Oceanography in the News: archive
This is an archive of stories from 2000. I keep older articles listed for varying lengths of time, depending how important I think they are (or interesting, at least); whether the site abandons them; and whether they become outdated or redundant.
Oceanography in the News, July to December 2000 Archive
December 27, 2000. Cyclone (hurricane) alert for southern India. BBC World News. Let's hope the Indians do a better job than they did last year. In terms of sheer understated horror, read this story from the New York Times, November 4, 1999, and be thankful that our nation deals better with disasters than India does.
December 27, 2000. Look out for pirates in Southeast Asian seas. Opinion piece from the Christian Science Monitor. Previous story: Pirates are on the increase in the Malacca Straits. BBC World News OnLine, October 9, 2000.
December 22, 2000. Last days of a herring fishery? San Francisco Bay. From the San Francisco Chronicle.
December 20, 2000. Trying to cleanup the Montrose DDT dump, offshore from Los Angeles. Main story lost. Previous stories on this topic:
December 20, 2000. Here's a real success story: the clean-up of Boston Harbor. Story from the Christian Science Monitor. Note that it is not only an environmental success, but it paid economically as well.
December 19, 2000. Increased recognition of the danger of sudden tsunami along the California coast.
December 5, 2000. Dangerous new invading crab in East Coast waters. Substitute article for this item
December 5, 2000. Be careful if you eat fish caught in Tomales Bay. Story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
December 1, 2000. Grim times ahead for fishermen based around Seattle. Story from the Puget Sound Business Journal
November 30, 2000. Large oil spill in the Mississippi Delta. Largest oil spill in US waters since the Exxon Valdez. CNN. This is a tanker owned by a Liberian company, operated by a Greek company, and registered in the Bahamas. Remember that the US Congress passed a law that said all tankers operating in US waters should be double-hulled -- by 2015 (!).
November 30, 2000. Humpback whales have a pop-song culture in their singing. Substitute for original URL.
November 29, 2000. Rainstorms pollute Southern California beaches. AP story from San Francisco Chronicle
November 29, 2000. Was this ship sunk by a methane burp? BBC News OnLine.
November 21, 2000. Mystery of declining herring in the State of Washington. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
November 20, 2000. Successful demonstration of wave power plant in Scotland. From BBC News OnLine
November 17, 2000. The Maori are outraged by attempts to rescue stranded whales in New Zealand.
Yes, you read that correctly. This is an astonishing story. This looks as if it may not last long on the Web, so I'll summarize it. Traditional Maori leader Sir Tipene O'Regan said at an international conference that stranded whales should be left on the beach to die. Why? So that the Maori can have their bones to make traditional carvings! He referred to the "environmental ayatollahs" who were trying to save them. New Zealand Press Association story. If this does disappear, I'd be happy to send the text as an E-mail to interested individuals (email@example.com). Obviously, I cannot re-post it for copyright reasons.
November 17, 2000. The Japanese whaling fleet sails to hunt whales in the Antarctic.
November 15, 2000. The Inuit may be killing too many narwhals. Substitute URL. Why are they doing that? Because the Canadian federal government is (perhaps foolishly) allowing more freedom of decision to these stewards of the Northern environment!
November 13, 2000. Blasting a stranded ship off the Great Barrier Reef. Story from BBC News OnLine.
November 2, 2000. What about the microbes in ballast water? They are potentially dangerous too. From Science Daily site.
November 2, 2000. Oil tanker runs aground in San Francisco Bay. Story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
October 28, 2000. The culture of dolphins. Feature article from Science News
October 22, 2000. New anti-fungal compounds found in sponges. Press release
October 19, 2000. Mysterious mass death of hundreds of sharks on the Florida coast. From BBC News OnLine
October 14, 2000. Bowhead whales can live to be close to 200 years old. From Science News.
October 10, 2000. Unsafe tanker still in San Francisco Bay. It is Singapore-owned, Liberian-operated, with a Greek captain, and who-knows-what-nationality crew.
October 6, 2000. Concern about invading species in the Pacific Northwest. Puget Sound Business Journal. (You know it's serious if it's in a business journal, rather than an environmental one!)
October 2, 2000. Red tide savages oysters in Galveston Bay, Texas. New York Times. A good hurricane would clear it out, said one Texan.
September 21, 2000. New sensors network deployed in the oceans to aid weather prediction. CNN
September 13, 2000. California closes down some gillnet fisheries because they are killing too many seabirds and sea otters. San Francisco Chronicle .
September 11, 2000. Protest over whaling in the Faroe Isles. Substitute story from BBC OnLine. There's plenty of bad behavior on both sides!
September 5, 2000. Canadian boat makes it through the Northwest Passage in only a month. From the New York Times.
September 3, 2000. The wonderful story of the Khian Sea, and the Philadelphia trash that it dumped in the ocean. Substitute story from 2002, clearly written by a Republican. Here, in contrast, is a background article from the (New York) Village Voice, January 1998.
August 31, 2000. Huge king crab invades Northern Europe. For once, this may be good news. Story from BBC News OnLine.
August 31, 2000. Latest review of the state of Chesapeake Bay. Christian Science Monitor
August 31, 2000. Where the wandering albatross goes. From BBC News OnLine. And this is not good news: they go off to prime fishing areas, where they are in danger of being wiped out by long-line fishing.
August 30, 2000. Here we go again: the Mi'kmaq Indians and lobsters. There was a confrontation last year between the Canadian Department of Fisheries (DFO) and the Mi'kmaq Indian tribe of New Brunswick, Canada. Canadian law, and a long-ago Treaty with the Mi'kmaq, allows then year-round fishing rights for subsistence. The DFO translates "subsistence" in terms of lobster to 40 traps that can be set ay any time. Meanwhile, the DFO imposes strict limits on lobster fishing because of the danger of overexploiting the stock. No non-Mi'kmaq is allowed to catch lobsters out of season.
The Mi'kmaq insist on their absolute right to set as many traps as they like, whenever they want: the latest figure I have seen is 4000 traps. Non-native lobstermen are furious, first because the Mi'kmaq are allowed to ignore the lobster conservation measures, and second, because of the commercial scale of the lobstering that the Mi'kmaq propose to operate out of season. Last year there was violence and arson by both sides.
Now the furore is boiling up again.
August 29, 2000. The ice at the NORTH POLE has melted! Story from the New York Times, August 19, 2000. Well, not so fast! Though this is a worrying phenomenon, it doesn't mean the North Pole has permanently melted. (Follow-up story by the New York Times, August 29, 2000.) Other stories about warming of the Arctic:
Is the Arctic ice cap doomed? From the New York Times, July 11, 2000.
Iceland is losing its ice. From the San Francisco Chronicle, August 21, 2000.
Global warming may open up a new ocean transport route, north of Canada. Story from the Christian Science Monitor, June 7, 2000.
The Greenland ice sheet is thinning significantly. Story from BBC News OnLine, July 21, 2000.
(However, that is most likely part of a normal fluctuation in ice thickness and distribution. (Press release on new research, September 2000.)
Why should we worry about the Greenland Ice Sheet melting, perhaps more than the Antarctic? AP news story, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 6, 2000.
August 24, 2000. What is killing off orcas in Puget Sound? Here's an argument that it's lack of food (salmon) and pesticide build-up. (Opinion piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.) Previous stories:
August 24, 2000. Billfish (marlin, swordfish etc.) are in bad trouble. Story from the New York Times.
August 22, 2000. In the wake of the tragic loss of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea, here are four backgrounders on the status of Russian nuclear waste in these northern areas.
"Permanent Nuclear Nightmare", from the San Francisco Chronicle, August 18, 2000.
From the Bellona site, August 22. Bellona is a Norwegian group that is crusading against the real and imminent danger of Soviet-era nuclear waste, lying so close to Norway.
August 16, 2000. The State of Washington bans sixgill shark killing. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 14, 2000. Bad news from the Yukon River: one of the worst runs ever for chum salmon... From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
August 14, 2000. Congress gives $50 million aid to fishermen. AP story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
August 10, 2000. Oil slick closes beaches in southern Florida. Have a nice vacation!. From the New York Times.
August 1, 2000. The Japanese whaling fleet sets off to sea again. This time it's into the North Pacific, where they will hunt sperm whales as well as smaller ones. It's difficult to see what to do in the face of such deliberate flouting of world opinion. But it is completely in character with Japanese environmental depredation elsewhere, from fisheries to forests, despite their protestations of harmony with nature. Related story: New York Times, July 29, 2000.
July 27, 2000. Status of elephant seals in California and Mexico: good. Story from the Christian Science Monitor.
July 26, 2000. Update on efforts to save penguins from the effects of an oil spill, South Africa. Story from the Christian Science Monitor. This was NOT a tanker, it was a big iron-ore carrier. The effect on the penguins is the same, however.
July 25, 2000. Here is (so far) a happy story: an endangered monk seal gives birth on a tourist beach. Story from the New York Times. Here also is a wider perspective, also from the New York Times, July 18, 2000.
July 25, 2000. Mass die-off of anchovies off Northern California: natural or not? Story from the San Francisco Chronicle
July 20, 2000. Latest review of beach erosion. Story by Cornelia Dean in the New York Times, June 28, 2000.
July 15, 2000. The dangerous invasive alga Caulerpa is discovered in California. Can it be eradicated quickly?. One hopes so: it is devastating the Mediterranean. Story by Janet Raloff from Science News.
July 14, 2000. New evidence of tsunami threat to East Coast. Story from the New York Times. Earlier story: Tsunami risk in ...Virginia? From the New York Times, May 3, 2000.
July 14, 2000. England's crumbling chalk cliffs. Story from BBC News OnLine on the doomed village of Birling Gap. Later story from 2001: English Nature site.
July 13, 2000. Crab fishermen lose a lawsuit asking for permission to overfish Alaskan snow crabs. Original story removed by the Seattle Times. It's bizarre that this lawsuit was brought in the first place. But it was. Read it for yourself! Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 17, 2000. This is the "logger mentality" that pervades the American West. And that's why we need governmental controls, so that these people do not steal from future generations, let alone from their own futures.
July 12, 2000. Mercury in fish, and the role of coal-burning power plants in increasing it. Story from the New York Times. Strange, or is it? that this report has been so long in coming, considering the number of people at risk. Don't hold your breath as you wait for action, especially if candidate B wins the next election rather than candidate A.
July 12, 2000. Fighting pollution on Southern California beaches. Story from the New York Times.
July 11, 2000. Losing battle against invaders in the Great Lakes. Story from the New York Times.
July 10, 2000. Japan is accused of buying votes at the International Whaling Commission. Not for the first time, and not without reason. (And they have probably done it too with the bluefin tuna fishery, successfully preventing the bluefin from being declared an endangered species). Story from the Christian Science Monitor. Other recent stories connected with the IWC meeting:
The whaling ban stays for now, but the IWC lays the groundwork for abandoning it, perhaps next year. BBC News OnLine, July 6, 2000.
South Pacific whale sanctuary rejected. Amid accusations of Japanese bribery and corruption. BBC News OnLine, July 4, 2000.
There are fewer Antarctic minke whales than we thought. (Will this persuade the Japanese not to hunt them? Don't hold your breath!) BBC News OnLine, July 3, 2000.
International ban on whaling may soon end. BBC News OnLine, June 11, 2000.
The dichotomy over whaling in Iceland is very well portrayed in this story from the Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 2000.
July 3, 2000. Record-breaking squid from the Antarctic. This is a big, and rare, squid, but it's not a "giant squid". Story from BBC News OnLine.
June 26, 2000. Catching crabs on the Chesapeake. A miniseries on the state of this industry, published in the Christian Science Monitor.
June 25, 2000. Current levels of fishing in the NE Atlantic are 'unsustainable': in fact, overfishing is a greater threat to the area than pollution. Story from BBC News OnLine. See also following item:
June 21, 2000. Russian vs. Scottish trawlers in the Northeast Atlantic. Story from BBC News OnLine
June 14, 2000. New Federal move to increase ocean research. Story from the Christian Science Monitor.
June 14, 2000. The level of the Mediterranean Sea is dropping. Story from BBC News OnLine.
June 14, 2000. The State of Washington gives up trying to regulate oil tankers. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This is the end of the line for the State. Previous stories:
June 13, 2000. Close call for an oil rig in the North Sea. Story from BBC News OnLine
June 7, 2000. Selling fish over the Internet. Story from the New York Times business section
June 6, 2000. The hidden costs of marine garbage. Story from BBC News OnLine
June 1, 2000. Fishermen are killing off leatherback turtles in the Pacific. Article in the New York Times.
May 31, 2000. Atlantic salmon approach critically low levels. Story from BBC News OnLine. Previous stories from 1997 and 1999:
May 24, 2000. Brand-new volcanic island in the Pacific. Story from BBC News OnLine. This is Kavachi, in the Solomon Islands.
May 22, 2000. An active, erupting undersea volcano on a hot spot near Samoa. Vailulu'u volcano supports the idea that the Samoan islands, like Hawaii, were formed as a hot spot chain. Press release from Science Daily
May 10, 2000. Dredging up a black smoker. Story from BBC News OnLine. Laced with gold, they say.
May 9, 2000. That toxic cargo of PCBs is now headed for Wake Island. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Previous stories:
May 1, 2000. Genetically modified salmon on the way.
Story from New York Times. Part 1 (part 2 is linked to it).
April 20, 2000. Coast Guard runs right over an anti-whaling protester. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I don't need to editorialize about this one, do I? just read the story. And then read a scary perspective from eye magazine, written before this latest incident, and published April 20, 2000.
April 19, 2000. Lobster crisis around Long Island. Story from Newsday
April 13, 2000. More floating plastic toys in the Pacific Ocean. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
April 12, 2000. How DO you define "dolphin-safe" tuna fishing? From the San Francisco Chronicle. This is a legal ruling on Government proposals that would have changed the definition.
April 8, 2000. New research on diving in marine mammals. Feature story from Science News.
April 5, 2000. A report on the ugly state of coastal pollution in the US. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
March 24, 2000. Overwhelming evidence of global warming from the deep ocean. The debate is over: global warming is happening, and it is happening throughout the oceans as well as at the surface.
March 23, 2000. Sewage versus oysters on the Washington coast. Story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
March 20, 2000. Now a group of Inuit want to start killing whales. You remember that last year, the Makah Indians were able to establish, with the connivance of the Federal Government, the principle that they had a right to kill grey whales. Now, surprise, surprise, another group, this time Inuit, want to catch bowhead whales (endangered, of course). AP story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
March 13, 2000. Harvesting California kelp: is there a problem? Story from the San Francisco Chronicle
March 12, 2000. Desalinating water for Tampa Bay. Story from the New York Times
March 11, 2000. The United States has its warmest winter on record. Story from the New York Times.
March 8, 2000. Seabirds as polluters?!? Story from BBC News OnLine.
March 3, 2000. Mitsubishi and Mexico give up on proposed salt works in gray whale breeding ground. Los Angeles Times story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
February 28, 2000. Dead whales as biological bonanzas on the sea floor. Article from CNN on research published in Nature on February 17, 2000.
February 22, 2000. Looking for Captain Kidd's pirate ship. Article from the New York Times. Coming soon on the Discovery Channel.
February 17, 2000. It's a complicated life if you're a midshipman fish. Press release, Cornell University on new research published in Nature.
February 16, 2000. Indian tribe asserts rights to dig clams. A story describing a genuinely positive attitude and development in the State of Washington. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
February 6, 2000. The disaster in the groundfish fishery of the Pacific Northwest. Editorial in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. See also a previous story from January 20, 2000, also in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
February 3, 2000. The tube-worms on cold seafloor seeps live a very long time. Press release, also available here. This is in strong contrast to the tubeworms on hot vents, which grow fast and have "normal" life-times.
January 31, 2000. Salmon threatened by global warming. This is the giant Fraser River salmon run, in British Columbia.
January 29-31, 2000. Major changes in Pacific ocean climate are suspected. Science News, January 29, 2000.
January 27, 2000. Oil seeps on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Satellite-based estimates of large amounts of oil naturally seeping from the seafloor. Press release from Earthsat corporation.
January 7, 2000. Major oil spill continues to pollute French beaches. This is oil from the tanker Erika, an old, single-hulled tanker, registered in Malta, manned by an Indian crew, and chartered to the largest French oil company, TotalFina. The Erika broke in two in a storm off the coast of France on December 12, 1999. Here are some stories, in chronological order:
January 7, 2000. A toxic algal bloom killed California sealions in 1998. Press release about a new paper published in Nature. However, a much better account can be found here on the UC Santa Cruz scientific writing program Web site.
January 4, 2000. A warning that small oil slicks kill birds, perhaps more effectively than large spills. Story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
For current ocean news, go to current ocean news
FOR STORIES FROM 1999, go to 1999 news files
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[For Paleontology in the News, see Paleontology in the News
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