The Weekly Dive Vol. 51

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

Sea otters allowed to naturally expand back into Southern California. Southern California was once home to abundant otter populations but for the last 25 years it was an “otter free zone” (with the exception of a reserve on San Nicolas Island). Sea otters that strayed south of Point Conception were captured and relocated north to keep them from hunting in commercial fishing grounds, but this strategy has been deemed ineffective and the threatened species can once again access its full range. [The Los Angeles Times]

Chile becomes first country to protect seamounts from bottom trawling. Seamounts are underwater mountains and they serve an important role in the ocean ecosystem; since they cause the upwelling of nutrient rich water they are oases for life. Bottom trawling essentially clearcuts these rich environments, which have hardly been explored or studied, making Chile’s fishing reforms a landmark accomplishment.  [The Huffington Post]

Expansion proposed for Northern California national marine sanctuaries. Not only would the proposal more than double the size of the protected areas, protecting the area from what humans take out of the ocean, it would address a criticism of MPAs that they don’t protect from pollution, by banning drilling, mining, and dumping.  [The Los Angeles Times]  

European Fisheries prohibit the discarding of bycatch. EU fisheries are estimated to waste a quarter of their catch by throwing back less desired species, often dead; fisheries reforms require trawlers to land all catches, to help solve the overfishing of 47% of Atlantic and 80% of Mediterranean fish stocks. [BBC]

Mysterious oil sheen at Deepwater Horizon site. Underwater inspections by the Coast Guard as well as BP indicate the Macondo well isn’t leaking, however a mysterious substance has been persistently found in the area and seems to be coming from the overturned oil platform now on the seafloor. Lab tests are pending. [The Huffington Post]


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