Shark fin wins the house, Abalone comeback, Sustainable brands, Right whale protection, Lawless oceans and overfishing, Bacteria from ocean floor influencing Arctic weather and more…
November 20, 2019, The U.S. House passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 737, led by U.S. Reps. Gregorio Sablan (D-NMI) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), to prohibit the import, export, possession, trade, and distribution of shark fins or products containing shark fins.
U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) also introduced a companion bill. For this to become law, we need the Senate to pass the bill and then we will need the President’s signature.
Editorial Comment: If you are a US citizen, please use our convenient tool to tell your senator to vote “yes” on this bill.
Editorial Comment: If private industry takes responsibility for their role and leverages the ingenuity of the free market to find solutions, it could be a game-changer.
There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood are the world’s oceans: Too big to police and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation of the marine life below the surface and the humans working the boats above it. Consider the perils facing the tens of millions of people working aboard one of thousands of illegal fishing vessels on the high seas. At least one ship globally sinks every three days.
8. Bacteria from the ocean floor could be influencing Arctic weather
Scientists have identified a surprising new mechanism that could be affecting cloud formation and weather patterns in the Arctic: bacteria from the ocean floor. When tiny, plantlike ocean microbes known as phytoplankton die, their bodies sink to the bottom of the sea, becoming food for bacteria residing there. New observations made in the Bering and Chukchi seas off the coast of Alaska suggest that under the right conditions, these algae eaters are sloshed to the surface and from there are wafted into the air.
9. Ocean could provide over six times more food than it does today
Marc Palombo has been fishing lobster for 41 years, and he wants fishermen who come after him to be able to do the same. That’s why he’s testing a new type of fishing gear that, along with other efforts in New England and Canada, is being designed to avoid harming North Atlantic right whales. The number of North Atlantic right whales, one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, has declined from about 500 in 2010 to about 400 in 2019. This year, about 10 have been found dead, but that number is uncertain.
Global heating is “supercharging” an increasingly dangerous climate mechanism in the Indian Ocean that has played a role in disasters this year including bushfires in Australia and floods in Africa. Scientists and humanitarian officials say this year’s record Indian Ocean dipole, as the phenomenon is known, threatens to reappear more regularly and in a more extreme form as sea surface temperatures rise.
12. ‘Giant floating solar farms could make fuel and help solve the climate crisis
13. Microplastics found in oysters, clams on Oregon coast
Scientists are learning about how broken down plastics affect fish – by feeding it to them. Microplastics, one of the world’s most pervasive pollutants, have now been found in the planet’s most pristine ocean waters – and even rainwater. But there’s much that scientists still have to understand about the microscopic scourge – especially its impacts on our health and that of marine species.
Editorial comment: Are the fish eating the plastic and incorporating the microplastics into their tissue, or does their digestive system break down the plastic?
A marine biologist says we need to learn to live with wildlife better as the search continues for who shot Owha, Auckland’s resident leopard seal. The celebrity seal, who measures over 3m in length and weighs about 400kg, was spotted bleeding from her face at the weekend from a suspected bullet wound. Marine conservation society Sea Shepherd this week put up a $5000 reward for any evidence leading to the conviction of the person or people responsible.
Editorial Comment: This has been happening globally for years. In Monterey, it is somewhat common to see sea lions missing lower jaws. They will eventually starve to death. Fishermen do not lie the fact that pinnipeds jump into their nets and feast on the catch as they haul in. They toss the sea li0ons small cherry bombs that resemble balls, the sea lion chomps down as they try to play and it explodes.
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