The Weekly Dive Vol. 46


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


Two to three times as many marine species are still unknown to science as are already discovered. By compiling the first register of the world’s marine species, researchers have concluded that there are between 0.7 and 1 million eukaryotic (multi-celled) ocean species, which is lower than past estimates. Of those, one-third to two-thirds remain completely unknown to science, even though the rate of discovery has increased rapidly in the last decade. [Current Biology; Phys.org]


Mozambique creates Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve and Australia creates largest network of marine parks in the world. To help locals conserve their marine resources, Mozambique has designated a no take zone of about 4,000 square miles around the coral reefs of the Primeiras and Segundas archipelago. Australia has enveloped 888,035 square miles or 36% of its waters in some form of protection, with 13% of that a no-take zone. [WWF; Reuters]


BP pays largest criminal fine in US history for oil spill: $4 billion. The firm also pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and top ranking individuals at the company were indicted. BP is expected to pay larger penalties from federal civil claims. [The Washington Post] 


US shark fishing gets new restrictions and American Samoa fully protects all sharks in its waters. A new measure will ban recreational shark fishermen in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico from landing sharks of almost any species that are less than eight feet long, in an effort to protect the severely depleted dusky shark. Meanwhile, in American Samoa, all shark fishing, as well as the sale, possession, and distribution of shark parts including fins is now banned. [The Washington Post; Pew Environment]


World fish harvest projected to fall 2% this year to 90 million tons. The prediction from the UN’s FAO is 4% below the all-time peak of 94 million tons in 1996, and while this year the catch is 13 kg for every person on earth, that is far below the 1988 record of 17 kg per person. Fleets today are putting more effort into catching fewer fish. [Treehugger]


Indications of slight recovery prompt small increase in bluefin quota. Since a stock assessment showed an increase in endangered Mediterranean bluefin, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas will raise the quota from 12,900 to 13,500 tons; in an improvement from years past, this adheres overall to scientific recommendations. New shark protection measures, however, were not enacted. [The New York Times]
 

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