Aquatic and timber species top on the agenda, including sharks and rays.
The deadline for submitting proposals to change the lists of species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ended at midnight yesterday 4 October. The CITES Secretariat has received 67 proposals from Parties to the Convention to adjust the rules governing international trade in wildlife species.
Sharks have a direct lineage to the Jurassic era, predating the dinosaurs. Despite existing for millions of years, it is questionable whether all of their types will see out the next 100. Global landings of sharks in the early 1950s were around 200,000 tons per year. By 2011 it was estimated that up to 73 million sharks were being captured by year.
Manta rays are more likely to gather together under either a new or a full moon, according to new research published Oct 3 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Fabrice Jaine and colleagues at the University of Queensland.
September's Debris Month of Action saw thousands of divers across the world gear up and dive in to remove dangerous rubbish, nets, fishing traps and household waste from our ocean. From the islands of Fiji up to the waters of Devon, UK and all the way back to Brazil and South America, divers everywhere rallied together for one month of action to draw attention to our ocean’s silent killer: marine debris.
Last week, Project AWARE attended an international, shark-focused meeting of more than 50 nations, all convening under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). While at the meeting in Bonn, Germany, nations adopted a global conservation plan for great white sharks, porbeagles, basking sharks, spiny dogfish, whale sharks, and two species of makos.
The Philippines’ innovative ocean protection policies, the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park Act 2010, was proclaimed as one of the three winners of the 2012 Future Policy Awards which was announced Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Micronesian Republic of Palau was proclaimed as the winner while the Philippines and Namibia bagged the silver awards for their marine policies.
A 70,000 mile expedition by a tiny research ship gives us a snapshot of life in the depths of the world's seas.
Up to one million new species of microscopic sea life have been observed for the first time, promising new revelations about the marine ecosystem that could revolutionise our understanding of climate change's impact on the world's oceans.
Each new life form was discovered by the crew of just one small research vessel, the Tara, which has recently completed a two-and-a-half year, 70,000 mile expedition.
Qualifiers keep dropping with Go-Eco Phuket as the environmental group prepares for its official launch on September 30 with the biggest reef cleanup of any kind in the world.
“On September 30, the eyes of the world will be attracted to Phuket,” Tony Andrews, Thailand’s West coast PADI Regional Manager and Project AWARE Ambassador, said at a press conference with Phuket government officials at Kata Beach Resort today.
Measures to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark have been announced by the NSW government. Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson introduced regulations that include banning baited hook fishing in key breeding areas for the species along the NSW coastline.
"Our overall goal is to protect the grey nurse shark," she told reporters at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary today.
"They are the puppies of the ocean - they're not Jaws.They are very gentle creatures but we're down to the last 1500 or so."
Today, the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries backed the European ban on shark finning and confirmed that the Committee wants to see stricter controls but the vote on a report by Maria do Ceu Patrao Neves (EPP, Portugal) has led to confusion on the issue of whether or not special fishing permits that allow fishermen to remove shark fins on-board vessels will be upheld.
Time to celebrate! As the IUCN World Conservation Congress ended last week, the global conservation community voted in favor of critical shark conservation measures for threatened shark species including species-specific steps needed to protect mako and hammerhead sharks.