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Europe's Water Framework Directive states that water is a heritage we must protect and defend. The potential threat of water contamination and the spread of waterborne diseases are becoming more serious than ever before. This is the result of a number of factors, including the increase in population, globalisation and the movement of more people across borders and between continents, and the effects of global warming.
Published: 22 November 2013
Published: 7 June 2013
Fish such as salmon are inextricably drawn back to the place of their birth so that they too can procreate and continue the cycle. Some fish follow specific migration routes, and those that inhabit rivers and estuaries impacted by dams and power plants are at risk. Research aimed at protecting these fish is being conducted at the University of Southampton, led by Dr Paul Kemp, from the university's International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER). This European science centre is fast making a name for itself around the world as it helps engineers develop hydropower to understand fish behaviour and come up with innovative ways to keep them away from turbines and intake systems.
Published: 19 November 2012
Cod was once a staple diet across many European countries, and so important in fact that in the past some countries have even gone to war over this important resource. Their popularity, however, meant that they have become overfished in some areas leading to a shortage of large and old cod, which in turn has led to the fish becoming more sexually mature at a younger age. This, according to research conducted by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden has led to a serious change in cod stocks and could severely impact the fish's health, physiological ageing and reproductive capacity.
Published: 19 October 2012
Around 71 per cent of the Earth's surface is made up of salt-water oceans - that's 98 per cent of all water. The ecosystems that exist beneath their surface are diverse and vibrant. Their sheer scale, however, means that there is still a lot to be discovered. And that is exactly what an international team comprising scientists from Europe and the United States have done. Their new discovery - of a symbiosis between tiny single-celled algae and highly specialised bacteria in the ocean will help scientists to better understand oceans and the important role they play in our lives.
Published: 12 October 2012
Researchers in Italy suggest that one of the main limits of spatially explicit forms of marine conservation, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), is that they cannot protect areas from major threats, including coastal modifications and changes in hydrodynamic and sedimentary regimes, as well as the spread of exotic species. Alien species, in particular the green algae Caulerpa racemosa, have invaded the Mediterranean Sea and other MPAs, significantly impacting the feeding habits of demersal species, and in turn potentially affecting fish populations. The study, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded in part by the PERSEUS ('Policy-oriented marine environmental research in the southern European seas') project, which has received almost EUR 13 million under the Environment Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework (FP7).
Published: 19 July 2012
Scientists have gained a new tool in their efforts to research the world's changing environment: the Surface Ocean CO2 (carbon dioxide) Atlas (SOCAT). This is the most comprehensive dataset of surface water carbon dioxide measurements for the world's oceans and coastal seas, made up of 6.3 million global observations generated from research vessels, commercial ships and moorings around the world since 1968. The information provides researchers with a 40-year record of CO2 accumulation in the surface ocean. The study was funded in part by the CARBOOCEAN and CARBOCHANGE projects, which received EUR 14.5 million and EUR 7 million under the EU's Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes (FP6, FP7), respectively.
Published: 23 April 2012
Researchers in the Czech Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom have successfully identified the cellular components and mechanisms that play a role in the proliferation of myxozoa, tiny aquatic parasites responsible for diseases in commercially valuable fish. Presented in the journal PLoS ONE, the study's findings shed light on the motility of myxozoa's proliferative states and their reproductive process.
Published: 20 April 2012
Sea turtles are using marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect themselves from the threats of fishing and to forage for food, a new international study shows. Presented in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, the findings show that more than a third of the world's green turtles are found within MPAs. This figure is much higher than what they anticipated because just a small number of shallow oceans are designated as MPAs.
Published: 12 April 2012
An international team of scientists has discovered that the effect of fishing for tuna and similar species since the early 1960s has led to a decline in these populations by around 60%. The study, presented in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded in part by the METAOCEANS ('Elucidating the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems through synethesis and comparative results') project, which clinched a Marie Curie Early Stage Research Training (EST) grant worth EUR 2.23 million under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The results have raised red flags, highlighting how several fish species have been overexploited, and particularly how the majority of tuna fish have been exploited to the limits of sustainability.
Published: 22 February 2012