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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...

oceans: 25/50 of 102
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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...
The beautiful nudibrach Trinchesia caerulea, photographed in Scottish waters by Jim Anderson / savescottishseas.org/ .

Victory - 30 new marine reserves for Scotland

The Ecologist

25th July 2014

Scotland's network of marine reserves doubled in area today with the designation of 30 new marine reserves. The move has been welcomed by green groups who have long campaigned on the issue - but they warn: this is where the real work begins. more...
Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford

18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse. more...
A dragnet that captures too much marine life. Joachim Müllerchen, CC BY-SA.

Protect our inshore seabeds to allow fish stocks to recover!

Jason Hall-Spencer

18th July 2014

The UK's coastal waters are producing little but tiddlers and scallops, writes Jason Hall-Spencer - and to blame is the endless gouging of the seabed by trawlers and dredgers - even in 'marine reserves'. We must allow our marine ecosystems to rebuild! more...
Oil painting by John Wood (1798-1849) of British whalers circa 1840. Photo: Lee and Juliet Fulger Fund  / Wikimedia Commons.

Whalers' log books confirm - Arctic sea ice is retreating

Tim Radford

9th July 2014

Log books from British whaling ships more than 200 years ago have given new insights into the history of the Arctic sea ice, reports Tim Radford. A new study reveals that the scale of ice melt in the Arctic over the last few decades is new and unprecedented. more...
Surveys off the coast of Europe revealed all kinds of human trash, including plastic bags (upper left and lower right), beer cans (lower left) and glass bottles (upper right). Photo: Pham et al.

Our garbage is polluting the remotest, deepest ocean

Sarah Zielinski

1st July 2014

Even creatures at the bottom of the ocean aren't sheltered from the detritus of human civilization, writes Sarah Zielinski. Everywhere they have looked, scientists have found plastic, glass and other trash littering the seafloor and collecting in canyons. more...
The Arctic Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is causing ecological havoc as it devours its way down Norway's coast. It can reach a leg-span of 1.8m. Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Wikimedia Commons.

The Arctic shipping boom - a bonanza for invasive exotic species

Natasha Geiling / Smithsonian

27th June 2014

As the Arctic warms and its ice melts, growing numbers freight ships are reaping big savings from the 'Arctic short cut'. But this is creating a huge risk of invasive species spreading in ballast water and on hulls - disrupting both Arctic and temperate ecosystems. more...
These organic broad beans at Sandly Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, will soon be ready for harvest. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

Earth's vitality and the power of happiness

Jigmi Y. Thinley

19th June 2014

Farming should not only sustain people with healthy food, writes Jigmi Y. Thinley. If humans are to survive on Earth, it must also revitalise nature and sustain vital planetary systems, instead of poisoning and over-exploiting them. And to do that farming must be organic. more...
An endangered Fin whale landed at Miòsandur whaling station, Hvalfjördur, Iceland, in September 2010 © EIA.

First blood: Iceland resumes whale hunt, kills fin whale

The Ecologist

17th June 2014

Icelandic whalers made their first kill of the 2014 hunting season - an endangered fin whale, landed today. Campaigners have condemned the hunt, and are calling for a boycott of whaling companies' seafood exports. more...
Image: 'New Fish' by Elena Caldera.

Stop fishing the high seas, say scientists, for climate and ecology

Climate News Network

21st June 2014

Fish from the high seas are too valuable to be eaten, as they lessen climate change through the carbon they carry down to the ocean depths. The carbon benefits are worth $150 billion every year - almost ten times the value of high seas fish landings. more...
More of this to come ... the western rear end of Jetty East parking lot collapses under the storm surge from Hurricane Ike, 2008. Photo: Ed Hart via Flickr.

Florida's collapse will set in within a 30-year mortgage cycle

Harold R. Wanless

3rd June 2014

We are most certainly witnessing the onset of a rapid pulse of sea level rise, writes Harold R Wanless. And low lying areas - like southeast Florida - will be the first to know about it. So how come they're building there like there's no tomorrow? more...
Greenpeace International activists occupy Statoil contracted oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen to protest the company's plans to drill the northernmost well in the Norwegian Arctic at the Apollo Prospect of the Barents Sea, close to the Bear Island nature re

Greenpeace Arctic oil rig occupation 'may delay drilling'

The Ecologist

28th May 2014

Greenpeace activists are well into the second day of their occupation of an Arctic oil rig in the Barents Sea, which they say endangers the nearby Bear Island nature reserve. Statoil has conceded that drilling may have to be delayed. more...
Cabo Pulmo, in its current, concrete-free incarnation. Alan Harper, CC BY-NC.

Mexico: 22,000 room mega-hotel threatens 'biodiversity hotspot'

Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder

28th May 2014

The Baja California peninsula is rich in history and natural beauty, with thousands of unique plants and animals making up its globally unique ecosystems, write Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder. Just the place for a new giant hotel resort? more...

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