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

 

In the News

Jan. 28/14

The Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister has declared the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) and oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) as protected fish species as they are facing an increased threat of extinction.

"In the beginning of 2014, we have decided on the protection of two manta ray species," said Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Sharif C.Sutardjo on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The protection on the two manta ray species is stipulated in fisheries and maritime affairs ministerial decree (Permen) No.04/2014 on manta ray protection status.

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Jan. 21/14

A quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, with ray species found to be at a higher risk than sharks. The findings are part of the first ever global analysis of these species carried out by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG).

The study, which comes at the start of the year marking the 50th anniversary of The IUCN Red List, was published today in the journal eLIFE. It includes the analysis of the conservation status of 1,041 shark, ray and closely related chimaera species.

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Jan. 09/14

Conservation groups have welcomed the Government's announcement to speed up the banning of shark finning in New Zealand waters, but say the devil could be in the details.

The Government has decided to speed up the process in the face of overwhelming public concern.

Around 45,300 submissions were made about the draft National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, which proposed an end to shark finning by October 2016.

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Jan. 02/14

Thousands of pieces of plastic have been discovered, submerged along the river bed of the upper Thames Estuary by scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Natural History Museum.

The sheer amount of plastic recovered shows there is an unseen stream of rubbish flowing through London which could be a serious threat to aquatic wildlife. The findings, published online in Marine Pollution Bulletin, highlight the cause for concern, not only for ecosystems around the river but for the North Sea, in to which the Thames flows.

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Dec. 09/13

The Conference of Parties of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean on 6th of December adopted a regional plan to manage marine litter.

Following the adoption, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said: "I am very pleased to see the Mediterranean convention taking the problem of marine litter so seriously. This is an important step towards achieving the significant reductions in marine debris by 2025 that World Leaders promised at the Rio+20 summit last year. I hope that the other regional sea conventions will now take similar steps."

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Dec. 03/13

Western Australian researchers are conducting a global initiative to evaluate the importance of sharks for conservation and economic development, in a bid to slow global declines in shark numbers.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute are collecting data for a valuation of shark populations in Australia, following the success of similar studies in Fiji, Borneo and Palau.

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Nov. 28/13

Each square kilometre of ocean around Australia is polluted with thousands of 'invisible' fragments of plastic, a new study has found, posing a potential health hazard for humans and marine life alike.

Julia Reisser, a PhD student from the University of Western Australia's Ocean Institute, and colleagues, report their findings today in the journal PLOS ONE.

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The CITES Secretariat launched today a Web section on sharks and manta rays to assist the 179 Parties to the Convention in putting in place effective measures to control international trade in the newly listed species.

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Nov. 10/13

New Zealand is to ban shark finning in its waters within two years, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced Sunday.

It is already illegal in New Zealand to slice the fin off a shark and throw it back alive, and Guy said the new ban would be extended to finning a shark and dumping the carcass at sea.

It will start to take effect in some areas next October and cover all New Zealand waters by 2016.

"The practise of finning sharks is inconsistent with New Zealand's reputation as one of the best managed and conserved fisheries in the world," he said.

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Nov. 04/13

New EU proposals would require member states to choose between three methods of reducing the waste from bags.

European Union member states could cut their plastic bag use by 80%, the European commission has said, by charging for bags or even banning them.

Plastic bags are a major cause of seaborne pollution, which is a serious hazard for marine life, and some regions have already moved to cut their use through charging. The UK deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, has pledged to bring forward charges in England that will affect single-use bags given out by supermarkets.

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