Welcome to the 45th Carnival of the Blue! In the nick of time, the submissions arrived, and I didn’t have to follow through on my threat to replace this month’s Carnival of the Blue with Carnival of the Bieber. So here, without further ado, is the best online ocean writing of the past month.
We begin in the air just above the waves, with two petrel posts. Hugh from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology writes a dispatch from the shores of the Ross Sea in Antarctica, on the brilliant-white snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea). And Duncan from 1000 Birds relates an exceptional shipboard bird-watching trip to New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, where he discovered petrel paradise. Check out the post for some gorgeous pictures of shearwaters, prions, noddys, and petrels.
Structure and hard surfaces are hard to find in the ocean, and so where they occur, they often support productive and unique ecosystems. In many places around the world, oyster reefs have long provided some of these hard surfaces. Or used to. Johnny Scallops writes about the effects of the “functional extinction” of oysters around the world. Next, Danielle Meitiv of Brave Blue Words writes about artificial reefs–large pieces of junk we sink in the water to create habitat for fishing and diving. Are they totally awesome? Or should we be concerned? And finally, some unambiguous good news from Oceana’s The Beacon: international talks concluded last week agreeing to protect 16.1 million square miles of North Pacific seafloor from bottom trawling, and establishing a new international fishery management organization.
Less awesome news: coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster continues at Deep Sea News, if not in the mainstream media. Dr. Bik laments the confused state of research into the oil spill’s impacts almost a year after the explosion and blowout, but is encouraged by citizen science being done by the Surfrider Foundation. In further shitty news, the largest oceanography library in the world, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, may be forced to close by budget cuts in California. Read Miriam’s take on it, and add your name to the petition to save the library. The UW lost our fisheries and oceanography library to budget cuts two years ago…don’t let this happen to you!
February is the month of love, or so I hear. I’m in a pretty exclusive relationship with R at the moment. But feel the thrill in these two poems from Hurricane Country–a French ballade on the brain activity of salmon returning to spawn, and a haibun inspired by this picture. Kinky. And did you know that some mantis shrimp are monogamous for an entire breeding season? Me neither, but I do now, thanks to Molly at Snow Crab Love.
Switching from love and sex to predation, fear, and death. Jarrett Byrnes writes a guest post at Deep Sea News on predator diversity and ecosystem function. Is there anything more terrifying than a ravenous 20-armed sunflower star? If you’re a purple urchin, no, probably not. But as it turns out, that terror may help maintain kelp forest function.
Finally, one more poem and one more post on reef noise. Elissa writes a Sapphic poem inspired by a paper showing that coral larvae are attracted to settle by reef sounds. And totally independently, I wrote a post on the same phenomenon in small crustaceans and crustacean larvae.
That’s all for now. Be sure to check in next month for Carnival of the Blue #46 at Water Words that Work. Thanks for reading.