Creating protected zones helps the recovery of even migratory fish species

As noted in prior posts, the creation of protected zones in which fishing is prohibited has been shown to be an effective method for assisting the recovery of fish that do not migrate over great areas. For example, protected zones in the region of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia have seen fish populations...

Even toxics can act as a generic selection factor in the environment

One of the themes of this blog has been that virtually anything present in the environment can act as a selection factor influencing the course of evolution. A recent study on fish and PCB's and dioxins illustrates this point. Unfortunately for humans, the end result is not necessarily positive or...

Use of Endangered Species Act to prevent mining operation requires input early in the NOI review process

The Endangered Species Act ("ESA") is becoming a popular tool used by public interest groups to stop projects that they view as adverse to environmental quality. However, a recent attempt to use the ESA against a mining project failed when the procedural posture was deemed an inaction for purposes...

Evidence supports association between methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular impacts

Traditionally, when one considers exposure to methylmercury, adverse impacts upon the brain and kidneys are foremost in any risk assessment. See, for example, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=113&tid=24 . Given the state of the evidence, it would appear that this paradigm needs to be amended...

Can dead zones (hypoxic waters) cause deformities in sexual organs of fish? Interesting study suggests it can.

Prior posts have described the scope and potential causes for the "dead zone" (low oxygen) in the Gulf of Mexico; the zone exists for part of the year, and its scope has been expanding over time. Nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) from various agricultural operations and waste treatment effluent...

How do schools of fish maneuver together? Watch the trees, not the forest

Watching large schools of fish maneuver with the grace of a water ballet leads to an obvious question: How do so many animals spread over what is often many yards coordinate their activities with such precision? They keep an eye on their immediate neighbors. However, how many neighbors they watch is...

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of nerve cells can be reversed as acidifying seawater...

Why is beef bad for your heart and arteries? Only your GI bacteria know for sure

Prior posts have noted the extent to which the makeup of the bacteria in one's GI tract can be critically important. The wrong mix, which apparently arises from the nature of one's diet, can lead to a wide variety of unfortunately ugly diseases and adverse conditions. Research now indicates that...

Further Asian Carp Barriers Proposed

Efforts continue to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago waterway system. The latest proposal under consideration by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is to install controls at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois. The ACOE is seeking public comments on this...