Seaweed at a North-Atlantic coast.

Unraveling the enigma of the Atlantic's seaweed blobs

Seaweed in the Atlantic

These sprawling masses of seaweed, often stretching for miles, have been observed in the Atlantic over the past few years. While such occurrences are not entirely new, their increasing frequency and size have raised concerns about their potential environmental impacts.

A recent in-depth exploration by BBC Future sheds light on the phenomenon, unraveling the complex factors behind the enigmatic seaweed blooms.

Groundbreaking project maps shipwrecks of The Bahamas

Hidden beneath the serene waters of The Bahamas lay the remnants of approximately 5,000 shipwrecks, entombed for centuries. These relics are finally seeing the light of day, thanks to an innovative project called The Bahamas Lost Ships Project, kickstarted in 2023 by Allen Exploration and In Search of Shipwrecks (ISOS).

176 shipwrecks traced

The project has shed light on the maritime heritage of The Bahamas, particularly along the eastern flank of the Straits of Florida, a maritime corridor frequented since the 15th century.

Lithographic print of men in whaleboat lancing a sperm whale.

Iceland suspends controversial whale hunt

“I have taken the decision to suspend whaling” until 31 August, food minister Svandis Svavarsdottir said in a statement, after a recent government-commissioned report concluded the hunt does not comply with Iceland’s Animal Welfare Act.

The report which provided a video showing a whale being hunted for five hours concluded the killing of whales during the hunt took too long.

Animal rights groups and environmentalists hailed the decision, with the Humane Society International calling it “a major milestone in compassionate whale conservation”.

The missing submersible is believed to be OceanGate's Titan sub, which can reach depths of up to 4,000m and has 96 hours of life support available for a crew of five.

Titanic tourist submarine goes missing

Paying tourists can take trips in small submarines to see the sunken wreck of the Titanic.

According to BBC, OceanGate Expeditions, a private company that organises deep sea expeditions, confirmed in a statement that it owned the missing submersible and people were on board.

Lionfish invades Brazilian waters

First spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida in the 1980s, they later spread across the Caribbean, reshuffling coral reefs and other ecosystems by feasting on fish unfamiliar with the voracious predator.

While ocean currents that flow north—such as the South Equatorial Current—and the freshwater plume created by the Amazon River hampered the spread of the invasive species, scientists predicted it was just a matter of time before it moved into Brazilian waters.

Multibeam sonar image of the SS Mesaba lying on the sea bed in the Irish Sea.

The ship that tried to warn the Titanic has been found

The British merchant steamship SS Mesaba sent a warning radio message to the Titanic on April 15, 1912 while crossing the Atlantic. The message was received by the Titanic – which was advertised as unsinkable – but did not reach the main control centre of the vessel.

Later that night, the supposedly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage, taking 1,500 lives and becoming the world’s most infamous shipwreck.

Shortfin mako shark
Shortfin mako shark

Ban on fishing of mako sharks reached at meeting

At the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) last week, North Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako shark.

The efforts to secure the ban was led by the UK, Canada and Senegal. The move means that the countries agreed to end overfishing immediately and to gradually achieve biomass levels that were enough to support maximum sustainable yield by 2070 for the species, according to an article in The Guardian.