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Fisherfolk on the beach, The Gambia. Photo: Angus Kirk via Flickr.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of 21st century enclosures

Nick Buxton, Carsten Pedersen & Mads Christian Barbesgaard

20th October 2014

Small-scale fishing communities are key to any transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. But backed by the World Bank, powerful corporate interests are seizing their fish, seas and shores in the name of 'sustainability'. A revolution of the poor is needed to rebuild food sovereignty - and restore the oceans to the global commons. more...
Impressive and exciting, for sure. But what kind of life is it for an orca? Photo: Orca and trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida by Jeff Kraus via Flickr.

British Airways - stop selling trips to SeaWorld!

Kathleen Haase

13th October 2013

British Airways' commercial partnership with SeaWorld condones the physical and psychological suffering of orcas in captivity, writes Kathleen Haase, who meets the company's executives today. Her aim - to stop the sale of package holidays to SeaWorld parks and expose cetacean captivity as cruel and unethical. more...
What was once the Aral Sea at Muinak, Qoraqalpoghiston, Uzbekistan. Photo: so11e via Flickr.

Once a Sea - now it's the Aral Desert

Anson Mackay

16th October 2014

The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. more...
A loggerhead turtle lost among the garbage lies dead, baked under the midday sun. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Sea turtles run the deadly garbage gauntlet of Praia de Achados

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

6th October 2014

Out in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde islands should be pristine, writes Simon Ager, a haven for sea turtles and other wildlife. But the beach where loggerhead turtles have nested for millions of years is buried under a deadly morass of plastic garbage. more...
Greenpeace action at Shell's petrol station in Davos, January 2013. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

Arctic madness: oil majors plead for lower safety standards

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

6th October 2014

Oil majors are gearing up to exploit Arctic oil, writes Mike G. But they don't want to carry the costs of all the safety equipment the US Government is demanding to protect the fragile Arctic environment from spills. And they're reluctant to give up the use of toxic chemical dispersants. more...
Park rangers working in  Priazovskii National Park. Photo: Dimiter Kenarov.

Ukraine - now the war is to rescue threatened nature

Dimiter Kenarov

1st October 2014

Ukraine's Priazovskii National Park epitomises the problems faced by the world's natural areas, writes Dimiter Kenarov, as it contends with inadequate funding, rising sea levels, dried-out rivers, industrial pollution and illegal hunting. And that's not to mention the war. But the staff battle on: 'If we don't do this, then who will?' more...
View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Photo: Ben Holt - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via Wikimedia Commons.

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come

Eelco Rohling

28th September 2014

A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come. more...
Sea Shepherd crew of the Spitfire: Celine Le Diouron and Marion Selighini, both from France, and Jessie Treverton of the UK. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Barbara Veiga.

Danish Navy arrests three - for saving 'protected' dolphins

Oliver Tickell

19th September 2014

Three Sea Shepherd volunteers have been arrested for 'harrassing dolphins' and deported from the Faroe Islands. But their real crime was to save hundreds of Atlantic white-sided dolphins from slaughter. more...
Bamboo Shark in Indonesia's Lembeh Straits. With high levels of CO2, the species' survival is reduced by 40%. Photo: Steve Childs via Flickr.

Acidifying seas endanger sharks' survival

Tim Radford

12th October 2014

Scientific studies show that as carbon dioxide acidifies the oceans, sharks are less able to detect prey, and their chances of survival are reduced, writes Tim Radford - with serious consequences for ocean ecology. more...
Fin whale landed at Miòsandur whaling station Hvalfjördur, Iceland, in August 2014. Photo: EIA.

EU leads diplomatic protest against Iceland's whaling

The Ecologist

16th September 2014

As the IWC meeting begins today in Slovenia, the EU, its 28 member states and the United States, Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and Monaco, have expressed their opposition to Iceland's commercial whaling in a powerful diplomatic broadside. more...
Tel Aviv beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Gaza's revenge: Israelis swim in Palestinian shit

Sam Bahour

11th September 2014

Consecutive Israeli military assaults have caused huge damage to Gaza's water and sewage systems, writes Sam Bahour. One result is that almost all Gaza's water is unfit for human consumption. Another is the tide of raw Palestinian sewage lapping on the beaches of Tel Aviv. So who should we feel most sorry for? more...
Reef stricken: corals, fisheries and tourism will all be damaged by ocean acidification. Photo: coral reef on the Andaman Islands by Ritiks via Wikimedia Commons.

Ocean acidification and greenhouse gases hit new records

Alex Kirby

9th September 2014

New scientific evidence released today by the WMO shows the highest greenhouse gas concentrations on record, writes Alex Kirby, with 2012-2013 a record year for emissions. Meanwhile oceans are acidifying faster than at any time in the last 300 million years. more...

oceans: 1/25 of 89
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Icelandic fin whale meat on sale in Japan. Photo: EIA.

Iceland's whaling and whale meat exports - the IWC must act!

Clare Perry

10th September 2014

Tomorrow the 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission begins in Slovenia, writes Clare Perry. Among the issues: Iceland's slaughter of fin whales in defiance of the IWC moratorium, and its illegal export of their flesh and blubber to Japan - over 2,000 tonnes this year alone. The IWC and its member nations must act. more...
The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr.

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...
Three arrested protestors are forced to kneel before being loaded into a Danish Royal Navy helicopter. Photo: Sea Shepherd.

Denmark's support of the Faroese whale slaughter - the EU must act

Captain Paul Watson / Sea Shepherd

2nd September 2014

Denmark's unlawful support of the Faroese 'grind' whale hunt is now open and obvious for all to see, writes Captain Paul Watson, as the supposedly 'civilized' Scandinavian nation turns its military might against protestors seeking to save whales and small cetaceans from cruel and barbaric massacre. more...
Stranded whales in the 2014 'grind' on the Faroe Islands reduced to butchered meat. Photo: Sea Shepherd.

Danish Navy helps Faroe Islanders kill 33 pilot whales

Oliver Tickell

1st September 2014

The Danish Navy has just supported the annual 'grind' cetacean slaughter on the Faroe Islands, seizing three boats used by Sea Shepherd to obstruct the hunt, and detaining their crew. The move enabled whale hunters to slaughter an entire pod of 33 pilot whales. more...
Shamu show with Orcas in San Diego's Sea World Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

SeaWorld - save your money on super-size tanks. Orcas need the ocean!

Sea Shepherd

7th September 2014

Seaworld San Diego is about to build the world's biggest tank for its captive orcas. Fifty foot deep and covering 1.5 acres, it's almost twice as big as current tanks and will represent an improvement in living conditions when complete in 2018. But for Sea Shepherd, that's missing the point. For these wild and majestic sea mammals, only the ocean will do. more...
The Black Sea was awash with jellyfish - and very little else. Photo: Lewis Pugh.

We must protect our seas!

Lewis Pugh

30th August 2014

Lewis Pugh has completed long-distance swims in the 'seven seas' to promote his dream of a peaceful world of well-managed Marine Protected Areas, abundant oceans teeming with fish, turtles, whales, sea-birds and sharks. His shocking experiences in the water make that dream more urgent and compelling than ever. more...
The world's first offshore deployment of two-bladed wind turbines, and Britain's first tidal power array, are both moving forward in Scotland's seas. Images: Crown Estate.

Scotland's double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines

The Ecologist

29th August 2014

Two innovative renewable energy projects are moving forward in Scotland: Britain's first tidal power array, and the world's first deployment of two-bladed wind offshore turbines. The experimental technologies are hoped to achieve significant cost savings and unlock a huge offshore energy resource. more...
Observed and simulated changes in Earth’s heating rate since 1985. Image: Allan et al., Author provided.

Heat accumulating in the deep oceans has put global warming on pause

Richard Allan

26th August 2014

Since 2000 global surface temperatures have risen less than expected, a fact seized on by climate change 'sceptics'. But indications are that the surplus heat has been building up all along, writes Richard Allan - in deep oceans where it does not influence observable climate. Not yet, anyway. more...
Whale shark and diver. Photo: Robin Hughes via Flickr.

The cetacean brain and hominid perceptions of cetacean intelligence

Captain Paul Watson

22nd August 2014

Is the species that dwells peacefully within its habitat with respect for the rights of other species the one that is inferior? Or is it the species that wages a holy war against its habitat, destroying all species that irritate it? Paul Watson questions man's monopoly on advanced brain power, and finds a planet suffused with a far deeper intelligence than our own. more...
The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse works full time, keeping reefs from parasite loading. They die in 30 days of captivity but ship out daily - as many as the aquarium collectors can catch. Photo: Rober Wintner.

The dark side of Hawaii's aquarium trade

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th August 2014

Hawaii's salt-water aquarium trade is lucrative - but depends on the constant, scarcely regulated collection of wild fish, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts. With 98% of fish in the trade taken from the wild, and high mortality rates from the moment of collection, Hawaii's coral reefs are experiencing a daily massacre. more...
Mmmm, sushi ... but watch out for rising mercury levels in seafoodin the future, fallout from burning fossil fuels, coal in particular.

Fossil fuels raising mercury levels in oceans, and fish

Chris Rose

13th August 2013

Coal burning in particular is responsible for releasing the toxic heavy metal mercury to the oceans, writes Chris Rose, where it accumulates in fish. In future levels will rise, as processes that carry mercury to deep waters weaken. more...
Fishing for plastic in the open ocean on the Rozalia in the 2013 Gaia to Gyre expedition. Photo: Ceri Lewis via Flickr.

Microplastic ocean pollution - will you join our research voyage?

Kate Rawles

5th August 2014

Plastic pollution in the oceans is impacting every level of marine life, writes Kate Rawles, from micro-plankton to whales. And here is your chance to do something about it - join a research expedition to the Azores next month to study the problem and develop solutions! more...
Few whales survive a close shave with a ship’s propeller. This is one of the lucky ones. Photo: Alisa Schulman-Janiger, CC BY.

To save blue whales, move California shipping lanes

Luke Rendell

29th July 2014

Long after Blue whales have ceased to be hunted, their numbers have failed to record substantial increases, writes Luke Rendell. Are ship strikes to blame? A 15-year scientific study says the answer may be yes - and advises moving California shipping lanes. more...

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