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Read about all the latest developments in the ocean protection movement.

 

In the News

May. 13/15

Let’s start with the good news: Fisheries around the world are catching far fewer sharks than they used to.

Shark catches are down more than 20 percent from their peak in 2003. That year fishing fleets around the world netted 900,000 metric tons of sharks.

Sharks and related species such as rays and skates—collectively known as chondrichthyans—have been overfished for so long that at least 25 percent of the 1,000-plus known species are threatened with extinction.

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Apr. 15/15

Micro-plastics – tiny pieces of plastic or fibres which may act as a pathway for persistent, bio accumulating and toxic substances entering the food chain – are increasingly being found in the oceans and may prove to be as harmful to marine life as more obvious, larger debris, such as plastic bags, according to a new report.

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Apr. 29/15

As the world population, economy and consumption grows, a complex and multi-dimensional approach is needed to manage a rising tide of solid waste, researchers say in a study published in the journal Waste Management.

The research is by Lilliana Abarca-Guerrero, now at the Costa Rica Institute of Technology, along with colleagues at the Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands and Linnaeus University, Sweden.

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Apr. 23/15

Only the world's biggest economies top the bounty of the seas. According to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund, the world's oceans are worth a whopping $24 trillion. If the ocean was a country, it would be the seventh largest economy.

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Apr. 02/15

Large quantities of plastic debris are building up in the Mediterranean Sea, say scientists. A survey found around one thousand tonnes of plastic floating on the surface, mainly fragments of bottles, bags and wrappings.

The Mediterranean Sea's biological richness and economic importance means plastic pollution is particularly hazardous, say Spanish researchers.

Plastic has been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, turtles and whales.

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Apr. 02/15

The NOAA Marine Debris Program, in partnership with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, published a report today that assesses the current state of science on “ghost fishing” and the derelict fishing gear that causes it.

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Mar. 23/15

New research led by researchers at the University of Victoria raises serious concerns about the ability of marine protected areas (MPAs) to effectively protect wide-ranging iconic species, such as sharks and rays.

The study, published today in Conservation Biology, investigated 21 years of recordings of shark and ray sightings at Cocos Island, a UNESCO heritage site and marine protected area off Costa Rica.

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Mar. 11/15

After many months of uncertainty, the College of Commissioners quietly approved the 2015 work programme, including the withdrawal of the Circular Economy package, otherwise known as the Waste Target Reform proposal.

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Mar. 19/15

Britain said it intended to create what will be the world's biggest fully-protected marine reserve, covering an area nearly the size of France and Germany put together in the Pacific Ocean.

The reserve will be based around the remote Pitcairn Islands archipelago, a British overseas territory that is inhabited by descendants of the sailors who staged a famous mutiny on the Bounty ship in 1789.

"The government intends to proceed with designation of a MPA (Marine Protected Area) around Pitcairn," read the budget unveiled by finance minister George Osborne in parliament.

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Mar. 05/15

The National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) clarified it will not grant authorisation to export hammerhead shark fins until the non-detriment removal ruling (DNP) is issued, an instrument that is expected to be completed within six months.

"There will be no export permits until the DNP is ready," stated Julio Jurado, SINAC director, in response to the fact that the Sea Turtle Recovery Programme (PRETOMA) questioned the permit granted to export 239 kilograms of common hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) and smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena) fins.

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