Articles & News Tagged “Environment”
Japan slaughters 122 pregnant minke whales
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that International Whaling Commission has reported (pdf) that the Japanese whaling fleet killed 333 Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) during last summer’s hunt. 122 of the whales killed were pregnant and 114 were immature. Japan justified the killings by claiming that they needed lethal sampling methods in order to sample age, size and stomach contents. (Image credit: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service)
Research shows Pacific shark highway
Researchers from the University of Costa Rica along with Fundación PACÍFICO have successfully proven the existence of a 500 mile “corridor” along which shark populations move between Costa Rica and the Galapagos. The route seems to follow a series of subsurface sea mounts, giving rise to speculation as to whether these serve as navigational references or feeding sites. (Image by Andy Mann/Waitt Foundation/Pacifico)
Paper catalogs whale shark movements off Madagascar
A new paper in the journal Endangered Species Research shows that the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has emerged as a hot spot for whale sharks (Rhincodon typus). By using the global sightings database, Wildbook for Whale Shark researchers have identified 85 individual sharks, which do not seem to have come from other feeding areas in the Indian Ocean.
Australian Government announces funding for Great Barrier Reef
Australian lawmakers enact largest removal of conservation zones in the world
Via some deft political maneuvering, the Australian government has railroaded through new legislation that removes protections from sensitive marine environments. Opponents of the move are calling it the largest unwinding of conservation zones in world history, at least by area, exceeding the Trump administration’s downsizing of two national parks to make way for mining. For updates and ways to protest this decision, please see this thread in the Wetpixel forum.
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation releases starling results of Pacific Garbage Patch survey
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation has released the results of a 3 year project that mapped and cataloged the size and composition of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They are startling and dramatically exceed previous estimates: There are 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighting 80,000 metric tons afloat in an area of 1.6 million square kilometers between Hawaii and California.
Sea Save offers tool to register protest at US oil drilling plan
The Sea Save Foundation has posted a simple tool that allows individuals to register their protest at the Administration’s plans to offer 47 leases to global energy companies to explore and drill in US coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. (Image credit: NOAA)
Communities agree further MPA in Raja Ampat
In a ceremony, community officials from the villages of Pam, Saukabu, and Saupapir in the Fam (locally Pam) Archipelago of Raja Ampat signed an agreement to protect their waters with the provision of a Marine Protected Area (MPA). This agreement will now move forward through the legal process. Thereafter, the MPA can be formally declared and join the other 5 that are already established within Raja Ampat.
Opinions required: Fishing Goliath Grouper in Florida
The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) is holding public consultations to discuss the possibility of allowing a “limited open season” for fishing goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara). These include public meetings in a wide variety of venues throughout the state, along with an online workshop and an online survey. If implemented, the proposed kill will exterminate most of Florida’s breeding population of the groupers, destroying 27 years of conservation management effort.