Great news in the battle against illegal fishing: Morocco has passed an amendment banning the use, possession, manufacture or sale of driftnets.
Known as â€ścurtains of death,â€ť driftnets are a type of illegal fishing gear that can be nearly 100 feet high and 12 miles long. Because they are so passive and indiscriminate, driftnets snag whateverâ€™s in their path, including many marine mammals and other endangered species.
The UN passed an international moratorium on driftnets 15 years ago, and the EU instituted a ban seven years ago, but many French, Italian and Moroccan vessels have continued using them.
Todayâ€™s Oil Spill Quote of the Day features Elizabeth Griffin Wilson, one of our very own scientists:
From yesterdayâ€™s Guardian:
Some 1,020 sea turtles were caught up in the spill, according to figures (pdf) today â€“ an ominous number for an endangered species. Wildlife officials collected 177 sea turtles last week â€“ more than in the first two months of the spill and a sizeable share of the 1,020 captured since the spill began more than three months ago. Some 517 of that total number were dead and 440 were covered in oil, according to figures maintained the Deepwater Horizon response team.
This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the 2010 Ocean Hero finalists.
Starting today, Iâ€™ll be highlighting one finalist per day on the blog. First up is Suzanne Thurman, the founder and director of the Marine, Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute, Inc. (MERR), Delawareâ€™s only organization devoted to the response and rescue of marine mammals and sea turtles.
Suzanne has been participating in stranding response in Delaware since 1995, and before that, she worked for many years in environmental education and special education.
MERR, which is 10 years old this year, has provided stranding response to more than 1000 animals, beginning with one sea turtle that spent the night in Suzanneâ€™s laundry room.