Indian River Lagoon in Florida is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, with over 600 species of fish and more than 300 kinds of birds. Unfortunately, this 156 mile stretch of water has become the site of a “mass murder mystery” as 46 dolphins, 111 manatees and 300 pelicans have died over the last year. Biologists have examined every dead manatee but and found that they all abruptly became sick and drowned. The pelicans and dolphins were all emaciated but no definitive cause has been found. Theories range from nutrient pollution to climate change.
At the 85th annual meeting, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) agreed to limit catches of severely overfished Pacific bluefin tuna and to strengthen management of the controversial fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the eastern Pacific. The Commission also banned the intentional setting of tuna purse seine nets around whale sharks. Unfortunately, no action was taken on pirate fishing or shark management. Check out this summary from Pew for more highs and lows at the meeting.
Coral reefs around the world are threatened by human activity and many face a grim future. But why is it so important to protect coral reefs? They provide food for humans, they protect land and they are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the earth. Check out this blog post from Nature to read about other reasons why we should all care about coral reefs.
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