The Weekly Dive Vol. 23

Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!

Fin whaling suspended in Iceland. The endangered whale, the world’s second-largest living species, will be spared due to a limited market for whale meat, and failure to reach an agreement on deckhand salaries and conditions. Minke whale hunting unfortunately continues. [New Europe] 

Humpback whales intervene in orca attack on gray whale calf. Orcas often prey on gray whale calves migrating from Baja California to Alaska, but a BBC camera crew captured a recent event in which humpbacks appeared to deliberately obstruct the hunt with distressed behavior. [BBC] 

‘The Cove’ to establish dolphin park. The town of Taiji, subject of Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which detailed the annual dolphin slaughter there, has announced a plan to establish a park for dolphins and small whales, where humans can swim and kayak with the animals. “We want to send out the message that the town is living together with whales,” Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen, while an unnamed official said the town, “is no way going to stop” its annual dolphin hunt. [Herald Sun] 

100-fold increase in microplastics means seabugs now lay eggs on plastic debris. A study shows concentration of floating plastic in the North Pacific have increased by two orders of magnitude over 40 years. The massive increase in hard substrate has created new habitat for the bugs and other species. [BBC]  

70% of beaches eroding on some Hawaiian islands. Over the last century, most beaches in Kauai, Oahu, and Maui have lost an average of 0.4 feet per year, with Maui’s subsiding the most. Data suggests this is a natural process aggravated by human development too close to the ocean. [Science Daily] 

First plastic bags banned, next step bottle water. After national parks started banning single-use plastic water bottles, students at Loyola University voted to do away with them as well; they will be replaced with water stations. A bylaw supported by voters in Concord, MA, pending approval by the Attorney General, could make it the first town to pass such a ban. [The Huffington Post; Care2]  

Study compares marine ecosystem before and after earthquake/tsunami. Researchers conducted ecological surveys of sandy beach habitats in Chile. They found drastic changes and devastation but also rapid recovery in some areas. [UC Santa Barbara] 

World Oceans Day quickly approaches! The dolphins are celebrating already!


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