Neurotoxins found in shark fin soup, and NY moves towards a ban.
Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!
Happy International Polar Bear Day! See videos below, but first, the news.
Shark fins contain neurotoxins. NY moves to ban. Following Hawaii and West Coast states, New York moved to ban the sale or possession of shark fins. Good thing, too, as a recent study – featured by OWOO here – found they contain high levels of a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative brain diseases in humans. [The New York Times; CBS Miami]
The Great Barrier Reef via Google street view. A new project will document the Great Barrier Reef with thousands of photos providing 360-degree views of the underwater environment. The scientific study aims to establish baselines for the composition and health of the reef. Watch behind the scenes clips about the project. [PSFK; seaview.org]
In tropical eastern Pacific, 12% of species face extinction. Overfishing, habitat loss, and the increasing severity of El Nino Southern Oscillation are the main culprits. According to new research, current extinction rates are on par with the world’s five mass extinctions since life began, including the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. [IUCN; Nature]
Fishermen Fined $1M in “Episode of Shame” for fishing industry. A seven-year investigation has lead to the conviction of seventeen captains of Scottish fishing boats and a processing company for overfishing. In order to sell thousands of tons more fish than they were licensed to, the men changed logbooks, rigged scales, and pumped fish ashore through underground pipes. [BBC]
World Bank launches Global Partnership for Oceans, to double marine protected areas and rebuild fish stocks. It aims to raise $1.5 billion dollars from various institutions, $300 million of which will come directly from the World Bank. [The Guardian]
Scientists call for marine mammals rights. Because of the intelligence and cultural sophistication of dolphins and whales, scientists say they should be designated as persons with species-appropriate non-human rights. “There is an egregious mismatch between how cetaceans are and how they are perceived and still treated by our species,” said an expert. [The Huffington Post]
In honor of the Polar Bear Day, here are a few joyous scenes.