The Beacon

Ocean News: Blue Whale “Hot Spots” Linked with Busy Shipping Lanes, Massachusetts Bans Shark Fin Trade, and More

A blue whale off of California. (Photo: millerm217 / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new study found that blue whale “hot spots” off California intersect with some of California’s busiest shipping lanes, and that ship strikes are preventing blue whales from recovering. Blue whale numbers have increased since the International Whaling Commission’s 1966 protections, but they haven’t recovered at the rate scientists expected. National Geographic

- The Scottish government designated 30 new marine protected areas (MPAs) yesterday. The move doubles Scotland’s network of MPAs, and will protect species like black guillemot and ocean quahog. The Guardian

- Massachusetts announced a ban yesterday on the shark fin trade, becoming the ninth state in the U.S. to do so. Violators could face prison time, a loss of their fishing license, and a hefty fine. The Boston Globe

- One snorkeler off UK waters thinks he found the biggest jellyfish ever caught on camera. He estimated the massive barrel jellyfish to be about four feet long. Western Morning News

- Climate change is propelling tropical fish to move from their equatorial range and head towards the poles, but they’re disrupting habitat as they do so. Scientists have found that these tropical fish have stripped kelp forests and sea grass beds in the areas they’ve invaded, which are critical habitat for many other species since they act as a nursery. National Geographic


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