Journal of Marine Sciences
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Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution

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Journal of Marine Sciences publishes original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of marine sciences including marine biology, oceanography, hydrology, coastal processes, technological developments, climate change, and policy.

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Research Article

Three-Year Closure of Fishing Seasons as a Management Tool for the Omani Abalone, Haliotis mariae, Fishery in the Sultanate of Oman

Data from underwater surveys conducted between 2009 and 2021 were analyzed to determine the effect of closed fishing seasons on the density and size composition of Omani abalone, in the main fishing areas (Mirbat, Sadah, Hadbin, and Hasik). The average density of abalones, the abundance of mature and legal size abalone, and the average abalone size increased significantly after a 3-year closure (2008-2010). From 2012 to 2021, abalone density and size decreased despite four 1-2 years of closed fishing seasons. The density of mature abalone after 2011 was below the minimum spawning density of Haliotidae. Abalone densities were found to be relatively high in Sadah and Hadbin but very low in Mirbat and critical conditions in Hasik. Lack in regulations’ enforcement, overlap between fishing and reproduction season, and the uncontrolled number of divers are probably the main reasons for the decline in abalone abundance and size. Future fishing closure must be extended for at least three years, and abalone harvest in Mirbat and Hasik should be banned for at least five years. The number of divers must be regulated, and changing the fishing season must be evaluated. It is necessary to identify if the population is sustainable, threatened, or recovering, by studying more biological aspects of the Omani abalone, including minimum spawning density, abalone aggregation, and recruitment levels at each fishing ground. These studies will help the authorities to decide when fishing must stop to avoid any further reduction in the abalone densities. It is important to understand the socioeconomic status of abalone diver’s communities in Oman for better management and development.

Research Article

The Impact of Different Carbon Emission Policies on Liner Shipping

This paper considers the influence of different carbon emission policies for liner shipping. The transportation optimization models under four different forms of carbon emission policies (no carbon emissions constraints, carbon emissions tax, carbon caps, and carbon cap-and-trade) are developed. A real case is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed models and comparative analysis of the impact of different carbon emission policies on shipowner’s profit and ship carbon emission. It is shown that the carbon caps form is the most direct method for reducing emission; the form of carbon emissions tax is a mandatory measure, which has the greatest impact on the profit of shipping companies; carbon cap-and-trade forms have weaker emission reduction effects, it is easier for enterprises to actively implement emission reductions and be highly motivated in the long run.

Research Article

Hydrodynamic Conditions Effects on Soft-Bottom Subtidal Nearshore Benthic Community Structure and Distribution

This study assesses the impacts of wave action and freshwater outflow on soft-bottom benthic macrofauna spatial distribution and temporal stability along the highly exposed French Basque coast. Sediment characteristics and macrofauna abundance have been seasonally investigated during two years for nine stations located at the same (6 m) depth and spread over three subtidal sites showing distinct exposure levels. Wave climate has been determined through an operational numerical model. A total of 121 taxa were recorded, gathered in three main faunal assemblages, as revealed by classification and ordination methods. Non-parametric multivariate multiple regression (distance-based linear model) showed that the variations in macrofaunal distribution can be explained by hydrodynamic conditions. Wave exposure strongly linked to estuarine inputs were the most relevant abiotic factors influencing distributional patterns and functional structure as described by biological traits analysis. Despite the influence of these abiotic variables affecting sedimentary dynamics, seasonal stability was observed in macrobenthic assemblages composition suggesting an ability to recover from natural disturbances such as (e.g.) winter storms. In this way, these results provide baseline knowledge for future ecosystem and resource management in shallow subtidal areas strongly exposed to swell and freshwater outflow where soft-bottom macrozoobenthic communities are less frequently studied.

Research Article

Redefinition of the Dinoflagellate Genus Alexandrium Based on Centrodinium: Reinstatement of Gessnerium and Protogonyaulax, and Episemicolon gen. nov. (Gonyaulacales, Dinophyceae)

The genus Centrodinium contains oceanic and predominantly tropical species that have received little attention. Three species of Centrodinium were examined using thecal plate dissociation, scanning electron microscopy, and molecular sequences. The apical horn of Centrodinium intermedium and C. eminens is formed by the elongation of the fourth apical plate, and a second apical split into two plates. In C. punctatum two apical plates (2′ and 4′) almost completely encircle the apical pore plate (Po), while the contact with the plate 1′ in the ventral side is much reduced, and the plate 3′ does not reach the Po. Moreover, its left posterior lateral sulcal plate is longer than its right pair, while reversed in the typical Centrodinium spp. The sulcal posterior plate of C. punctatum is located in the left-ventral side below the plates 1′′′ and 2′′′, while the sulcal posterior plate located in the right face below the plates 4′′′ and 5′′′ in the typical Centrodinium spp. Phylogenetic analyses based on the small and large subunit of the rRNA gene showed that Centrodinium spp. and Alexandrium affine/A. gaarderae clustered as a sister clade of the Alexandrium tamarense/catenella/fraterculus groups. The clade of the subgenus Gessnerium, and the clade of the type species of Alexandrium, A. minutum, with four divergent species, clustered in more basal positions. The polyphyly of Alexandrium is solved with the split into four genera: (1) Alexandrium sensu stricto for the species of the clade of A. minutum and four divergent species; (2) the reinstatement of the genus Gessnerium for the species of the clade of A. monilatum; (3) the reinstatement of genus Protogonyaulax for the species of the tamarense/catenella/fraterculus groups, and (4) the new genus Episemicolon gen. nov. for A. affine and A. gaarderae. New combinations in the genera Gessnerium, Protogonyaulax, and Episemicolon are proposed.

Research Article

The Effect of Extraction Conditions on Chemical and Thermal Characteristics of Kappa-Carrageenan Extracted from Hypnea bryoides

Hypnea bryoides collected from the Arabian Sea on the southern coast of Oman was investigated for κ-carrageenan optimal extraction conditions. The effects of different conditions of alkali treatment (4, 6, and 8% w/v NaOH), temperatures (70, 75, and 80°C), and time (2, 2.75, 3.5 hours) on carrageenan yield and chemical and thermal properties were evaluated. Yield was significantly affected by alkaline concentration and temperature, with highest value of 26.74 ± 5.01%. Molecular weights of the extracted carrageenan were significantly reduced by increased temperatures and ranged from 5.95 ± 0.49 × 105 Da to 13.90 ± 0.14 × 105. FTIR showed that samples under all extraction conditions were similar and confirmed the presence of κ-carrageenan with no traces of μ-precursor. Sulfate content was also significantly reduced by alkaline concentration (from 4% to 6%) and ranged from 7.62 ± 5.52% to 17.02 ± 0.14. Thermal properties showed more sensitivity towards temperature and alkaline strength parameter than time. In addition, melting and gelling temperatures were significantly correlated with the molecular weight, but not sulfate content. In conclusion, mild extraction conditions were found to be more efficient in introducing the intended structural modification while getting the highest yield and quality.

Research Article

Photosynthetic Pigments Contained in Surface Sediments from the Hydrothermal System of Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California

In the exploration of the hydrothermal system of the Guaymas Basin (GB) between 27° 00′ 35′′ and 27° 00′ 50′′ N and 111° 24′ 15′′ and 111° 24′ 40′′ W in the Gulf of California, carried out on the R/V Atlantis and of the DSRV/Alvin in October 2008, four cores of surface sediments were obtained to analyse photosynthetic pigments at two locations with contrasting extreme conditions: Oil Town and Great Pagoda. We identified nine pigments: Chlorophyll-a, Phaeophytin-a, Phaeophorbide-a, Pyropheophytin-a (degradation Chlorophyll-a products), β-Carotene, Alloxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Diadinoxanthin, and Prasinoxanthin (carotenoids). The maximum pigment concentration was registered in the Great Pagoda (10,309 ng/g) and the minimum in Oil Town (918 ng/g). It is demonstrated that photosynthetic pigment profiles in surface sediments depend on the heterogeneity of the extreme conditions of each site caused mainly by temperature and bacterial substrates. Therefore, there were significant differences (p <0.05) in the pigmentary profile of the four sedimentary cores analyzed. However, no statistical differences (p > 0.05) in the concentration of pigments have been detected. We conclude that the photosynthetic pigments contained in the surface sediments of the hydrothermal vents in the Guaymas Basin are primarily of chemoautotrophic bacterial origin.

Journal of Marine Sciences
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