2013

Apr. 01/13

Sea turtles can get accidentally caught and killed in fishing operations, and new research out Monday seeks to map this phenomenon for the first time in a bid to save the endangered creatures.

The study in the journal Ecosphere said sea turtles in the East Pacific, North Atlantic, Southwest Atlantic and Mediterranean face the highest bycatch mortality rates.

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Mar. 15/13

As part of the last meeting of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held this week in Bangkok (Thailand), the national government banned fishing for oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) in Brazilian waters.

The decision was made in order to preserve this endangered species.

According to a Normative Instruction of the Ministry of the Environment published in the Official Journal of Unión, the ban on fishing this resource MORE

Mar. 12/13

Citizen science surveys compare well with traditional scientific methods when it comes to monitoring species biodiversity -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Research published today in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution shows that methods to record marine diversity used by amateurs returned results consistent with techniques favoured by peer-reviewed science.

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Mar. 11/13

Conservationists look to final plenary to cement positive yet tentative decisions

Bangkok, 11 March 2013. In a highly anticipated Committee vote today, proposals to list under CITES* five species of sharks were supported by more than the two-thirds majority of voting countries needed for adoption. Conservationists are pleased yet mindful that decisions must still be confirmed in the final plenary session later this week.

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Feb. 24/13

Overfishing threatens the magnificent and prized ‘Ali Maduwa’, writes Malaka Rodrigo.

A giant “maduwa”, or manta ray, was netted last week by fisherman in Welipatanwila, Ambalanthota, on the South coast. The ocean creature was pregnant and weighed 1,500 kilograms. A week earlier, another manta ray was caught by fishermen in Akkaraipattu, on the East coast. Both sea creatures have been identified as Giant Oceanic Manta Rays, the largest member of the ray family.

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Feb. 21/13

Some sharks spend extended time periods in the protected waters of the Bahamas yet roam long distances when they leave

As the nations of the world prepare to vote on measures to restrict international trade in endangered sharks in early March, a team of researchers has found that one of these species – the oceanic whitetip shark – regularly crosses international boundaries. Efforts by individual nations to protect this declining apex predator within their own maritime borders may therefore need to be nested within broader international conservation measures.

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Feb. 13/13

Less than half of the 280 million metric tons of plastic produced each year ends up in the landfill. A fair bit of the rest ends up littering the landscape, blown by the wind or washed down streams and rivers into the sea.

So far Americans spend $520 million a year to clean up plastic litter washing up on beaches and shorelines. Efforts to clean up the oceans' enormous swirling gyres of garbage has an incalculable cost. Thus, much of the focus has been on how to stop the river of trash from entering the ocean.

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Feb. 06/13

The European Parliament has voted for sweeping reforms of the controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy.

The package includes measures to protect endangered stocks and end discards - the practice of throwing unwanted dead fish into the sea.

Wasteful discards are reckoned to account for a quarter of total catches under the current quota system.

There are hopes that the changes can become law by next year, after more talks with the 27 EU governments.

The MEPs voted for the package by 502 votes to 137.

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Jan. 31/13

The 2013 European dive show season is now in full swing. From Paris to Düsseldorf, Milan to Madrid, without forgetting London, the Project AWARE team is rallying support for its new "Extinction is NOT an Option" campaign.

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Jan. 26/13

The United States said Friday it would support proposals to curb the trade of five shark species and manta rays, whose numbers are declining because of demand for fins and gills.

"For several decades, we have been increasingly concerned about the over harvest of sharks and manta rays," US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said in a meeting at the United Nations, according to a statement.

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