Environmental Oceanography: Topics and Analysis
For Students

Issues Questions

Please read each question below and type your response into each corresponding box. When you are finished, fill out your name, e-mail address, and instructor's e-mail at the bottom of this form, and click submit to send a copy to your instructor.


1:  How is the preservation of the mangrove environment related to the viability of shrimp mariculture in Ecuador?

2:  How does the mangrove environment protect the postlarval stage of shrimp?

3:  Table I 17-1 shows the area occupied by mangroves and shrimp ponds from 1969 to 1999. On the axes below, or on our website (http://www .jbpub.com/abel/), graph the mangrove area for the period 1969 to 1999. On the same axes, graph the growth of shrimp ponds. Interpret the trends. What additional evidence would you like to have to establish a cause–effect relationship between loss of mangroves and growth of shrimp ponds?

4:  The mangrove forest that was cleared represented 30% of the total mangrove area fringing the North Sound of Bimini. Calculate the mangrove area before clearing, as well as the area of mangroves remaining by the end of 2006. Report your answer in hectares (ha) and acres (ac) (1 ac 0.4047 ha).

5:  Identify ways in which the loss of mangroves may have caused the changes in lemon sharks.

6:  The development’s websites6 state that they have instituted “a habitat creation and restoration program that will maintain the surrounding mangrove wetlands. Together with marine biologists and governmental organizations, we … are committed to the preservation of the natural wonders of Bimini for generations to come.” Analyze the statement in light of the scientifi c results presented previously here.

7:  Discuss whether you think that protecting the nursery grounds of lemon sharks would be suffi cient grounds for terminating the project, which is well-underway.

8:  Natural gas is a premium fuel in great demand all over the world for home heating and electric power generation. It produces only half the greenhouse gases of coal when burned, and when processed, none of the toxic sulfur gases. What do you think the author means when he describes the burned-off (fl ared) natural gas as “unwanted?”

9:  Describe the geography of the region in Nigeria where the oil is extracted and pumped to shore.

10:  As of 2007, how much gas was being fl ared in Nigeria annually, and how does this amount compare to energy demands of the African continent?

11:  Describe the physical environment those who live close to the gas fl ares experience daily.

12:  How much carbon dioxide was being emitted each year, as of 2007, by gas fl aring?

13:  How much has Nigeria reduced its gas fl aring since the 1980s?

14:  Speculate on the impact oil development is having on the mangrove communities of the Niger Delta.

15:  How did California Governor Schwarzenegger characterize the “controversy” over global warming/climate change?

16:  What is the consensus over toxic algae in the oceans referred to by the Times reporter?

17:  What frustrations did scientists studying climate change express to the reporter?

18:  Do you agree with the frustrations expressed by the climate scientists? Why or why not? Is your conclusion grounded in critical thinking? Explain.

19:  Instead of HIV/AIDS or malaria, what was the “real story” journalist Bob Butler found in Senegal?

20:  Describe the impacts of the “torrential rain” event Butler experienced.

21:  What explanations did experts offer to Butler for the changes he observed in Senegal?

22:  Describe the effects overfi shing is having on Senegal, especially the impact of factory ships from Europe.

23:  What services do the mangroves provide to the Senegal fi sheries?

24:  Why are the “most knowledgeable” climate change experts worried, according to Butler?

25:  What percentage of the shrimp consumed in the United States in 2001 was from shrimp “farms”?

26:  What nation is the world’s biggest consumer of shrimp?

27:  What ecosystem was removed to make room for Ecuador’s shrimp “farms?”

28:  Explain how the shrimp “farms” impact the mangroves, and describe the permanency of the ponds.

29:  How has the shrimp “farming” industry affected the catch of the local shellfi sh gatherers?

30:  Is the reported destruction of shrimp farms by local activists and shellfi sh farmers a legitimate form of protest? Why or why not?

31:  What industry was described as the “perfect example of globalization run amok?”

32:  Shrimp farming was described as second only to what crop in profi tability?

33:  Describe the attitude of local judges to cases involving mangrove destruction.

34:  What percentage of Ecuador’s population was described by the shrimp farm businessman as being dependent on the shrimp industry?

35:  What was the impact of the recently imported virus on shrimp farms, and from where did the virus come?

36:  In summary, what effect is the shrimp farming industry having on the local fi shing industry?

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