coronavirus tagged posts

Rays, sharks, and dolphins enjoy new freedom as humans retreat from the oceans

Hawksbill turtle is released back into the ocean

It is a now-familiar story: as humans are trapped indoors by the deadly coronavirus, wildlife is taking the opportunity to fill abandoned spaces. We have seen the village of Llandudno in Wales go from “ghost town to goat’s town,” wild boars invading Barcelona, and pumas prowling the Chilean capital Santiago. The phenomenon has been particularly noticeable along the Emirati coastline in recent weeks, with exotic rays flocking to Dubai Marina, dolphins playing around the man-made Palm Jumeirah islands, and a large gathering of sharks off Ras al Khaimah. Conservationists hope to maximize the possibilities of this moment.

Greater visibility
The sightings of rays, sharks, and dolphins are welcome to Natalie Banks, founder and president of Dubai-based marine conservation group Azraq, who sugg...

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Coronavirus: UN delays talks on global ocean biodiversity treaty

Humpback whale near surface of the ocean

The UN has postponed deadlocked talks on a global treaty to protect marine biodiversity in the high seas because of the coronavirus, giving countries extra time to seek compromise. Governments had been due to agree a global treaty in April to safeguard life in seas beyond the national jurisdiction of coastal states, a poorly regulated region accounting for two-thirds of the global ocean. Over-fishing, shipping, plastic pollution and the potential of seabed mining are among the threats already affecting marine ecosystems. Meanwhile, climate impacts such as warming waters, rising acidity and shifting current patterns are also undermining the resilience of marine biodiversity.

A resolution adopted by consensus by the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday agreed to postpon...

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