Friday, September 25, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" September 25, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Florida SB 680 - Shark fin ban is signed into law, 40% of Hawaii beaches could soon be lost, China pledges to be carbon neutral by 2060, How we can eradicate plastic pollution by 2040, and more...

1. Florida SB 680 - Shark fin ban is signed into law

Florida SB 680, a Shark Fin Ban Bill, was signed by the governor and is now law in the Sunshine State  This is a game-changer because Florida had become the shark fin trade hub of the United States. Kristin Jacobs introduced SB 680 to the Florida House of Representatives on October 28th, 2019. SB 680 is a great victory, but it came with a cost.  The bill was diluted due to the successful efforts of a strong fishing lobby.  We had the option to abandon the bill but strategically decided to take this opportunity to begin strengthening shark conservation in Florida. But we will not rest until the senseless and unsustainable shark fin practice has been stopped completely. 

Read more on the Sea Save Foundation Blog

2. China pledges to become carbon neutral by 2060

China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced Tuesday it would seek to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. It’s a notable pledge from a nation frequently targeted by Republicans, who argue the U.S. should not move ahead on more ambitious climate action without stronger commitments from other major emitters. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping said China would scale up its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Read more in "The Hill"

3. 40% of O'ahu, Hawai'i beaches could be lost by mid-century

The reactive and piecemeal approach historically used to manage beaches in Hawai'i has failed to protect them. If policies are not changed, as much as 40% of all beaches on O'ahu, Hawai'i could be lost before mid-century, according to a new study by researchers in the Coastal Geology Group at the University of Hawai'i (UH) at Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). In an era of rising sea level, beaches need to migrate landward, otherwise, they drown. Beach migration, also known as shoreline retreat, causes coastal erosion of private and public beachfront property. 

Read more in "University of Hawai‘i at Manoa"

4. Pilot whales Tasmania: Almost 400 die in Australia's worst stranding

About 380 whales have died in what is suspected to be Australia's largest stranding on record, officials say. Since Monday, hundreds of long-finned pilot whales have been found beached on Tasmania's west coast. Rescuers had managed to save 50 by late on Wednesday, and they were trying to help the remaining estimated 30 whales. Tasmanian government officials said the rescue effort would continue "as long as there are live animals". 

Read more in "BBC"

5. 2020 Arctic sea ice minimum at second-lowest on record

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado - Boulder shows that the 2020 minimum extent, which was likely reached on Sept. 15, measured 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers). In winter, frozen seawater covers almost the entire Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas. This sea ice undergoes seasonal patterns of change -- thinning and shrinking during late spring and summer, and thickening and expanding during fall and winter. The extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic can impact local ecosystems, regional and global weather patterns, and ocean circulation. 

Read more in "NASA"

6. "Science" - Analysis of plastic pollution eradication

A new analysis published in the journal "Science" shows that the business-as-usual approach to tackling ocean plastic pollution isn’t working. Even worse, should we continue down the current trajectory, the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean is set to triple by 2040? But what’s unique about this study is that it focuses on the solutions that can stop this crisis in its tracks. Using all the technology that exists today, we can reduce ocean plastic flows by 80% – and with additional investment channeled into innovation, we can get closer to 100%. 

Read more in "World Economic Forum"

7. Ocean heat waves are directly linked to climate change

Six years ago, a huge part of the Pacific Ocean near North America quickly warmed, reaching temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Nicknamed “the blob,” it persisted for two years, with devastating impacts on marine life, including sea lions and salmon. The blob was a marine heatwave, the oceanic equivalent of a deadly summer atmospheric one. It was far from a solitary event: Tens of thousands have occurred in the past four decades, although most are far smaller and last for days rather than years. The largest and longest ones have occurred with increasing frequency over time.

Read more in "New York Times"

8. Rapid onsets of warming events trigger mass mortality of coral reef fish

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Israel and one in Greece has found
evidence that suggests sudden ocean warming can lead to mass fish deaths. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of mass fish death events and what they learned about them. As Earth continues to grow warmer due to emissions of greenhouse gasses, scientists are trying to understand what it could mean for the future of the planet and its inhabitants. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the impact of abrupt ocean warming events on fish populations. These events are predicted to occur more often as the planet warms.

Read more in ""


Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Ocean 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

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Florida SB 680 - Shark Fin Ban is Signed into Law

Florida SB 680, a Shark Fin Ban Bill, was signed by the governor and is now law in the Sunshine State!  This is a game-changer because Florida had become the shark fin trade hub of the United States. As other states outlawed fin possession, Florida became the "loophole state". On Friday, September 18th, 2020 a giant stride forward was made for shark protection within the United States and beyond.

Sea Save Foundation has been enlisting your efforts since 2011 when we helped shepherd the California Shark bill, AB 376, through the legislative process and into law.  This strong piece of legislation has served as a template for many other states whose elected officials followed with state shark conservation/no fin laws.  Sea Save Foundation has raised awareness about the dangers of shark finning and created a pathway to engage the legislative process.  Once conservationists are armed with factual information and have easy access to their elected decision-makers, it becomes possible to advocate and impact the outcome of how elected officials vote. If legislators support shark and ocean conservation bills, these bills become law.  Our direct email tool was the platform used by thousands of concerned citizens to make their voices heard: "We must protect sharks and stop unsustainable finning." Our voices were heard and resulted in this law. 
Sea Save Foundation leaders have been working to stop shark fining since 1993 when our photos documenting finning at Cocos Island first appeared in newspapers across Costa Rica. Since then we have been working to stop shark finning internationally and within the United States.  Our critical work at CITES and across the United States has made a huge impact, but we are not finished.

Kristin Jacobs introduced SB 680 to the Florida House of Representatives on October 28th, 2019.  She was passionate about protecting sharks and also the long-term economy of her home state. She was the elected official who spearheaded this effort.  Unfortunately, Representative Jacobs lost her battle with cancer on April 11, 2020, just a few months shy of this victory. In deference to her leadership, this bill was renamed the Kristin Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act.

SB 680 is a great victory, but it came with a cost.  The bill was diluted due to the successful efforts of a strong fishing lobby.  We had the option to abandon the bill but strategically decided to take this opportunity to begin strengthening shark conservation in Florida. But we will not rest until the senseless and unsustainable shark fin practice has been stopped completely. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" September 18, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

United Nations' Global Biodiversity Report: World fails to meet target to stop nature destruction,  "Scientific American" breaks 175-year tradition to make political endorsement, Climate Change denier hired for key NOAA position and more...

1. United Nations' Global Biodiversity Report: World fails to meet target to stop nature destruction

The world has failed to meet a single target to stem the destruction of wildlife and life-sustaining ecosystems in the last decade, according to a devastating new report from the UN on the state of nature. From tackling pollution to protecting coral reefs, the international community did not fully achieve any of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010 to slow the loss of the natural world. It is the second consecutive decade that governments have failed to meet targets. The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, published before a key UN summit on the issue later this month, found that despite progress in some areas, natural habitats have continued to disappear, vast numbers of species remain threatened by extinction from human activities, and $500bn (£388bn) of environmentally damaging government subsidies have not been eliminated.

Read more in "The Guardian"

2. "Scientific American" endorses Joe Biden

Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly. The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous, and more equitable future.

Read more in "Scientific American"

3. Longtime climate science denier hired At National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has spent much of his career questioning basic tenets of climate science, has been hired for a top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Legates confirmed to NPR that he was recently hired as NOAA's deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. The position suggests that he reports directly to Neil Jacobs, the acting head of the agency that is in charge of the federal government's sprawling weather and climate prediction work. Neither Legates nor NOAA representatives responded to questions about Legates' specific responsibilities or why he was hired. The White House also declined to comment.

Read more in "NPR"

4. Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos, data shows

A vast fishing armada of Chinese vessels just off the Galápagos Islands logged an astounding 73,000 hours of fishing during just one month as it pulled up thousands of tonnes of squid and fish, a new report based on data analysis has found. The discovery of the giant flotilla off the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution stirred controversy and outrage in Ecuador and abroad. Nearly 300 Chinese vessels accounted for 99% of visible fishing just outside the archipelago’s waters between 13 July and 13 August this year, according to an analysis by marine conservation group Oceana.

Read more in "The Guardian"

5. Rare pink dolphins return to Hong Kong thanks to coronavirus lockdown

The lull brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led rare pink dolphins to return to the seas around Hong Kong. Sightings of the vulnerable Chinese white dolphin have risen by nearly a third - 30 percent – since boat and ferry traffic was suspended in the region in March. Scientists fear the species is in decline but say their research suggests the animals adapted more rapidly than expected to the quiet environment, offering a glimmer of hope for their populations. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, also known as Chinese white dolphins or pink dolphins – reflecting their real color – have been hit hard by overfishing, water pollution, and numerous ferries and boats.  

Read more in "Independent"

6. Scientists baffled by orcas ramming sailing boats near Spain and Portugal

Scientists have been left baffled by incidents of orcas ramming sailing boats along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. In the last two months, from southern to northern Spain, sailors have sent distress calls after worrying encounters. Two boats lost part of their rudders, at least one crew member suffered bruising from the impact of the ramming, and several boats sustained serious damage. The latest incident occurred on Friday afternoon just off A Coruña, on the northern coast of Spain. Halcyon Yachts was taking a 36ft boat to the UK when an orca rammed its stern at least 15 times, according to Pete Green, the company’s managing director. The boat lost steering and was towed into port to assess the damage.

Read more in "The Guardian"

7. Artificial reefs take on a towering presence as havens for marine predators

Acting like high-rise timeshares in the sea, shipwrecks and other artificial reefs can support dense populations of sharks, mackerels, barracudas, jacks and other large migratory marine predators essential to ocean health, according to a new study at 30 sites along the North Carolina coast. Predator densities were up to five times larger at the 14 artificial reefs surveyed in the study than at the 16 nearby natural reefs that also were surveyed Shipwrecks, especially those that rose between 4 and 10 meters up into the water column, were by far the fishes’ favorite. At some sites, they supported predator densities up to 11 times larger than natural reefs or low-profile artificial reefs made of concrete. “These findings tell us two important things. One is that artificial reefs can support large predators, potentially supplementing natural reefs if the design and placement of the artificial reefs are strategic,” said Avery Paxton, research associate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in Beaufort, N.C., who led the study.

Read more in "Duke University - Nicholas School of the Environment"

8. Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

As oceans warm due to climate change, scientists are trying to predict how marine animals — from backboned fish to spineless jellyfish — will react. Laboratory experiments indicate that many could theoretically tolerate temperatures far higher than what they encounter today. But these studies don’t mean that marine animals can maintain their current ranges in warmer oceans, according to Curtis Deutsch, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington. “Temperature alone does not explain where in the ocean an animal can live,” said Deutsch. “You must consider oxygen: how much is present in the water, how well an organism can take up and utilize it, and how temperature affects these processes.”

9. Two major Antarctic glaciers are tearing loose from their restraints, scientists say

Two Antarctic glaciers that have long kept scientists awake at night are breaking free from the restraints that have hemmed them in, increasing the threat of large-scale sea-level rise. Located along the coast of the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica, the enormous Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers already contribute around 5 percent of global sea-level rise. The survival of Thwaites has been deemed so critical that the United States and Britain have launched a targeted multimillion-dollar research mission to the glacier. The loss of the glacier could trigger the broader collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which contains enough ice to eventually raise seas by about 10 feet.

Read more in "Washington Post"

10. Plastic pollution: Washed clothing's synthetic mountain of 'fluff'

When you add it up, the total amount of synthetic microfibres going into the wider environment as we wash our clothes is an astonishing number. US scientists estimate it to be 5.6 million tonnes since we first started wearing those polyester and nylon garments in a big way in the 1950s. Just over half this mass - 2.9 million tonnes - has likely ended up in our rivers and seas. That's the equivalent of seven billion fleece jackets, the researchers say. But while we fret about water pollution, and rightly so, increasingly this synthetic "fluff" issue is one that affects the land. The University of California, Santa Barbara, team which did the calculations found that emission to the terrestrial environment has now overtaken that to water bodies - some 176,500 tonnes a year versus 167,000 tonnes.

Read more in "BBC"

11. Ocean acidification risks deep-sea reef collapse

Deep-sea coral reefs face challenges as changes to ocean chemistry triggered by climate change may cause their foundations to become brittle, a study suggests. The underlying structures of the reefs—which are home to a multitude of aquatic life—could fracture as a result of increasing ocean acidity caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide. Hundreds of meters below the surface of the ocean in Southern California, researchers measured the lowest—therefore the most acidic—pH level ever recorded on living coral reefs. The corals were then raised in the lab for one year under the same conditions. Scientists observed that the skeletons of dead corals, which support and hold up living corals, had become porous due to ocean acidification and rapidly become too fragile to bear the weight of the reef above them. Previous research has shown that ocean acidification can impact coral growth, but the new study demonstrates that porosity in corals—known as coralporosis—leads to weakening of their structure at critical locations.

Read more in ""

12. Emissions may add 40 cm to sea levels by 2100, experts warn

Sustained greenhouse gas emissions could see global sea levels rise nearly 40 centimeters this century as ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland continue to melt, a major international study concluded Thursday. The gigantic ice caps contain enough frozen water to lift oceans 65 meters, and researchers are increasingly concerned that their melt rates are tracking the UN's worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise. Experts from more than three dozen research institutions used temperature and ocean salinity data to conduct multiple computer models simulating the potential ice loss in Greenland and Antarctic glaciers. They tracked two climate scenarios—one where mankind continues to pollute at current levels and another where carbon emissions are drastically reduced by 2100.

Read more in ""

13. Loss of sea otters accelerating the effects of climate change

When otters became functionally extinct in the 1990s the sea urchin population exploded. Without their primary predator to keep them in check the echinoderms proliferated unabated. The coral-like reefs were built by red algae and are now being ground down by sea urchins.  Climate change also contributes to the recovery of kelp forests and red algae.  Combined these two issues are cause a transformation of Alaskan underwater topography.

Read more in "Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences"

Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Ocean 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

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" September 11, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

International shark trafficking ring dismantled, New Great Barrier Reef corals, Megalodon was much larger than previously believed and more:

1. International Crime Ring That Trafficked in Shark Fins Is Dismantled, U.S. Says

Shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in some countries, has long fueled demand forillegally 
harvested fins. But federal authorities in Georgia announced this week that they had dismantled at least one source for the ingredient: a multimillion-dollar organization they described as an international money laundering, drug trafficking and illegal wildlife trade ring. A dozen people, including Terry Xing Zhao Wu, 45, of Burlingame, Calif., and two businesses on opposite ends of the country face multiple charges, including fraud and money laundering, for their roles in what the authorities called the “Wu transnational criminal organization,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said in a statement on Thursday.

Read more in "New York Times"

2. New corals discovered in deep-sea study of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

For the first time, scientists have viewed the deepest regions of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, discovered five undescribed species consisting of black corals and sponges, and recorded Australia’s first observation of an extremely rare fish. They also took critical habitat samples that will lead to a greater understanding of the spatial relationships between seabed features and the animals found in the Coral Sea. Using a remotely operated underwater robot to view high-resolution video of the bottom of the ocean floor, some 1,820 meters deep, the science team examined deep-sea bathymetry, wildlife, and ecosystems. The collaborative mission brought together scientists from Geoscience Australia, James Cook University, University of Sydney, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Queensland Museum Network, and Queensland University of Technology, to answer a range of questions about the geological evolution and biology of the deep-sea canyons and reefs.

Read more in "Schmidt Ocean Institute"

3. True size of prehistoric mega-shark finally revealed 

To date only the length of the legendary giant shark Megalodon had been estimated but now, a new study led by the University of Bristol and Swansea University has revealed the size of the rest of its body, including fins that are as large as an adult human. There is a grim fascination in determining the size of the largest sharks, but this can be difficult for fossil forms where teeth are often all that remain. Today, the most fearsome living shark is the Great White, at over six metres (20 feet) long, which bites with a force of two tonnes. Its fossil relative, the big tooth shark Megalodon, star of Hollywood movies, lived from 23 to around three million years ago, was over twice the length of a Great White and had a bite force of more than ten tonnes.

Read more in "University of Bristol"

4. Ocean warming has seafloor species headed in the wrong direction

Ocean warming is paradoxically driving bottom-dwelling invertebrates—including sea scallops, blue mussels, surf clams, and quahogs that are valuable to the shellfish industry—into warmer waters and threatening their survival, a Rutgers-led study shows. In a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers identify a cause for the "wrong-way" species migrations: warming-induced changes to their spawning times, resulting in the earlier release of larvae that are pushed into warmer waters by ocean currents. The researchers studied six decades of data on 50 species of bottom-dwelling invertebrates and found that about 80 percent have disappeared from the Georges Bank and the outer shelf between the Delmarva Peninsula and Cape Cod, including off the coast of New Jersey.

Read more in "Rutgers University"

5. Blazing tanker sparks fears of a new Indian Ocean disaster

The Indian Ocean was on full alert again today as an oil supertanker caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka and began spilling oil late evening on 3 September. 23 of the crew have been evacuated from the vessel with 1 still missing. The vessel, the MT New Diamond, is a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) and was reportedly carrying 2 million barrels of oil. This is double the amount of oil that is putting the entire Red Sea region at risk with a deteriorating, abandoned Yemeni tanker. The MT New Diamond was flagged in Panama, and had been travelling from Kuwait to India when an explosion occurred and a fire broke out in the engine room of the vessel early on Thursday morning.

Read more in "Forbes"

6. Recent data show Chinese fishing fleet still near Galapagos

Satellite data indicate that a large Chinese fishing fleet remained in international waters near Ecuador's Galapagos archipelago at the beginning of this month, even as China said it would temporarily ban fishing near the UNESCO world heritage site. Vessel tracking data displayed on the public map created by Global Fishing Watch, a group that tracks commercial fishing vessels, shows that the fleet was massed until at least Sept. 1 along the southern border of the exclusive economic zone around the Galapagos, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the islands. That is roughly where the fleet, estimated at several hundred vessels, had been since June, escalating concerns about overfishing and the threat to vulnerable marine species in the nutrient-rich waters around the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin in the development of his theory of evolution.

7. These surfers are using sensors in their board fins to monitor ocean warming

Surfers around the world are using Smartfins to gather data about the health of oceans. The device is fixed to the tail of surfboards and contains a number of sensors. They can collect information in choppy coastal waters where traditional sensors struggle. Concerns about ocean warming are encouraging surfers to get involved. Who better to study the sea than a surfer? That’s the big idea behind Smartfin, a US-based non-profit that’s giving data-collecting “smart” surfboard fins to surfers. The fins collect a range of data, including temperature and location. The fins are needed because scientists need more data about the warming of our ocean. Since the 1970s more than 90% of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions has entered the sea.

Read more in "WeForum"

8. Study analyses impact of carbon dioxide on Earth’s climate 30 million years ago

One way to make better predictions of global warming in the coming centuries is to look at climate change in the geological past. In research published in Nature Communication (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17887-x) an international team of university experts from Germany, USA and UK – including the University of Southampton – has taken a closer look at the climate during the Eocene Epoch more than 30 million years ago, when global temperatures were around 14 degrees C warmer than present day. They discovered that the influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on a warm Earth could be even greater than previously assumed.

Read more in "Mirage News"

9. Lack of visitors offers opportunity to explore human impact on Hawaiian marine ecosystems

The drastic reduction in visitors coming to Hawaii has afforded scientists a unique opportunity to see how one of the state’s most popular natural attractions fares without a human presence. Roughly 3,000 people per day were visiting the blue water and white sand of Hanauma Bay prior to the pandemic. Those 1 million annual visitors carry a major environmental footprint. The crescent-shaped inlet on Oahu’s southeast corner has been used as an example of both over-tourism and sustainably-managed tourism over the years. It was declared a marine conservation area in the 1960s, after decades of degradation from overuse. In an effort to help fund maintenance and reduce impact, visitors are now charged an entry fee and public parking is limited.

Read more in "Hawaii Public Radio"

10. There’s no catch: Legislation would have provided more protections for fish

In California and around the world, protected areas are proven to increase the number of fish available outside of the protected space. So even though certain areas are closed to fishing, we actually boost a fishery through what’s called the “spillover effect.” Beyond the direct benefits to habitats and species, marine protected areas also help create jobs, boost the economy, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Commendably, AB 3030 went even further to “improve access to nature for all people in the state,” “with a specific emphasis on increasing access for communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities.” California is a leader in environmental protection, and moreover, California has become a leader in doing it the right way. This leadership is one of the many reasons I love California and am proud to have chosen this state as my home. 

Read more in "CalMatters"

Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Ocean 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

Friday, August 28, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" August 27, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Hawaii upholds moratorium on commercial aquarium fishing, Popular fish species disappear from Turkey, Habitats for endangered green sea turtles to be federally protected in Florida, Ocean acidification causing "osteoperosis" on iconic reefs and more...

1. Hawaii upholds moratorium on commercial aquarium fishing

The state council on Thursday upheld a decision by the Board of Land and Natural Resources to reject an environmental impact statement for a proposal to reopen the Big Island waters to the million-dollar aquarium fish trade. The land and natural resources board voted in May to reject the impact statement submitted by 10 West Hawaii aquarium fish collectors and the National Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. The proposal would have allowed commercial aquarium collectors to take fish using fine-mesh nets, with restrictions including size and bag limits on various fish species and a reduction in the daily bag limit of Achilles tang fish from 10 to five fish.

Read more in "The Telegraph"

2. Popular fish species disappear from Turkey's Marmara and Black Seas

Bluefin tuna, swordfish and Atlantic mackerel are considered commercially extinct or extirpated  on the Turkish side of the Marmara and Black Seas. Researchers with the Sea Around Us initiative at the UBC, Mersea Marine Conservation Consulting, Turkey's Central Fisheries Research Institute and the Institute of Marine Sciences and Management at the University of Istanbul, found that 17 fish species have been extirpated and 17 are commercially extinct in Turkey's Black Sea, while 19 have been extirpated and 22 went commercially extinct in the Sea of Marmara.

Read more in ""

3. Habitats for endangered green sea turtles will be federally protected in Florida

Endangered green sea turtles will have some of their nesting beaches in Florida protected by 
federal agencies under a new legal agreement with conservation groups. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service must designate protected critical habitats for green sea turtles by June 30, 2023, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement this week. The agencies will likely consider proposing protections for beaches where green turtles nest in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as offshore oceanic habitat in the Southeast and on the West Coast, according to the agreement. 

Read more in "The Miami Herald"

4. Trump, " I am not a big fan of sharks"
Click here to watch the video

Donald Trump has reaffirmed his well-known hatred of sharks, telling supporters he is  “not a big fan” of the oceanic apex predators. The subject arose during an event in Pennsylvania on Thursday, when the president switched seamlessly from talking about Iraq to discussing mosquitoes, then sharks. “They were saying the other night, the shark. They were saying, ‘Sharks, we have to protect them.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute, wait.’ They actually want to remove all the seals in order to save the shark. I said, ‘Wait, don’t you have it the other way around?’ “It’s true,” he added. “I’m not a big fan of sharks either. I don’t know, how many votes am I going to lose?”

Read more in "The Guardian"

5. Mauritius: Anger and questions as 17 dead dolphins wash ashore

At least 17 dead dolphins have been found on the coast of Mauritius, prompting debates about whether a recent oil spill was to blame. Environmental campaigners say the deaths were either caused by the oil spill from a Japanese-owned ship or by authorities sinking part of the vessel. But the fisheries minister said "at first glance" the deaths appeared to be unconnected to the spill. He said at least two of the dolphins had shark bites. The carcasses are currently undergoing a post-mortem. It is rare for so many dead dolphins to be found at the same time. 

Read more in "BBC"

6. Grey reef sharks hunt with the same school or group for years

A new study of 41 grey reef sharks shows that they spend their days together on coral reefs, and then swim out to the open ocean at night to hunt, Christopher Intagliata and Apoorva Mittal report for NPR. The study, published on August 12 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, gives new insight into shark social dynamics. Far from the isolated predators of popular imagination, tracking tags and sharks-eye view footage recorded by cameras strapped to the sharks’ fins shows that sharks tend to spend their time with the same group of peers every day. 

Read more in "Smithsonian Magazine"

7. In Australia, no climate change plan in the updated Reef 2050 Agenda

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) says the updated Reef 2050 Plan released 
today contains no new action to tackle the threat of climate change, despite accepting that global warming is the biggest threat to our Great Barrier Reef. The updated plan acknowledges there is ‘a critical window of opportunity to take the actions needed to sustain the Reef’, but the plan relies on other countries to do the heavy lifting to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Read more in ""

8. Overfishing in Congo threatens endangered sharks

Each day, fishmongers in Congo Republic pile up hundreds of dead sharks on the shore and begin lopping off fins and bartering over hammerheads and other endangered species. 
The bustling seaside business could be jeopardizing the marine environment in the Gulf of Guinea, wildlife trade group TRAFFIC warned this week. Artisanal fishermen are harvesting 400-1,000 sharks and rays per day, according to surveys it conducted last year. The fishermen say they don’t have a choice. A rise in industrial fishing by dozens of mainly Chinese trawlers in Congolese waters is eroding their livelihoods. “Since the Chinese trawlers arrived, it’s complicated things,” said Alain Pangou, a 54-year-old fisherman. “It’s difficult to live.”

Read more in "Reuters"

9. Six confirmed white shark sightings in Maine

Shark sightings in the Gulf of Maine are always alarming, but in the last three weeks, since Maine's first deadly attack in history, sightings have had some beach-goers on edge. There have been six confirmed white shark sightings off our coast since late July. There's a great way to keep track of them in real-time, through the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's "Sharktivity" app or website. The app sightings are reported by researchers, safety officials, and users that upload photos for confirmation. 

Read more in "News Center Maine"

10. ACB shares ASEAN’s ‘ripples and waves’ in marine conservation efforts

While more work and attention are needed for the world’s marine ecosystems, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have made considerable progress in integrating marine issues in the Region’s biodiversity conservation plans and initiatives, the head of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) said. ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim spoke about the effectiveness of marine conservation under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at a recent webinar organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) via Zoom. “The ASEAN Member States, especially those that have coastal areas, have incorporated marine conservation efforts into their national biodiversity strategies and action plans,” she said.

11. Ocean conservation bill clears committee hurdle

A proposal to implement protections for at least 30 percent of California waters and 30 percent of the ocean off the state’s coast was approved by a committee in the State Senate, Aug. 12 – despite vocal oppositions by dozens of recreational boating and fishing interests. Members of the State Senate’s Committee on Natural Resources and Water approved Assembly Bill 3030 (AB 3030) by a 6-2 vote, allowing the proposal to move forward.

Read more in "The Log"

12. Sculptor uses creativity to raise awareness and protect marine life

Based in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, artist Colleen Flanigan uses Google Tilt Brush to design virtual habitats. She showcases endangered fauna and engaging her audience in marine conservation.

Watch video in "CNN"

13. Mauritians launch rescue to save wildlife from oil spill

Beau Bassin–Rose Hill, Mauritius—Nearly two weeks after the Japanese-owned,
Panamanian-flagged ship MV Wakashio ran aground off the coast of Mauritius late last month—immediately destroying more than 600 yards of fragile coral reefs—the bulk carrier began leaking oil into the pristine blue lagoons of the Indian Ocean island. The spill threatened to do much greater damage than the ship itself. 
Within hours of the leak, more than 5,000 local volunteers and dozens of career conservationists jumped into action to save their remote nation’s vibrant, unique wildlife by controlling the oil and moving some species out of harm’s way.

Read more in "Scientific American"

14. Ocean acidification causing coral 'osteoporosis' on iconic reefs

Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification is affecting corals' ability to build their skeletons, but it has been challenging to isolate its effect from that of simultaneous warming ocean temperatures, which also influence coral growth. New research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals the distinct impact that ocean acidification is having on coral growth on some of the world's iconic reefs. 

15. Offshore refueling deepens fears for South Africa's penguin haven

Generators hum loudly in the background as a tour boat bobs past a towering vessel filled with ship fuel, anchored in Algoa Bay, a stone's throw away from the world's largest breeding colony of African penguins. 
Mid-way along the Europe-Asia sea route, the bay's deep-water port was an obvious choice for South Africa's first offshore bunkering operation. Since 2016, mostly cargo ships have pulled in for ship-to-ship (STS) refueling, allowing them to carry more freight, bypass port fees, and save time.

Read more in ""

16. Court ruling gives lobster industry a reprieve — and a deadline

A federal judge has ordered fishery managers to reanalyze the impact of the American lobster industry on endangered North Atlantic right whales, and issue a new rule for protecting the whales by May 31, 2021. 
The judge did not, however, ban lobster fishing with vertical buoy lines in a right whale feeding area, as environmental advocates requested.

Read more in "WBUR"

17. Trump: "I should win the state of Maine"

Monday morning on Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump said he thinks he should win Maine in the upcoming General Election. “I should win the state of Maine,” Trump said. Trump’s hopes for the outcome of Maine, which is largely considered a swing state, came up as Trump and the hosts discussed the oil and gas leasing program within Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that was approved Monday by the Department of the Interior. 

Read more in "KENS5"

18. The United Nations Environment Programme and The Ocean Agency join forces with Adobe on new campaign for ocean protection

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and The Ocean Agency, in collaboration with creativity partner Adobe, today launched Ocean League, a new campaign that showcases the power of creativity in driving positive change for ocean protection and climate action. The ocean is facing a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, and climate change, and these threats have pushed ecosystems such as coral reefs to the tipping point of collapse. 


Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Ocean 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