In Summary
  • About 50 scientists from countries such as Germany,  Japan, Rusia, USA and China among others with the European Union contributing for countries that are applying to join the team are involved in this study with total budget of 62 million Euros mainly spend on fuel and general management of the ship and its occupants
  • Most common community aquarium fish that come from rivers and streams, or clear lakes, these fish are used to the bright sunlight and warming rays

Germany- A guided marine tour by international journalists pursuing stories on topics related to climate change on marine eco-system in Bremehaven, Germany was interesting with scientists leading the team into a huge heavy ship they use for their research work.

The Chief maid Marine officer Mr Felix Laulou working with ReedereiLaeisz Ship Company hired by the Federal government of Germany was quick to welcome journalists aboard the scientific research ship.

He explained that that scientists from different countries majoring in marine research to find solutions in addressing challenges brought about by climate change in oceans and seas usually apply to work jointly as they go out studying the geographical changes caused in the atmosphere as a result of climate change resulting into formation of glacier and how it melts due to global warming thereby affecting marine life in the water bodies.

The head of Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremehaven Germany Prof AngeliKa Humbert giving overview about the present and future role of ice streams and ice shelves within the earth system explained that the institute conducts Marine research in the Arctic, Antarctic, Baltic and North seas.

The areas of concern are studying biological processes in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, Ice formation and physical atmospheric changes resulting from chemical reactions and climate development as a result of accumulation of sediments.

She notes that climate change effects have caused loss of glaciers described as fallen snow that over many years compresses into large thickened ice mass on oceans and seas and this affects the aquatic life such as fish species, coral reef and others.

Scientists form countries such as Germany, Spain, Italy, Asia Including those in South Africa among others go aboard the ship taking months to study how the glaciers are moving at what time of the year to the lakes causing draining in the seas and oceans.

This is monitored using satellite gadgets which are attached to two aircrafts carried aboard the ship. At a certain point they are flown off the ship for them to drop the gadgets under water during the process of breaking ice blocks.

The aircrafts are equipped with rudder apparatus and scientists are able to study the change in the sea level especially in the North Pollar of Greenland and Arctic area and Indian Ocean for the case of Africa.

According to Prof Angelika glacier in Greenland and the Antarctic sea is accelerating at an anticipated speed by melting thereby causing drop in development of aquatic production circles.

Prof Karin Lache the director of the Institute giving remarks about the unraveling complex process in the Earth system explained that scientists who go aboard the research ship have been able to study why earthquakes are frequently occurring.  The atmospheric tests they carry out in the sea gives them tests which indicate the melting of the glaciers due to global warming affects the earth system.

They do this by breaking samples of ice blocks which are obtained from the sea using the aircrafts operated for remote research under the seas and oceans.

In 2015/ 2016 scientists deployed the ice blocks which were distributed using satellites to internalize temperature variations.

It was possible for them to isolate ice blocks from the sea surface to the cold Polar temperatures. They also study how algae are growing under the water bodies which are important for various fish species and other aquatic life.

About 50 scientists from countries such as Germany,  Japan, Rusia, USA and China among others with the European Union contributing for countries that are applying to join the team are involved in this study with total budget of 62 million Euros mainly spend on fuel and general management of the ship and its occupants.

This is to prepare data in advance for changes in the weather partners that may occur when the glaciers disappear in future. This means fish species will move to area where there is glacier in such of algae.

Mr Felix giving explanation of what happens in the ship while on board says usually the navy can move from Baltic sea southwards up to Pacific Ocean  ending up in the water bodies in South Africa or Northwards to the North pole of Arctic sea.

Usually, the crew can encounter ice comprising 4 meters in bad weather and at most 3 meters and I meter and this causes change in the ship turning white.

To have great expeditions means having brave scientists who will participate in breaking the ice in order to sea changes in ice formation on daily basis.

The ship requires about 2,800 cubic liters of oil which are kept in about 20 tanks aboard and on daily basis about 25- 35 cubic liters can be used. In the ship there is a hospital and doctors to attend to the navy in case of any sicknesses or injuries.  Each of the two aircrafts has the ability to lift 1000 kg of ice blocks.

Some scientists concentrate on studying the biological effects that may occur to fish species in case of glacier extinction.

The scientists have established that juvenile fish species feed on algae which grow under ice condition. When the temperatures get wormer they escape to the North Pole.

Fish species such as Jelly fish, Seal fish, Copper pod and Amphipods feed on algae therefore formation of glacier is important for their livelihood. Fishermen will also find it difficult if glacier disappears because most fish species in seas and oceans are caught beneath the glaciers where the fish habour most.

What happens in the tropical coastlands?

The Director of the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen Prof Hildegard Westphol giving an overview about land mangroves as knowledge based conservation of threatened tropical ecosystems notes that Mangroves are under pressure in the tropics as result of human activity in the coastal areas.

In a research study the Institute carried involving 30 countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Colombia and Brazil among others, scientists discovered that coastal areas along tropical oceans is being affected by human activity. Mangroves are declining and this affects the aquatic life that depends on it as their food.

Giving the statistics, he noted that 2.6 billion people globally rely on sea food as their main source of food, 25% – 35% occur in coastal areas and 5% is in the tropics and every year the loss of coral reefs amounts  from  2% - 8%. Therefore there is need for communities to have a deliberate effort in conservation of mangroves and coral reefs to sustain marine ecosystem.

What happens in fresh inland fresh water?

There is much difference in aquatic life in fresh water bodies. For the case of Lake Victoria, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake George and River Nile in Uganda, much of the research work is done in the area of fisheries mainly on its management, breeding system and aquaculture. Although there are a number of aquatic species living in the lakes not much emphasis is put on them.

 The Director National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFRRI) in Jinja Dr Anthony Taabu Munyaho explaining the difference says most aquatic species in fresh water usually require sunlight for their livelihoods.

The most important element of a great community aquarium, besides well-conditioned water, is the lighting system.

Without adequate lighting, plants won’t grow, fish won’t be at peak health, top on the list and bad lighting will not bring out the colors of the fish to their fullest. Good bright lighting systems are key to seeing all the activity that goes on in an aquarium and it takes advantage of all the benefits of live growing healthy including aquarium plants.

Most common community aquarium fish that come from rivers and streams, or clear lakes, these fish are used to the bright sunlight and warming rays.

They will feed on fresh water weeds like cucumber and other muddy and rotten organisms under water.

The breeding system in fresh water lakes and rivers depends solely on having both male and female fish species and as long as they are capable to pair breeding will take place and multiplication of fish fingerlings under given conditions and feeding habits.

For the case of aquaculture, the fish feed of processed feed pellets using maize; cotton bran mixed with grinded dried silver fish powder among others is good enough.

The water levels have to be constant but drop in water levels as a result of climate change may affect their breeding systems leading to drop in fish stocks.

alominda@ug.nationmedia.com