Articles & News Tagged “Environment”
Scientists report that two thirds of GBR is bleached
Scientists from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia have recorded more bad news for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is undergoing a further bleaching episode, primarily in the previously unaffected middle third of the reef. The northern end was bleached in 2016, so this leaves only the southern third unaffected.
Paper studies fangblenny venom and its effects
A paper published in Current Biology examines the role, effects and evolution of the venom in Meiacanthus species fangblennies. It consists of three toxins, one of which causes a marked drop in blood pressure. Notably, the blennies only use this defensively and it has no application in their feeding.
WWF Releases Shark and Ray Ecotourism Guidance.
he World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has released guidelines entitled “Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice.” It aims to create well managed shark and ray tourism operations, conserve species and benefit local communities. The guide bases its findings on a case study basis which interestingly, do not include any of the common shark diving sites in the Bahamas, whilst suggesting that the interaction regulations in place during Mexico’s whale shark aggregation are adequate.
Philippines declares million hectare MPA
President Obama announces Arctic protection
President Obama has banned drilling for oil and gas in the majority of US-owned Arctic and North Atlantic. Canada has concurrently applied the same protection to its waters in the area. The US president has used a 1953 law which bans the leasing of offshore resources indefinitely. (Picture from Shutterstock.)
Mexico announces biosphere reserve
Just ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico has announced a new biosphere reserve encompassing much of the Quintana Roo coastline. Mexico News Today reports that the new protected area will encompass 5.7 million hectares (22,000 sq. miles), and will include the municipalities of Isla Mujeres, Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos, Solidaridad, Cozumel, Tulum, Bacalar and Othón P. Blanco
Film: Before the Flood
Leonardo DiCaprio, in conjunction with National Geographic, has released a film entitled “Before the Flood”. The film outlines the challenges facing environmentalists, the planet and all of us in terms of climate change. During the film, he investigates possible solutions to what the film portrays as an impending crisis.
World’s Largest MPA for Ross Sea
New Scientist reports that from December 2017, Antartica’s Ross Sea will be the site of the world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA). 1.55 million square kilometers (59845 square miles) of the sea will become a “no take zone” protecting Adelie penguins, Antarctic petrels, Weddell seals, toothfish and minke whales as well as the krill that visiting animals feed on. (Image credit: © John Weller/Smithsonian Museum of Natural History)
Celebrating International Whale Shark Day
30 August is International Whale Shark Day. It is sad to note that this is the first such day since its inception that these amazing animals have ben classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Research suggests a decline in population numbers of between 40 to 92% over the past 75 years. The reasons for this are all human caused: Overfishing, catch as by-catch in net fisheries and ship strike count as the most pertinent causes.