Archive for October, 2009

Timor Sea Oil Spill: Among Three Worst Oil Spills in Australian History

Written by on October 30, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
Timor Sea Oil Spill:  Among Three Worst Oil Spills in Australian History

The Timor Sea oil spill, according to Senator Rachel Siewert among the three worst in Australian history, is continuing, apparently unabated, and now the Australian Senate has asked the Federal Environment Minister today to produce all the reports and drafts related to a marine survey on the environmental impacts of the spill by Monday, 16 November.

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Australian Shark Control Program: Nets to Stay in Place

Written by on October 29, 2009 in Marine Life, Other News, Policy & Ocean Law
Australian Shark Control Program: Nets to Stay in Place

The Queensland Government remains committed to the shark control program despite calls for an end to the shark nets that protect Queensland beaches and indiscriminately catches marine life.

Fisheries Minister Tim Mulherin said a recent incident re-enforced that there are still dangerous sharks off the Queensland coast and still a need for the shark control program.

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128 Million Acre Critical Habitat for Polar Bears

Written by on October 28, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
128 Million Acre Critical Habitat for Polar Bears

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to designate more than 128 million acres (200,541 square miles) of coastal lands and waters along the north coast of Alaska as “critical habitat” for the polar bear, the worlds largest carnivore species found on land and listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since May 2008.

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New Discoveries in Humpback Whale Communication

Written by on October 27, 2009 in Marine Life, Other News
New Discoveries in Humpback Whale Communication

Studying humpbacks with new methods Cholewiak, a researcher with the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, has uncovered the first known instances of what looks like whales responding musically to each other’s songs.

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Super-Liver Feeds Shark Pups During Their First Months

Written by on October 26, 2009 in Marine Life
Super-Liver Feeds Shark Pups During Their First Months

New study shows that live-bearing shark mums provide substantial post-partum investment to their young, giving them enlarged ‘super-livers’ that they feed off during their first few months of life.

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Cook Inlet Beluga Whales Still Declining

Written by on October 22, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
Cook Inlet Beluga Whales Still Declining

Earlier this month NOAA Fisheries Service’s published a survey showing the declining trend of beluga whale population in the Cook Inlet. The endangered beluga whale is not showing the hoped for recovery, but rather a continued trend of gradual population decline.

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Urgent Protection Needed for the High Seas

Written by on October 20, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
Urgent Protection Needed for the High Seas

ARC Center of Excellence Coral Reef Studies has published an article about an international team of scientists having called for the creation of marine protected areas in the open oceans to protect the world’s sea life from growing damage and loss caused by overexploitation, pollution and other human impacts.

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Two of the Three Spotted Seal Populations Are Safe From Endangerment or Extinction

Written by on October 19, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
Two of the Three Spotted Seal Populations Are Safe From Endangerment or Extinction

Of the three distinct populations of spotted seals, that inhabit the North Pacific Ocean, two total more than 200,000 individuals and are not currently in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future, but NOAA’s NMFS is proposing to list a third smaller population as threatened.

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First Step Toward Protecting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Written by on October 16, 2009 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law
First Step Toward Protecting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Last Thursday the Queensland Parliament passed the Great Barrier Reef Protection Amendment Bill. The new law targets reducing the run-off of nutrients, pesticides and sediment from farming land onto the Great Barrier Reef.

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Timor Oil Spill: Second Failure to Plug the Leak

Written by on October 16, 2009 in Marine Life, Technology
Timor Oil Spill: Second Failure to Plug the Leak

It has been nearly 2 months since the West Atlas oil rig in the Timor Sea started leaking oil as reported in our earlier article. Now, a second attempt by PTTEP Australasia to plug the leak has failed.

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