The Beacon

Ocean News: Crabs Can Hear After All, New Zealand Rejects Offshore Mining Project, and More

An illegal driftnet fishing vessel on the high seas off of France. (Photo: Oceana / Thierry Lannoy)

- Several Members of Parliament have called out the UK government for acting “too slow” on marine conservation. A program launched four years ago called for protection of 127 areas of marine habitat, but only about one-fifth of the areas have received protection so far. BBC News UK

- Last week, New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority rejected an offshore mining project largely due to environmental “uncertainties.” The decision was closely monitored by other nations around the world who are also considering deep-sea mining for minerals. The New York Times

- New research not only proves that mud crabs can hear, but that they become extremely frightened at the sound of one of their predators. This is the first study that shows crabs respond to noises by predators, and one of the first studies to take a look at hearing in crustaceans. The Washington Post

- The Global Ocean Commission released a report today calling for intensive international management reforms of the high seas. They recommend that governments have five years to tackle overfishing and pollution in the high seas, and if they can’t do it, than the high seas should be shut down to industrial fishing. Reuters

- In a rare move, the cosmetic industry agreed with Illinois’ ruling to ban microbeads and will be phasing them out of their products. A representative from the cosmetic industry said to not “get used to it,” and that they agreed to collaborate mostly because there are other available resources. The Washington Post

Long read:

- An opinion piece by The New York Times takes a close look at how the American seafood industry has shifted from harvesting the majority of our own seafood to importing 86 percent of it from other nations—even though the U.S. controls more ocean area than any other nation. With that loss, the author argues, comes a lost relationship with the marine environment and easy access to healthy food. The New York Times

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