Why would an octopus punch a fish?

The green (or blue!) stories you need to know

Hi everyone,

I don’t need to ask if you’re new to Baleen because, well, I’m new to Baleen too. Thank you so much for joining the pod - I’m so excited to see how many of you have subscribed already. It’s really blown me away!

You might have signed up to find out what’s been going on in the conservation world over the last couple of weeks or you’re just intrigued what’s this all about…

Either way, there’s lots of interesting environmental news to share so, without further ado, let’s dive in!

The green (or blue!) stories you need to know

Top stories you don’t want to miss

When I was first curating the news I wanted to share, I thought I’d leave out the stuff you’ve probably seen and just highlight things that might have gone under the radar.

But you know that expression “unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know about XXX”? Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve been taking much comfort in hiding under my rock recently. Some days, the only way to avoid the dreaded c-word is to ignore the news altogether. (Don’t worry: I’m going to try to keep Baleen a pandemic-free zone… consider it carefully cleaned with anti-bac wipes!).

So, just in case you’ve been hibernating too, here’s my roundup of top environmental stories to hit the headlines:

  1. Cornwall, UK, is to host the G7 summit this summer (BBC). There’s a nice overview of what the G7 is here.

  2. The UK has allowed the use of a previously banned pesticide which is harmful to bees. (BBC)

  3. Bottom trawling is taking place in 98% of UK’s offshore Marine Protected Areas, according to a shocking MCS report. (Oceanographic). Full protection of MPAs isn’t just an issue in the UK. 75% of Australia’s marine protected areas are only partially protected. (The Conversation)

  4. WWF is calling for pandemic recovery plans to combat deforestation and safeguard the world’s forests (Al Jazeera).

  5. and Will Biden scrap the Keystone pipeline permit on his first day in office? (Al Jazeera).

& 10 things that might have cruised under the radar

Feeling trendy?

A few things you can do

If you’ve made it this far (well done) and you’re thinking “This is all very well, Mel, but what can I actually do to help?”, you’re in luck. Here are a few things you can do to to make a difference:

  • Stop ocean threads: Did you know our clothes are made of millions of tiny fibres (often plastics) which can shed in the wash and end up in the ocean? MCS is calling for lesislation to fit microfibre filters in all new washing machines. Sign the petition here.

  • #FishFreeFebruary: If you’re concerned about the impact your diet might be having on our oceans, why not give Fish Free February a go?

  • It’s a petition sandwich: SAS is calling on the UK government to prioritise the ocean in its climate negotiations at the upcoming #COP26. Sign here.

Dream job alert

So, you know how I’ve spent 10+ years building up my career to get into marine conservation communications? Well, that’s all great but the Kent Wildlife Trust is looking for Britain’s first ever bison ranger so I think I need to rethink my career plans! OK, I’m not really going to apply but YOU should (mainly because I’d really like to come and visit!). Find out more here and apply here.

So what now?

Thanks for making it to the end of the first “official” edition of Baleen.

  • If you enjoyed it, please share it with your friends and ask them to sign up.

  • If you didn’t, I’d love to hear your feedback so I can improve future newsletters. Positive feedback also welcome ;)

  • If you’re an editor and any stories jumped out at you, I’m available for writing commissions. Hit me up!

  • Got a tip off of news that didn’t make it in this week? I’m always on the lookout for great stories and new papers to write about so please share yours!

  • Want to connect? I’m on Twitter and LinkedIn (for more professional stuff) and Instagram (mainly for pictures of my cats).

Thanks again! Have a lovely week and see you next time!