Articles & News Tagged “Environment”
Thresher sharks stun prey with tail slaps
A paper in the journal PLoS ONE about the hunting strategies of pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus) has shown that the animals do use their tales to stun prey. The behavior was investigated at Pescador Island in the Philippines over 5 months in 2010, using a video camera to record the predation. (Image from Shutterstock)
Japan in the dock: Australia and New Zealand go to court over whaling
A hearing is currently underway in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague, Netherlands which will rule over Japan’s use of a “scientific” rationale for continuing whaling in the Southern Oceans. Australia brought the case against Japan in the ICJ, which is highest court in the world. Historically, Japan has justified its whaling by using Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which allows for the harvesting of animals for research purposes.
Federal government denies protection to great white sharks
The U.S. Federal National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has declined to protect great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) off the coast of California under the Endangered Species Act. This was despite there being significant scientific evidence that the Californian populations consists of less than 350 animals. (Image from Shutterstock)
Lionfish found at depth off Florida
The submersible Antipodes has just found significant concentrations of invasive lionfish (Pterois sp.) at depths of between 100 and 265 ft off Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The fish are very efficient predators and since 1985, when they were first sighted in Florida, have been out-competing native species for prey.
NOAA proposal weakens state shark finning statutes
A proposal by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the implementation of the 2010 Shark Conservation Act has the potential to weaken existing state laws on finning. The majority of the state legislation is more restrictive than the Act’s and also focus on trade in shark fin and some feel that the new law will weaken the U.S.A.’s leadership in shark conservation. (Image from Shutterstock)
New study estimates manta ray tourism at $140 million
A study published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) ONE journal has quantified the revenue that is accrued from tourism related activities associated with manta rays. In the 23 countries in which manta ray watching operations met the study’s criteria, direct revenue to dive operators from manta ray dives and snorkels is estimated at over US$73 million annually and direct economic impact, including associated tourism expenditures, at US$140 million annually.
EU closes finning loophole
As reported in the forums, the EU has closed a loophole that allowed crews with Special Fishing Permits (SFPs) to continue landing shark fins without the carcass. Up until now, EU vessels have been estimated to be responsible for 27% of the fins in the Hong Kong markets. (Image from Shutterstock)
Turtle conservationist murdered in Costa Rica
Conservation International has reported that 26-year-old turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval was abducted and shot by masked men whilst on his way to patrol the beach of Moin, Costa Rica. The purpose of their patrol was to protect leatherback turtle nests from poachers. (Leatherback turtle image from Shutterstock.)