As large, oceangoing predators, sharks rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate prey dispersed throughout an expansive environment. This honing ability, however, may be compromised by the ocean-wide changes predicted to occur by the end of the century, researchers report online this week in Global Change Biology. Ocean waters are becoming increasingly acidic as they absorb the atmospheric CO2 released by human activities. Previous research has shown that CO2-rich, acidic waters may impair the ability of reef fish to smell predators. The new study examines the effects of ocean acidification on the odor-tracking ability of sharks to locate prey. For 5 days, the team exposed sharks to waters with current ocean CO2 levels and the elevated CO2 concentrations predicted to occur by mid- and late-century. Sharks were then released into a pool where a “squid juice” odor attractant was dispensed, and shark tracking and attack behaviors were monitored. The researchers found that sharks exposed to the highest CO2 levels significantly avoided, rather than gravitated toward, the prey odor cues and attacked food less aggressively. Feeding behaviors are critical for shark survival, therefore ocean acidification could have far-reaching effects on already threatened shark populations and subsequent, cascading effects on marine ecosystems. Although sharks have adapted to acidifying oceans in their evolutionary history before, they’ve never had to adapt as quickly as the changes are occurring today.
By FFWPU Belgium, Philippe and Yoko Jacques: This documentary about the Blessing event on February 2015 Blessing was broadcasted on Flemish Belgian TV channel EEN on 1 February 2016, as part of a series «Via Annemie», now in its 3rd season. This series is watched by over 1m people in Belgium and the Netherlands.We were invited to watch the program at the home of documentary maker and journalist Annemie Struyf. Together with us were Annemie’s family and advertising director Leentje Lybaert.The documentary covers the Blessing at Cheong Pyeong last year. Annemie and a team of 5 people spent about 10 days in Korea to film the Blessing, the preparations and several testimonies. They returned to Belgium with great enthusiasm and plenty of footage. It was quite a challenge for them to fit all footage into a 46 minutes program. (Above)As soon as the television broadcast was over, many messages started coming in on our mobiles. Annemie received much appraisal and many congratulations. Some stated clearly that they found it such a good idea to match people from different races and nations to establish peace on earth.We also received positive reactions from friends and Ambassadors for Peace. It was quite an exciting moment for us to share all those nice reactions that were coming in one after the other.We awarded Annemie and Leentje with an Ambassador for Peace certificate. They were very moved and proud to receive it.