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The sea turtle has existed for 110 million years—the era of the dinosaurs. The leatherback is the largest species of sea turtle, weighing up to 700 kg and measuring up to 3 meters. It is the only species of sea turtle that does not possess a hard shell and beneath the leathery skin is a medley of bony plates.

The manta ray (Mobula birostris) weighs up to 1580 kg with a span over 9 m and flaunts a hypnotic glide though the water, elegant and stealthy. These characteristics have inspired aquatic engineers to create more efficient bio-robots. Understanding the turning performance of these colossal creatures is fundamental to the manipulation of their manoeuvrability for a robot.

The rainforests of our seas are plagued by plastic waste. Research shows that the accumulation of plastic in our oceans has occurred at an astounding rate with over 8 million tonnes discarded yearly. These plastic pollution pieces have been identified as ideal vessels for pathogens, ultimately propelling disease outbreak rates on reefs.

Serenity, an 18” x 24” collage won first place in the mixed media category in Artists Magazine’s 2017 All Media Competition. © Gina Torkos.

Gina Torkos is a contemporary artist working in an unusual medium. She creates original collages made entirely of discarded magazines. The results raise awareness about how our disposable culture trashes our environment.

Picture caption: Pupils from Falmouth Marine School taking part in Subsea UK’s STEM Challenge.

Industry body Subsea UK has launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging school pupils to consider a career at sea. The STEM Challenge, led by Subsea UK and supported by The Smallpeice Trust, will see teams of year nine students compete in a design-and-make challenge for the marine industries.

A deep-ocean octopus (Stauroteuthis syrtensis) photographed by Edith Widder of Ft. Pierce, FL. The octopus was photographed under external lighting. To see more of the series, visit usps.com.

The U.S. Postal Service searched the darkness of the deep ocean realm in its quest to deliver the luminous beauty of bioluminescent life on highly-reflective Forever stamps.

Those looking for a beautiful and informative book on winged waders will do well to pick up Shorebirds in Action, An introduction to waders and their behaviour. The book offers a balanced blend of spectacular photographs and engaging text representing a lifetime of work.

Photo courtesy of Coreen Weilminster from the National Estuarine Research Reserve in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

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Image courtesy of Greenpeace, China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, and NASA’s Earth & Space Research Ocean Surface Current Analyses Real-time (OSCAR) global surface current database.

Chinese authorities say satellite data shows that three oil slicks from a sunken Iranian tanker have widened to an area totaling about 332 sq km. The largest single slick measured about 328 sq km. Overall, the spill off China’s east coast has more than tripled in size in just over a week since the Iranian tanker ship sank in a ball of flames.

Environment Coastal and Offshore (ECO) and Ocean News and Technology (ON&T) magazines will be well-represented at Oceanology International 2018, to be held 13-18 March at ExCel London. Both magazines are produced by TSC Publishing, a multi-media company that returns to Oi in 2018 in order to showcase their refreshed branding and to network with the companies who represent both the subject and object of their global coverage. Visit them at Stand P550.

Photo courtesy of Puyallup Watershed Initiative.

The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) announced on 16 January 2018 that, after five years of development, local action, and community guidance, its Puyallup Watershed Initiative (PWI) will transition to an independent nonprofit as of January 1, 2018. The Puyallup watershed includes 1,000 square miles, 316,000+ people, 2 Tribal nations, 17 cities and towns, pristine forests, rich agricultural lands and one of the busiest ports on the West Coast. It is located in four Washington state counties.

About ecoCURRENTS

ecoCURRENTS is a joint initiative between ECO and select universities that benefits science students by recruiting them to summarize the latest marine science research and providing them with published bylines. We also cover items of interest to environmental practitioners, such as citizen science, community engagement, the arts, and human-interest stories.

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