Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Some marine animals don’t have to put any effort into celebrating the holiday season, and instead, celebrate this special time all year long. With the holiday season in full swing, we’re spotlighting two small marine animals that are aptly named for their resemblance to two different holiday symbols: the Christmas tree worm and candy cane shrimp.
- Chevron has withdrawn its plans for oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea because of “economic uncertainty” and low oil prices. Chevron sent a letter to Canada’s National Energy Board earlier this week, saying it was cancelling plans to drill about 155 miles northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Reuters
Apart from their massive size, humpback whales are most known for their extensive, complex “songs” that male humpbacks use for communication. But, humpback whales also have some fascinating feeding behaviors that are also worthy of attention—particularly bubble-netting.
- A federal report released this week found that temperatures in the Arctic are warming at twice the rate of those in lower latitudes. The report also discussed how these temperature and sea ice changes are negatively impacting polar bear populations and fish migrations. The Washington Post
Shark and ocean lovers may want to think twice the next time they sit down with their computers or smartphones to order some takeout—shark fin could be on the menu.
Every day, thousands of people in more than 600 cities order food from tens of thousands of restaurants on GrubHub and its subsidiaries—Seamless, All Menus, and Menu Pages. Yet some of featured restaurants offer shark fin products on their menus.
- European Union fishery ministers reached agreements on commercial catch regulations for 2015, allowing for increased catches in cod, prawns, plaice, haddock, and more in certain areas. Many conservationists are criticizing the decision, saying it defied scientific advice to decrease many of these catches. The Guardian
Today, President Obama’s Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud delivered its first recommendations for tackling this issue, which included domestic and international measures to help ensure that seafood sold in the United States is safe, legally caught, and honestly labeled. Oceana commends the recommendations and says they are a real step forward for fighting illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the U.S. and around the world.
- Today, President Obama’s designated Task Force on tackling seafood fraud released their first set of recommendations for eliminating the issue. While many conservationists are hailing the recommendations—such as instilling better enforcement and encouraging collaboration among organizations—as a positive first step, they say there is still much work to be done. National Geographic
Western Atlantic bluefin tuna are sleek, torpedo-like fish that can power through the ocean’s depths at over 40 miles per hour. They’re top ocean predators, preying on mackerel, herring, squid, eels, and crustaceans, but they’re also some of the most coveted fish in the world.
- Nicaragua's Pearl Cays region has seen a large increase in hawksbill sea turtle nests since 2000, from about 154 nests in 2000 to 468 in 2014. Poaching has also significantly decreased in the area by about 80 percent. ScienceDaily