Protection of species

The Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River.

Commercial fishing banned in Yangtze River for 10 years

The Chinese government has imposed a 10-year commercial fishing ban in the Yangtze River to combat "across-the-board" declines in the populations of rare species like the Chinese sturgeon.

As it came into effect on 1 January 2020, it is hoped that the ban will tackle the problems of dwindling fish stocks and declining biodiversity in the 6,300m river. It will be applied at 332 conservation sites along the river and be extended to cover the main river course and key tributaries by 1 January 2021.

1856 Advertisement depicting a whale hunt.

Japan to resume whale hunt

Japans announcement that it is withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission and will resume commercial whale hunting next year, have sparked swift condemnation from other governments and conservation groups. For many years Japan has hunted whales for what it calls "scientific research" and to sell the meat, a programme widely criticised by conservationists.

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk
Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk

Chinese demand for shark fins has plummeted

Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins while the remainder of the living shark is discarded in the ocean.

NBA All-Star Yao Ming pledged to stop eating shark fin soup at a news conference on August 2, 2006. However at that time Yao's comments were largely unreported in the Chinese media.

Gatherings of the Gentle Giants

Underwater photographer Peter Verhoog of the Dutch Shark Society is on a mission—a mission to save sharks. He wants to raise awareness for sharks and their fate among a wide audience. One of the ways to do this is to show people not only the beauty of sharks but also shark behaviour and their sometimes worldwide migration and feeding patterns.

The false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean, and the third largest member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae)
The false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean, and the third largest member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae)

False Killer Whales to recieve protection

False killer whales in the “Hawaiʻi Insular Stock” (animals found within 76 nautical miles of the main Hawaiian Islands) are being killed in Hawaiʻi-based longlines at nearly twice the sustainable rate, contributing to a 9 per cent decline in the population each year since 1989.

Currently, the Hawaii stock is estimated at 270 whales and the Northern Gulf of Mexico stock at 1040 whales.

Giant Mantas of Equador

There is a recently developed term making its way into common use amongst the wider dive community, and that term is, citizen scientist. The science community is waking up to the fact that the common man and woman are valuable resources for acquiring many missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is marine research, particularly for migratory species

The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) can be found in scattered subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia
The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) can be found in scattered subpopulations near sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia

Rare dolphin found in the jungle

“This discovery gives us great hope that there is a future for Irrawaddy dolphins,” said WCS researcher Brian D. Smith, who led the study. “Bangladesh clearly serves as an important sanctuary for Irrawaddy dolphins, and conservation in this region should be a top priority.”

The scientists counted nearly 6,000 of the dolphins in the South Asian country’s Sundarbans mangrove forest and the adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal.