The Weekly Dive Vol. 65

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

Australia to confront Japan over whaling in UN court in June. Australia, supported by New Zealand, will be out to prove in the UN’s International Court of Justice that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program is commercial, not scientific, and therefore in violation of international law. Japan has just ended a record-low whaling season, which they blame on the Sea Shepherd Society’s interference. [BBC; USA Today]

New research suggests sustainable seafood certifications are too lax. A study reviewing objections to certifications of certain fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council, which labels certified seafood as sustainable, has concluded that the standards used are not stringent enough and therefore misleading to customers. [FIS; Biological Conservation]

Record dolphin and sea turtle deaths since Gulf Oil Spill. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill three years ago are still unfolding. Dolphins, especially infant dolphins, were among those affected the most, and are still dying at above-average rates. []

Young Arctic explorers plant flag on seabed at North Pole. The amateur explorers from around the world, backed by Greenpeace, succeeded in dropping a multicolored flag and a time capsule with nearly 3 million signatures on the seafloor at the North Pole, advocating for protecting the region from exploitation. [The Huffington Post; Greenpeace]

Bowhead whales survived the last Ice Age, surprising scientists. While most cold-adapted species declined or disappeared at the end of the Ice Age, the pattern may not hold true for marine life, as DNA studies show bowhead whales simply shifted their range north. [BBC]

Greenland puts brakes on Arctic drilling while ConocoPhillips suspends drilling plans. Greenland will grant no new Arctic offshore oil drilling leases. ConocoPhillips announced that plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2014 are on hold. [Care2; The New York Times]

Resilience to acidity found in single-celled marine algae and sea urchins. Planktonic algae, called coccolithophores, are important for conducting photosynthesis and producing oxygen. Their shells were expected to dissolve in more acidic water but they show surprising resilience, offering a point of hope. Researchers are also trying to understand why urchins show unexpected tolerance for more acidic water. [Science Daily; Discovery]


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