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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

Bluefin Tuna, Chinese Cobra and Others Added to Red List of Threatened Species

Bluefit tuna

The latest update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was published Monday and, as you can imagine, it wasn’t good news. The Red List, the global inventory of species, now identifies 22,413 species as threatened with extinction around the world. Some of the most notable of the 310 additions to the Red List [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Chinese Sturgeon Give Up, Stop Breeding in Polluted Yangtze River

chinese sturgeon

When an endangered species stops breeding, you know its days are probably numbered. In China the countdown has apparently begun for the critically endangered Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis). According to a report issued this week by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, only about 100 of the massive fish remain in the heavily polluted and [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Should We Stop Selling Nautilus Shells?

nautilus

Nautilus shells are big business. The U.S. imports more than 100,000 of the iconic mollusk shells every year, according to a recent study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The shells end up online or in stores around the country, where they sell for anywhere from $15 to a few hundred dollars. But [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?

Blue-footed-boobie_featured

One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) have seen a population drop of more than 50 percent over the past two decades. A series of surveys from [...]

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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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Observations

Oceans Likened to World’s Biggest Failed State

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons Overfishing and pollution have pushed life in the high seas to the brink of collapse, according to a new report from the Global Ocean Commission. “The oceans are a failed state,” David Miliband, co-chair of the commission, told Reuters. The commission has implored governments to set a five-year deadline to deal with [...]

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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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