What does the return of travel mean for conservation?
Plus some good shark news, some bad plastic news and some total 💩 news too!
Happy lunar New Year! 🧧🏮 I don’t know about you but I was pretty bloomin’ fed up of the Year of the Rat so I hope the first few days of the Year of the Ox have been going well for you. Things can only get better this lunar year, right? Let’s hope so…
Quick announcement before we start. This week’s edition contains ocean news only. Love it? Want the terrestrial news section back? Leave a comment to let me know.
This week’s hot take
As you know, Baleen is usually a pandemic-free zone. But, there’s a lot of chatter about how marine ecosystems might be affected when travel eventually returns. In fact, I’m in the process of writing an article it so I wanted to give you an exclusive sneak peek into some expert insights.
Generally, there’s cautious optimism about tourism returning:
“ There is the economic benefit of tourism to places that are already on a management framework. But then there's also that that side benefit of having, effectively, more monitoring going on through the through the presence of ecotourism operators as well,” explains Dr. Simon J. Pierce, Founder and Principal Scientist, Marine Megafauna Foundation
Yet, it can’t be ignored that, while it’s felt like a long break from normality for us, one year away from tourism isn’t all that long when it comes to marine ecosystems:
“There is this experience that we're having now in terms of reducing our movements and creating more energy efficiency. It has to persist. It can't just be a one year thing.” adds Dr. Tim McClanahan, PhD, Senior Conservation Zoologist, Wildlife Conservation Society
Watch this space for the full feature which is coming soon…
What would you like the experts to answer next week? Leave a comment to ask your question.
🌊 Ocean 🌊
Great what?! Are warming oceans pushing great white sharks into waters that used to be too cold for them. This also impacts endangered species (Guardian)
Swimming hedge trimmers: Big news this week as the endangered sawfish may be facing global extinction unless something is done about overfishing (Phys.org)
Fin-tastic news: Shark fishing is now banned in Colombia! (Discover Sharks)
Plastic problem: Plastic ingestion is becoming increasingly problematic (Phys.org)
Trigger warning: Some upsetting images of a dead baby right whale which washed ashore. It likely died as a result of a boat strike (Yahoo!)
Are you keeping us here on porpoise? WDC is concerned that two young harbour porpoises may face the rest of their lives in captivity in Denmark
Quiet down, sweetie: Joanna Lumley is calling for Boris Johnson to stop detonating wartime bombs at sea because of the noise pollution (Guardian)
See (bed) this: We know loud noises can harm marine environments. So, it’s interesting to hear how fin whale vocalisations help scientists visualise the seabed (Eco Watch)
Net risk: You’re probably well aware that whales are under threat from fishing nets. But has this entanglement risk been underestimated? (BBC)
Cloudy with a chance of rain: How can weather forecasts help conservation? (Guardian)
Think you have a 💩 job? Think again! The team at James Cook, Macquarie and Newcastle universities studied the importance of sea cucumbers by collecting their poop with a spoon! (Guardian)
The Deep Dive
“A rich guy with an opinion”: Bill Gates’ How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need is out tomorrow. Will you be reading a copy?
That’s all folks! Thanks for reading this week. As always, if you’re enjoying Baleen there are a couple of things you can do to support:
Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss an edition
and share Baleen with your friends, colleagues or other members of your network who might be interested in the latest ocean conservation news
See you next time!
📢 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 🤓