Saturday, November 18, 2017

Week in Review November 17, 2017: Trump Dines on Shark Fin Soup in Vietnam, Creation of the International Wildlife Conservation Council Announced and More

1. Trump Dines on Shark Fin Soup in Vietnam


Trump, Vietnamese President, Tran Dai QuangAlthough he is a picky eater, President Donald Trump ate shark fin soup in Vietnam during a dinner with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. More than 70 million sharks are caught every year to support the shark fin trade.  This practice is unsustainable and in addition to being inhumane will result in global fisheries collapse and widespread human starvation. Many U.S. states have banned the sale and possession of shark fins, and a national shark fin ban bill has been introduced into Congress. 

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2.  
Creation of an International Wildlife Conservation Council Announced

Ryan Zinke, U.S. Secretary of the InteriorU.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has created the International Wildlife Conservation Council. The council will “focus on increased public awareness domestically, regarding conservation, wildlife law enforcement, and economic benefits that result from U.S. citizens traveling abroad to hunt.” According to an Interior Department press release, “The Council will advise the Secretary of the Interior on the benefits that international recreational hunting has on foreign wildlife and habitat conservation, anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking programs, and other ways in which international hunting benefits human populations in these areas.”
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3. Plastics Found in Animals from the Deepest Point in the Ocean

synthetic fiber, synthetic fibers, deep sea crustaceanA new study found that animals from the nearly 7-mile-deep Mariana Trench and other Pacific Ocean trenches are "contaminated with fibers that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes.” The lead scientist, Dr. Alan Jamieson, said, “There is now no doubt that plastics pollution is so pervasive that nowhere – no matter how remote – is immune.” Between 50 and 100 percent of the 90 crustaceans analyzed contained synthetic fibers.
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4.  2016 Mass Coral Bleaching off of Western Australia Most Severe Ever Recorded

coral bleaching, Western Australia, coral bleaching KimberleyIn 2016 a mass coral bleaching caused by an El Nino heat wave affected up to 93 percent of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Research published this week reveals that the event impacted some 57 to 87 percent of the coral at the Kimberley site, an area that was thought to be resistant to bleaching. This is the first time that "Kimberley's famously tough inshore coral reefs have been affected by a mass bleaching event."
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5.  Rare Seahorses Found in River Thames

short snouted seahorse, River ThamesShort-snouted seahorses have been found thriving in London's Thames River. Seahorses are “sticklers for clean water,” so their appearance is a testament to the cleanup of the river once declared biologically dead.  Short-snouted and spiny seahorses were first spotted in 2008 and then legally protected. Surprisingly, the restored Thames is now also home to harbor seals, porpoises, otters, and wild salmon.  
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6. Dinosaur-Age Shark with 300 'Frilled' Teeth Caught off Portuguese Coast

frilled shark, deep sea sharkA frilled shark, a creature dubbed a “living fossil,” was caught accidentally off of Portugal. The rare find gives researchers a chance to study a species that hasn't changed in 80 million years. The individual was caught at a depth of 2,300 feet. The frilled shark has a gestation period of between one and two years. The frilled shark is not considered endangered, but it is protected in some areas of Australia and Europe.
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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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