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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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NEF launches coastal economic regeneration project, titled “New Blue Deal”

The New Economics Foundation reports: On 24th November 2015, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) hosted a cross-party parliamentary briefing at the House of Commons about the Blue New Deal initiative. Thanks to Peter Aldous MP for Waveney, Suffolk, for making this possible. The Blue New Deal aims to deliver more and better jobs for coastal […]

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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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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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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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Scientists debate whether Antarctic krill need greater protection

Elizabeth Grossman and Ensia.com report, 7th July 2015: Barely longer than your thumb, weighing under an ounce and nearly translucent, delicate crustaceans known as krill are vital to ocean ecosystems around the world. In the waters that encircle Antarctica, krill are an essential food source for penguins, baleen and blue whales (which can eat as […]

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BP pay record fine for Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The Guardian reports, 2nd July 2015: “BP has agreed to pay a record environmental fine of $18.7bn to settle legal actions brought by the US and several states over the fatal 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The US justice department, along with the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida, all sued BP […]

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Microplastics are moving up the ocean food chain

The Vancouver Sun reports, 30th June 2015: “A new study from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre suggests microplastic particles could pose a serious risk of physical harm to the fish and marine animals that consume them. Plastic fibres and particles in West Coast waters are being consumed and passed up the food chain by […]

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Call for more protection of seagrass meadows

BBC News reports, 27th June 2015: “Seagrasses — the underwater plants that act as nursery grounds for young fish — need more protection, say scientists. Monitoring of seagrass meadows off the North Wales coast found areas damaged by the likes of boat moorings, anchors and vehicles crossing at low tide had reduced value to the […]

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Australian researchers explore carbon-storage potential of seaweeds

The University of Technology (UTS), Sydney, reports May 2015: There are great hopes for the potential of coastal plants and seaweeds to store carbon and help counter the effects of climate change and a new study is backing that potential. Scientists from UTS and Deakin University have carried out the first investigation of how a […]

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“Ghost nets” are an enduring hazard in the oceans

Deutsche Welle reports, 22nd May 2015: Ghost nets are fishing nets that have either been lost or discarded at sea. Small fish, which are usually the first to become trapped in their mesh, attract larger species and other marine predators including sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and even marine birds. When the weight of their incidental catch […]

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