Scientists have found the first direct evidence linking large-scale coastal farming to massive blooms of marine algae that are potentially harmful to ocean life and fisheries.
A NASA satellite image of a large algal bloom in the Sea of Cortez
Researchers from Stanford Universitys School of Earth Sciences made the discovery by analyzing satellite images of Mexicos Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California-a narrow, 700-mile-long stretch of the Pacific Ocean that separates the Mexican mainland from the Baja California Peninsula. Immortalized in the 1941 book Sea of Cortez, by writer John Steinbeck and marine biologist Edward Ricketts, the region remains a hotspot of marine biodiversity and one of Mexicos most important commercial fishing centers.
The results of the Stanford study will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco on Dec. 13.
Mark Shwartz | EurekAlert!
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