By Sarah Bedolfe
The Clean Water Act improved California water quality. Marine plastic pollution worse than previously thought. Mass pelican deaths in Peru.
Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!
Clean Water Act is working. Study found dramatically decreased levels of heavy metals in California coastal waters, as compared to a similar study from 1976, improvements attributed to the Clean Water Act and the elimination of leaded gasoline. [Newswise]
Estimates of plastic in the ocean were too low. While previous studies on marine plastic focused only on surface levels, a new study found that winds push plastic to various depths, and total ocean plastic may be 2.5 times greater than thought. [UW Today]
SeaWorld first major theme park chain to eliminate plastic bags. The move, especially appropriate given the harmful effect bags have on marine creatures, is estimated to keep 4 million bags per year out of landfills and the environment. They hope to pave the way for other parks. [Orlando Sentinel]
After dolphin die off, 500 dead pelicans in Peru. The cause of death of 800 dolphins from January to April may have been caused by a virus. The mass mortality of pelicans, along with a smaller number of boobies and other marine species, in the same region is now also under investigation. [The BBC]
90% decrease in Pacific reef shark population over recent decades. Proximity of human populations was directly linked to shark declines, with even small settlements corresponding to a dramatic decrease in sharks. [The Washington Post]
Aquaculture feed found containing 8 species of wild fish. Fish from high in the food web, harvested from extractive fisheries, were found to end up in the feed for farmed fish. Aquaculture of carnivorous species in this case contributes to overfishing, rather than alleviating it. Herbivorous species or alternative protein sources are needed to make aquaculture a more sustainable industry. [Science Daily]
The Weekly Dive. Harmful fishing is rampant but you don’t have to contribute to it. This week we discuss how to choose sustainable seafood. We also report on a whale rescue mission. Unless debris levels change, these heroes can’t save them all: entanglement is estimated to kill nearly 1,000 cetaceans each day.