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Surprisingly dolphins aren’t fish! A dolphin is a mammal. Like every mammal the dolphin is isn’t born in eggs, and breathes air. A dolphin usually breathes once or twice a minute, can hold its breath no longer than seven minutes but only if it is an emergency. Dolphins do have a tiny bit of hair! The only place there is hair is right next to the blowhole. Dolphins have blubber instead of fur. Blubber gives a dolphin their streamline shape. Blubber also is a cover that holds in heat. Dolphins’ teeth are usually made for grasping not chewing. If a dolphin needs to make its food into smaller pieces, it will grasp its food and throw it against the water. This makes it easier to eat the food.

ď‚— There are 45 different types of

dolphins. Some dolphins live in oceans and other types live in rivers. A trainer can sometimes tell the difference between each dolphin by their back fin. The bottle nosed dolphin is the type of dolphin most known. Dolphins are related to many other mammals in the ocean. The killer whale is the biggest dolphin!

 A dolphin’s average life span is probably 20 years or less;

even though, dolphins have lived as long as 48 years. We can tell how old a dolphin is by looking at its teeth. Each year it grows a new layer of tissue on its teeth. When a dolphin dies, its teeth can be cut to see how old the dolphin was, like the rings on a tree.

ď‚— Dolphins die in various ways. They can get an

infection, have breathing problems, or get heart disease. They can be killed by predators such as sharks or killer whales. Sometimes people kill dolphins on purpose. They use the dolphin for meat, leather, and oil. Human pollution also kills dolphins. They are also caught in fishing nets when people try to catch tuna fish.

The common Dolphins,Striped Dolphin Bottlenose Dolphin & the Rissos Dolphin Dolphins face a mixture of threats due to human influence . Population have been hunted off the coast for use as food & shark bait . In most other areas the dolphins have not been hunted directly several thousands have been caught in industrial trawler nets throughout their range . Common dolphins were abundant in the western mediterranean sea until the 1960 but accurences there have understood but are believed to be due to extensive human activity in the area .

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by the Levant.

Pollution ď‚— Pollution in this region has been extremely

high in recent years. ď‚— All around the world, 8 million tons of waste reaches the sea every day. All this refuse is generated by Human activity. This non-recyclable rubbish is thrown into the toilet, onto the streets, into drains, onto The sand and into the sea, turning it into a tangible destroyer of marine life.

ď‚— The United Nations Environment Program has

estimated that 650 million tons of sewage, 129,000 tons of mineral oil, 60,000 tons of mercury, 3,800 tons of lead and 36,000 tons of phosphates are dumped into the Mediterranean each year.

ď‚— Many marine species have been almost wiped

out because of the sea's pollution. One of them is the Mediterranean Monk Seal which is considered to be among the world's most endangered marine mammals.

Endangered Species  Sharks  Murex shell

 Dolphins  Sea turtles  Crabs

 Sea star  Sponge  Coral reef  seal

Coral Reefs ď‚— Coral reefs are underwater structures made

from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Corals are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters containing few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, and are formed by polyps that live together in groups. The polyps secrete a hard carbonate exoskeleton which provides support and protection for the body of each polyp. Reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters.

 Often called ―rainforests of the sea‖, coral

reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. They occupy less than 1% of the world ocean surface, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for 25% of all marine species. Reefs are home to a large variety of other organisms, including fish, seabirds, sponges, worms, crustaceans (including shrimp, cleaner shrimp, spiny lobsters and crabs), mollusks, echinoderms (including starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers), sea squirts, sea turtles and sea snakes.

ď‚— Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services to

tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection. The annual global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated at $30 billion. However, coral reefs are fragile ecosystems, partly because they are very sensitive to water temperature. They are under threat from climate change, ocean acidification, blast fishing, cyanide fishing for aquarium fish, overuse of reef resources, and harmful land-use practices. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm reefs by encouraging excess algae growth.

Types The three principal reef types are:  Fringing reef – a reef that is directly attached

to a shore or borders it with an intervening shallow channel or lagoon.  Barrier reef – a reef separated from a mainland or island shore by a deep lagoon.  Atoll reef – a more or less circular or continuous barrier reef extending all the way around a lagoon without a central island.

Table Coral

Spiral Coral

Table Coral

Staphorn Coral

Climate Change ď‚— Any rise in the sea level due to climate

change would effectively ask coral to grow faster to keep up. Also, water temperature changes can be very disturbing to the coral. Warming may also be the basis of a new emerging problem: increasing coral diseases. Warming, thought to be the main cause of coral bleaching, weakens corals.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Conservation  To celebrate the International Year of the

Reef 2008 (IYOR 2008), NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation led the development of a U.S. messaging campaign. The theme is ―Coral reefs for health, for wealth, for life,‖ which recognizes the value of coral reef ecosystems. To complement the tag line of ―Every Act Counts,‖ five action messages were developed to raise awareness of the effects of everyday actions on coral reefs.

 Whether you live one mile or one thousand

miles from a coral reef, your actions affect the reefs’ future — and the reefs’ future affects yours. As the natural guardians of our shores, reefs play a vital role in our global ecosystem. With climate change, pollution, and overfishing contributing to coral reef degradation, we can all play a role in protecting our land, sea, and sky. All it takes is a few simple changes to your daily routine.

Five Things You Can Do ď‚— Long-lasting light bulbs are a bright idea. If

every household replaced a burned out bulb with an energy-efficient bulb, it would prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that from at least 800,000 cars. Climate change is one of the leading threats to coral reef survival, so let your conservation light shine. ď‚— It stinks to send chemicals into our waterways. The chemicals we use to clean our houses and beautify our lawns end up in our waterways and are carried to the ocean. Do your part by using naturally-derived and biodegradable detergents and cleaning products.

 Corals are already a gift. Don’t give them as

presents. Corals are popular as souvenirs, for home décor, and in costume jewelry, yet corals are living animals that eat, grow, and reproduce. It takes corals decades or longer to create reef structures, so leave corals and other marine life on the reef.

 Don’t drag the reef into this. Use anchor in

sandy areas away from coral and sea grasses so that anchor and chain do not drag on nearby corals or tear up sea grass beds.

ď‚— The ocean floor is not a dance floor. Coral

reefs are alive. Stirred-up sediment can smother corals and each inch of reef can take decades to redevelop once broken. Divers and snorkelers can do their part by maintaining proper optimism control, never touching reefs, and spreading the word about coral reef stewardship.

Importance of Corals ď‚— Corals remove and recycle carbon dioxide.

Sponges: More Than Just a Bathroom Accessory

• One animal that every diver will have encountered, because they don't hide or swim away and are mostly brightly colored: the sponge.

• Sponges are single or colonial animals which body bears many pores. The sessile nature of sponges and their asymmetrical appearance convinced the earliest naturalists that they were plants. Unlike almost any of the other multicellular organisms, sponges lack a nervous system and have no true muscles. Sponges lack specialized reproductive, digestive, respiratory, sensory or excretory organs. They come in many shapes and sizes from small encrusting forms to large erect vases.

• The body of a sponge is build up in three layers. The outer layer is formed by flattened cells that have the ability to contract. The inner, non-living gelatinous layer contains amoeboid cells and cells that secrete spicules and fibers, which are used for structural support. The inner layer of sponges consists of flagellated cells that circulate water through the sponge to bring in food as well as a means for waste removal.

• Two unique organizational attributes define sponge and played a major role in the poriferan success. These two features are: the water current channels and the highly totipotent nature of sponge cells (i.e., sponge cells retain a high degree of mobility and are capable of changing form and function). Sponges have a remarkable ability to regenerate: when cells of a sponge are mechanically separated, the cells will actively migrate and form a fully functional sponge within two to three weeks.

• Since sponges have a delicate water circulation system, sponges cannot tolerate environments with a high rate of sedimentation. Their pores are easily clogged and the animals have no defense against burial. Consequently we find sponges most often in areas where water is clean and the sedimentation rate low. • The volume of water passing through a sponge can be enormous, up to 20,000 times its volume in a single 24-hour period.

In general sponges feed by filtering bacteria from the water that passes through them. They can trap up to 90% of all bacteria in the water they filter.

• Only six different species of sponge are considered useful to make bath sponges. The skeleton of these sponges is composed only of spongin tissue and contains no hard spicules. Sponges have been harvested for millennia. The industry peaked in 1938, when the world annual sponge catch exceeded 2.6 million pounds (1200 tons).

Sponges are very common. Most grow on rocks or occasionally on sand/mud surfaces where they are exposed to potential predation. Many biologists suggests that biochemical defenses protect sponges from being cropped excessively by predators. Studies over the last two decades have revealed that sponges produce a suprisingly broadspectrum of biotoxins, some of which are quite potent. A few, such as those of Tedania and Neofibularia can cause painful skinrashes in humans. Not only are those chemicals used to deter predators they are also helpful to prevent infection by microbes and to compete for space with other sessile invertebrates such as ectoprocts, ascidians, corals and even other sponges

Summary •

1. Some Mediterranean sponge species belonging to the genera Spongia and Hippospongia, have been harvested for commercial purposes since ancient times. Recently, a widespread epidemic has greatly reduced the density of sponge populations which has had serious repercussions in the commercial field. 2. The synergetic action of harvesting and disease has taken a number of populations to the brink of extinction. Sponge-population densities are steadily decreasing and their recovery after the disease event is incomplete and has taken a long time. 3. There is a simple solution to the problem: sponge-farming. Trials have been underway since the beginning of the century and recently, Cuba, the Philippines and Micronesia Islands have started commercial sponge-farming. 4. Sponges are naturally able to remove dissolved organic matter, organic particles and bacteria from the water-column and this ability could be exploited in an integrated mariculture system. Floating cages for fish production result in the release of a lot of organic wastes that can be used as a source of food for surrounding intensive commercial sponge communities. Such an integrated system could result in effective eutrophication control, commercial sponge production and a consequent reduction of fishing effort on already heavily-stressed natural sponge populations

Sea pollution The Mediterranean is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, and is almost completely enclosed by lands of Europe, Africa and Asia. The Mediterranean Sea is known as the cradle of civilization, with up to twenty modern states sharing the coastline. people have been accustomed to throw whatever they wish into the sea the sea has carried the waste products of •humans •animals, •food waste, •chemical products and byproducts, •agricultural chemicals, •petrol, •plastic bags, •aluminum products, •and numerous heavy metals consequently killing the animals living in the sea and affecting the ecological balance.

Common known facts

“Cleaning up the spill is now the priority. But the Lebanese are facing two obstacles—a lack of workers and equipment and an inability to operate cleanup vehicles and ships along the coast “ “The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that between 10,000 and 15,000 Tons of fuel oil leaked from an electric power plant bombed south of Beirut in 2006 along the eastern Mediterranean coast. “

“Lebanon's eastern Mediterranean coastline is an important marine environment. “

“The direct outpour of sewage, industrial waste and household refuse without prior treatment and with no sanitary measures has transformed the Lebanese beaches into trash dumps and the Lebanese coast into underwater sewers. “

•At least 200,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage water pours into the sea daily. •“Lebanon is one of a few countries where nearly all sewage goes into the sea.” •Lebanon’s sea pollution woes were multiplied considerably during the 2006 war, when more than 15,000 of fuel oil spilled into the sea following the bombing of the main power station by Israel. •Not only is nearly 60% of the country’s sewage is being poured into the sea, but also untreated waste from at least 28 different industries, according to the country’s Green Party. •Not only sewage and industrial waste, but also thousands of tons on untreated solid wastes find their way to the sea, from a number of dumping sites, on the country’s coastline.

•Even before the 2006 war, it was reported by the World Bank that marine pollution in Lebanon was costing the country about $565 million a year.

•Many Lebanese fishermen, who used to catch thousands of tons of fish as recently as ten years ago, now say they only haul in a small fraction of their former amount. •There is only one marine reserve, a small 1.2 km pilot project located at Byblos; and established by Greenpeace. Even that small area is now threatened by pollution. •Although Lebanon is a party to the Convention for Protecting the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution, it appears that little can be done to deal with a problem that seems to be increasing annually. Health effects Humans are exposed to marine pollutants mainly through the consumption - of fish and other seafood, the ingestion of sea water while swimming or bathing, and direct contact with sand or sea water.


The Mediterranean bluefin tuna is currently on a time line to biological oblivion. If we want these magnificent creatures to exist on planet earth, if we want to preserve centuries of tradition, if we want to sustain a vital fishing industry, and guarantee the biodiversity of our seas then there needs to be a temporary ban in the international trade and abuse of this amazing species. The future of the fish and the thousands of people that depends on it hangs in the balance. Over the last 50 years the Mediterranean populations of the king of the tuna have declined by 85% or more and now this legendary predator is on the edge of commercial extinction. Lebanese environmental groups declare that bluefin tuna a significant commercial species in the region that has already suffered from overfishing are also being threatened and intoxicated by the spill in the Mediterranean. For some reason a crime against the sea is underestimated, it’s a crime against human beings as much as a crime against the sea animals, we own the sea but we don’t have the means or the will to protect it. Dumping in the sea is causing major changes in the habitat of the tuna in the Mediterranean. The way this specie is abused there’s no doubt that sooner or later the tuna will face extinction in the Mediterranean Sea. Spills of tons of phosphorus, nitrogen, detergents, mercury, lead, zinc, pesticides, mineral oils and other toxic wastes is framing the survival of the Mediterranean blufin tuna.


Sea Pollution