AltaSea: Trending – October 7, 2020

A monthly round-up of news and trends important to the AltaSea community.


Project Blue Presents The Blue Hour (AltaSea)

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is proud to host The Blue Hour on October 10, 2020 from 6:45 – 8:45pm next to the USS Battleship Iowa in San Pedro, CA. Gates open at 6:00pm.

The Blue Hour will be a unique, spectacular drive-in experience for all attendees focusing on LA as the global capital of Blue Economy and Education! This fundraiser will honor those who have paved the way for AltaSea and who will continue to forge new paths.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, tickets may not be sold at the site.  Reserve your spot now! For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

The Blue Hour Live Streaming (AltaSea)

The Blue Hour will be a unique experience for all attendees. While we would love for everyone to be able to get the full experience in person, we understand that some might not be able to. We want The Blue Hour to be an inspiring and uplifting night for the community, so we are excited to announce that the entire evening will be broadcast live on Facebook Live as well as YouTube. The Blue Economy is a global priority, and we want to spread the message far and loud. We hope you all can attend and participate on October 10!

Live Chats and Webinars (AltaSea)

AltaSea regularly hosts online Live Chats and Webinars. We hope you will join us for one or all of our upcoming programs! To sign up for these free online events, please follow the links below.



Beaked Whale Shatters Record With 3 Hour 42 Minute Dive (The New York Times)

The 1959 movie “Ben-Hur” runs some three-and-a-half hours long. A Cuvier’s beaked whale could watch the entire film underwater, never taking a gulp of air, with time to spare.

“They are remarkable divers,” said Nicola Quick, a marine biologist at Duke University. These pointy-snouted cetaceans, which frequent the world’s deep waters, have clocked the longest and deepest dives of any marine mammal ever recorded, plunging nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the sea.

Dr. Quick’s latest paper, published Wednesday in the Journal of Experimental Biology, documents the whales’ most impressive observed descent to date: 3 hours 42 minutes, trouncing the previous record by over an hour. The new record is nearly seven times longer than scientists expect the mysterious mammals should be able to dive, based on scientific understanding of their body size and metabolic rate.

Divers Recover 656-Foot Ghost Net, Release 115 Trapped Animals (SportDiver)

A team of 10 scuba divers recently removed a 656-foot-long discarded fishing net, called a “ghost net,” from a popular diving and fishing site off the coast of Plymouth, England.

The volunteers, who are part of the ocean conservation nonprofit Ghost Fishing UK, had been taking a break from their normal dives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as they heard reports of a massive net strewn across two pinnacles at Hand Deeps reef, they knew they had to get back in the water.

The net was trapped between 65 and 100 feet below sea level. It took two dives to completely free the net from the reef and bring it up to their boat.

Scientists Use Seaweeds to Travel Back in Time (Hakai Magazine)

There are few things I enjoy more than turning a slimy piece of seaweed into a work of art. From scouring the tide pools for the perfect blades, to artfully arranging them on a piece of paper in my herbarium press, every step of the process is immensely satisfying.

Using the same technique that people use to press flowers, I can turn almost any algae into a natural work of art that can last for centuries. Although I press algae for artistic purposes, algae pressing has long been a scientific pursuit.

The practice emerged in 19th-century England as a way for scientists and natural history buffs to preserve and catalog the diverse array of seaweeds found along the country’s coasts.

Women were among the most avid algae pressers. Artfully preserving seaweeds was one of the few ways women could contribute to science in the 19th century. At the time, women were excluded from most scientific fields, with the exception of botany, which was considered a suitable hobby for them.


Marine sponges inspire the next generation of skyscrapers and bridges (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)

When we think about sponges, we tend to think of something soft and squishy. But researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are using the glassy skeletons of marine sponges as inspiration for the next generation of stronger and taller buildings, longer bridges, and lighter spacecraft.

In a new paper published in Nature Materials, the researchers showed that the diagonally-reinforced square lattice-like skeletal structure of Euplectella aspergillum, a deep-water marine sponge, has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than the traditional lattice designs that have used for centuries in the construction of buildings and bridges.

Open-ocean fish farm proposed off San Diego coast could be first in federal waters (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A prestigious San Diego research institute and a Long Beach social-benefit investment group are teaming to create what could be the first fish farm in federal waters.

The proposed farm, Pacific Ocean AquaFarm, would be located about four miles offshore of San Diego and would generate 5,000 metric tons of sushi-grade yellowfish each year — enough for 11 million servings of the popular seafood.

A partnership between Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and Pacific6 Enterprise, the project also would create a diversity of economic opportunities and provide a local source for a fish that is now mostly imported.


Aboard the Sally Ride, an all-female science team made this research cruise historic (Los Angeles Times)

As chief scientist Angela Klemmedson checked the team roster for this summer’s research cruise of the California Current, she realized they had something in common: Every scientist sailing was a woman.

The July cruise marked the first time in its 71-year history that the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations, known as CalCOFI, had included an all-female science party.

It also happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. And it took place aboard the naval research vessel the Sally Ride, named in honor of the first female American astronaut. In addition, the ship’s crew included a female third mate, boatswain, and two able-bodied crew members.

How Scientists Learn What Lives in the Deep Ocean (Smithsonian Magazine)

In the fifteen years since it was first caught on camera, the giant squid has revealed many of its secrets. Researchers now know how it swims, some of its migration patterns and even how it might hunt. But they don’t know a lot about the ocean depths where it lives.

“This was a way of opening people’s eyes to the deep sea and showing them that it’s a really alien environment and huge. We haven’t explored very much of it at all.” said Dr. Mike Vecchione, the curator of cephalopoda at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Aquarium Of The Pacific Focuses On Seafood Future (The Grunion)

A virtual panel series focusing on the future of sustainable seafood launches this month and runs through November. The Aquarium of the Pacific is presenting the series to viewers for free.

The panels include experts from the Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, World Wildlife Fund, U.S. Naval Academy, and several universities and seafood companies. Topics include the big picture of sustainable seafood and its role in and relationship with climate change, nutrition, livelihoods, policy, society, and more.

The online series will appear at the aquarium’s website, under the events tab. Airings are from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29; and Nov. 3, 5, 10, 12 and 17. Then there will be a live question and answer session from 1 to 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

For more information, go to the website or call 562-590-3100

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