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

 

In the News

Mar. 14/12

The Costa Rican government has announced that it will propose the inclusion of the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

They believe that this species meets the conditions and criteria for an inclusion in Appendix III, in accordance with the Resolution Conf 9.25 (Rev CoP 15).

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Mar. 19/12

Monday, European Union nations backed a complete ban on the practice of removing sharks' fins before throwing the fish back into the sea to die.

The EU nations said they want all boats in their waters and EU-registered boats anywhere in the world to land sharks with their fins attached. The proposals still need the support of the European Parliament before they can become law.

EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki said the law would "ease control and help us eradicate shark finning," which she called cruel to the animals and a vast waste of resources.

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Mar. 09/12

Scientists say the market for shark fin soup is the likeliest reason for the sharp drop in blue shark numbers over the last 30 years.

They discovered that the sharks feed in exactly the same places in the ocean that long-line fishing boats operate, which means they get caught along with other target fish.

The researchers add that such regions are ideal places to implement so-called marine protected areas, where fishing is banned, to safeguard blue sharks and other vulnerable species.

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Mar. 05/12
The spectacular snouts of sawfish are revealed as complete hunting weapons, sensing prey and killing them.

The saws, which can grow more than a metre long in some species, have previously been identified as able to sense prey by their electric fields.

Now, researchers have filmed the fish impaling prey on the teeth of the saws.

They suggest in Current Biology that sawfish are more active hunters than previously thought, which could help in their much-needed MORE
Feb. 28/12
Sailors have reported seeing everything from a canoe, to shoes, rope, cigarette lighters, chunks of metal and whole trees floating in the strait, leaving them wondering what lies beneath the murky surface.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG skipper Ken Read said he was saddened to see the quantity of rubbish floating in the shipping superhighway, which had left him dismayed by humanity.

“It’s an incredible place to sail but the sad part is how much stuff is in the water, how much junk there is in the water,’’ he said. MORE
Feb. 23/12

Sharks are among the most threatened of marine species worldwide due to unsustainable overfishing. They are primarily killed for their fins to fuel the growing demand for shark fin soup, which is an Asia delicacy. A new study by University of Miami (UM) scientists in the journal Marine Drugs has discovered high concentrations of BMAA in shark fins, a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS).

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Feb. 21/12

Sharks are known for being ruthless, solitary predators, but scientists say the reality is the opposite.

A new study revealed that some sharks enjoy complex social lives that include longstanding relationships and teamwork.The study documents how one population of blacktip reef sharks is actually organized into four communities and two sub-communities.

The research found for the first time that adults of a reef-associated shark species form stable, long-term social bonds.

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Feb. 10/12

The Mediterranean Sea is a “key pillar” for the development of the countries in the region, a senior United Nations official said today, warning that continued degradation of the aquatic environment could put its entire ecology at risk.

The call came as delegates from 22 Mediterranean and European Union countries brought their three-day meeting on safeguarding and promoting a clean and healthy Mediterranean environment to a close in Paris.

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Jan. 03/12

Project AWARE welcomes the inclusion, for the first time, of species of sharks and rays in the Spanish List of Wild Species under Special Protection (Listado de Especies Silvestres en Régimen de Protección Especial, in Spanish).

On 23 February 2011, the Spanish Official State Gazette published Royal Decree Nº139/2011, developing the List of Wild Species under Special Protection and the Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species. MORE
Jan. 13/12

Manta rays are so popular with divers and snorkelers that a single animal can 'earn' more than US$ 1 million over its lifetime for local eco-tourism, according to a new report issued by the Manta Ray of Hope Project. MORE