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Iceland to ship whale meat to Japan

The Guardian reports, 19th May 2015: The Icelandic whaling company Hvalur HF plans to ship 1,700 tonnes of whale meat via Luanda in Angola, repeating a similar controversial delivery of 2,000 tonnes last year which sparked protests along its route. According to Icelandic daily newspaper Eyjan, the meat was loaded aboard a ship near the […]

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700,000 tyres to be exhumed from seabed off Florida

The Guardian reports, 22nd May 2015: Florida officials have resumed raising some of the hundreds of thousands of tyres dumped off its shores decades ago during an unsuccessful attempt to create an artificial reef. Between 1m and 2m tyres were piled in the waters around Florida in the 1970s, but coral and fish never took […]

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Drugs flushed down the toilet affect aquatic life, says US EPA

The Guardian reports, 20th May 2015: “Doctors should take into account the ‘downstream’ effects on the environment when they prescribe drugs, suggests a scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency Around 80% of aquatic pharmaceutical pollution comes from domestic medicines (those that we take at home rather than in hospital), and while unused drugs that […]

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Further evidence of serious Antarctic ice melting

The Independent reports, 21st May 2015: A sudden and massive melting of glaciers in a part of the Antarctic that was thought to be relatively stable has been detected by satellites monitoring the polar ice sheet, scientists have said. Many glaciers in the Southern Antarctic Peninsula have become unstable since 2009, releasing vast amounts of […]

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Research suggests that the skin of the octopus is sensitive to light

The Guardian reports, 20th May 2015: “Octopus skin contains a light-sensitive pigment found in eyes, suggesting that these clever cephalopods can “see” without using their eyes. Octopuses are well known for changing the colour, patterning, and texture of their skin to blend into their surroundings and send signals to each other, an ability that makes […]

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Ulster legal action over “illegal sand extraction” from Lough Neagh

The Mid Ulster Mail reports, 20th May 2015: Despite a warning from DoE that they are in breach of planning control, companies “illegally extracting” sand from Lough Neagh have carried on. And because Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, “has failed to stop them” the Green Party has served notice on his department under the Environmental […]

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Legal challenge in US to deep-sea mineral mining

The Centre for Biological Diversity reports, 13th May 2015: “The Centre for Biological Diversity has commenced a lawsuit which sues the U.S. government over its first-ever approval for large-scale deep-sea mining, a destructive project between Hawaii and Mexico that would damage important habitat for whales, sharks and sea turtles and wipe out seafloor ecosystems. The […]

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Deep-sea mining for minerals : a personal view

Miyoko Sakashita, Oceans Director, Center for Biological Diversity, writes 14th May 2015: “Have you heard about the disastrous gold rush brewing in our oceans? “Not content with getting minerals from dry land, companies are now aiming to strip mine our ocean floors in search of nickel, copper, cobalt, gold and other valuable metals and minerals. […]

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Human aspect of the Shoreline Management Plan

In April Patrick Barkham published in The Guardian a beautifully written article entitled “This sinking isle: the homeowners battling coastal erosion” It shows not the technical, social and political horrors inflicted by the Shoreline Management Plan (SMPShoreline Management Plan) but the more emotive and sympathetic aspects of the plight experienced by those living by the […]

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Oxygen starved “dead zones” discovered in the Atlantic Ocean

The Independent reports, 3rd May, 2015: “Swathes of oxygen-deprived water up to 100 miles long, unable to sustain any form of animal life, have been found in the Atlantic, scientists have said. Researchers of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany discovered the unexpectedly low oxygen environments several hundred kilometres off the […]

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Fish discard ban: MEPs delay sanctions

EU Parliament press release, 28th April 2015, states: “Fishermen will have until 2017 to adapt to the new discard ban rules, which will make fishing more sustainable. Fishermen will have two years to “adapt” before sanctions for failing to comply with the new fish “discard” ban take effect, under a law passed by Parliament on […]

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EU Parliament undermines CFP reform

Reuters reports, 28th April 2015: “European lawmakers have backed reforms meant to end decades of over-fishing, but critics said unscrupulous fishermen would be able to carry on throwing away perfectly good fish because of a glaring loophole. “The European Union in 2013 agreed to reform the bloc’s common fisheries policy in an attempt to rebuild […]

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The Black Fish shifts focus onto crime with new UN report

The Black Fish press release 28th April 2015, states: “Earlier this week The Black Fish presented a groundbreaking new report on fishing crime at the UN Crime Congress in Doha, Qatar. Bringing together case studies from around the world, the publication makes the case that illegal fishing constitutes a form of organized crime and should […]

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Micro-plastics a major problem for the oceans, says report

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reports, 27th April 2015: “Micro-plastics — tiny pieces of plastic or fibres which may act as a pathway for persistent, bio accumulating and toxic substances entering the food chain — are increasingly being found in the oceans and may prove to be as harmful to marine life as more obvious, […]

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China wants to increase its Antarctic krill catch by 7 fold

MercoPress reports, 30th April 2015: “Conservation groups and scientists worry that China’s push to boost its harvest of krill — a shrimp-like creature used for aquaculture feed and human supplements — may leave Antarctica’s whales, seals and penguins struggling to survive. China’s leaders say they want a seven-fold increase in krill production, according to a […]

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Oceans are the world’s seventh largest economy, says WWF

The Guardian reports, 22nd April 2015: “The monetary value of the world’s oceans has been estimated at US$24tn in a new report [WWF: Reviving The Ocean Economy: The Case For Action — 2015] that warns that overfishing, pollution and climate change are putting an unprecedented strain upon marine ecosystems. The report, commissioned by WWF, states […]

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Greenpeace secures judicial review of how UK fishing quotas are distributed

Greenpeace press report, 24th April 2015, states: “A full judicial review into the government’s decision to continue to give nearly the entire UK fishing quota to domestic industrial and foreign corporations, at the expense of local, low impact fishermen, has been given the green light by the High Court today. “Mrs Justice Andrews granted permission […]

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Award for Isle of Arran MPA and COAST founder

The Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) reports in its April 2015 newsletter: “Howard Wood, chairman and co-founder of COAST has been awarded the highly prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for his work with COAST promoting sustainable management of Arran’s seas. It is the first time this international award, the largest prize for grass roots environmentalists […]

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Deep sea fish showing adverse effects of pollution

Societyforscience.org reports, 19th April 2015: “Far below the ocean’s surface is a dark, mysterious world. There, it’s too deep for the sun’s rays to penetrate. Very few people have seen this world. Even fewer have studied the health of its inhabitants — oddly named fish such as the greater forkbeard, black scabbardfish and orange roughy. […]

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Explaining erosion in simple terms

A letter recently appeared in the weekly Great Yarmouth Mercury from reader B. J. Rudd, who demonstrated an acute and perceptive understanding of the mechanism as to why the sand is being lost from our beaches. His ‘theory’ is in fact just what’s happening, but not dressed up in the complex terminology of coastal geomorphology […]

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