Category Archives: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Big Changes in the Sargasso Sea

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) - Published on Nov 17, 2014

The Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within this sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seaweed that shelter a surprising variety of fishes, snails, crabs, and other small animals. A recent paper by MBARI researchers shows that in 2011 and 2012 this animal community was much less diverse than it was in the early 1970s, when the last detailed studies were completed in this region. This study shows that animal communities in the Sargasso Sea are definitely changing. The next step is to find out why.

Special thanks to:
Schmidt Ocean Institute for support and funding
KAI Institute, Don Montague & Joe Brock
Debbie Nail Meyer
Carola Buchner
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientific Visualization Studio
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Wikipedia / World Ocean Atlas (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Video producer: Susan vonThun
Script and narration: Susan vonThun
Production support: Lonny Lundsten, Kyra Schlining, Nancy Jacobsen Stout, Judith Connor, Christine Huffard, Ken Smith
Music: "Aqua lounge",

MBARI press release:

Original journal article:
C.L. Huffard, S. von Thun, A.D. Sherman, K. Sealey and K.L. Smith, Jr. (2014) Pelagic Sargassum community change over a 40-year period: temporal and spatial variability. Marine Biology,