Seas and oceans

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News - Aerial Surveys over the North Sea in 2017

A total of 222 flight hours has been performed at sea in the framework of the Belgian North Sea aerial survey programme in 2017. In and nearby the Belgian marine areas 11 spillages were observed, of which 10 operational slicks and 1 accidental spill. During the sulphur emission control flights at sea 49 ships were detected with a high fuel sulphur content. During an international mission for the detection of spillages in the central part of the North Sea where the offshore oil and gas platforms are located, 26 other oil spills were detected.

News - Ancient Skull Suggests Whales Were Giant Before Baleen Arose

At least some whales became giants long before the emergence of filter feeding, a 34-million-year-old whale skull suggests.

NEWS - Will climate change lead to more sole in the North Sea?

The common sole (Solea solea) is a flatfish with a high economical value (e.g. representing up to 40% of the annual profit of the Belgian fishery in recent years), that is therefore subject to a strong fishing pressure. In order to sustainably manage its stocks, it is necessary to not only consider fishing pressure, but also to estimate the impact of climate change on the abundance and distribution of sole. A new study provides the first insights: more larvae will arrive in the North Sea nurseries, but with strong local differences.

News - Environmental Impact of Offshore Windfarms in Belgium

To monitor the ecological impact of wind turbines at sea, our institute coordinates an extensive monitoring programme that detects the environmental effects. The programme is fully operational since 2008. A new report summarizes the most recent results.

News - Fossil Discovery of Pygmy Right Whale on Northern Hemisphere

Palaeontologists have found two fossils of ancient pygmy right whales in Sicily and in Japan. The study, by an international team with researchers from our Institute, changes everything we thought we knew about this mysterious animal.

News - 28 New Amphipod Species Discovered in Antarctica

Biologists Cédric d'Udekem d'Acoz and  Marie Verheye of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences have discovered no less than 28 new amphipod species in Antarctica. Amphipods are small marine and freshwater crustaceans and the size of the new species (all marine) is ranging from two to eight centimeter. Some of the newly described species exhibit spectacular morphologies.

Lecture P. De Deckker - The Belgica expedition 1897 - 1899

Learn about everything there is to know about the original Belgica expedition, which left Antwerp 120 years ago, and was the very first to overwinter in Antarctic waters. An amazing story of the discovery of the Gerlache Strait, and the collection of a vast amount of data in the fields of marine biology, meteorology, oceanography, sea floor sedimentology, sea ice and snow formation, and much more. All this while living in constant fear of the vessel being crushed , when the ship and scientists spent 13 months trapped in sea ice.

News - Marine Mammals In Belgium In 2016

In a new annual report, our scientists collect the available information on marine mammals in Belgium in 2016. Apart from an overview of marine mammals and remarkable fish washed ashore, it also focusses on the causes of death, revalidation and release of animals that were taken into care, and briefly introduces the research on the influence of offshore windmill parks on the harbour porpoise.

News - Algal Bloom Detected From Space

In May 2016, scientists observed an intense algal bloom very close to the Belgian coast. They managed this by using the European satellite Sentinel-2. This satellite can help monitor areas that are unreachable for a research vessel. In 2017, the same phenomenon was confirmed on the satellite images.


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