They are the gentle giants of the ocean, weighing as much as 1400 kilograms. But an emerging market in Chinese medicine for gill rakers is threatening global populations of giant manta rays.
Now, amid increasing international efforts to curb the decline, the federal government will today protect the species - found predominantly in the tropical waters of northern Australia - under national environment law.
The UAE should introduce tough new measures to protect threatened shark species, according to one of the organisers of a conservation conference taking place this week.
The Emirates took action in 2008 by banning the finning of live sharks at sea and outlawing shark fishing from January 1 to April 30 each year.
But Jonathan Ali Khan, a shark expert and wildlife filmmaker, said the UAE should take its policies one step further and ban imports and exports of shark fins and imports of whole sharks. He would also like to see the no-fishing period extended.
During September's Debris Month of Action, scuba divers and snorkelers from Cydive in Pàphos, Cyprus, teamed up to dive against debris and remove huge amounts of marine litter that were harming fragile Mediterranean underwater habitats.
Cydive and Pàphos Winter Swimmer Club volunteers gathered in four groups to collect all sort of debris including ten tyres from large vehicles.
Municipal Baths where the Dive Against Debris was conducted is a blue flag beach which means that the water is ver MORE
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.