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Sights on CITES: Rough Day for Sharks

This is the fourth in a series of posts from CITES. Read the rest of the CITES dispatches here.

It was an eventful day at CITES for sharks. Oceana released a report today about the international trade of shark fins, and a non-controversial, non-binding measure on sharks failed to pass. Marine scientist Elizabeth Griffin talks about today's roller coaster ride. 

 


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Sights on CITES: An Insider's Tour

This is the third in a series of posts from CITES. Check out the rest of our dispatches here,

In today's dispatch from Doha, Oceana shark scientist Rebecca Greenberg gives us an insider's tour of CITES, from the main conference hall to one of the most important strategic lobbying areas: the coffee station.

You can also read updates from author Charles Clover on MarViva's Doha Diary blog.

 


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Sights on CITES: Getting Started

Here's a second CITES video dispatch from today, this time from Max Bello, a campaigner from our Chile office. (Read the rest of the dispatches here.)

 


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Sights on CITES: En Route

This is the first in a series of posts from CITES. Read the rest of the dispatches here.

CITES is now in session in Doha, Qatar. Our team will be there for the next 10 days pushing for further trade restrictions on corals, sharks and the Atlantic bluefin tuna. They sent us this video dispatch of campaign director Dave Allison from the airport en route. Stay tuned for more!


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The Scanner: Sights on CITES Edition

bluefin tuna

© Oceana/Keith Ellenbogen

Happy Friday!

As we speak, an Oceana team is headed to the CITES conference in Doha, Qatar, which begins tomorrow. We will be bringing you updates from the conference as we push for trade restrictions for bluefin tuna, corals and sharks.

CITES wasn't the only thing on the ocean radar this week, though. Check out the rest of this week's stories:

…Scientists have found that oxygen-starved pockets of the ocean, known as dead zones, can contribute to climate change. The increased amount of nitrous oxide produced in low-oxygen waters can elevate concentrations in the atmosphere, exacerbating the impacts of global warming and contributing to holes in the ozone layer.

… OK, this one’s a little gross -- but also really cool. Forensic researchers recently dropped several dead pigs into an ocean dead zone off Vancouver Island to gain insight into how fast cadavers in an ocean can disappear thanks to scavengers. Marine researchers took advantage of the study to do their own by using an underwater camera to see what kinds of animals fed on the disintegrating dead pigs -- and how long they could tolerate low-oxygen zones. While crabs, shrimp and starfish normally stay at shallower depths (where there’s more oxygen), the scavengers pushed their limits for the pig pickin’. Who knew swine could be such a boon for ocean science?


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The Scanner: Bluefin Win Edition

Happy Friday, ocean lovers! Lots of juicy ocean news to review this week.

And don't forget, you can get pithy ocean updates all week long by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Without further ado:

...The big ocean story of this week was a positive one: the U.S. backed the bluefin tuna trade ban at the upcoming CITES meeting. The Washington Post published a great slideshow of bluefin photos and the New York Times ran an editorial urging the U.S. to convince the EU and others to follow their lead.

...Chile's fishing industry, which produces 4 percent of the world's annual catch of seafood, was hit hard by the recent earthquake. Meanwhile, the country's salmon farms, which are located hundreds of miles south of the quake's epicenter, suffered minimal damage, but have been affected by the slowdown in transportation.

...Turns out the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has a cousin in the Atlantic, hundreds of miles off the North American coast, roughly in the latitudes between Cuba and Virginia. Researchers from Woods Hole found more than 520,000 bits of trash per square mile in some areas.


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U.S Backs Bluefin Trade Ban

bluefin tuna

Some great news for the imperiled bluefin tuna: Today the U.S. announced that it supports a total ban on the international trade of the tigers of the sea, which could make a big difference in the two weeks leading up to the CITES meeting in Doha.

Thanks to all of you who have taken action leading up to CITES. Now let's hope the European Union follows suit.


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A Chance for Bluefin

Things could be looking up for the tigers of the sea.

Next month, 175 nations will meet in Doha, Qatar to discuss whether bluefin tuna will join the likes of pandas and elephants as endangered species under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

While France has joined Monaco in declaring its support for the ban, Spain’s position remains in doubt.

Spain currently holds the EU presidency and the dubious honor of catching much of the Mediterranean's bluefin tuna. Yesterday, Oceana held an event along with Greenpeace, MarViva, Pew, WWF and Ecologistas en Acción urging Spain to support the ban.

Kofi Annan, Michael Douglas and Colin Firth, among many other public personalities, have signed on in support of the listing.

Oceana will be in Doha in March voicing our support for bluefin. Here’s hoping -- and stay tuned.


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