated around population centers or pollution sources. In fact, they found coffee contamination in wilder areas, likely because wastewater-treatment plants have to adhere to higher standards than septic systems. They also discovered that caffeine levels spiked after storm-caused sewer overflows.

Since the Pacific Northwest has no sources of naturally occurring caffeine, its presence in coastal waters shows that waste from human sources is leaching into the sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the project’s funders, said in a news release: “The presence of caffeine in ocean water may also signal additional pollution such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals.”

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