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Current Catches Marine Wildlife

Marine Wildlife & Human Interaction Learn about how to get involved with aquatic life and see some folks already in the water!

Fun Fishy Facts Inside! Learn some interesting new facts about friendly fish!

The Mayhem of the Sea! How shark finning is effecting the economy and the aquatic ecosystem.

An (Almost) Inconceivable Amount of Plastic An island of garbage? How you can help!

Noise Pollution How communication between whales affects the way they live.


Context

The Mayhem of the Sea! page 3

Selling for $200 a pound, shark fins are a delicacy for the wealthy. But are we ripping our oceans from these endangered creatures?

Underwater Around the World page 5

See what’s happening in the salt water and see people interact with the wild life!

An (Almost) Inconceivable Amount of Plastic page 7

Find out how the waste dumped in the ocean effects the aquatic environment. Who would like to visit Garbage Island?

Noise Pollution: How it Effects Whale Communication and Living page 9 Learn about whale communication and why it’s becoming more difficult for whales to communicate than ever before!

Editor’s Note Many people have questions on the mysteries and dangers of the Sea. Current Catches dives into recent discoveries and possibly problematic issues concerning marine wildlife and oceanic related topics. Co-founders Cassidy Price, Bethany Buenning, and Michael Dellutri have brought together the elements for a spectacular and in-depth magazine. The Earth is 71% water and over 95% of that water is unexplored. Due to that fact alone, we decided to bring to you the 5% we do know and share our wonder about the remaining 95%. Through the use of much research and curiosity, Current Catches tries to put forth valid arguments and various opinions in order to educate and entertain our readers. Throughout four articles we try to convey a sense of fact and mystery to our readers. Our goal is to elicit curiosity within our audiences’ about various concepts, marine wildlife issues and possible future discoveries. To our scientists, fishermen, coast-dwellers and marine enthusiasts, we hope you catch something current. -Cas, Beth, & Mike


Fun Fishy Facts   There are over 30,000 known species of fish.   Tuna can swim speeds of up to 43 mph. Fish have gills that extract oxygen from the water around them.   Over 1,000 species of fish are Threatened by Extinction.   Most brands of lipstick contain fish scales. Seahorses are the only fish that can swim upright. Sharks are the only fish that have eyelids. Most fish have taste buds all over their body.


The Mayhem of the Sea Written By: Cassidy Price  

A popular Asian dish

utilizes the fins of a shark as its main ingredient, getting its name “Shark Fin Soup”. Shark fin soup is known for its dull flavor and many health benefits. Shark fin soup can be upwards of $100 per can in a high-end Hong-Kong restaurant. The main ingredient is the cartilage of sharks and it sells for about $200 per pound. Not only can shark fins be used in the infamous shark fin soup, but also it is common to see it dried and hanging in the local grocery store. The actual shark meat sells for less than 1% of that. In October 2006, it was estimated between 26 million and 73 million sharks are killed for their fins annually. That does not even include sharks that are killed for their meat as well. That means that an estimated 1.7 million tons of dead shark is sold throughout Asia each year. Shark fins are

now becoming more popular in Latin America as well. The term “shark finning” refers to people fishing for sharks to specifically harvest the sharks’ fins (not the whole shark). A lot of the time, fishermen will use the long-line fishing method in order to catch as many sharks as possible in the shortest amount of time. Fishermen will take miles of fishing line and drop baited hooks down in random places along the line. They will give it 24 hours and then start pulling the line in, hoping that each hook has a snagged shark. Long-line

fishing is illegal and is very dangerous because of the unattended hooks and lines left in the ocean. Yet many fishermen continue the practice today and will admit they do it regularly because they believe it to be “harmless”. Once the fishermen pulls in a shark attached to one of the baited hooks they will slice off every fin and most of the time they will toss the rest of the shark back into the ocean. Because the shark has no fins to move forward with, it will sink to the bottom of the ocean and eventually die. The fishermen don’t keep the rest of the shark on the ship because it


takes up space. This wastes meat that could have been used otherwise.

is a regulation that a vessel cannot bring in shark fins that weigh more than 5% of the weight of the sharks that they Shark finning is problematic are bringing in. But sadly, only because their increasing fin a small number of countries desirability cannot keep up have banned shark finning alwith the dwindling populatogether. This is because even tion. Because sharks take up if shark finning is banned, to 20 years to mature and be- shark fishing would remain cause they do not reproduce a legal activity and would in large quantities (usually not solve the problem. Shark one to two offspring per year), finning is a multi-billion dolthe shark population cannot lar industry and banning the regenerate very quickly. Trad- activity could lead to a small ers will tell reporters that they economic downfall. Although only catch large and mature banning the activity certainly sharks, but at auctions you will does not stop the activity from see fins as small as one inch happening, it could very well in length. Some traders will destroy many businesses and not even wait that long as one jobs throughout Asia and the reporter witnessed a pregrest of the world. nant shark’s fetus being sliced from its fins. Fishermen are So what can we do? For startruthless when shark fins sell ers, consumers can avoid like gold. purchasing any food product that contains shark fins in Why isn’t this dangerous act order to eliminate some of banned? Each coastline is the revenue that is made by responsible for its’ own rules fishermen. If shark fins don’t and regulations on shark finproduce any money, then ning. Some countries, only they will be as apt to fish spewhole sharks can be brought cifically for the shark fins. Our in. In other countries there readers can also visit www.

stopsharkfinning.net. The organization Stop Shark Finning is a great resource for finding more information on shark finning. Our readers can also go here to donate towards the cause and purchase clothing and accessories to show your support of the shark ban movement. Stop Shark Finning is trying to get shark fins out of restaurants and through petitions and campaigns all over the coastlines. You can also scuba dive through the organization and take classes to learn more about sharks. Shark finning provides many people with jobs and a stable life, but we must ask ourselves if it is worth killing a species so important to our aquatic ecosystem. Moderation is key in all aspects of life and people can be very greedy. If shark finning continues at the rate it is going now, many different species of sharks could be extinct in our near future.


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Written By: Bethany Buenning, Cassidy Price

Marine wildlife And

human interaction

Dive into the Deep

Scuba Diving has become a well-versed practiced learned by many people today. Scuba diving is often used for recreational purposes, but it also can be beneficial when studying life in the ocean. Scuba diving has obliterated the barrier between the sea and land. Scuba diving has allowed us to better research and understand aquatic life. It has also intensified the curiosity we have for the sea and has encouraged us to discover more of its’ mysteries.


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An (Almost) Inconceivable Amount of Plastic Written By: Michael deullutri

The Ocean is a vast, mysterious universe with beauties as well as dangers within its shores. The surface of the ocean is bigger than that of dry land on the earth, and when the depths of oceans are considered, the ocean becomes almost alien-like. At its deepest point, named Challengers Deep, the ocean is 36,200 feet deep -- that’s 6.85 miles! Within this expanse of ocean, there are the beautiful things that we know, but even more that we have not found yet. Oceans are an open door, but what are we putting in? In the 1970’s alone, 17 million tons of waste were dumped into the oceans. Since then, waste has continued to accumulate. In 2008, 50 to 60 million tons of raw waste materials are dumped around the coast of China every day. This intense amount of waste does not just disappear, however. Ocean pollution is digested into the ocean ecosystem, literally and figuratively. Fulmars, a type of seagull living near the North Sea, are found to have an average of 30 pieces of plastic in their stomachs. Not only this, but these plastic waste products are a toxic force in the ocean’s belly. The widespread death in the ocean is a tragic thing, especially because many of the deaths could belong to creatures that we have not discovered. In 2006, Japanese scientists recorded the first ever video of a live giant squid. In 2012, they found and videotaped a giant squid in it’s natural habitat. The largest they have found was 43 feet long, and weighed around a ton! That’s around 2000 pounds! Who knows what’s out there still? Giant sharks? An ocean behemoth? Mermaids? Sadly, with the amount of pollution going into the ocean, we may never know. A good example of this widespread garbage is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The area itself covers an expanse of 7 million square miles. Garbage is spread over this area like a patch, as the

name suggests. Researchers estimate that there are about 1.9 million bits of plastic per square mile, this means that as an estimate value, there are 13,300,000,000,000,000,000 bits of plastic in all. To put this number into perspective, let’s compare it to other big numbers we know. Here is bits of plastic vs. the 2013 U.S total spending, in dollars: 13,300,000,000,000,000,000 6,100,000,000,000 This means that for every $61 spent in 2013, there are an estimated 133,000,000 bits of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Comparing further, if we decided to replace bits of plastic with dollars that were spent from 2013, we would only be able to replace 0.000045% of of the pieces of plastic. Let’s now compare bits of plastic to the estimated number of stars in the observable universe: 13,300,000,000,000,000,000 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 This means that for every 10,000 stars in the observable universe, there are 133 bits of plastic. Comparing them further, if we decided to replace the stars in the observable universe with bits of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, we could replace 1.33% of them. So with a random sample of 100 stars from the observable universe, it would be very likely that 1 of them would be a bit of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Ocean pollution is a big deal. It affects the ocean ecosystem and, in turn, affects us. It affects us as consumers, as fishermen, as scientists, and as marine life enthusiasts. There may be a lot of ocean, but there are also a lot of people, and we have a lot of waste.


Noise Pollution: How it Effects Whale Communication and Living Written By: Bethany Buenning As many people know, whales communicate through the use of echolocation; the process of sound waves that bounce off of other whales, food, and objects in the ocean in order for the whale to determine where things are. Whales can communicate with each other from miles apart and sometimes even oceans a part, the sounds that they make are sometimes too low for a human ear to detect. At frequencies as low as 14 hertz, they can communicate when they are as far apart as several kilometers from each other. However, with an increased use of cargo ships and leisure boats, whales are starting to be forced to “scream” so they can communicate with other whales. The propellers on the Oasis of the Seas, one of today’s largest cruise ships, has three propellers that measure twenty feet in diameter at 26 miles per hour you can imagine what kind of noise that makes underwater. However, Oasis of the Seas is not the only cruise ship that graces the seas, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, and Norwegian are just to name a few. If all of those cruise lines have propellers around the

same size as Oasis it is no wonder why the whales are having such a difficult time hearing each other over all of the noise. Cruise ships are something that people go on to have some time away, a vacation, but going on this type of vacation is the most harmful for one of the biggest mammals on earth. A luxury that is detrimental to the well-being of not just one species of whales but all species of whales sounds a little selfish to me. Although, cruise lines make money for the economy which helps out the country, so there are two different sides to this argument. Not only are the cruise line propellers loud but cargo ships and other leisure boats such as whale watching boats and yachts have propellers that could be loud as well. Communications with other whales are important because that is how whales find their mate and how they find food. With the loud noise in the ocean the males are having a hard time singing their mating songs to the females therefore decreasing the likelihood of mating between whales and increasing the possibility of whales being endangered. The increase in noise pollu-

tion is detrimental to a whale’s life because if a whale cannot strain over the noise from the other ships and boats, it cannot use it is echolocation to find food or find a mate. When a whale strains itself to be heard over the ships this tires the whale making it harder for the whale to find food like it was mentioned before. According to National Geographic, the Blue Whale used to be able to hear calls from other Blue Whales from distances of up

to 1,000 miles compared to today of only 100 miles. Not only is the Blue Whale affected but the Beluga Whale and the Killer Whale is as well. In a study that Discovery Chan-


nel did they discovered that ships anywhere from 61 miles to over 621 miles away from whales effect the way whales communicate. Whales have to naturally combat noise from

waves, earthquakes underneath the ocean, and other marine wildlife but having to constantly combat loud propellers from ships makes the lifestyle of a whale even harder.

In some places the noise is so loud that the whales have just stopped calling to each other, this is also detrimental because this stops the natural order of a

whale’s life. Christopher Clark of Cornell University has thought of one minor solution to this noise pollution, he suggested that if ships had quieter and more ecofriendly propellers it would not affect the whales as much. Normally propellers are made out of copper metal because it corrodes at a lesser rate than other metals such as steel; however copper tends to be a denser metal which is why it makes so much noise when it rotates in the water. Another suggestion was slowing the propellers down so that they do not make as much noise, but which is worse, a slower and longer trip or a faster and louder trip? Disrupting the natural food chain or order of life is harmful not only for the whales but for all marine wildlife.

Whales eat certain krill and krill eat certain substances and so on, but if the whales slowly start dying then there would be on overabundance of krill and

that would disrupt the natural order of the food chain. Whales are an important part of our marine wildlife system and they should be protected, the question is how should we go about this protection?


Works Cited "How Deep Is the Ocean?" How Deep Is the Ocean? N.p., 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 01 May 2014. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceandepth.html>. "Oceanic Pollution." Oceanic Pollution. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014. <http://kanat.jsc.vsc.edu/student/brookfield/mainpoints.htm>. Roper, Clyde. "Giant Squid." Smithsonian Ocean Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2014. <http://ocean.si.edu/giant-squid>. "Government Spending in the US." Fed Government Spending for 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014. <http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/fed_spending_2014>.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/7003587/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/noise-pollutiondisrupts-whale-communication/#.U12bcvldVo4 http://news.discovery.com/animals/whales-dolphins/whales-scream-noise-pollution.htm http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/kingdom-of-the-blue-whale/blue-whales-and-communication.aspx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Oasis_of_the_Seas

Stop Shark Finning. (n.d.). Stop Shark Finning. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://www.stopsharkfinning.net Fun Fish Facts for Kids - Interesting Information about Fish. (n.d.). Fun Fish Facts for Kids - Interesting Information about Fish. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/anima 60 Interesting Facts About . . . var addthis_config = {"services_compact":"email,fark,digg,delicious,linkedin", "services_expanded":"email,fark,digg,delicious,linkedin"};. (n.d.). 60 Interesting Facts about Fish. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://facts.randomhistory.com/fishfacts.html Shark Education - Shark Finning Facts. (n.d.). Shark Education - Shark Finning Facts. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from http://www.sharkwater.com/education.htm


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