conservation tagged posts

Taking a Stand to Save Earth’s Oceans

Planet Earth from space

In 1990, as NASA’s Voyager I spacecraft traveled beyond Neptune’s orbit on the way to becoming the first human-made object ever to leave our solar system, its imaging team implemented an idea originally proposed by astronomer Carl Sagan, turning the camera around for one last look at Earth before entering interstellar space.

The image it beamed back showed Earth as nothing more than a pale blue dot. Sagan observed: “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”

So, how are we faring as custodians of the blue part of our planet, Earth’s oceans? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be: very poorly. In a new study published in One Earth, we aimed ...

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Europe’s ocean conservation effort not enough

Map of Europe's protected marine areas

Only a fraction of the marine areas meant to be protected by the European Union are being properly conserved at present, according to a new report. The research – by the World Wide Fund for Nature and Sky Ocean Rescue – says less than 2% of the EU’s waters are being properly managed, compared to the target of over 12%.

Janica Borg from the World Wide Fund for Nature told Euronews’ Good Morning Europe that the aim of the protected areas is very important:

“The aim of protected areas is to conserve biodiversity so that we can ensure that the oceans are conserved for future generations.

“Not only that, it’s also important for a stable blue economy; this means greater use of marine sectors and is something the EU is currently developing.

“Currently, there’s good intentions for protection...

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NGO unveils $1.6bn bid to save the oceans

Coral reefs are under threat

The Nature Conservancy plans to deliver ‘Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation’ to help protect most vulnerable underwater habitats. Global non-profit The Nature Conservancy has announced a $1.6bn plan to help save and restore the world’s oceans by selling ‘blue bonds’ to coastal and island countries.

The Blue Bonds for Conservation initiative will refinance and restructure debt for coastal and island countries, so long as those nations commit to protecting at least 30 per cent of their near-shore ocean areas, including coral reefs, mangroves, and other important ocean habitats.

In exchange for enhanced ocean protections, the TNC says the Blue Bond will give nations better terms for debt repayment and support with ongoing conservation work.

TNC says it has already secured more than $...

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Perfect storm of threats is destroying marine life

This turtle died after becoming entangled in fishing nets

The oceans are facing a perfect storm of threats that will destroy marine life unless the government takes urgent action, a new report has warned. Plastic pollution, climate change, and overfishing are combining to put sea creatures under intolerable stress, according to MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee.

The report, Sustainable Seas, says the UK government treats the oceans as “out of sight, out of mind” and must lead an international effort to stop the catastrophic impact of human activity.

Committee chair Mary Creagh MP told Sky News: “We only have one ocean and our children deserve to experience it in all its wonders, and to be able to see the coral reefs going into the future.

“But the ocean is under threat as never before from climate change, which is warming it, aci...

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How the super rich are saving the seas

Sea Keepers Discovery yachts

It may be a magnet for ocean-going excess, but the Monaco Yacht Show is becoming an increasingly precious jewel in the fight to save our seas. The luxury shop window for mega yachts and boating bling opens with a glitzy gala dinner and charity auction, which raised more than $27 million for marine conservation projects carried out by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

The A-list guests, including Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Adrien Brody and a host of Victoria’s Secret models dressed in dazzling gowns and diamonds, bid on lots ranging from the world’s first luxury electric powerboat to horseback riding with Madonna. On online auction will remain open until December.

But why are the super rich so keen to save the seas?

‘The ocean is their playground’

Environmentalist and explorer Emil...

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The oceans’ last chance: ‘It has taken years of negotiations to set this up’

The leatherback turtle is one of our planet’s most distinctive creatures. It can live for decades and grow to weigh up to two tonnes. It is the largest living reptile on Earth and its evolutionary roots reach back more than 100 million years.

“Leatherbacks are living fossils,” says oceanographer Professor Callum Roberts, of York University. “But they are not flourishing. In fact, they are being wiped out at an extraordinary rate, particularly in the Pacific Ocean, where their numbers have declined by 97% over the past three decades. They are now critically endangered there.”

Leatherbacks are suffering for several reasons. They have been hunted for their meat for centuries and the spread of tourist resorts disrupts turtles when they come ashore to lay their eggs on sandy beaches...

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Trump’s death wish for sharks boosts donations

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump may be “terrified” of sharks — but, ironically, his wish that “all the sharks die” is inspiring people to give money to shark conservation groups, according to MarketWatch.

Several non-profits have recently received donations that specifically mention Trump as the reason for charity. And many are new donors, including several from outside of the US. For instance, one donation to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society came with the comment “Because Trump.” Another one said: “Contribution to save the Sharks after reading the article ‘Trump hopes sharks die,’” Zorianna Kit, media director for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, tells The Verge.

Trump’s alleged hatred for sharks was revealed last week, when In Touch Weekly released a full interview with...

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Communities Create Marine Conservation Areas

Marine Area Network

Katupika communities have created what is thought to be the biggest network of marine reserves in Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands following the addition of four new sites to existing Managed Marine Areas governed by the Lauru Land Conference of Tribal Communities.

The new areas are Kukuru, Malanguni, Tarapae and Karago. All these sites are in the south east of the province and are owned by different clans. However, each comes from the same Volekana ‘mother tribe’.

This month a team consisting of three conservation practitioners from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) made a 10-day trip to Katupika communities in south east Choiseul to conduct training for 18 biological monitors from the villages of Ruruvai, Pututu, Posarae, Ropa, Kelekaku, and Lituni.

The Community Based Resource Manageme...

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Ocean conference gets US$1.8 bn

Leonardo Di Caprio

A two-day conference on marine conservation saw its participants pledging USD 1.8 billion towards the cause, even as President Barack Obama made a strong pitch to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling and illegal fishing. The first-ever “Our Ocean” Conference organised by the State Department resulted in commitments from government and private sources valued at more than USD 800 million to conserve the ocean and its resources for future generations, Secretary of State, John Kerry, said.

In addition, Norway announced it will allocate USD 1 billion to climate change mitigation and adaptation assistance.

The two-day event culminated yesterday with participant countries including India committing to protect more ...

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England’s conservation network is worse than useless


0.000001 – one hundred thousandth – is a number so small that to most people it seems like nothing at all. Yet four and a half years since the Marine Act of 2009 came into force – legislation that was heralded as the saviour of UK seas – this is the sum total of UK waters that is protected from all fishing for the purpose of nature conservation.

The Marine Act is that rare thing: a law supported by all political parties. The sea is dear to so many of us it transcends ideology. In the run up to the law’s enactment, there was widespread recognition that the seas were in trouble. Fisheries were in decline, once rich habitats had been stripped by two centuries of destructive fishing, and formerly abundant species had been brought to the verge of disappearance...

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