Do we need to rethink the economy to protect the planet?
Plus poop updates, some turtley romantic news and a teeny tiny dose of cute
Great to see you back this week and congrats for (almost) making it through the year of the rat. I’m very excited to welcome the year of the Ox this Friday and a big Happy New Year to everyone celebrating! 🏮🥟🥳
This week’s hot take
New section this week as we hear from experts on recent conservation news.
After months of campaigning, 14,030 square kilometres of UK waters will be protected from destructive fishing with trawling and dredging to be banned (BLUE)
Chris Thorne, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:
“We need to see the detail of these proposals, but if the Government is indeed considering a total ban on bottom trawling in these four protected areas, then it’s good news. However, all of our sensitive marine areas must be properly protected, not just four … Yet there are still hundreds of other equally important marine areas still open to all forms of destructive industrial fishing. Action in these four sites is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scale needed to solve the crisis facing our oceans.”
A new study has found the minority of elasmobranchs coming through Singapore’s fishery ports are caught locally. Most are imported from Indonesia and Malaysia (Science Direct)
JCU’s shark and fisheries expert Dr. Andrew Chin said:
“Landings, catch value and use data are vital to figuring out what’s happening to SEA sharks and rays, and while #sharkfin often takes the headlines, shark and Ray meat are also important drivers. Market and landing surveys are painstaking work, but it’s crucial data.”
Want to hear from more experts? Leave a comment with what you’d like to know.
The economy & finance
Oooer, we’re going full adult here and talking about the economy and finance! But, don’t worry, we’ll try to make it digestible…
The Dasgupta Review: The big news this week was this report into the economics of biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. The report stresses the need for us to rethink measures of economic success and value nature as an asset (Al Jazeera). If you don’t have time to read all 600+ pages (!), the headline messages are a good overview
Footprint Coalition Ventures: Robert Downey Jr. has unveiled rolling venture funds that will invest in companies focused on sustainability. Yep, Iron Man is on a mission to save the world again (Fast Company)
Green finance: Think banking doesn’t have anything to do with the environment? An interesting read on how your finances impact the climate (BBC)
Lots of ocean news this week so…
Get out of my way! This animation of a blue whale’s journey as it tries to avoid shipping traffic for a week is a saddening must-see (Independent) as there’s news of the threat from boat collisions in Patagonian waters (Guardian)
Turning the tide for mako sharks: Spain has taken action to protect the shortfin mako shark and Portugal followed hot on its heels (Shark League)
Going up: Is the rise in sea level worse than we thought? (Guardian)
Citizen science for the win: Basking Shark Scotland record the first ever photo ID mark-recapture of a humpback whale between east and west Scotland!
Mining ban: Australia’s Northern Territory Government has announcement a ban on seabed mining (Australian Marine Conservation Society)
Getting fresh: Was the Arctic Ocean filled with freshwater during the ice ages? (Nature)
Enjoying Baleen? Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss an edition!
On firm ground
Turtley awesome: New hope for the world’s rarest turtle, Swinhoe’s softshell turtle, as it’s confirmed one of the two known individuals on the planet is female (the other is male). Could this lead to the pitter patter of tiny turtle feet? (NYT)
Smashing plates: Another cool visualisation as scientists have reconstructed the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates over the last billion years (Cosmos)
Oil, oil! Shell Nigeria has been ordered to pay damages to famers affected by pipeline leaks (Friends of the Earth)
Pooping cubes: Has anyone else spent their life puzzled by why wombats have cubed poop? (Just me…? Awks!) Scientists have solved the mystery! (Guardian)
Blimey! Did you see chunks of the white cliffs of Dover collapsing into the sea? 🤯 (Daily Mail) Thanks to Julie (Frame PR) for putting this on my radar
Case of the century: The French government was found guilty of failing to meet its climate change goals (Vox). With the upcoming Cop26 in Glasgow, what does this mean for Scotland? (The Herald)
Protecting forests: Do you know the 10 golden rules for tree planting? (BBC)
Torn apart: Love this powerful advertising creative to promote BBC’s ‘A Perfect Planet’ (Famous Campaigns)
The deep dive
Woah, last week’s reports were intense right? So, something a bit different this week:
Is it really green? Is a dishwasher more eco friendly than hand washing? And how many uses make a tote bag an environmental option? Answers to these and other eco dilemmas in the fab new book Is it Really Green?
Your bitesized cute digest
Did you seal this? An Airbnb in Cornwall is looking after poorly seal pups (BBC)
Cute chameleon: It’s the size of a sunflower seed and I can’t even deal! (Nat Geo)
Blobfish song! I laughed out loud at this blobfish video so I hope you enjoy it (Thanks to Simon C for sharing!)
Cop26 and you: Some cool opportunities to get involved in this year’s Cop26. Application deadline 5 March
Coastal Fountain Fund: Grants of up to £2k available for UK communities who want to reduce plastic pollution by installing a water fountain (Sea-Changers)
🐳🐳 That’s all for this week, folks🐳🐳
Hope you enjoyed it. If you know someone who would enjoy Baleen, I’d love it if you could share it with them to help us grow and make this a megapod!
Have a lovely week and see you soon!
📢 I have some availability for writing commissions (Feb) and comms consultancy (from March) so, if you’d like to work together, do get in touch to find out more 🤓