The Weekly Dive Vol. 70

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

Oil dispersant impacts must be tested before use. After the Deepwater Horizon spill, Corexit dispersant was used to diffuse the oil in the ocean – and was later found to have made the spill even more toxic. A court ruling said that, in the future, such substances must be checked by the EPA and US Coast Guard before use. [The Los Angeles Times; Mother Jones]

European Union officials agree upon a revamped fisheries policy. Fisheries officials are expected to get approval from all 27 member countries on the new plan, which intends to end overfishing by 2015 by following scientific recommendations for quotas, among other changes.   [The New York Times]

Genetically modified salmon can breed with wild fish and pass on genes. Despite this study, the company that created them said it only produces sterile fish and they’ll have only females, which will all be kept in land tanks, to reduce the risk of extra genes being passed to wild fish where they could harm the wild population. Meanwhile more and more grocery stores say they won’t carry genetically modified fish. [BBC; Sustainable Business]

Deep coral reefs need protection, too. With the world’s coral reefs in decline, scientists put out a call to implement a broader approach to coral reef protection, to provide protection to deep reefs as pressures upon them are growing, as well as the already-exploited shallow reefs. [; Nature Climate Change]

Shark ecotourism more economically valuable than shark fisheries. Research found that global shark fisheries have been declining for a decade, while shark ecotourism is growing and expected to double in the next 20 years, meaning it will generate more income than shark fishing or finning. [University of British Columbia]

Microplastic pollution prevalent in lakes. Studies have already shown high levels of microplastic pollution in the ocean. New research is demonstrating that lakes face the same problem. [Science Daily]

Supermarkets’ seafood policy rankings updated. Greenpeace’s 2013 “Carting Away the Oceans” report ranks grocery stores’ seafood sustainability policy, initiatives, transparency, and red list inventory. This year they acknowledge many great improvements, with Whole Foods getting the top spot.  [The Huffington Post]

Sea States Report shows US coastal states aren’t doing enough for the ocean. The 2013 report by Mission Blue and the Marine Conservation Institute ranked Hawaii at the top for protecting 22.9% of its ocean area in no-take reserves. However, most coastal states grant such protection to a mere 1% or less. [The Huffington Post; Southern Fried Science]

Photos by: mlcastle via flickr, Creative Commons License; US Coast Guard via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; E. Peter Steenstra/USFWS via flickr, Public Domain; Erik Charlton via flickr, Creative Commons License; Shmulik Blum, with permission; NOAA via flickr, Public Domain. 

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