Friday, September 1, 2017

Week in Review September 1, 2017: Shark Fins Sold in Canada Include Endangered Species, Sustainability of World’s Biggest Tuna Fishery Questioned and More!

1. Shark Fins Sold in Canada Include Endangered Species

whale shark, shark finning, shark fin studyGenetic testing of 71 shark fins purchased in Canada found specimens from seven species “considered at risk of extinction.” Some were from the whale shark, the largest fish in the ocean. Manta and mobulid ray gill plates purchased in China and Sri Lanka also included endangered species. Seven shark species and five ray species found are on the banned list from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).
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2. Sustainability of World’s Biggest Tuna Fishery Questioned


skipjack tuna, skipjack tuna purse seine net, purse seine netSkipjack tuna from the western and central Pacific Ocean are not always sustainably caught, despite the fishery being certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Skipjack tuna from this region make up half of the tuna on the supermarket shelves. Boats certified by MSC are permitted to catch uncertified fish using unsustainable means at other times, according to a British consumer coalition.
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3. Scientists Asked to Scrub References to Climate Change in their Grants


coal power plantsIn their grants with the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists have been asked to scrub all references to global warming and climate change as part of the Trump administration’s “budget language restrictions.” One scientist says he "is more concerned that research priorities are being set by political ideology that is at odds with scientific knowledge.”
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4. Alarming Number of Whales are Getting Caught in Fishing Lines off of California

whale entangled in fishing gear, fishing gear, whale entanglementIn 2016, 71 whales were seen entangled in fishing gear, another record year. Less than a dozen of those caught were actually freed from the fishing gear. Some of the gear was from the dungeness crab fishery. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife saying they are violating the Endangered Species Act for “failing to protect endangered whales and sea turtles.”
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5. Ocean Fog Carries Mercury to Land


monterey bay fog, fog, mercury in fog, mercuryScientists in the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz regions of California have found that ocean fog carries mercury (a heavy metal and neurotoxin) to land. They measured mercury levels in fog, water, plants and animals. They found 10 times more mercury in the fog than in rainfall. The mercury mainly comes from gold mining and coal-fired power plants.

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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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