How has your week been? I finally joined the lockdown birthday crew this week and had a lovely Zoom call with the family which went something along the lines of “What have you been up to?” “Nothing. You?” “Yeah, also nothing.” 🤦♀️
If you’re also at a loss for things to talk about, how about the latest in marine conservation? There was a heap of ocean news again this week so let’s get right to it!
This week’s hot take
We’ve been keeping the experts busy this week with a few key topics. So, let’s jump straight in for a bumper section of the hot take:
A new report by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and Humane Society International highlights how the UK government can save a dolphin a day as the charity launches its #GoodbyeBycatch campaign. Sarah Dolman, WDCs Bycatch programme lead, said:
“No one wants to catch dolphins, porpoises and whales. But bycatch has continued much the same for decades and the research highlights some effective solutions. Now is the time to take action. The Fisheries Act 2020 requires the UK to ‘minimise and where possible eliminate’ dolphin, porpoise and whale bycatch. The UK and devolved governments can fulfil this legal obligation and show global leadership by implementing fleet-wide solutions at sea that will prevent individual dolphins, porpoises and whales suffering, save lives, as well as providing confidence to consumers and the wider public and so benefit fishers.”
The European Commission has warned the Republic of Cameroon to do more to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) if it wants future access to EU markets. Speaking of the news, Executive Director of EJF Steve Trent said:
“Countries must come together and adopt measures designed to deter other states from freely offering flags of convenience, along with methods to ensure that these flags are not used by their own citizens. These include issuing deterrent sanctions against nationals when they engage or profit from illegal fishing, even when they are operating under a foreign flag; and requesting information on beneficial ownership upon registration of vessels.”
What would you like to know from the experts next week? Ask a question in the comments.
🌊 Ocean 🌊
Mana-tea party: Before we start, here’s a super cute video of hundreds of manatees basking together… a few friendly dolphins even joined in the fun too!
Visual impact: If previous editions are anything to go by, you lot LOVE a graphic. So, check out these graphs of our impact on Earth’s ecosystems (New Scientist) including a worryingly sharp decline in coral survival
They’re back! The US is officially back in the Paris climate agreement (CNN)
Major disaster: As well as devastating communities in Texas (BBC), unusually cold weather has caused thousands of sea turtles to be stunned by freezing temperatures and spurred a huge rescue attempt (Sky News)
Oh, hey baby! A North Atlantic right whale calf has been spotted near the Canary Islands for the first time in many years (Newsround)
Connected corals: A new study may explain why coral reefs are so productive despite their nutrient-poor settings. Researchers found predators in a Maldives coral reef relied heavily on offshore resources for energy (Phys.org)
Deep trouble: Microfibres were found in the stomachs of deep sea fish (NHM)
Ropeless situation: Can ropeless fishing save whales AND the lobster industry? (NPR)
Seal encounters: Marine Scotland has issued guidance for seal interactions to prevent disturbing or potentially harming these animals (The Scotsman)
Ooh la la: Seals seem to have made a comeback in France (Reuters)
Green (/Blue) Brexit? Will the UK’s recent decision to ban bottom trawling in Dogger Bank set a precedent for better EU marine protections? (Politico)
“D” grade conditions: A water quality report says the condition of Great Barrier Reef’s marine environment is still poor (Guardian)
Disaster in the pipeline: Could the Red Sea’s coral reefs be under threat from an Emirati oil deal? (Aljazeera)
Getting into murky waters: Interesting article exploring the growing threat of ‘coastal darkening’ (The Atlantic)
10+ years on: Researchers are concerned about the ongoing impacts of an oil spill that took place a decade ago (Science Alert)
Surprise find: Researchers were in for a bit of a shock when they discovered life on the seafloor under 900m of Antarctic ice! (Guardian)
Conservation success: The recovery of the blue whale listed among 10 success stories of species brought back from the brink of extinction (New Scientist)
Dolphinately alike: Dolphins have developed many similar personality traits to humans including curiosity and sociability (Guardian)
The Deep Dive
Don’t want more to read? Well, you’re in luck as WWF has a new podcast and the first episode is an interview with the great man himself: Sir David Attenborough
And, to wrap up, thanks to Mayen from mlsea for sharing this awesome shark ‘choir’. I’m embarrassed not to have seen this before. Enjoy!
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