Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Diverse efforts in conservation science:
SIMoN, CO2, and invasive species

Mario Tamburri, Ph.D.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Wednesday, July 25, 2001
3:00 p.m.–Pacific Forum

As an MBARI Research Fellow, I have had the opportunity over the past two years to work on several diverse issues related to marine conservation. The main focus of the fellowship has been development of a long-term, integrated ecosystem monitoring network for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), called the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN). I will discuss and give a brief overview of this program which is now established and identifying and tracking changes to the MBNMS. In addition, I will present two areas of my research involving conservation and management issues.1) Deep-sea carbon dioxide disposal: Oceans represent the largest potential sink for man-made carbon dioxide. The sequestration of CO2 in the deep sea has therefore been proposed as a measure to mitigate global warming. However, direct ocean disposal of CO2 will only be of value if environmental impacts to marine systems are significantly less than the impacts avoided in atmospheric release. Working with colleagues at MBARI, we have conducted the first direct investigation of the biological impacts of CO2 ocean disposal on deep-sea organisms.2) Introduced species: I am working with Japanese and local scientists to explore the effectiveness of a new deoxygenation technique to prevent the spread of non-indigenous aquatic organisms. One of the most important mechanisms for the introduction of environmentally and economically harmful aquatic species is transport in ship ballast waters.
I will describe a new treatment that can dramatically reduce the survivorship of most organisms found in ballast waters while providing economic benefits to ship owners by significantly reducing corrosion.

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