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.
- Photos: A Look at Some of the Ocean’s Most Beautiful Tentacles Posted Thu, July 24, 2014
- Ocean News: Blue Whale “Hot Spots” Linked with Busy Shipping Lanes, Massachusetts Bans Shark Fin Trade, and More Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Massachusetts Takes a Step Forward For Sharks Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Loggerhead Sea Turtles Gain Protection with Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery Restriction Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Ocean News: June 2014 Marked the Hottest on Record, Microplastics Worse for Crabs than Thought, and More Posted Tue, July 22, 2014