It's Friday, the weather's beautiful here at Oceana HQ in DC, and we have two positive developments in ocean news to report:
1.) The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced new rules that will require federal shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to land sharks with their fins still naturally attached.
Previous federal regulations required only that fins and carcasses be brought to dock in a specific ratio, allowing shark fins to be cut off at sea.
Needless to say, this is a great thing for dwindling shark populations, every member of which needs fins to swim, and who would rather not be made into soup.
(For more on shark finning, check out our sharks page.)
2.) The Los Angeles Times reports that Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and six other Pacific nations banned tuna boats from an area of ocean almost the size of Alaska to save the fish from a repeat of the collapse of Atlantic cod fisheries in the 1980s.
As Oceana's chief scientist Mike Hirshfield put it, "I think this is a really noteworthy shift in the balance of power in this region."
Amen, Mike -- and hopefully we'll have enough good news each week to make this a regular Friday feature.
- Ocean Roundup: Chevron Withdraws Drilling Plans from the Arctic, Peru Issues Ban on Shrimp Fishing, and More Posted Fri, December 19, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Communicate to Feed at Night, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Sundarbans Mangroves, and More Posted Wed, December 17, 2014
- Holiday Creature Feature: Christmas Tree Worm and Candy Cane Shrimp Posted Fri, December 19, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Filefish Use Chemical Scent to Camouflage, Bangladesh Oil Spill Threatening Endangered Dolphins, and More Posted Mon, December 15, 2014
- Act: GrubHub, Take Shark Fin Off the Menu! Posted Wed, December 17, 2014