Scientists have made a fascinating discovery in the northern Indian Ocean: humpback whales inhabiting the Arabian Sea are the most genetically distinct humpback whales in the world and may be the most isolated whale population on earth. The results suggest they have remained separate from other humpback whale populations for perhaps 70,000 years, extremely unusual in a species famed for long distance migrations.
“Opening Atlantic waters to offshore drilling would take us in exactly the wrong direction,” said Bob Deans, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It would ignore the lessons of the disastrous BP blowout, the need to protect future generations from the dangers of climate change and the promise of a clean-energy future.”
“The BP blowout oiled a thousand miles of coastline, about the distance from Savannah to Boston,” Mr. Deans said. “Opening up part of the Atlantic to drilling could expose the entire Eastern Seaboard to the risks of a catastrophic blowout.”
The number of animals taken into captivity also has fallen, but two months remain in the killing season.
Marian Locksley's insight:
Sept. 1 until the end of 2014, hunters released 85 dolphins back to sea. One explanation, according to Palmer’s blog: “Taiji is having trouble selling dolphin meat, due to Earth Island’s Save Japan Dolphins Campaign and other organizations that are educating Japanese consumers about the dangers of eating mercury-contaminated dolphin meat.”
Sources in Taiji have told Earth Island that the market for dolphin meat continues to decline. “So rather than fill up their freezer units with dolphin meat that cannot be sold,” Palmer wrote, “the dolphin hunters release the animals.”
Given the relatively low numbers and dipping demand for dolphin meat, are the drives perhaps reaching some kind of tipping point where they’re economically no longer practical?
A jellyfish tagging study reveals the creatures' ability to swim against the current when forming their submarine swarms, say researchers.
Marian Locksley's insight:
What is not yet clear is how exactly the jellyfish work out which way to travel.
The scientists think the animals might sense the current across the surface of their bodies. They also speculate that the jellyfish might use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate - an ability seen in some other migrating marine species, including sea turtles.
The ultimate aim of studying and tracking swimming jellyfish is to improve the forecasting of jellyfish blooms, which have increased in frequency over the past decade, disrupting fisheries and stinging swimmers.
Disappointingly, 14 sites have been dropped from a potential of 37 this time around. The future of the spiny seahorse, mantis shrimps and large seagrass meadows are now at risk after Studland, Bembridge, Norris to Ryde, and Yarmouth to Cowes have all been dropped.
We believe that the remaining 23 sites being consulted on must be
Aims to protect the marine environment while supporting industry.
The draft marine plan, published at the end of 2014, covers Scotland's sea areas out to 200 nautical miles and aims to protect and boost areas such as the energy industry, tourism and transport, while meeting the needs of the environment.