Where Does Your Coffee Go After You Drink It? Also, Vietnamese Fish Farms and, ahem, Coral Sex

Tuesday Noozeday:

First, a short newsflash from Tom Banse with OPB: all you Northwesterners who love your coffee had better watch out, because you never know where it might wind up:

Study: Coastal Oregon Waters Slightly Caffeinated

The Northwest is known for its love of coffee. Now evidence of that is showing up in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers have found low levels of caffeine at half a dozen locations on the Oregon Coast.

Caffeine does not occur naturally in the environment in the Pacific Northwest. Marine scientists believe the java jolt gets into seawater through treated sewage and septic runoff…Read more.

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From Sam Eaton reporting for Marketplace on American Public Media, a look at the future of fish farming:

Vietnam expands fish farms, not without risk

With the U.N. saying there will be 9 billion people on the planet by mid-century, one big question comes to mind: How are we going to feed them?

One answer: Fish.

Fish are one of the most environmentally friendly sources of animal protein. But already, only half of the fish humans eat comes from oceans, lakes and rivers. The rest? Fish farms. Farms that are growing in number and in size.

While fish farming still is efficient in turning feed into protein, it’s hardly trouble-free. Today on our series, Food for 9 Billion, I traveled to Vietnam, where aquaculture farmers are searching for new ways to create a more sustainable fish farm for the future…Read  more.

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And finally, Michelle Nijhuis writes in the New York Times about the unique method scientists are hoping to use to ensure the future health of the world’s coral:

Frozen Sperm Offer a Lifeline for Coral

COCONUT ISLAND, Hawaii — Just before sunset, on the campus of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Mary Hagedorn waited for her mushroom corals to spawn.

As corals go, Fungia is fairly reliable, usually releasing its sperm and eggs two days after the full moon. Today was Day 3. “Sometimes we get skunked,” she fretted.

The recalcitrant corals sat outdoors in water-filled glass dishes, arranged in rows on a steel lab table. Each was about the size and shape of a portobello mushroom cap, with a sunburst of brown ribs radiating from a pink, tightly sealed mouth.

As Dr. Hagedorn and her assistant watched, one coral tightened its mouth and seemed to exhale, propelling a cloud of sperm into its bath with surprising vigor. The water bubbled like hot oatmeal… Read more.

Spawning elkhorn coral. (Photo by Raphael Ritson-Williams)

About IJNR

IJNR (Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources) is a non-profit organization that increases public awareness of natural resource issues through hands-on professional development programs for journalists.
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