Articles & News Tagged “Environment”
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.
President Obama creates world’s largest MPA
On Friday, President Obama has quadrupled the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii. It will now contain some 582,578 square miles, more than twice the size of Texas. It is home to 7,000 marine species. All commercial resource extraction activities, including commercial fishing and any future mineral extraction, will be prohibited from the whole area.
Paper describes shark concentration at Fakarava
A paper in the Current Biology Journal describes the “inverted trophic pyramid” that exists at the South Pass at Fakarava, French Polynesia. Between 250 to 700 grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) inhabit the area thanks to the grouper spawning aggregations that occur in the pass.
Great white shark population threatened
A new survey has found that the population numbers of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) off South Africa is about half what had been expected. A paper in Marine Ecology Progress Series shows the results of a six year study into the numbers of the apex predators and shows that there are only between 353 and 522 of the sharks. Of these, around 333 are of breeding age. (Image from Shutterstock).
Cathay Pacific announces shark fin ban
The BBC reports that Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline Cathay Pacific has finally announced that with immediate effect it will no longer carry shark fin. Previously, the airline had refused an outline ban, but would only “transport shark fin that was sustainably sourced.”. A campaign has now forced it to ban the carriage of “all shark products on cargo and passenger flights.” (Image from Shutterstock).