Ocean Wins: Whale Safety, a Shark Finning Ban, and Stealing Someone Else’s Lunch

Here's the good news!

After spike in whale fatalities from ship strikes, federal maritime officials approve plan to avoid such collisions. A real-time whale monitoring system with ships communicating between each other will enable them to alter speed and course to avoid whales, as opposed to the existing plan which requires all ships to slow down when in areas of historic whale activity regardless of observations. The new plan also keeps ships to a narrower, defined lane over whale feeding grounds.

Matthew Thornton captured this incredible image of a humpback whale launching itself into the air. Just seeing a whale in person is an amazing experience. Seeing one jump completely out of the water, at close range, and getting it on film, in focus -- that's a big win.

Big fish one-ups fishermen. For anyone who hasn’t already seen this short video of a whale shark sucking fish out of a fishing net, posted by our friends over at TreeHugger, it’s great. True, there is no free lunch. But in the ocean, if you’re faster, smarter, bigger or stronger, you might just suction someone else’s lunch right out from under them.

European Parliament Fisheries Committee unanimously passes deal to ban imports of fish from overfished stocks. The deal was reached in response to massive overfishing of mackerel by Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and will put pressure on such offenders in the future. This is bigger than it may seem because overfishing is driven by economics, and its solution will be too.

Illinois becomes first inland state to adopt shark-finning ban. We know you can’t catch sharks in Illinois, but that’s not the point. They’ve banned the possession and sale of shark fins, which removes the market for them. Well done Illinois! Now if everyone else would follow their example…
If you’re coming to the shark-finning topic a little late, here’s why it should be banned.

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