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.
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- Ocean News: Nicaragua Dispatches Military to Protect Baby Turtles, New Zealand Bans Shark Finning, and More Posted Wed, August 20, 2014
- Creature Feature: Barnacles Posted Tue, August 26, 2014