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.
- Video: Oceana Exposes Illegal Drift Gillnet Use in Italy Posted Mon, July 21, 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
- Tackling Illegal Fishing in Italy: Behind the Scenes Posted Tue, July 22, 2014
- Chilean Salmon Industry Found to Use Highest Amount of Antibiotics Worldwide Posted Tue, July 22, 2014