The Weekly Dive Vol. 39
Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!
US considers giving West Coast great whites protections under Endangered Species Act while Australia hunts protected white sharks in their own waters. White sharks off the west coast of the US and Mexico have dropped to as low as 350, prompting a review of protections, while a recent rise in attacks on Australia’s west coast has led to a hunt, despite their being protected.[The Washington Post; The Huffington Post]
Debate over plan to use harmful sonar for seafloor mapping in a California marine protected area. Seismic testing known to be harmful to marine mammals would map earthquake fault zones to assess risks to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, near San Luis Obispo, inside a marine sanctuary. Environmentalists say the survey is unlikely to increase nuclear security, and that there are less damaging methods to determine earthquake risks. [The Los Angeles Times]
Plastic pollution prevalent in remote Southern Ocean. Scientists predicted the “last pristine ocean” would have much lower rates of plastic pollution than others, due to its remoteness, but a research cruise revealed concentrations are as bad there as other parts of the world. [The Guardian]
Plastic bags and disposable foam products banned in Haiti. The import, manufacture, and sale of these products (mainly imported from the Dominican Republic) will be banned, in order to address Haiti's litter problem, including sewage clogging, and to protect sensitive habitats. Some are concerned about the difficulty of enforcement. [Treehugger]
Understudied fisheries are in decline globally but can recover with improved management. The study assessed many fisheries globally that were previously little-studied (80% of the world’s fisheries are “data-poor”) and found that unassessed stocks are largely in decline. Switching to sustainable fishing methods and allowing the recovery of depleted stocks could increase catches 8-40%. [Science Daily]
Climate change could lead to smaller fish. Climate change is anticipated to cause ocean warming, as well as a decrease in dissolved oxygen, which will change fish distribution. A new study also projects a decline in fish size of 14-20% by 2050, with effects being strongest in the tropics. [Science Daily]
Ocean Elders. Renowned leaders from many fields gathered recently for an inspiring conversation, uniting to discuss collaborative solutions to the ocean's problems.