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

 

In the News

Nov. 21/11

The European Union (EU) today became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Sharks, just as the European Commission announced a proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark "finning‟ (slicing off a shark‟s fins and discarding the body at sea).

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Nov. 19/11

Delegates at an international conservation meeting agreed Saturday on a measure mandating that silky sharks accidentally caught in fishing gear be released back into the sea alive, marine advocacy groups said.

The 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), however — ending a weeklong meeting in Istanbul — failed to reach consensus on other threatened shark species, the groups said.

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Nov. 01/11

A 25 million tonne marine debris field created by the Japanese tsunami back in March currently afloat in the North Pacific is set to reach Hawaii by this winter, according to experts.

The debris field was created as the Japanese tsunami receded from the land. Although heavier materials sank, the buoyant materials went on to form the huge rubbish mass which floated out to sea.

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Nov. 15/11

Diving with the majestic manta ray is an eco-tourist’s dream come true that may soon be experienced only by viewing pictures and videos of the shark family’s graceful giants.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group (SSG), based at Simon Fraser University, has added the Giant and Reef manta rays to its Red List of Threatened Species.

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Nov. 17/11

It is now a crime to kill tiger and hammerhead sharks in the waters off Florida. In a unanimous vote following two years of spirited public hearings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to protect the tiger shark and three species of hammerhead from recreational and commercial anglers.

"Sometimes the appropriate measures of conservation are the problems we avoid, not the problems we have to fix," said Commissioner Brian Yablonski.

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Nov. 15/11

Only a tiny fraction of Atlantic sharks – under 1% – are under protection even though most shark species are heading towards extinction, a report warns on Tuesday.

Officials from 48 Atlantic fishing countries are meeting in Istanbul this week to try to protect bluefin tuna, swordfish and other large fish.

But existing conservation efforts are only saving a tiny proportion of sharks, the report from the Oceana conservation group said.

"It's just the tip of the iceberg, and there are a lot of shark species, many of them vulnerable species, that are still being caught and killed MORE
Nov. 10/11

The United Nations estimates that each one of us uses nearly 140 kilograms of plastic each year. At least 6.4 million metric tons of that plastic has ended up in the oceans.

Environmental activist Captain Charles Moore has found that in some areas, plastic outweighs zooplankton - the ocean's food base - and is entering the food chain.  Our reporter talked to Capt. Moore about his efforts to document ocean pollution.

Once upon a time, the oceans of our planet were beautifully clean.  Not any more.  Captain Charles Moore calls this 'the age of plastic.'

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Nov. 08/11

The European Union has officially extended measures to protect threatened porbeagle sharks from fishing.

Noting the depleted conservation status of the species, the EU has recognised that previous levels of protection for this species were insufficient, because they did not apply to all European waters. Under the amended Regulation, fishing for porbeagles is now prohibited in all EU waters, including the Mediterranean Sea, and by EU vessels fishing in international waters. MORE
Oct. 27/11

Scientists and law-makers across the world are prioritising the protection of sharks, but critics say the measures don't work.

The shark that lands on the deck of the Coral Princess boat is 6.5ft of thrashing grey muscle and teeth, and the crew can't wait to get their hands on him.

They slip a plastic breathing tube through rows of sharp, serrated teeth to pump water over its gills, and get to work: measuring, taking blood and tissue samples, and drilling a small hole in its dorsal fin to attach a satellite transmitter. The device looks a bit like a bath toy.

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Nov. 03/11

LABOR is considering proposals to establish the world's largest marine protected area with 972,000 square kilometres of the Coral Sea to be given differing levels of environmental cover.

The Age believes the draft proposal for the tropical waters between the Great Barrier Reef and the edge of Australian territory will place about half the total region in ''no take'' reserves, stopping fishing.

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