Plastic Killing 40% Baby Sea Turtles, Japan’s Attempt to Remove Whaling Ban Fails, Oil Drill Battle Continues and More.
Plastic is killing 40 percent of young sea turtles, shocking new research has shown. Baby turtles are almost four times more likely to be killed by ingesting plastic waste compared to adults. Not only do these animals have weaker bodies, but they also feed in offshore waters closer to the surface, which are more likely to be contaminated with large plastic items that can accumulate in their digestive tracts. Post-mortems on almost 1,000 dead turtles found more than half of the babies – and about a quarter of juveniles – had swallowed plastic, compared to just one in seven adults.
2. Japan’s Attempt to Overturn Commercial Whaling Ban Fails
An attempt to overturn the decades-old global ban on commercial whaling has failed, to the relief of conservationists. Anti-whaling nations defeated by a decisive margin proposals from the Japanese government that would have allowed for the return of whale hunts. The vote, on the last day of this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Brazil, was hailed by campaigners as a sign that pro-whaling nations will not be allowed to weaken global resolve to protect threatened species.
4. How Far Will the Trump Administration Go to Loosen Offshore Drilling Rules?
(UNITED NATIONS) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday that the world is facing “a direct existential threat” and must rapidly shift from dependence on fossil fuels by 2020 to prevent “runaway climate change.” The U.N. chief called the crisis urgent and decried the lack of global leadership to address global warming. “Climate change is moving faster than we are,” Guterres said. “We need to put the brake on deadly greenhouse gas emissions and drive climate action.”
Three new species of fish have been found living in the pitch-black waters of the Atacama Trench, one of the deepest parts of the ocean. An international research team used baited camera traps deployed in the south-east Pacific Ocean to reveal the mysteries of this largely unexplored region. Despite the freezing cold and extreme pressures 7,500m (24,606 feet) down, the scientists found the trench was teeming with life. Among the creatures, they observed flocking around their bait were three new species of snailfish, animals with soft, translucent bodies well adapted to life in extreme conditions.
The toxic algae bloom that has carved a trail of dead animals and triggered a putrid stench along western Florida’s coastline has drifted further north, killing hundreds of thousands of fish in the Tampa Bay region. The legions of dead fish were reported in a 20-mile stretch of coastline from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, environmental officials with Pinellas County told the Tampa Bay Times on Saturday. County workers roamed beaches and trawled offshore to collect the fish carcasses to head off decomposition as some beachgoers turned back. Rotting fish and the strong odor of the algae has previously repelled locals and imperiled Florida’s vital tourism sector for much of the summer.