Marine conservation

Beach at sunset

China announces 3-year plan to combat ocean litter and clean up coastal areas

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment and three other government bodies have announced a campaign that aims to substantially clear the garbage in coastal areas by 2025, with ongoing, regular clean-ups established by 2027, Chinese news site Sixth Tone reported. It also calls for measures to be bolstered to prevent inland waste from reaching the sea.

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School of herring

Sweden to ban bottom fishing in territorial waters

Bottom trawling, a practice criticized by NGOs for impacting ecosystems, involves dragging heavy nets over the seabed, damaging ecosystems, and releasing carbon into the oceans. Sweden is set to become the second EU country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas, going a step further than Greece’s April decision by banning it in all territorial waters.

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School of fish

Peru approves the creation of long-awaited marine protected area

After 10 years of negotiations, Peru’s Council of Ministers has approved the creation of the Grau Tropical Sea National Reserve. To Peruvians, it is a much-awaited marine protected area, as it’s one of the most biodiverse stretches along the country’s coastline. The reserve covers over 285,000 acres of sea off the departments of Piura and Tumbes in northern Peru. The IUCN ranked the area among the 70 most important places in the world for marine biodiversity conservation.

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Whale tail

Sei whales reappear in Argentine waters after nearly 100 years

News from Argentina shows that the benefits of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling are still compounding, with sei whales returning to the South American nation’s coastal waters for the first time in nearly a decade. Overhunting during the 1920s and 1930s led these massive blue-grey giants to abandon their ancestral waters in Argentina.

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Salmon in stream

The number of fish on U.S. overfishing list reaches an all-time low

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an updated analysis of American fisheries late last week via its annual “Status of the Stocks” report, which provides an assessment of the populations of the seafood species fishermen catch and customers buy. The report states that 94% of fish stocks are not subject to overfishing. NOAA said it was able to remove Atlantic coast bluefish and a Washington coast stock of coho salmon from the overfished list.

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Creek flowing

‘NATURE’ becomes an official streaming artist to raise millions for conservation

Through the new “Sounds Right” project, ‘NATURE’ itself is registered as a streaming artist on major music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. This allows the Earth’s audio cameos to bring in money for protecting the environment worldwide. Streaming royalties earned by ‘NATURE’ will be collected by the EarthPercent conservation nonprofit, which hosts the Sounds Right Conservation Fund. The money will go to rights-based projects that focus on the world’s most biodiverse and threatened regions.

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School of fish

Greece becomes first E.U. country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas

Greece will start with national marine parks, where bottom fishing will be banned “by 2026.” Then, it will be prohibited “in all marine protected areas by 2030.” This method of fishing, decried by environmental associations, involves dragging heavy nets along the seabed, damaging ecosystems and releasing carbon trapped in the seabed.

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Whale jumping

E.U. pledges €3.5 billion to protect world’s oceans

At the Our Ocean Conference in Greece, the European Union demonstrated its strong engagement for international ocean governance by announcing 40 commitments for action for 2024. These actions will be funded by €3.5 billion from various E.U. funds, including €1.9 billion for sustainable fisheries in Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, and Portugal.

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Leopard shark / Zebra shark

Rewilding program ships eggs around the world to restore Raja Ampat zebra sharks

The Shark Reef Aquarium on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada has been sending zebra shark eggs to Indonesia’s Raja Ampat. Researchers hope to release 500 zebra sharks into the wild within 10 years in an effort to support a large, genetically diverse breeding population.
A survey estimated the zebra shark had a population of 20 spread throughout the Raja Ampat archipelago, making the animal functionally extinct in the region.

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Whale jumping

In move to protect whales, Polynesian Indigenous groups give them ‘personhood’

Indigenous leaders of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands signed a historic treaty that recognizes whales as legal persons in a move conservationists believe will apply pressure to national governments to offer greater protections for the large mammals. “It’s fitting that the traditional guardians are initiating this,” said Mere Takoko, a Māori conservationist who leads Hinemoana Halo Ocean Initiative, the group that spearheaded the treaty. “For us, by restoring those world populations we also restore our communities.”

In move to protect whales, Polynesian Indigenous groups give them ‘personhood’ Read more