Dangerous Catch (Pd 4) Group 2: Stench Effects in Namibia
“Our massive demands on the ocean’s bounty impacts life far beyond the shoreline: bushmeat hunting is on the rise in Ghana while in Namibia; fishing grounds struggle to recover as putrid fumes explode from the ocean depths and poison the waters; and radical new fish farms are sprouting up from Puerto Rico to Canada. Across the globe, all life is feeling the effects of overfishing. Can we protect fish in time to safeguard the ocean, life on land and ultimately ourselves? Find out how we all can make a difference.”

Group 2: Stench Effects in Namibia
· Explain the sulfur events that Brownen Currie and others experience in Namibia.
· What steps did Currie take to determine what was happening?
· How did Scarla Weeks help Brownen solve the mystery?
· How did Andrew Bakun link these sulfur events to rain in the desert?
· Where do sardines fit into the picture?
· What would you recommend to reduce the sulfur events?

Stench Effects in Namibia Answers In the video Dangerous Catch, the effects of overfishing are clearly stated. A strange stench has been filling the air in Namibia. Scientists, marine biologists, and researchers have come together in order to discover the reasoning for these smells. In response to the sediment samples taken by Brownen Currie, they have confirmed that sulfuric acid have been released from the bottom of the ocean because of deep sea eruptions. Brownen Currie and others experienced a horrible smell, described as rotten eggs. First, Currie researched Namibia history. Then she asked her neighbors if they also had experienced these terrible scents. Finally, Currie called a marine biologist and a researcher to help her discover the reasoning for theses strange days. After they tested the sediment, they discovered that it had sulfur within it. Scientists concluded that sardines and other fish that are able to withstand the ocean's tides and that eat phytoplankton have vanished from Namibia. Andrew Bakun linked the sulfur events to the rain in the desert; the pressure from
the ocean was causing a reaction (rain). He said that the rain that was building up over the sea, and the sulfur that gathered into the sand was released into the ocean, making the water yellow. Because the sardines disappeared, the overpopulation of phytoplankton occurred, causing the release of sulfur when phytoplankton decayed. In order to comtrol sulfur in Namibia and many other locations, we should reduce fishing. By doing this, sardines will once again be able to balance out their population.
Andrew Bakun found that when it rains in the desert, this creates a low-pressure system over the ocean near Namibia. Since the air pressure is lower, it is lower on the seafloor. This is where hydrogen sulfide and methane gases have been accumulating in the sediment due to the decaying phytoplankton. Eventually it triggers an eruption of these gases. It is very quick and it happens in all directions. The sardines used to keep the phytoplankton population in check, but they have been overfished. These eruptions are also adding to global warming (causing a positive feedback) because they release the greenhouse gas methane. The cloud of methane is the size of New Jersey.
65/75 points.