The Weekly Dive Vol. 52
FDA rules giant genetically modified salmon is environmentally safe. AquaAdvantage salmon (known to some as Frankenfish) was already approved for consumption in the US, the first genetically modified animal ever to be approved for human consumption, despite concerns. All-female populations, 95% sterile, will be bred in landlocked pens, which the FDA has determined is enough to prevent environmental impacts of the fish invading wild waterways and populations. [Popular Science]
California shipping lanes to be shifted to protect whales. Endangered whales have been killed by large vessels since busy shipping lanes cross their feeding grounds. Shipping channels adjustments off San Francisco Bay, the Channel Islands, Los Angeles and Long Beach go into effect in June to decrease the risk of ship strikes for whales. [Reuters]
Two Arctic seals added to endangered species list. The bearded seal and ringed seal are listed as threatened due to the loss of their sea ice habitat, and will be afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act. [The Los Angeles Times]
Scottish shellfish reef could be world’s largest. A reef formed by rare and ecologically important flame shells that coveres 4.6 miles (7.5 km) squared was discovered, in Loch Alsh in Scotland. It is the largest such colony known in the UK and possibly the world. [The Courier]
Rise in jellyfish populations may be natural fluctuation. A new study indicates that, while there has been no global increase in jelly populations over the last two centuries, there has been a slight and inconsistent increase since 1970 which will require future monitoring. [Science Daily]
Drilling rig runs aground in Alaska. Efforts to move the mobile Kulluk rig amid 70mph winds and 40 foot seas ended with the towing vessel having to cut the rig loose, after which it struck an island south of Kodiak. No leaks have been reported but there is concern over 150,000 gallons of diesel as well as 12,000 of gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid. [The Los Angeles Times]
Hong Kong shark finners forced to work on roofs due to outcry. In the "shark fin capital of the world," sales have started to fall in recent years. Fin traders used to lay their fins out to dry on public sidewalks but a public outcry has forced them to move to rooftops. [NBC]
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