Chinese airline no longer transports shark fins. Drilling for Arctic oil has begun. Study says Caribbean coral reefs have collapsed.
Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!
Major Chinese cargo airline will no longer transport shark fins. Cathay Pacific, the world’s largest air freight company, has banned the shipping of shark products. It is based in Hong Kong, a city through which 10,000 tons of shark fins are shipped annually. [Treehugger]
Shell began drilling for oil in Alaskan waters this weekend. In spite of delays that have left the spill response barge uncertified and not positioned nearby, drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea for exploratory wells has begun. [USA Today]
Overfishing costs tens of millions of dollars for Southeast US. A recent study found that depleted fisheries led to less recreational fishing and consequential economic losses. The worst effects came from the depletion of South Atlantic sea bass, losing nearly $53 million per year in direct fishing-related expenditures. [FIS]
IUCN study says Caribbean coral reefs have collapsed. Coral cover was 50-60% in the 1970s and is now less than 10%, largely due to overfishing and climate change – but the problem hasn’t affected the region equally and some reefs are still healthier; there is hope for a recovery, albeit a slow one. [National Geographic; The New York Times]
Oil washed up by Hurricane Isaac may be from Deepwater Horizon. Many beaches affected by the storm were hit by tar balls and oil residue, a nightmare for cleanup crews that is forcing beach closures. It is likely that these are stirred up remnants from BP’s oil spill. [The Huffington Post]
Study shows bottom trawling creates homogenous seafloor, could decrease diversity. While un-trawled areas had complex seafloor terrain, trawled seafloor areas were smooth, which essentially indicates elimination in habitat variation and possibly decreased species diversity. [The Huffington Post]