Category News

Why Overfishing Must Stop

Overfishing means to deplete the stock of fish, in other words, fish the ocean to its limits. Overfishing is one of the many problems in the world but unfortunately not a lot of people know about this problem. 

Overfishing causes problems in the food chain, since fish are a big factor and consumers in the food chain fishing too much can turn into a big problem. People in some parts of the world are experiencing invasive species such as rays and jellyfish and the cause is… overfishing. 

Fish help the ocean become healthier. Coral reefs help with the biodiversity in the seas by offering homes for all kinds of marine species, fish help the coral reefs by eating sea urchins, weeds, and stop diseases from spending.

Protecting fish is important so they can live and help balance the e...

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Scientists predict huge ‘dead zone’ in Gulf of Mexico

A near record-size “dead zone” of oxygen-starved water could form in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, threatening its huge stocks of marine life, researchers said.

The area could spread over 8,700 square miles, scientists at Louisiana State University said Monday. That’s about the size of the state of Massachusetts. It’s also well above the five-year average of 5,770 square miles.

Experts blamed unusually high rainfall across the Midwest this spring that washed farm fertilizers along streams and rivers through the Mississippi River basin into the gulf.

The nutrients in the fertilizers feed algae that die, decompose and deplete the water of oxygen, the Louisiana scientists said.

“When the oxygen is below two parts per million, any shrimp, crabs and fish that can swim awa...

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Japan set to resume commercial whaling after 30 years

JAPAN will begin hunting whales for commercial purposes next month for the first time in more than 30 years after pulling out of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Five vessels will set off from six different whaling operators on July 1 in the first commercial whaling operation since 1986. Japan joined the global body for the conservation of whales in 1982, ceasing operations four years later. But the country had continued to hunt between 200 and 1,200 whales each year for scientific reasons, selling the meat on afterwards for consumer purposes. 

Eating whale is seen to be part of Japanese culture even though consumption has fallen dramatically since the 1960s. 

Pro-whaling nations expected the IWC to be a temporary measure until a sustainable catch quota was formed but ...

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Blue belt zones to protect minke whales

Special protections are planned for minke whales and basking sharks in their feeding grounds around Scotland.A consultation has been launched on creating four new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering 5,000 square miles of sea.

The Scottish government said the proposals were a world first and would also protect Risso’s dolphins and a wide range of other biodiversity.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation charity said it was “delighted.”

The proposed sites are at the southern trench in the outer Moray Firth, north east Lewis, the Sea of the Hebrides and Shiant East Bank.

MPAs are sometimes referred to as the “blue belt”.

There are areas of sea in which species and habitats benefit from special protections such as prohibiting fishing or dredging.

The management of each zone...

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UK gains 41 new Marine Conservation Zones

The Wildlife Trusts has welcomed the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). This historic move will help protect the seas around our shores and follows on from previous announcements of 50 MCZs (in 2013 and 2016). It is the third of three phases promised by the Government in order to fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act. 

The 41 new MCZs are special places and include cold water corals, forests of sea fans, rocky canyons and sandbanks – an astonishingly varied range of submerged landscapes which support the stunning diversity of marine life found in the UK...

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Tiny, Snackable Fish Are Linchpins of Reef Ecosystems

The foundation of massive, flashy and dazzling coral reefs may be a group of fish almost too small to see. New research suggests a group of fish species called cryptobenthics are the fuel that feeds coral reef ecosystems. Most cryptobenthic fish weigh just a fraction of a gram each—but they make up more than half of all fish flesh consumed on reefs each year, says study leader Simon Brandl, a postdoctoral researcher in marine ecology at Simon Fraser University.

Millions of humans rely on bigger reef fish for food, but how reef ecosystems sustain such a bounty of species in tropical oceans that are low in plant nutrients has been a longstanding mystery that the new work could help explain.

“It’s actually frustrating how little we know as scientists about coral reef ecosystems,” s...

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Mysterious surge in dead gray whales concerns scientists

Ocean scientists are concerned about dead gray whales that have washed up on the US West Coast this year at the highest rate in almost two decades. As of Thursday night, 58 gray whales have landed ashore from California to Alaska, compared to 45 for all of last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Some were underweight, leading scientists to think they did not have enough food.”Why these whales are malnourished is the mystery we are trying to unravel,” NOAA spokesman Michael Milstein said.

“Something is going on.”The last time researchers saw such high numbers was in 2000, when 131 deaths were documented.Climate change could be contributing, Milstein said. “That’s an angle they’re investigating,” he said. “We don’t know anything for sure at this time...

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414 million pieces of plastic found on remote islands in Indian Ocean

On the beaches of the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, population 600, marine scientists found 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.

A comprehensive survey of debris on the islands – among the most remote places on Earth, in the Indian Ocean – has found a staggering amount of rubbish washed ashore. This included 414m pieces of plastic, weighing 238 tonnes.

The study, published in the journal Nature, concluded the volume of debris points to the exponential increase of global plastic polluting the world’s oceans and “highlights a worrying trend in the production and discharge of single-use products”.

The lead author, Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania’s Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, said remote islands without large populations were the most effe...

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Thirty sharks captured on barrier reef and exported to France all died in captivity

Thirty hammerhead sharks captured on the Great Barrier Reef and exported to a French aquarium over an eight-year period have all died in captivity and the Australian government says it knows nothing about it.

The deaths, which are the subject of legal action by Sea Shepherd France, could put a spotlight on the trade of threatened sharks caught in Australian waters because of a federal law that allows them to continue to be commercially fished.

The scalloped hammerheads were at Europe’s biggest aquarium, the Nausicaá aquarium in the French port of Boulogne, near Calais, and were imported in two groups, the first in 2011 and the second in 2018.

The last of the 30 sharks died two weeks ago, but the precise timeline and cause of all of the deaths is unclear.

Nausicaá has told E...

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Octopus farming is ‘unethical and a threat to the food chain’

Plans to create octopus farms in coastal waters round the world have been denounced by an international group of researchers. They say the move is ethically inexcusable and environmentally dangerous, and have called on private companies, academic institutions and governments to block funding for these ventures.

The researchers say that farming octopuses would require the catching of vast amounts of fish and shellfish to feed them, putting further pressure on the planet’s already threatened marine livestock.

The group, led by Professor Jennifer Jacquet of New York University, argues that octopuses are highly intelligent, curious creatures. Farming them intensively would probably cause large numbers of deaths from stress...

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