What Is a UME?

Although the acronym “UME” sounds rather benign like it could be a new term of technical jargon, it really refers to something very sad. UME stands for “Unusual Mortality Event.” As defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a UME…

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Read more about the article Soda Tops & Porpoise POPs
Photo credit: GDEP/John Schacke

Soda Tops & Porpoise POPs

Marine mammal population health has been in the news a lot lately. Perhaps you heard that marine scientists didn’t see a single baby Atlantic Right Whale during the 2018 calving season. Or maybe you’re aware of the dwindling population of Vaquitas in the Gulf…

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Read more about the article The Rising (Red) Tide
Fish Kill, National Geographic (Ben Depp). This year’s red tide off the coast of southwestern Florida has caused a devastating loss of marine life and nationwide alarm. What’s the science behind the apocalyptic images?

The Rising (Red) Tide

Red tide has been wreaking havoc on southwestern Florida - here's what you need to know about the algal issue, what causes it, and what you can do.

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Read more about the article Gone (Ethical) Whale Watching
Photo Credit: Michael Dawes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tk_five_0/show/

Gone (Ethical) Whale Watching

This blog post is written by Cassidy Lord. Dolphins are cute, right? So cute you could jump right in with them? Give them a big hug and maybe a snack for the road? Well...don’t. Human interactions with marine mammals are…

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Read more about the article Sick and Stranded: The Story of Cetacean Morbillivirus
Rescue crew helps stranded dolphins. Credit: International Fund for Animal Welfare

Sick and Stranded: The Story of Cetacean Morbillivirus

Do dolphins get measles?  Not exactly, but the disease that’s been ravaging whale and dolphin populations worldwide, called cetacean morbillivirus (CMV), is in the same family of viruses (Paramyxoviridae) that causes measles in humans.  Morbillivirus has strains that affect non-cetacean…

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Read more about the article Patagonian Graveyard
Sei whale washed up at Elliot Links beach, Arbroath. 40 foot long. Photo credit to Toxic Web on Flickr.com

Patagonian Graveyard

This blog entry highlights Claudia Gleib's article "Death by Killer Algae" in Hakai Magazine. Read the full article at https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/death-killer-algae/. Stumbling upon a beached whale the size of a semi-truck is a startling sight, but not a wholly unusual one…

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And Then There Were 30

The vaquita—the “panda of the ocean”—has garnered much attention over the past few years having earned the unfortunate title of most-endangered marine mammal. Vaquitas are small porpoises whose numbers have plunged by 90% in the last 5 years alone. Some…

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