The Weekly Dive Vol. 59

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

Shark fisheries kill 100 million sharks per year, says new study. Past research on fisheries data suggested 26 to 74 million sharks were traded for their fins annually, but new research incorporating estimates of unreported catch calculates about 100 million (with a possible range of 63 to 273 million) are killed per year. [Science Daily]

Arctic drilling suspended for 2013. Various problems with the drilling that was begun last year have led to Shell halting oil drilling operations for the year in the hazardous Arctic environment. This pause is meant to allow time for more assessment and preparation. [The Huffington Post]  

CITES protections proposed for shark species; California set to protect great whites. New additions to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora could include seven shark and ray species. The white shark is set to be listed as endangered in California, banning both intentional and incidental take. [Discovery News; The Huffington Post] 

Study finds Indonesian leatherback sea turtles could be extinct in 20 years. A nesting beach in Papua Barat, Indonesia that represents the last sizeable nesting population of critically endangered leatherbacks in the Pacific, has seen a 78% decline in nests over the last 27 years, highlighting the urgent need for increased and improved conservation efforts. [Science Daily] 

Sea level rise expected to be greatest near the equator. A study assessed how sea level rise will occur unevenly across the globe. Gravitational forces could cause it to be 150% greater in the tropics than the poles. [Science 2.0] 

NOAA to redraw Arctic nautical charts to account for ice melt. Traffic is increasing to Arctic areas due to decreased ice cover so nautical chart coverage for the region (which has little emergency response infrastructure) will be increased. [NOAA News] 

Cameron’s deep sea dives revealed new species and insights. Early results from the first scientific examinations of footage and data from James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition show vibrant biological communities, with distinct patterns in each trench explored. [Scripps News] 

Interpol launches project to combat illegal fishing. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is widespread and costly, but detailed data is limited. The international criminal investigation body is launching Project Scale to collect information and suppress large-scale criminal fishing activity. [Nature] 

How can blue whales be so big? Especially when their food is so small? Marine biologist Asha de Vos teamed up with TED Ed show us how the two actually go hand in hand. 

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