Friday, September 22, 2017

Week in Review September 22, 2017: Zinke Recommends Removing Protections From 10 National Monuments, No Longer Just Loners, Sea Lice Plague Salmon Around the World and More!

1.  Zinke Recommends Removing Protections from 10 National Monuments


Papahanaumokuakea, national marine reserve, tropical fishInterior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending shrinking the size of four western national monuments and opening up three marine monuments to fishing. Ten monuments would be managed differently in order to allow “traditional uses” such as “grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing.” Congress can easily make changes to national monuments through legislation, but presidents rarely change monument boundaries. The fate of 11 monuments, including the Papahanaumokuakea reserve off of Hawaii, is unclear.
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2. Secret Social Lives of Octopuses


octlantis, gloomy octopus, gloomy octopuses, AustraliaOctopuses have always been seen as loners who only come together to mate, but that view has now changed thanks to some new observations. A place dubbed “Octlantis” has been found in Australia where 15 “gloomy” octopuses reside in close proximity. There residents have “been seen to congregate, communicate and even evict one another.” They have even constructed a series of dens out of clam and scallop shells leftover from meals.
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3.  Parasitic Sea Lice Plague Salmon Farms


salmon sea lice, sea louse, salmon farmingSalmon farms around the world are battling parasitic sea lice, which burrow into the salmon, killing some and making others unsuitable for sale. The lice have infested farms in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Norway and Chile. The problem costs the salmon farm industry $1 billion a year. Solutions being tried include bathing the salmon in warm water to remove lice, zapping lice with a laser, breeding for genetic resistance, and using "cleaner fish" to eat the lice.
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4.  Marine Plastics Found in Seabirds

gannet chick, plastic in seabird, plastic lined nest

Scientists who collected the results of studies of 34 species of seabirds found that 74 percent had ingested plastic. Species affected included albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters. The full impact of plastic on seabird populations around the world is unknown. Millions of tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year.
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5.  Rising Tide Against Drilling


deepwater horizon fireA swelling coalition of East Coast businesses, governors, and legislators from both parties hope to halt a Trump administration plan to open the Atlantic coast to oil and gas exploration. In a recent letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, they argued that $95 billion in economic activity and 1.4 million jobs depend on a healthy coastline, including hotels, restaurants and recreational and commercial fishing. They join the voices of environmentalists, who have long opposed seismic testing and drilling due to its negative impact on marine life.
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6.  Half of Sharks in Arabian Sea Threatened


shark, arabian sea
A recent assessment of sharks, rays, and chimaeras in the Arabian Sea has found that more than half are at risk of extinction. The 2107 IUCN Red List survey concluded that another 27 of the region’s 78 species could be threatened soon. “The results are a call to action and highlight the urgent need for regional cooperation in research and policy efforts,” says Shaikha Al Dhaheri of Abu Dhabi’s environmental agency.
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7.  Can Coral Researchers "Accelerate Evolution"?


coral reef Pacific, coral reefIn the face of massive die-offs of coral reefs due to heat stress, a few researchers are pursuing desperate measures. Efforts include genetic banking and breeding the most resilient corals in the lab for replanting. The scientists warn that more drastic solutions such as selective breeding or infusing coral with heat-resistant genes may be needed. Big questions remain about whether these approaches are feasible, ethical, or sufficient to keep up with the scale of changes in the ocean.
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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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