Friday, May 29, 2015

Week in Review: Ecuador Seizes 200,000 Shark Fins, Federal Agency Dings Shell for Oil Rig Mishap in Arctic, and More!

1. Ecuador Seizes 200,000 Shark Fins

This week, Ecuador found and seized a shipment of 200,000 shark fins. The fins were found in nine different locations in the city of Manta. The traffickers were found and arrested by the Ecuadorian authorities. Although thousands of sharks were killed, the arrest of the perpetrators ensures that there are now fewer shark fin traffickers in the world. Read more...


2. Federal Agency Dings Shell for Oil Rig Mishap in Arctic


On Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the probable cause of the Royal Dutch Shell's drill moving issues in 2012 was a result of "Shell's inadequate assessment of the risk for its planned tow across the Gulf of Alaska". Although the company hopes to continue drilling this year in the Chunkchi Sea, the Interior Department has yet to decide if they will grant the required drilling permits to Shell. Obtaining those final permits will depend on the risk elimination plan for both transportation and drilling.   Read more...


3. The World's Most Unappreciated Sea Creatures

This isn't new news but, it's a good reminder of just how important marine organisms are!  Review the reasons why plankton, octopus, elephant seals, bobtail squid, and the peacock mantis shrimp are just so important to our biodiversity!  Read more...


4. Humans Able to Tell Right Whales Apart Based on Voice Alone

IMAGEThe right whale is a species that has been endangered for centuries due to heavy hunting in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. It has been estimated that there are only 450 of these whales left in the world. In a new study, scientists have been able to identify 13 different right whales based off of their vocal characteristics. Jessica McCordic, a Masters student in Biology at Syracuse University, determined that the duration of the call is the differentiating factor.  Read more...


5. Eating Tuna Right Now? 

After reading this, you may thing twice about which canned tuna brand you purchase at the grocery store. This week, The Boston Globe published an article about how ocean-friendly those tuna options actually are. Read more... If you do love to eat fish but also want to stay environmentally conscious, take a look at Seafood Watch. This website provides information on the fisheries of common fish brands. 


6. Peru Temporarily Suspends Anchovy Fisheries 

Produce suspendió pesca de anchoveta por tres días This year, the abnormally warm waters in Peru during the first few weeks of May led to a successful fishing season. The goal for this year is to collect 2.58m metric tons of anchovies. Peru expects to complete this at the end of the month, a whole month earlier than the season's completion date. From May 20th to the 22nd, Peru's Ministry of Production placed a mini-ban on anchovy catches on the coast. This was placed on the area due to the high number of juveniles.  Read more...


7. Fashion Helps to Reduce Pollution

The task of cleaning up the oceans is monumental.
Yes, you read that correctly- Fashion. After years of supporting the turnaround of toxic companies and start- ups, Cyrill Gutsch, began Parley for the Oceans. The mission of this organization is to create a space where cross-disciplinary partnerships could be formed to brainstorm creative solutions to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans. Parley for Oceans was instrumental in the Bionic Yarn campaign which turned plastic pollution on the beaches into a material used to reinforce denim yarn. What's next on the project list? Well, expect an announcement from adidas Group in 2016!  Read more...


8. Texas Shark Finning Bill Poised to Become Law

No soup for you!
On Wednesday, the proposal to ban the trade of shark fins in Texas passed the Texas Senate. Although the practice is banned by federal law, shark finning continues to exist. This law will make it illegal to buy or sell shark fins in Texas. Texas will joint the other nine states that have banned this trade. It is estimated that around half of the import and export of shark fins comes through The Lone Star State.  Read more...

Interested in signing a petition to help the bill progress? Take a look at the Oceana petition here...

9. NOAA Predicts Below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season 

This week, May 24-30, is actually National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The NOAA predicts that the 2015 season will see a below normal season with 6 to 11 named storms, 3 to 6 hurricanes, and 0 to 2 major hurricanes. A major driving factor of this change is El Nino. The combination of normal sea surface temperatures and way that El Nino is currently affecting the wind and pressure patterns seem to suppress the major hurricane risks. Although the coastal areas of the United States are glad to hear this, is this irregular weather pattern is another concerning impact of climate change?  Read more...


10. 'Loud Wakeup Call' Over Critically Endangered Dolphin

dolphin leapingThe endangered Maui's dolphin population has been rapidly declining. There are now somewhere between 43 and 47 dolphins with only 10 male from that group. The Maui dolphin is the smallest and rarest marine dolphin and is at risk of being completely extinct in the next 15 years if it is not protected. The International Whaling Commission will now review the data on this species and determine how they will protect the dolphins' habitat.    Read more...


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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.