01 October 2013

[CLOSED] Position Openings: (1) Data Encoder and (1) Photo Editor

Come join our team!

Open to Philippine residents only.

18 September 2013

Connectivity of sea otters and crabs

 Photo by Ron Eby

Sea otters live in shallow waters and often in areas with kelp beds where they feed on invertebrates, i.e., sea urchins, crabs, etc. [1]. In the Aleutian archipelago down to California, it has been observed that the feeding habit of otters control herbivore populations in these areas, increasing the size and coverage of kelp and seagrass beds [1,2]. 

Seagrass recovery in the Elkhourn Slough, California, in spite of the degradation caused by excessive nutrients dumping, amazed University of California Santa Cruz researchers. A recent study from this group of researchers showed that interactions between sea otters and their prey is crucial in the recovery of its habitat. Sea otters feed on crabs, which feed on slugs and other invertebrates found on seagrass leaf blades. Predation by sea otters on crabs controls the latter’s effect on the population of slugs, which are important in maintaining the health of the seagrass population [2].

To know more about sea otters, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] Estes, J.A.; Palmisano, J.F. (1974) Sea otters: their role in structuring nearshore communities. Science 185(4156):1058-1060.
[2] Stephens, T. (2013) Sea otters promote recovery of seagrass beds. http://news.ucsc.edu/2013/08/sea-otters-seagrass.html [Accessed 05/09/2013].

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11 September 2013

A culture of turtle meat. Really?

Photo from earthfirstnews

The IUCN [1] currently lists sea turtles as vulnerable (Lepidochelys olivacea), endangered (Caretta caretta, Chelonia mydas), and critically endangered (Eretmochelys imbricata, Dermochelys coriacea) wildlife, worldwide. But, in the 1700s, these animals were abundant and  commonly used as a source of food for crewmen on trans-Atlantic ships [2]. Centuries of harvest led to a rapid decline in the natural sea turtle population. In the 1960s, a turtle farm was established  in the Cayman Islands [2], which bred turtles in captivity to provide a sustainable supply of turtle meat to cultures with a palate for it. One of the advantages, as argued by the farm owners is that this will eventually discourage poachers from harvesting turtles in the wild. The Cayman Turtle Farm has been operating for more than 40 years now, and has in the meantime also evolved to a flourishing cruise ship tourist attraction.
Emily in Marine Life presents a description of the Cayman Turtle Farm.

Photo by Linda Garrison

Apparently, tourists all over the world who come to this place are introduced to the biology of sea turtles, including a description of their natural habitat. However, the pools shown to tourists are overcrowded and swimming in  murky water, polluted with food pellets floating on the surface. [3]. But, the farm’s treatment of sea turtles contradicts much of their “natural habitat”, which is the vast open ocean. Exposing children to a picture of an overcrowded stagnant pool, which may even harbour diseases such as Salmonella, viruses, fungi and parasites that can be passed on from turtle to humans [4],  is not a desirable educational experience, is it? It might be time for the Cayman Turtle Farm to review its sea turtle manual and provide the sea turtles it breeds with a habitat that reflects more of its natural habitat.

To know more about sea turtles and their natural habitat, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] IUCN (2013) IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. http://www.iucnredlist.org/ [Accessed 6/9/2013].
[2] Morriss, A. (2006) Survival of the sea turtle: Cayman turtle farm starts over. Property and Environment Research Center Report 24(3). http://perc.org/articles/survival-sea-turtle [Accessed 6/9/2013].
[3] Cayman Turtle Farm Island Wildlife Encounter (2013) Turtle encounters. http://www.turtle.ky/turtle-encounters [Accessed 6/9/2013].
[4] Tripp, E. (2013) Sea Turtle Farming: Conservation or Cruelty? Marine Science Today, http://marinesciencetoday.com/2013/01/29/sea-turtle-farming-conservation-or-cruelty/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarineScienceToday+%28Marine+Science+Today%29 [Accessed 6/9/2013].

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09 September 2013

FishBase, SeaLifeBase and Mundus Maris: Science and art combined!

The FishBase (FB) and SeaLifeBase (SLB) databases, under the FishBase and Information Research Group, Inc. (FIN) collaborated with Mundus Maris as a science-base, through information exchange. The cooperation serves to provide opportunities to increase awareness of the public about marine biodiversity and the unsustainable practices of many fisheries today.

Mundus maris is a non-profit organization whose mission is "to provide scientific and relevant indigenous knowledge and encourage artistic expression about the sea in order to promote its restoration, conservation and sustainable use, to further the study, understanding and respect of aquatic ecosystems and associated biological and cultural diversity". It is particularly active in supporting young people and their teachers so as to stimulate curiosity about the sea and engagement to protect it. Practicing international cooperation is the most promising way to develop solutions to the current fisheries and climate crises.

As part of the development and field testing of teaching aids for schools in Gambia and Senegal, Mundus maris used its collaboration with FishBase, FAO and local scientists to design fish rulers with minimum size of the major commercial species. 
The use of these fish rulers and related teaching aids led to concerns about the extent of fishing juveniles, thus the sustainability of the major fisheries in these countries. The negative effects were already felt through erosion of social conditions of many people in the fishing communities, among others. For the young people it raised the stakes of getting enough education and alternative opportunities to earn a living as adults, something that is easier said than done.

In May 2012 therefore, Mundus maris launched an invitation to schools and youth groups to find names for the baby fish, which had been designed by Filipino artist, Mike Yap, a passionate diver and associate of FishBase and SeaLifeBase. The babyfish were also used in posters, colouring sheets, and bookmarks disseminating the motto “Let the baby fish grow”. Five language versions carried the message to many countries as part of the on-going awareness campaign of Mundus maris. By inviting youth to give names to the babyfish and tell their story, it was intended that they become the Mundus maris mascots. Hundreds of children from different countries responded and proposed names and stories about the baby fish. An international jury determined the winner and all participating groups won certificates and prizes.

The winners are children from the Mundus maris club of the secondary school (CEM) in Kayar, Senegal. The mascots are now named Samba (babyfish boy) and Kumba (babyfish girl). To honour the effort of the winners, Mundus maris asked the same artist to animate their story. This video was just released by Mundus maris. Hope you watch and enjoy this!

Let us continue to support these organizations for the welfare of our oceans, our children and future generations. To donate, please proceed to their respective sites.

Written by:
Patricia Yap and Cornelia Nauen

28 August 2013

WANTED: Netizen report on COT outbreaks

COT (crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci) outbreaks have devastating effects to coral reefs since the 1930s, in some instances, wiping out entire coral reefs.

COT seastars feasting on a small coral table.
Photo taken by Jennifer Selgrath

In 2011, SeaLifeBase Project started to gather COT occurrences, that is, important baseline information that may help in determining the probable cause(es) of such outbreaks. To date, it has 686 occurrences from 166 references, more than 50% of which are identified as outbreak events.

Reported COT occurrences since 1820

So next time you see a COT seastar or a COT outbreak, please e-mail me at m.pan@fin.ph the following details:
  1. Date and name of place where observation was made;
  2. Latitude and longitude of the specific area observed via the GPS capacities of your cellphone (if possible);
  3. Is this observation that of a few indiduals sparsely distributed within the area? Or is this observation that of many seastars gathered in the same area and visibly destroying the reef (that is an outbreak)?
  4. The average number of seastars found in a meter square of the area; and the length and the width of the whole area where this number is observed (if possible);
  5. Length (in cm) and/or number of arms of individual COT (if possible); and
  6. Other remarks on the occurrence or the outbreak
Your observations will be gratefully receive. Many thanks! 

27 August 2013

Picozoa: a new marine phylum

Picozoa a new phylum of marine unicellular heterotrophic eukaryotes, was created to accommodate a new picobiliphyte with no known close eukaryotic relative.

Picomonas judraskeda Seenivasan, Sausen, Medlin and Melkonian, 2013 inhabits surface waters of the German  coast (in the North Sea). It is named after its unique mode of movement which consists of a short fast jump ("ju-"), a slow drag ("-dra-") and an extremely fast and extended movement of the cell away from the original position (skedaddle; "-skeda").

Picomonas cell taken from here
Seenivasan, R.; Sausen, N.; Medlin, L.K.; Melkonian, M. 2013. Picomonas judraskeda gen. et sp. nov.: the first identified member of the Picozoa phylum nov., a widespread group of picoeukaryotes, formerly known as ‘picobiliphytes’. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59565. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059565

23 August 2013

Noises of the ocean

Water conducts noise, and thus, marine life is affected by noise, notably if it reaches “pollution stage”. The illustration here shows how marine mammal feeding and reproduction is affected by such noise. Natural noises like thunder and the tapping of strong rain may affect them, but louder noises caused by cruise and cargo ships as well as smaller vessels affect them even more [1,2,3]. The noise created by submarine vessels have also been linked as a cause of whale mass strandings [4], and military sonar has been shown to affect diving and feeding behaviour of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus). To know more about this article, click here. [5]

To discover marine mammals natural behavior, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] Hardwood, J. 2001. Marine mammals and their environment in the twenty-first century. Journal of Mammalogy 82(3):630-640.
[2] Wright, et al., 2007. Do marine mammals experience stress related to anthropogenic noise? International Journal of Comparative Psychology 20:274-316.
[3] Erbe, C. 2002. Underwater noise of whale-watching boats and potential effects on killer whales (Orcinus orca), based on an acoustic impact model. Marine Mammal Science 18(2):394-418.
[4] National Geographic. 2013. The big idea. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/big-idea/noisy-ocean [Accessed 15/07/2013].
[5] Marine Society Today. 2013. Researchers record whales' reaction to sonar. http://marinesciencetoday.com/2013/07/08/researchers-record-whales-reaction-to-sonar/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarineScienceToday+%28Marine+Science+Today%29 [Accessed 15/07/2013].

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26 June 2013

Surveying robots and endangered marine life

Natural history surveying has evolved over time, from from boat-, land-based, and plane/helicopter surveys to current high technology robotics [1]. 

Underwater robots called gliders performing digital acoustic monitoring (DMON) deployed in late 2012 by a team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the central Gulf of Maine captured baleen whale calls that were identified as those from North Atlantic right whales, an endangered species [2]. This tool overtakes the opportunistic sightings of old techniques, as it records unique whale calls and confirms their location through reconnaissance data with real-time updates.

These robots increased our capacity to discover more about the life history of difficult to observe animals to more than ten-fold and may help extend our knowledge of threatened large pelagic species like whales, dolphins, swordfishes and whalesharks.

To know more about marine endangered species visit SeaLifeBase.
[1]  Eberhardt, L.L.; Chapman, D.G.; Gilbert, J.R. (1979) A review of marine mammal census methods. Wildlife Monographs 63:3-46.

[2] Macroevolution.net (2013) Detecting endangered whales. http://www.macroevolution.net/marine-robots.html#.UagR55yP_YN [Accessed 31/05/2013].

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24 June 2013

Wind sailors of the sea

Have you ever walked along the beach and encountered a fleet of bluish mussels on the shore? They are in fact not mussels but hydrozoans, famously known as by-the-wind sailors.  

Although physically similar with the Portuguese man o' war, this is not a jellyfish. Scientifically called Velella velellait is the only known species under the genus of free-floating hydrozoans. It is found worldwide in both tropical and temperate waters. With a deep-blue rectangular float and an upright triangular sail, it looks like a miniature sailboat, on which its name was coined. 

This colonial species is made up of clustered polyps/zooids categorized into two types: gastrozooids and gonozooids. Gastrozooids function for plankton feeding using its tentacles (see photo above), while gonozooids have a reproductive function, that is, to constantly release medusa to the open waters. Having no means of locomotion, they are at the mercy of the wind to move around the seas and are thus, prone to mass-strandings on coastal beaches.

To know more about the by-the-wind sailors, visit SeaLifeBase.

If you have other information on them, you can e-mail us at sealifebase@fin.ph or come be a collaborator.

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBARI). See page link here.Photos by Christian Coudre.
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19 June 2013

The red rainbow of the deep sea

The most amazing sea creatures can be found in the deep sea. One such species whose name can be a tongue twister is the bloodybelly comb jelly, Lampocteis cruentiventer

Photo by Kevin Raskoff/MBARI (c) 1999.

It is the only known species under the genus Lampocteis, first described and identified in 2001 by Harbison, Matusmoto and Robison. It was named as such because of its blood-red stomach. Light is diffracted from its ciliated comb rows that beat continuously to propel it through the water column. This contributes to the sparkling display of colors along its comb rows.


In the deep sea, shiny objects can be perceived as prey. However, despite its radiant color, this species is invisible to its predators. And, it also masks the bioluminescent prey it swallows from other potential predators. Taking advantage of the conditions of its environment, it has developed stealth to shield itself from prying predators. Not bad, aye?

If you want to share what you know about this species (e.g. morphology, distribution, life history, etc.) you can help us by becoming a collaborator, just e-mail us at sealifebase@fin.ph.

Visit SeaLifeBase to know more about comb jellies.

Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBARI). See page link here.

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18 June 2013

Examination of a rare whale species

Photo: New Zealand Government

The spade-toothed beaked whale (Mesoplodon traversii) is one of the world's rarest whale species. The only known specimen is from an incomplete skull [2]. However, recent reports indicate that it is present in New Zealand [1] and in Robinson Crusoe Island, Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile [2]. Even more recently, two individuals, a mother and calf, were found live-stranded on Opape Beach, New Zealand in 31 December 2010, though these eventually died. DNA analysis on the remains confirmed that these individuals were of the spade-toothed beaked whale. This is the first time that a complete morphological account of this animal was done. Thus, stressing the importance of reference collections and genetic data in species cataloguing, especially in the case of rare species such as this whale [3].

To know more about beaked whales, visit SeaLifeBase.
[1] Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.) (2005) Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed). Johns Hopkins University Press, 2, 142 pp.
[2] Rice, D.W. (1998) Marine Mammals of the World Systematics and Distribution. Special Publication number 4: The Society for Marine Mammalogy. 231p.
[3] Thompson,K.; Baker, C.S.; van Helden, A.; Patel, S.; Millar, C.; Constantine, R. (2012) The world's rarest whale. Current Biology 22(Issue21):R905-R906.

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15 June 2013

A squid's human-like pregnancy

Gonatus onyx, commonly known as the black-eyed or clawed armhook squid, is abundantly found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Little has been known about its life history because they spawn at great depths, making it difficult for researchers to study them. But with the recent developments in technology and fishery, Seibel and his colleagues (2005) were able to observe its brooding behavior - a very important insight on the reproduction of this species.

Squids are believed to be non-guarders, that is, they deposit their eggs on the sea floor and let them develop on their own. This species, though, begs to differ. It uses its hooks to hold the egg mass (2,000-3,000 eggs), extending from the mouth to well beyond its arms. Because of low temperatures (this happens at X,XXX m depths) and the relatively large size of their eggs, egg development is prolonged. The female squid can, therefore, carry this egg mass for a maximum of 9 months, much like women of our species. And despite of muscle degeneration at sexual maturation, female squids are able to protect their eggs from the inevitable threat imposed by the deep sea. All mothers have this intuition, regardless of what species they are. As Barbara Kingsolver once said, "Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws."

To know more about the black-eyed squid, visit SeaLifeBase.

If you have other information on them, you can e-mail us at sealifebase@fin.ph or come be a collaborator.

Seibel, B.A., B.H. Robison, and S.H.D. Haddock. 2005. Post-spawning egg care by a squid. Nature (Brief Communications) vol. 438, 15 December 2005 issue, p.929. See article here.

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09 May 2013

It's Lions Bay for MLSS-BC this time

Marine Life Sanctuaries Society's (MLSS) first Beach Interpretation Program for 2013 was at Kelvin Grove, Lions Bay last April 7, 2013. Beach Interpretation Program is an MLSS activity that engages local communities to be aware of their local marine environments.

Dr. Deng Palomares and Dr. Nicolas Bailly joined this activity. According to Dr. Bailly, it was an informative event for locals on different organisms that are found just right under where they live. He also added that it was not destructive because all organisms taken from the bay was returned to approximately where they were collected.

Beach Interpretation Program is an annual event of MLSS.

08 May 2013

FishBase to be featured at Science World's Meet a Community Scientist Event on 11-12 May

Dr. Deng Palomares
SeaLifeBase Project Coordinator
Science World in Vancouver, Canada is guesting scientists and researchers to talk to public audiences about science through the Community Scientist Initiative (CSI)

SeaLifeBase Project Coordinator Dr. Deng Palomares will be one of these volunteer community scientists and she will be talking about fishes and FishBase. So if you're around the area, join her in the 4-hour event of interactive discussions on May 11-12.

30 April 2013

Awesome Non-fish in Trouble # 5: World's smallest whale population

Photo by Robert Pitman from ARKIVE

The Northern Pacific Right Whale, Eubalaena japonica, is found in Northern Pacific waters around the Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and eastern Aleutian Islands.[1] It is an Endangered species according to the IUCN Red List.  Having been a fish species since the 1500s, it was heavily exploited in the 1800s and illegally caught by Soviet whalers in the 1900s.[2] It is currently considered as the world's smallest whale population. For instance, the Bering Sea population is composed of only 8 females and 20 males, and the Western Pacific population may not be larger.[3] Current threats include ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and possibly disturbance from seismic activities.[3]

To know more about the Northern Pacific Right whale, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] Shelden, K.E.W.; Moore, S.E.; Waite, J.M.; Wade, P.R.; Rugh, D.J. (2005) Historic and current habitat use by North Pacific right whales Eubalaena japonica in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.
Mammal Review 35(2):129-155.

[2] Clapham, P.J.; Good, C.; Quinn, S.E.; Reeves, R.R.; Scarff, J.E. (2004) Distribution of North Pacific right whales (Eubalaena japonica) as shown by 19th and 20th century whaling catch and sighting records. Publications, Agencies and Staff of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Paper 95.

[3] Wade, P.R., et al. (2011) The world's smallest whale population? Biology Letters 7:83-85.

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29 April 2013

Fishing the little fish

What is forage fish? In the marine food and energy pyramid, they are the small to medium-sized schooling pelagic fish feeding on phytoplankton, i.e., primary consumers or grazers; or secondary consumers if they feed on zooplankton. Forage fish are prey to bigger fishes, like tuna and sharks; and marine mammals such as whales and sea birds. Because of the growing demand by fisheries, about 30% of the worldwide marine fish landings for aquaculture, livestock, human consumption and fish oil, forage fish are now in trouble of depletion [1]. The question now arises, what would be its ecological impact if this continues?

Over exploitation may result to decline in recruitment or reproductive success of both forage fish and its predators. As evidence, studies on large fish and marine mammals have shown decline, simply because of lower prey abundance [2]. In layman's term, if we continue to exploit the "little fish", sooner or later there will be no more "big fish" for us to catch and consume. So as early as today, we should push through ecosystem-based fishery management that will surely sustain the future generations of our kind.

Let us help spread the knowledge of conservation for a better future.

To know more about fishes, visit FishBase; and to know more about marine mammals, visit SeaLifeBase.

[1] Alder, J., Campbell, B., Karpouzi, V., Kaschner, K., and Pauly, D. 2008. Forage Fish: From Ecosystems to Markets. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 33:153-166.

[2] Pikitch, E., Boersma, P.D., Boyd, I.L., Conover, D.O., Cury, P., Essington, T., Heppell, S.S., Houde, E.D., Mangel, M., Pauly, D., Plagányi, É., Sainsbury, K., and Steneck, R.S. 2012. Little Fish, Big Impact: Managing a Crucial Link in Ocean Food Webs. Lenfest Ocean Program. Washington, DC. 108 pp. 

Note: Video and image credits to PEW.

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06 April 2013

Deception in the distant seas

The adage Honesty is the best policy applies to almost everything, including fisheries sciences. Apparently, more than 90% of the marine catches in the African waters by China's "giant" fishing fleet is not officially reported to UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Pew Ocean Science Division of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

This supposed gross misrepresentation of numbers, not only by China but by many countries as well, greatly impacts the creation of management plans that bases its data from FAO. Clearly, using wrongful statistics results to ineffective management plans which can lead to further depletion (and eventually extinction) of fisheries stocks.

Mega trawlers in West African waters. Source

For more details, click here or read the full paper here.

Web Update - April 2013

Our website http://www.sealifebase.fisheries.ubc.ca/ is now updated.

Search for your favorite non-fish marine species now. Happy learning!

05 April 2013

An unbreakable bond

 The strong bond between mother and calf is hard to break. In Dana Point, California, a female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was seen carrying its dead calf on its back as observed by whale watchers (see March 2013 video). This behavior is also exhibited by pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus/melas), and rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis) among others. [1, 2, 3] Some researchers say this is their way of mourning.

Dolphin pods exhibit this behavior within their feeding areas in the wild. [3] Mann and Watson-Capps (2005) report that mothers foraging behavior are likely during separations with their calves. Most calf mortalities happen when poor calf condition is directly affected by the maternal condition and experience during the weaning and nursing process. [4] Since observations of this behavior are often seen by whale watchers in feeding areas, it is possible that tourism may have disrupted the foraging of mothers, decreasing their maternal condition, resulting in poor calf conditions or even death.

To know more about dolphins, visit SeaLifeBase.


[1] Ritter, F. (2007) Behavioural responses of rough-toothed dolphins to a dead newborn calf. Marine Mammal Science 23(2):429-433.
[2] Caldwell, M.C.; Caldwell, D.K. (1966) Epimeletic (care-giving) behavior in Cetacea. Pp. 755-789 In K.S. Norris (ed) Whales, dolphins and porpoises. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA.
[3] Harzen, S.; Dos Santos, M.E. (1992) Three encounters with wild bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) carrying dead calves. Aquatic Mammals 18:49-55.
[4] Mann, J.; Watson-Capps, J.J. (2005) Surviving at sea: ecological and behavioural predictors of calf mortality in Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops sp. Animal Behaviour 69(4):899-909.

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25 March 2013

Awesome Non-fish in Trouble # 4: The vulnerable dugong

Photo by Barry Ingham

The dugong (Dugong dugon), also known as sea cow, is a marine herbivore found in 37 countries of tropical and subtropical coastal waters from East Africa to Vanuatu. [1] Colonialists and aboriginals were exploiting dugong populations as an important source of meat and oil in the 19th century. This fishery collapsed in the 20th century and led to the extirpation of the species in a third of its range. [2] Heavy fishing and a decline in seagrass beds, habitat of dugongs (seagrass being its primary diet) and sea turtles, due to dredging, aquaculture, siltation, coastal constructions, and natural causes like increased storms and cyclones contributed to this near extinction of dugongs.[3]

On a global scale it is considered as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of threatened species, but in the Philippines it is now Critically Endangered. [4] 

To know more about dugongs, visit SeaLifeBase


[1] Marsh, H. (2002) Dugong : status report and action plans for countries and territories. Nairobi, Kenya : United Nations Environment Programme, viii, 162 p.

[2] Jackson, J.B.C., et al., (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293(5530):629-637.

[3] Duarte, C.M. (2002) The future of seagrass meadows. Environmental Conservation 29:192-206.

[4] Alava, M.N.R., Dolar, M.L.L., Sabater, E.R., Aquino, M.T.R., Santos, M.D. (2012) Red List Status of Marine Mammals in the Philippines. DENR-NFRDI, 196 p., in press.

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14 March 2013

Third Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAM III)

The SeaLifeBase Project participated in the Third Southeast Asian Marine Mammal Symposium (SEAMAM III), hosted by MareCet. Participants were composed of 50+ researchers and specialists on whales, dolphins and dugongs from all over Southeast Asia, Australia, China, USA, Bangladesh, Japan, Canada, Germany. This became a venue for discussions on the current status of marine mammals, threats, issues, concerns and solutions pertaining to the research and conservation of marine mammals in this region. Workshops were also conducted to increase the capacity of people in this field for application in topics like education, fisheries, marine protected areas, strandings, by-catch and acoustics. The symposium was also graced by the presence of Dr. Randall Reeves, Chair of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group.

The event ended with a wider network of people collaborating and working in this field, increased knowledge on marine mammals in the Southeast Asian region, and focused research priorities for every country in preparation for the next SEAMAM (tentatively in 2016).
This symposium was held in Fave Hotel, Langkawi Island, Malaysia, 4-10 March 2013.

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