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Weekly Marine Policy Round Up – #18

July 24, 2011

Top Stories

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has formally told President Obama that Iceland’s hunt threatens the species, which is globally endangered. The president has 60 days to give his response, which can include trade bans.

On the CFP, French Fisheries Minister Bruno Le Maire described the proposals as “unacceptable in their current state.” Le Maire was unequivocal in his comments, maintaining that the new rules would lead to “the death of French fishing.” The Spanish Government, meanwhile,is not satisfied with the CFP reform proposal because it may impact negatively on the development of fisheries.

Fully rebuilt, US fisheries hold the potential of adding $31 billion to the economy and an additional 500,000 jobs, according to the NOAA annual status of the stocks report.

Plenty more fish in the sea? Maybe not for much longer. Overfishing is damaging the genetic diversity of fish to a greater degree than expected, leaving at-risk species vulnerable.

Biodiversity and ecosystem data gathered by US environmental monitoring programs need to be better centralized, according a report released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Other Stories

This week the Marshall Islands Mayors Association passed a resolution requesting all local governments in the RMI to enact ordinances prohibiting the sale and trade of shark or shark fins.

The Marine Stewardship Council on Thursday announced that the Gulf of California sardine fishery, Mexico’s largest fishery by volume, received certification as sustainable and well managed. It’s also the world’s fourth sardine fishery and Mexico’s second fishery to earn the distinction.

It turns out that overfishing species on the bottom of the marine food chain can have serious impacts for sea life as a whole. In a new study published in the July 21 Science, researchers led by Anthony Smith of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization looked at what happens when those low-level forage fish are fished out. Not good things.

The fish conservation group Sea Shepherd has less than a month to raise the $1,400,000 needed to free its flagship the Steve Irwin which is being held in the Shetland Islands.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled in favor of Oceana in a suit that will require commercial fisheries from North Carolina to the Canadian border to monitor and report the amount of bycatch, or untargeted marine life, they discard.

Commercial fishing may be killing off hagfish, however, by destroying their habitats and reeling them in as “by-catch.” Meanwhile, an emerging eel-skin market is creating a growing demand for hagfish skins. Declining hagfish populations could result in lasting ecological damage, even affecting table fish: Data shows that when commercial fishers went after some hagfish populations, “the stock of other commercial species such as flounder plummeted.”

Blue carbon sinks could be just as important as forests when it comes to managing our global carbon emissions, according to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.  Approximately one-third of the world’s mangrove, sea grass, and salt marsh areas have been lost over the past several decades.

Worth Reading / Watching

What a population of 7 billion people means for the planet

Eco Solutions takes you to Palau to visit the world’s first shark sanctuary. (4mins)

Infographic: fishing weaponry.


Good Stuff

3m Great White Shark breaches into Research Boat Oceans Research, Team gets a little too close for comfort

The most beautiful waves “ever”

Ready to swim 103 miles with the sharks has compiled information from four main sources: the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Marine Conservation Society, FishWatch and the Greenpeace red list.

Bottlenose dolphins have “miraculous” healing powers: within several weeks they can heal from basketball-sized injuries, without any lasting disfigurements.

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