Other stories worth reading this weekend:
“20 lbs of Bycatch Per Pound of Shrimp” from Fish Navy Films
The title says it all: for every pound of shrimp caught, 20 pounds of non-target species are also caught, according to a report by the FAO. Check out Fish Navy Films latest blog to learn more about bycatch in the shrimp industry.
Scientists analyzing the diversity and density of coral colonies off the coast of South America have found that coral reefs can take more than a decade to recover from catastrophic climate events.
“‘Dolphin-Assisted’ Birth: Natural or Dangerous?” from Discovery
A few articles have been popping up lately about ‘dolphin-assisted’ births. This new trend involves couples planning on having their birth in water with dolphins. Sound crazy? Most scientists think so, too. Water births in general can be dangerous for the newborn, but adding a wild, carnivorous animal to the mix takes it to a whole new level of danger.
After a video of a dolphin slamming herself against a wall at Ocean Park’s Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre went viral, people starting saying that the dolphin was trying to kill herself. A veterinarian at the park, however, claims that dolphins aren’t smart enough to commit suicide. Conservationists argue that we humans aren’t smart enough to judge if dolphins have the ability or not.
“First-Ever National Ranking Shows Most Coastal States Failing to Protect Oceans” from Marine Conservation Institute
SeaStates is the first-ever national ranking of how well states protect their ocean waters. SeaStates U.S. shows that most states are “failing to protect ocean waters.” The report reveals that 15 of the 28 states received a score of zero, and nine received a score of less than one percent.
“Fukushima fishermen forced to test fish for radiation” from Global Post
After the 2011 “triple disaster” in Japan, fishermen are still testing fish for radiation. Now, there are plans to dump 100 tons of contaminated water from the nuclear plant into the sea every day as part of a new 30-year clean-up plan which will make fishing an even more challenging profession.
“Going Home” from GEOMAR
Scientists from GEOMAR have recently discovered why female loggerhead sea turtles return to their place of birth. The researchers found that females are “very faithful to their island of birth” but males are less selective and will mate at multiple locations. The reason for the females’ decision is linked to advantages in parasite resistance.
A new report notes that a reduction in ship speed reduces the deaths of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales by about 90 percent. There are fewer than 500 of these whales remaining and ship strikes are the leading cause of death.
“Greenpeace Seafood Report For 2013 Scores Supermarkets On Sustainability” from the Huffington Post
Check out the results of Greenpeace’s annual “Casting Away The Oceans” report to find out where your supermarkets ranks on the Seafood Retailer Scorecard. The report scores supermarkets based on their commitment to sustainable seafood, but the National Fisheries Institute says the rankings are “unscientific and arbitrary.”
“Japan to reject international shark trade regulation” from France24 (link no longer active)
Despite global pressure to protect sharks, the Japanese government has decided to “reject landmark rules on the trade in sharks.” Japan is filing a “reservation” about the new regulations regarding trade in the oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and hammerhead sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
A new study led by Stanford reveals that while the Hawaiian green sea turtle population has increased since it was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1978, their numbers “still fall far short of historic levels.” The researchers note that calls to lift protection for this population may be premature.
“Second seal found shot dead” from The Mercury (link no longer active)
A second fur seal was found shot to death in the southeast of Tasmania. The fur seal is a protected species and they are a pretty important part of the local tours. Wildlife authorities and animal cruelty opponents are still investigating both incidents.
“Sealord bans device to limit bycatch” from Stuff.co
Sealord, one of New Zealand’s biggest fishing companies, says it is banning the use of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) in order to reduce bycatch. FADs are primarily used to catch tuna and are pretty universally hated by conservationists. Sealord determined that eliminating the use of FADs is the quickest way to reduce bycatch levels to below one percent.
“Slaves may be catching the fish you eat” from USA Today
A new report from the Environmental Justice Foundation reveals that slave labor may be common in the Thai fishing industry. Thailand exported $1.8 billion in fish products to the U.S. in 2011 and the U.S. remains the Thai fishing industry’s biggest buyer. The report reveals that it’s possible that that money supports human trafficking. To learn more, read this article: Violence and murder in Thai fisheries.
“Two beluga whale deaths confirmed by Marineland” from wellandtribune
The same Marineland that activists were protesting at last week has now confirmed the death of two of its young beluga whales in recent months. These whales, Luna and Charlotte, join a list of 18 other beluga deaths at the park since 1999.
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.