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World’s largest colony of Humboldt penguins threatened

Oceana reports, 12th January 2017: Six hundred kilometres (360 miles) north of Santiago, Chile, the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve reverberates with the braying of 26,000 Humboldt penguins — around 80 percent of the species’ entire population. Sea otters and migrating blue whales glide through the waves close to colonies of nesting seabirds. This global biodiversityBiological […]

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Convention on Ballast Water Management secures legal force

The UK Wildlife and Countryside Link reports, October 2016: This month Finland ratified the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Ballast Water Management Convention. Being the 52nd contracting party, Finland tipped the target of 35% world shipping tonnage and triggered entry into force by September 2017. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, as the convention […]

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Sea otter is a “keystone species” says new ecological study

The Observer reports, 10th July 2016: Charles Darwin once mused on the impacts that predators could have on the landscapes around them. In particular, he wondered – in On the Origin of Species — how neighbourhood cats might affect the abundance of flowers in the fields near his house at Downe in Kent. He concluded […]

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Denmark is an obstacle to the protection of 69 threatened Baltic species, says Oceana

Oceana reports, 14th March 2016: Three years of work by 88 leading experts were effectively scrapped during the 37th Annual Meeting of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), held March 2016, when countries approved a heavily weakened version of a plan to protect and rebuild the most threatened Baltic Sea and Kattegat species. Oceana denounces Denmark as […]

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Arrests over illegal fishing of Patagonian toothfish

The Guardian reports, 9th March 2016: Six people have been arrested on charges of illegal fishing of protected species in raids carried out jointly by Interpol and Spanish police in Galicia in northwest Spain. The six include five members of the Vidal family who run Ribeiro Vidal Armadores, among them Antonio Vidal, the owner, and […]

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Seagrass meadows around the British Isles are in “perilous state”

BBC News, 13th January 2016, reports: Most seagrass meadows around the coast of the British Isles are in a “perilous state”, say scientists. Plants are being damaged by pollution and human disturbances such as mooring boats, according to researchers. Surveys of 11 sites in England, Wales and Ireland found high nitrogen levels in water were […]

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Sea bird populations on St Kilda are being profoundly affected by climate change

The Guardian reports, 4th December 2015: The survival of seabirds including puffins and kittiwakes on St Kilda — the island archipelago home to one of the world’s most important seabird populations — is being threatened by climate change, striking new evidence shows. Naturalists have discovered that the kittiwake, a small migratory gull with ink-black wing […]

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Deep Sea Mining : the nature of the resource, and the threat to ocean integrity

Prof. Richard Steiner writes in The Huffington Post, 20th October 2015: Adding to concerns about the disastrous decline in ocean ecosystems, now there is another emerging threat — deep sea mining. While shallow water mining for sand, gold, tin, and diamonds has been conducted for decades, commercial deep sea mining has yet to occur anywhere. […]

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North Sea cod leaves the “endangered” Red List

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) reports 24th September 2015: The iconic European cod fishery which collapsed in the 1980s and has been ailing ever since, has finally increased above dangerously low levels and hauled itself off the MCS Fish to Avoid list. As part of our autumn update to FishOnline (www.fishonline.org), North Sea cod is now rated 4 […]

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Marine populations have fallen by half since 1970, says study

WWF and the Zoological Society London report, 16th September 2015: Marine species around the world, including populations of fish critical to human food security, are in potentially catastrophic decline according to new research. WWF’s Living Blue Planet report, an updated study of marine mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, shows a decline of 49 per cent […]

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Seabird populations worldwide have declined 70% over the last 60 years, says study

PLoSONE reports, 9th June 2015: Seabird population changes are good indicators of long-term and large-scale change in marine ecosystems, and important because of their many impacts on marine ecosystems. We [see citation below] assessed the population trend of the world’s monitored seabirds (1950–2010) by compiling a global database of seabird population size records and applying […]

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Pacific Bluefin Tuna has fallen 96% from its historic levels

The Pew Trust reports, 12th September 2015: The highly depleted population of Pacific bluefin tuna is one step closer to collapse after a meeting of fishery managers in Sapporo, Japan, concluded without agreement on any new conservation measures. Decimated by nearly a century of overfishing, the bluefin population has fallen 96 percent from un-fished levels […]

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Mussels and their harvesting threatened by ocean acidification

The Guardian, 24th December 2014, reports: The world’s mussel population could be under threat as climate change causes the oceans to become more acidic, scientists have warned. Mussel shells become more brittle when they are formed in more acidic water, Glasgow University has reported in the Royal Society journal Interface. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere […]

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An encounter with a sperm whale

Robert Hoare relates an personal encounter with a sperm whale, The Guardian 10th September: I was born and brought up by the sea — indeed, my heavily pregnant mother nearly went into labour on a visit to a submarine in Portsmouth, and I was almost born underwater. Yet I never learned to swim. I was […]

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Edible, biodegradable water bottle can be made from seaweed

The Guardian reports, 10th September 2015: An edible alternative to plastic water bottles made from seaweed has topped the UK round of an EU competition for new, more sustainable products. The new spherical form of packaging, called Ooho and described by its makers as “water you can eat”, is biodegradable, hygienic and costs 1p per […]

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Walrus reflect changes in the Arctic’s climate

Associated Press and ctvnews.ca report, 28th August 2015: ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Pacific walrus have come ashore on the north-west coast of Alaska in what has become an annual sign of the effects of climate change. “There appears to be several thousand animals up there,” said Andrea Medeiros, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service […]

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The Importance of Plankton

Marine scientist, Dr. Richard Kirby, blogs on Blue Planet Society, March 2015: “In the sea, the planktonPlankton is a generic term for a wide variety of the smallest yet most important organisms form that drift in our oceans. They can exist in larger forms of more than 20cm as the larval forms of jellyfish, squid, […]

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The oceans are the heart of our planet, but we know more about Venus

The Guardian, in an Editorial on 7th August 2015, states: The tentative identification of a scrap of wing washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion as part of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight M370 is a reminder of a paradox of scientific investment and capacity. Humans have identified and pinpointed the fabric of […]

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UN considers a Treaty to protect biodiversity on the high seas

The New York Times reports, 31st July 2015: Suppose a group of scientists wanted to dump 100 tons of iron dust into the sea based on a controversial climate-change theory that the ore might spur the growth of planktonPlankton is a generic term for a wide variety of the smallest yet most important organisms form […]

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Serious fall in the population of Puffins in Shetland

BBC News reports, 16th July 2015: Researchers believe young puffins have not been returning to Fair Isle to breed. A long-term study of a large puffin colony on Shetland suggests that numbers breeding there have halved from about 20,000 to 10,000 individuals. The study, published by the scientific journal PLOS ONE, covers a period of […]

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