Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review: Record Sea Lion Strandings, Proposal to Drill in the Atlantic, and More!

1. Record Sea Lion Pup Strandings Reported

This year, more young sea lions have been found stranded on the Southern California beaches this year than any other year. It is believed that the sea lion pups were abandoned by their mothers who, due to the scarcity of prey, have to venture further out into the ocean to find food. The Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro and SeaWorld in San Diego are working to rehabilitate as many sea lions as possible. In addition to the juvenile sea lions, services are also finding malnourished adult sea lions. Is this species a representative of all the marine organisms struggling?  Read more...


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2. Administration Proposes Opening Atlantic Ocean to Drilling



This week, the United States government proposed to open up the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas drilling. The drilling lease sale would include the area off the coast from Virginia to Georgia, the central and western Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Arctic Ocean near Alaska. This lease was originally proposed in 2010 but canceled after the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Does this go against the climate change agenda discussed last week by the US government? Read more...

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3. Ontario Praised for Promise to Ban Killer Whales



On Tuesday, the government banned killer whales from Ontario. This action occurred after the very low standards of care for marine animals were found at the Marineland amusement park. But, why were only killer whales included in this ban? Read more...



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4. See-Through Fish Discovered Under Antarctica's Ice

Picture of the fish swimming over a bed of gravel
Do you know what is under the 740m ice shelf in Antarctica? After drilling down through the ice, scientists found a species of see-through fish living in the 28 degree water. These fish belong to the suborder Notothenioidei and have developed many adaptations to survive the temperature and pressure.  Read more...


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5. Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

"What I want is to create a great sushi experience without the tuna," Chef James Corwell says.
Past Week in Review articles have described that the human increase in fish consumption has created overfishing. This has specifically been an issue for blue fin tuna populations. If you love sushi but you also want to be environmentally conscious you may want to give Tomato Sushi a try! Read more...



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6. ‘Fifty miles out we could smell the pollution’: Sailing Amid the Ocean Litter


Those words describe the sailing experience of Ian Walker on the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team. Ian discusses the water pollution that he has seen in his 100,000 miles of ocean racing. The information that he shares highlights the serious ocean deterioration that humans have created. As he states, “authorities need to stop treating the oceans as a rubbish dump and start treasuring them for what they are – one of mankind’s finest natural assets.”  Read more...


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7. The Real Penguin of Madagascar



Love the animated film Madagascar? Learn the real facts on the Rockhopper Penguins depicted in the film. Although Madagascar is an extremely bio diverse location, this penguin is one of the many species under threat.  Read more...



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8. Smothered Oceans: Extreme Oxygen Loss in Oceans Accompanied Past Global Climate Change


A recent study, published in PLOS ONE, reported that there is evidence of extreme oxygen loss in areas of the upper ocean. Over the last 100-150 years the oceans have drastically changed and the climate warming has lead the oceans to abruptly lose oxygen. This reduction in oxygen will impact the marine organisms and require them to reorganize their habitats. Read more...


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9. Climate Forecast: More Southwest Droughts and Australian Floods

Scientists are predicting that climate change will increase the severity of the El Nino and La Nina. It has been forecasted that these Pacific weather patterns may begin to occur once every decade if there are no changes made in greenhouse gas emissions. What impacts will the Earth have if we don’t make any changes?   Read more...


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10. Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In




Fisherman in Zambia found an alternate use for the anti-malaria nets provided to his family. These nets are now being used to collect fish from the bottom of swamp ponds. The mosquito nets are insecticide-treated and introduce toxins into the water. That water is used for drinking and is a habitat for many marine organisms.  Read more...

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11. Miliband Calls for Global Treaty to Halt Despoilation of Seas


Overall, there is international consensus that the marine ecosystem requires legislative protection to properly conserve and repair our oceans. This week, the former foreign Secretary David Milibrand proposed creating a global treaty to protect the oceans to the United Nations.  Read more...


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12. An End to 'Curtains of Death'? State May Ban Drift Gillnets, Risking Fishermen's Livelihoods


Drift gillnet fishing has been used to catch mass quantities of profitable fish. This is commonly used to fish for swordfish. Although these “curtains of death” are effective in catching swordfish, they have also caught and killed dolphins and whales. California is currently the only state that allows this fishing practice. This article includes an intricate diagram of the drift gillnet fishing process.  Read more...


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13. Wild Dolphins Exchange Names When They Meet


Have you ever wondered what some of those dolphin squeaks and whistles actually mean? These whistles can sometimes represent a “name” of a dolphin. When dolphins first meet at sea they will introduce themselves with a unique whistle. Other dolphins can then use that specific whistle to single their new acquaintance!  Read more...


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14. Spain Announces Law to Fight Pirate Fishing


This week Spain created a new fisheries law which is in line with the EU's Illegal, Unreported, and Unregualted (IUU) fishing regulation. Spain is Europe's largest fishing country and the precedent that the government established may lead other EU countries to similar action.  Read the official Spanish law  here... and the Oceana synopsis here...


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Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news.

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