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.
According to the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG), ray species are at a higher risk than sharks. Through a first ever global study of extinction risk according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ criteria, the SSG estimates a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays threatened with extinction. Of the 1,041 species assessed, 107 rays and 74 sharks are classified as threatened.
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.
Scuba divers jumped into the new year with a splash taking on a fit, fun and healthy Finathon challenge. What a great way to begin 2014. A Finathon is the perfect incentive to get fit, feel good and raise funds for your favourite ocean icon – the shark.
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.
Australian audiences can immerse themselves in the wonders of the ocean without getting their feet wet this March as the Ocean Film Festival Australia hits cinemas across the country. The festival, which features 11 of the world’s most captivating ocean-themed short films, will light up silver screens in 14 cities.
Project AWARE is proud to be a conservation partner and encourages scuba divers and ocean advocates to grab a ticket as $1 from each ticket sold will support marine conservation.
It can be a tough challenge to achieve the greenest shade of green today. It's not easy to stay on your best eco-ethical, carbon-friendly toes. But now, more than ever, it's critical to help make positive change. If you’re reading this, chances are, it’s not hard to find your green mojo. As a diver, you have a natural affinity for the blue planet and ocean protection specifically – it’s baked right in.
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.
Utila Dive Centre is more than a premier PADI Career Development Centre in Central America and the Caribbean, they pride themselves on their marine ecology training and activities to protect the ocean.
“We aim to provide our divers and students with more than just diver education and that is what makes our team so successful. We’re on the cutting edge of training and conservation, setting a standard for many dive operations and professionals in the region,” said Andy Phillips, Director of Professional Training at Utila Dive Centre proudly declares.
On 13th December 2013, the Australian Government took a major step backwards for marine conservation, suspending the implementation of management plans for the 33 new marine parks, including parks in the Coral Sea, the Kimberley and the Great Australian Bight. These management plans outline the levels of protection the parks provide to fragile ocean habitat and the marine species within them.
How do you support ocean conservation where you live and teach scuba diving miles away from the sea? Robert Soncini, PADI Pro and safety diver at the prestigious Cirque du Soleil show “O” in Las Vegas USA, answered this question by joining the 100% AWARE program and the growing number of partners who are putting ocean protection at the heart of their dive business.
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."
84 applicants worldwide, 10 finalists and six winners. A new wave of Ocean Action is about to begin thanks to your vote.
Nearly 3,000 of you voted in the 2013 Ocean Action Project helping to deliver much needed support to six new conservation projects strongly focused on manta ray and shark protection as well as educational projects targeting marine debris.
The 2013 winning Ocean Action Projects are:
Ecotourism and Awareness for Manta Ray Conservation, Planeta Oceano, Peru