The Weekly Dive Vol. 50
Dive into the latest edition of The Weekly Dive, where we bring you the big ocean news!
Court condones the transfer of the orca Morgan to Spanish amusement park. Morgan was rescued from the wild on condition that she be rehabilitated and released but her captors show no signs of letting her go. Animal rights advocates have fought hard against Morgan’s transfer to an amusement park in Tenerife, which is using her in shows, with no intention of releasing her, but Dutch courts declared the move legal. [Dutch News]
World’s largest shark sanctuary established. The Cook Islands has created a shark sanctuary covering its entire 1.9 million square km (1.2 million sqaure mi) exclusive economic zone. By conjoining it with French Polynesia’s adjacent sanctuary, shark fishing and possession and sale of shark products is now banned in an area almost the size of Australia. [The BBC]
Group seeks to designate the “Pacific Garbage Patch” as a Superfund site. Due to the vast amount of plastic accumulation that has turned the North Pacific Gyre into a “plastic soup,” the Center for Biological Diversity is petitioning the EPA to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands region as a Superfund cleanup site. [Civil Beat]
Project maps ocean noise pollution and aims to reduce it on large scale. NOAA has released the first maps of ocean noise pollution and its impact on whale and dolphin populations. The results are expected to help efforts to decrease the noise and associated problems for sealife. [The New York Times]
Harmful algae blooms may be cause of latest Humboldt squid mass stranding. Humboldt (or jumbo) squid can be found stranding themselves in massive numbers, most recently in central California. While the cause of these events isn’t understood, recent evidence suggests it may be triggered by algae blooms that create a strong neurotoxin. [The Huffington Post]
US Department of Energy investing in offshore wind development. Seven offshore wind projects will be supported off the Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Maine, New Jersey, and Ohio coastlines. The great lakes will be the setting for the nation’s first freshwater wind project. [Forbes]
Catch limits strengthened for fish at the base of food web. Atlantic menhaden harvest will be reduced by 20 percent. Though not used as food by humans, menhaden is used in products such as fertilizer, and is an important species forming the base of the food web, supporting many other populations including seabirds and marine mammals. [Baltimore Sun]
Just in time to celebrate our 50th Weekly Dive blog: We got our whole office to join in on a "splash mob" as a way of showing you, our supporters, how much we appreciate you - and to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!