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Posts Tagged "overfishing"

Culturing Science

Collapsed cod fishery shows signs of life

cod-feature

Perhaps our species’s greatest misconception about the sea was that it is inexhaustible. The idea seems rather silly now, in a world where most people are familiar with the word “overfishing.” But men once gazed into the deep and imagined that it teemed with life so plentiful that we could take and take without ever [...]

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Extinction Countdown

30 Percent of Sharks, Rays and Related Species at Risk of Extinction

Northern River Shark

The first worldwide analysis of the extinction threat of all sharks and related species has just been published, and the news is sobering. Of the 1,041 known species of chondrichthyan (cartilaginous) fishes—sharks, rays and deep-sea chimaera (aka ghost sharks)—more than 30 percent are endangered, threatened, vulnerable to extinction or near threatened. Another 46 percent lack [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Daggernose Shark

daggernose shark

These small sharks pose no threats to humans. The opposite, however, cannot be said. Species name: Daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus). Notable for their flattened snouts and relatively large fins, these small (1.5 meter) sharks are the only members of their genus. Where found: The shallow coastal waters off of northeastern South America, where they predate [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Jackass Penguin

jackass penguin

These popular penguins have faced a lot of threats in recent years that have put them on a dangerous path. Species name: African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), a.k.a. the black-footed penguin or the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like braying sounds. (The nickname has nothing to do with the penguin’s personality.) Where found: Coastal southwest Africa, including [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Last Chance for Sawfish?

sawfish

All species of sawfish around the world could soon gain full protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a move that comes just in time for the iconic but critically endangered creatures. Sawfish populations have dropped 90 to 99 percent over the past few decades, mostly because of coastal development in sawfish habitat and peoples’ [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hong Kong Imported 10 Million Kilograms of Shark Fins Last Year

The appearance of a shark fin piercing the ocean surface is often seen as a sign of danger to humans. Even more dangerous to sharks is the sight of a shark fin floating in a bowl of soup. Around the world, sharks are in crisis. Many species have suffered population declines of 90 to 99 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Manta Rays Endangered by Sudden Demand from Chinese Medicine

Manta ray fishery

Demand for the gills of manta and mobula rays has risen dramatically in the past 10 years for use in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), even though they were not historically used for this purpose, a team of researchers from the conservation organizations Shark Savers and WildAid has discovered. “We first came across manta and mobula [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Amazing Neptune’s Cup Sponge Rediscovered in Singapore

More than 100 years after it was last seen, the giant Neptune’s cup sponge (Cliona patera) has been rediscovered off the coast of southern Singapore. First discovered in 1822, the sponges grew so large—a meter or more in both height and diameter—that their cup-like structures were sometimes used as tubs for babies. But their size [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Large ocean fish could be gone by 2050, study says

Tuna at the Tsukiji fish market in Japan

Overfishing large predators such as shark, tuna and cod in the past 40 years has left the oceans out of balance, and could result in the disappearance of these fishes by 2050, according to Villy Christensen of the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Center. Christensen made this prediction at a panel, “2050: Will There Be [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Shell Shock: U.S. State Department bans shrimp imports from Mexico to protect endangered turtles

loggerhead turtle in net

No turtle protections, no shrimp. That’s the word from the U.S. Department of State, which ruled on Thursday to ban imports of wild-caught Mexican shrimp if they are collected in ways that threaten endangered sea turtles. The ban does not include aquacultural shrimp or those caught in shallow waters. Section 609 of U.S. Public Law [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Shark fin soup: CITES fails to protect 5 species of sharks from overfishing and finning

NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) this week decided not to create any new international trade restrictions to protect five endangered shark species, all of which are highly prized for their use in the Chinese delicacy known as shark fin soup, or, as I call it, “extinction [...]

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Plugged In

Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

A cluster of tuna off the southern tip of Italy. Photo: Courtesy of the UN FAO

In 2010, people across the globe munched their way through 128 million tons of seafood. That’s according to the latest data coming out of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This hefty supply of fish equals around 41 pounds per person each year, and is taking its toll on the health of the oceans [...]

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