Thursday, September 11, 2014

Week In Review - Blue Whale Recovery, Dirtiest Fisheries, Seafood Labeling Bill and More - Sea Save Foundation





1. California's Blue Whales Show Signs of Recovery

The biggest animal on the planet is making a comeback. Research from the University of Washington shows that the West Coast blue whale population currently stands around 2,200 individuals--a number approaching its pre-slaughter population. As the first and only population of blue whales to recover from the effects of whaling thus far, California's blue whales demonstrate the feasibility of making a comeback with effective conservation and management practices. Monitoring the population and actions taken to stop catches have made the California blue whales a conservation success story.  Read more here...



2. Exposed: The Dirtiest Fisheries of America

In a typical year, billions of pounds of sea life are caught in fishing nets around the world. While the hauls mainly yield commercially viable products that can be taken back to port, an estimated 40% of the global catch is thrown back overboard--dead or alive. The sea life that is thrown back into the ocean is known as bycatch, and can include whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, sharks, and sea turtles. Some fisheries are dirtier than others, and a recent research study has found that some fisheries in the U.S. yield more than 50% bycatch. This means they are harming and killing more marine life than they are catching to sell. According to marine researchers, addressing the bycatch problem will take extensive effort in collecting bycatch data and enforcing limits on the amount of bycatch allowed.  Read more here…


3. California Seafood Labeling Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

In order for consumers to make informed decisions about purchasing sustainable seafood, they need the right information. Seafood, which is often traded across international borders, is often intentionally and unintentionally labeled with inadequate, confusing, or misleading labels. In regions of California, as much 52% of seafood is improperly labeled. Fortunately, the California Senate has passed SB 1138, which helps to address seafood fraud. The bill calls for clear labeling of the species by its common name and to provide information if the species was farm-raised or wild-caught, in addition to whether the species was caught domestically or imported internationally.  Read more here...



4. Estimated 650 Species of North American Land and Sea Birds To Be Impacted by Climate Change

Sea Save Foundation board of directors member Michael Sutton serves as the executive director of Audubon California and vice president of Pacific Flyway. He has been actively circulating a recent report released by the National Audubon Society. 

The future of birds depends on how and if they are able to adapt to climate change. The National Audubon Society report finds that an estimated 650 species of birds in North America will be impacted by climate change. These birds will be forced to live, feed, and breed in limited habitat ranges, or go extinct if they are unable to adapt to climatic changes. According to the report, 21.4 percent of existing bird species will lose at least half of their current habitat range by 2050 and will be unable to move to new locations. Some birds like the puffin, once a reintroduction success story, are already showing sings of decline.  Read more here...


5. 2100: A Shark Odyssey



Habitat degradation and overfishing are two major challenges that face the shark population today. Now research released by the University of Lisbon's Center for Oceanography has found that the effects of climate change and ocean acidification will be key factors in the survival of sharks in 2100. In lab studies, shark embryos that were exposed to the projected higher temperatures and acidic ocean conditions of 2100 had low survival rates. This leads scientists to predict that shark populations could decline by up to 44% in 2100. A second study has found that the changing marine conditions will significantly impact the hunting success of sharks.  Read more here...


6. Tracking Great Whites Reveals Deep Mystery


Some sharks travel the world. Some are homebodies. Today, both scientists and the interested public can follow the lives of sharks in real time via satellite-enabled trackers. When the tagged dorsal fin of a shark breaks the surface of the water, the wet-dry switch of the GPS trackers becomes activated, allowing these sharks to be tracked wherever they go. Currently, five sharks are being tracked by the marine-focused research and educational nonprofit Ocearch. These sharks have each traveled thousands of miles and gained thousands of online fans who can follow their actions with Ocearch's interactive online map.  Read more here…

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