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September 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the September, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Fish Pee in It! The pee of fish is rich in phosphorus, and their gills give off ammonia -- two chemicals corals need to stay healthy and strong. Recent research at the University of Washington's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, and published in Nature Communications, has suggested fish waste is a primary link in the good health of the reef. Part of the reason coral reefs work is because animals play a big role in moving nutrients around. Fish hold a large proportion, if not most, of the nutrients in a coral reef in their tissue, and they're also in charge of recycling them. Well, where did you think their pee went? Moreover, as fish are being depleted, so goes the pee -- and the reefs.

Manatee Casualties Climb. Boats are killing manatees in Florida at an unprecedented rate. Seventyone manatees have been hit and killed by boats by mid-July, a faster rate than even in 2009, when a record 97 manatees were killed in boat strikes all year. The Save the Manatee Club contends that cheaper gas prices, an improving economy, a mild winter and hot summer have combined to put more boats on Florida waterways, but boaters -- the guys who are hitting them -- say that polluted Florida waterways have reduced manatee habitat, thereby making them more vulnerable to accidental boat strikes....

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