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

 

In the News

Apr. 30/14

A major new survey of the seafloor has found that even in the deepest ocean depths you can find bottles, plastic bags, fishing nets and other types of human litter.

The litter was found throughout the Mediterranean, and all the way from the continental shelf of Europe to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 2,000 kilometres from land. Litter is a problem in the marine environment as it can be mistaken for food and eaten by some animals or can entangle coral and fish – a process known as "ghost fishing".

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Apr. 26/14

Which of these two groups do you think would know the whereabouts of sharks better: local dive guides or professional marine biologists?

In a new paper in PLoS ONE, marine researchers in Australia report on the reliability of data collected by experienced SCUBA divers. Can amateurs report observations of sharks accurately?

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Apr. 09/14

The first workshop for key African shark fishing and trading States was held in Casablanca, Morocco from 11 to 13 February 2014. Representatives from both CITES and fisheries authorities in ten States attended the meeting and adopted a Casablanca Declaration. The workshop was opened by Mme Zakia Driouich, Secretary General of the Department of Maritime Fisheries of Morocco.

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Apr. 03/14

A United Nations panel released its latest assessment of the impact of climate change on the world’s environment, focusing on issues such as food supply and economic security. The ocean, which covers 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface, is at the epicenter of many of the problems brought on by climate change.

“Even before this report came out, we knew we were draining the ocean of life,” said Karen Sack, senior director for international oceans at The Pew Charitable Trusts, referring to the new work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Mar. 10/14

Conservationists have vowed to continue the fight against Western Australia’s shark kill policy, despite being dealt another blow in a bid to end the so-called cull.

After earlier losing a legal bid to have the baited drumlines off the WA coast removed, on Wednesday the state’s Environmental Protection Authority declined to formally assess the program which has claimed over 100 sharks since the start of the year.

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Mar. 21/14

Whenever fishing vessels harvest fish, other animals can be accidentally caught or entangled in fishing gear as bycatch. Numerous strategies exist to prevent bycatch, but data have been lacking on the global scale of this issue. A new in-depth analysis of global bycatch data provides fisheries and the conservation community with the best information yet to help mitigate the ecological damage of bycatch and helps identify where mitigation measures are most needed.

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Mar. 12/14

Governments of Bermuda, the Azores, Monaco, United Kingdom and the United States have signed a declaration committing to the conservation of the Sargasso Sea – a vast patch of mid-Atlantic Ocean known for its unique floating seaweeds that harbour rich biodiversity. This is the first time an international alliance has been formed to protect this unique haven of marine life.

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Feb. 27/14

The proposal to create an international body within the UN governing the seas was the focus this Tuesday at the beginning of the Ocean Summit. In this international meeting, world leaders emphasized its fast degradation and increasing pressure to further exploit its resources.

“Of course we need a global framework of some kind by which people sign up and agree to cooperate. But we not only need the rules, we need the regulatory enforcement process," said U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, via videoconference during the summit opening.

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Feb. 21/14

Indonesia on Friday instituted the world's biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometres as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago.

New legislation gives full protection to the creatures across all the waters surrounding Southeast Asia's biggest country, which for years has been the world's largest ray and shark fishery.

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Feb. 06/14

Marine protected areas have been created across the globe to stem the loss of biodiversity in our oceans. But are they working? Now, thanks to a six-year survey involving over one hundred divers, we know that the global system of marine protected areas still has much to achieve.

The marine environment lies out of sight and is expensive to survey, so its true condition is very poorly known. What we do know is that multiple threats—most notably introduced pests, climate change, fishing and pollution—are pervasive.

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