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Weekly Marine Policy Round Up – #19

July 31, 2011

Top Stories

Continued reliance on a strategy of setting aside land and marine territories as “protected areas” is insufficient to stem global biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive assessment published today in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

A survey carried out in La Maddalena harbour, in Cerdeña, has dug up a vast international bluefin tuna trafficking ring and found evidence for 1,000 administrative violations for about EUR 4 million. There are 70 suspects, who are being investigated.

The harvesting of small fish needs to be drastically reduced and monitored to protect the marine food chains. The fishing cuts should even be buttressed by no-fishing zones, according to an international team of experts underscored in the journal Science.

According to a new report, a staggering $164.2 million was lost by commercial fishermen in 2009 due to decades of overfishing. In that year, just 25 percent of potential revenue was realized.

The warming of the Arctic is releasing a new wave of banned toxic chemicals that had been trapped in the ice and cold water, scientists have discovered.

A giant underwater “dead zone” in the Chesapeake Bay is growing at an alarming rate because of unusually high nutrient pollution levels this year, according to Virginia and Maryland officials. They said the expanding area of oxygen-starved water is on track to become the bay’s largest ever.

Almost 200 square miles (500 square kilometers) of the Yellow Sea off China are covered by a massive bloom of green algae, according to a report from China’s Xinhua news service.

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Other Stories

Although news sources last week announced the WTO’s ruling in favor of Mexico on the “dolphin safe” tuna embargo issue, the victory did not cause the expected reactions of gladness in Mexico. The increase in domestic demand from less than 40,000 tons in 1990, to over 150,000 in 2010, has forced Mexico to import tuna to meet the national demand.

The Liberian Coastguard, backed by the Bureau for National Fisheries and the US Coastguard, has made its first fishing vessel seizure following the dramatic chase of a Korean-flagged trawler fishing illegally within their waters.

There are new claims that too many fish products in Britain and Ireland are being deliberately mislabelled, with the Irish getting the rougher end of the deal.

Pirates have hijacked a diesel tanker off Benin in western Africa in an attack of the kind more usually associated with Somalia.

Worth Reading / Watching

Powerful coverage of illegal fishing in the Galapagos Marine Park (First here, then here, and finally here)

Environmentalist hero Tim DeChristopher jailed,

Forum: Assessing Obama’s Record on the Environment

Cod is returning, but it is no cause for celebration yet

Canadian Fish Scientist ‘Muzzled’ by Government

Good Stuff

Fish faces, lots of ‘em

30 fascinating fish facts

Evolution right under Our noses

Inforgraphic: Fishing down the food chain

A tribute to eco-activists

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