The Science of Sustainability

Tag: fish

When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital

A hammerhead shark's baleful stare. A longnose batfish's fierce armor and delicate fins. These masterpieces of expression and scientific detail fill the pages of the world's first ichthyology book, De Historia Piscium, published in 1686 by the Royal Society.

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Got Mercury? The New EPA Ruling And The San Francisco Bay

Got Mercury? The New EPA Ruling And The San Francisco Bay

This week, after decades of legal delays and foot dragging by the coal and power industry, the EPA unveiled a new rule protecting public health from mercury and other toxins.

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The Killer Affecting Killer Whale Populations

The Killer Affecting Killer Whale Populations

Nothing excites whale researchers and whale fanatics more than seeing a new calf born into the pod. However, researchers have learned that calf survival rates are incredibly low, especially for the orca’s first born. The mother’s young calf often dies because of something the mother passes on to her offspring—PCBs.

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Sea Lions, Herring, and Climate Change

Sea Lions, Herring, and Climate Change

I thought I’d check in on the sea lions at Pier 39. Just a few years ago, there were about 1600 of them. Then in 2009, most of them swam away.

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Back to School for Sardines

Back to School for Sardines

It’s back to school—for students, and for Pacific sardines. Pacific sardines, Sardinops sagax, were once wildly abundant along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. From the 1920s to through the 1940s, they supported the largest fishery in the United States—millions were caught in and around Monterey Bay. (In fact, the Monterey Bay Aquarium was once a sardine canning factory.) Though the Pacific sardine population crashed in the mid-1940s, it’s on the rise again.

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What Happened to the Humboldt Squid?

What Happened to the Humboldt Squid?

Large numbers of Humboldt squid, deep purple-red and up to six feet long, have propelled themselves into Monterey Bay each June since 2002. But this year, the squid have yet to arrive.

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Oil Spills and the Environment

Oil Spills and the Environment

The volume of oil recently spilled in the Gulf of Mexico is several thousand times what was spilled in San Francisco Bay in 2007, but the ecological studies conducted in the wake of the SF spill give us an idea of what we can expect in the Gulf.

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Reporter's Notes: Protecting Marine Reserves

Reporter's Notes: Protecting Marine Reserves

Argentine ants have had amazing success as an invasive species in the US. Their West Coast super colony numbers in the billions and spans from Mexico to Oregon. But aside from invading homes, they've had a dramatic effect on native ants and local ecosystems.

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Producer's Notes: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

Producer's Notes: Marine Sanctuary Patrol Flight

How do you keep tabs on what is going on in the marine sanctuaries? QUEST producers Lauren Sommer, Jenny Oh and I hitched a ride to find out.

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The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

The Changing Bay: Wetland Restoration Projects in Northern California

Wetlands — they are possibly the most diverse ecosystems on the plant, according to environmental scientists.

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Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Reporter's Notes: The Changing Bay

Less sediment in the bay means there's less for the wetlands, which could be an issue. But there's one thing that makes it worse: sea level rise.

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Predicting Fossil Finds

Predicting Fossil Finds

Scientists used evolutionary theory to figure out where to find the bones of this fishibian. Lately I have been reading Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. And so far it is a fascinating read. What is so great about this book for a scientist is that it gives the big picture on evolution. This sort […]

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Reporter's Notes: Oil Spill Anniversary

Reporter's Notes: Oil Spill Anniversary

November is the month when thousands of migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway make their stop in the San Francisco Bay Area. It's also the month when herring arrive in the Bay in gigantic schools – tons and tons of the tiny fish. And November's the month last year when the Cosco Busan crashed, leaking 53,000 gallons of black goo into San Francisco Bay.

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Living Life To The Extreme

Living Life To The Extreme

Fish live in the below-freezing waters off Antarctica. How these beasts have adapted to their incredibly harsh environment? More specifically, what changes have happened in their DNA that allow them to live where no other animal could?

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Green Sushi

Green Sushi

Modeled after the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s popular Seafood Watch Pocket Guide, the new sustainable sushi guide helps consumers make informed choices by categorizing seafood into three areas: Green (or best choice), Yellow (or good alternative) and Red (what to avoid). Just what kind of sushi you should avoid may surprise you.

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Producer's Notes for Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

Producer's Notes for Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

Through the eyes of these scientists, we witness the undersea life in bloom. They clearly have one of the best offices to go to work to each day.

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What makes a shark a shark?

What makes a shark a shark?

So, how do the Bay's leopard sharks, soupfin sharks, sevengill sharks, spiny dogfish, and other shark species differ from "non-shark" fishes? Here are a few key distinctions.

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Watching the Water

Watching the Water

While at sea, I've seen common Alaskan wildlife. Humpbacks have spouted and breached, raven and eagles have dived at the water for a dinner of spawning salmon. But I keep looking at the water, hoping to glimpse Orcas.

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A fishy odyssey through the delta

A fishy odyssey through the delta

Talk about a wild ride. Every year, millions of fish make a strange and harrowing detour through the Skinner Fish Facility, part of the State Water Project's facilities in the Delta. In my last post, I wrote about my visit to the Banks Pumping Plant, whose giant pumps slurp water from the Delta to help […]

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Reporter's Notes: Mercury in the Bay – Part 2

Reporter's Notes: Mercury in the Bay – Part 2

Last week on QUEST, we took a look at the history of the San Francisco Bay's most dangerous toxin: mercury. This week, now that the mercury is here in the bay, how is it affecting us? The obvious place to go was the Berkeley Marina, one of the bay's most popular fishing spots. On the […]

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