Category Archives: Ecosystem Destruction

Apathy towards poachers widespread in world’s marine protected areas

Bags of turtle eggs on the beach, ready for sale; Costa Rica. Photo source: ©© Brandon Schabes


A new study has found that nearly half of fishers from seven countries had witnessed someone poaching in marine protected areas in the past year and most of them did nothing about it…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (08-15-2018)

Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care (07-29-2011)

Should Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time

“Epupa Falls” is an image courtesy of © Mark Madison. All rights reserved.


Inspired by indigenous views of nature, a movement to grant a form of legal “personhood” to rivers is gaining some ground — a key step, advocates say, in reversing centuries of damage inflicted upon the world’s waterways…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (08-14-2018)

Whanganui River the first in the world to be given legal status as a person; NZ Herald (03-15-2017)
New Zealand’s Whanganui River now has the legal status of a person under a unique Treaty settlement passed into law. It’s believed to be a world first…

Ganges and Yamuna rivers granted same legal rights as human beings; Guardian UK (03-21-2017)
A court in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand ordered on Monday that the Ganges and its main tributary, the Yamuna, be accorded the status of living human entities…

France to Soon Enact the Principle of Ecological Prejudice; Le Figaro (02-28-2015)
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, presented, a bill proposing to include the notion of ecological prejudice in the Civil Code, and to make reparation a legal obligation.
The bill was adopted June 21st, 2016, and the notion of ecological prejudice is now included in the french Civil Code.

Off the African Coast, a Struggle to Revive a Battered Fishery

Lagoon, Indian Ocean. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


In their documentary film, “Vey Nou Lagoon” — the third-place winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest — videographer Vanina Harel and conservationist Zara Currimjee tell the story of the fishermen, scientists, and government officials who are battling to turn around the situation on Mauritius.

Focusing on several of Mauritius’ fishermen, the film describes how the creation of marine protected areas and the introduction of stricter fishing regulations have begun to have a positive impact…

Read Full Article; Yale E360 (08-09-2018)

Red tide is devastating Florida’s sea life. Are humans to blame?

Photo source: ©© Pmjohnso


Thousands of sea creatures now litter many of southern Florida’s typically picturesque beaches.

“Anything that can leave has, and anything that couldn’t leave has died.”…

Read Full Article, National Geographic (08-08-2018)

Worst “red tide” toxic algae bloom in years killing turtles, manatees in Florida; CBS News (08-02-2018)

What is a red tide? MNN (08-02-2018)

Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise. Huffington Green (07-07-2016)

Why the endangered green sea turtle is losing its male population

turtles saf
Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The struggle to save the already endangered green sea turtle faces a new challenge. Now, the males of the species seem to be disappearing.

It’s not genetics that determine a sea turtle’s sex, it’s the temperature of the sand. The tipping point is roughly 85 degrees for a species that’s predominantly female…

Read Full Article, CBS News (08-07-2018)

Rising temperatures turning major sea turtle population female; Science Daily (01-11-2018)
Scientists have used a new research approach to show that warming temperatures are turning one of the world’s largest sea turtle colonies almost entirely female, running the risk that the colony cannot sustain itself in coming decades, newly published research concludes…

For Marine Life, New Threats from a Fast-Tracked Canadian Pipeline

Photo source: ©© Vijay Somalinga


A new Canadian government-backed pipeline that will triple the amount of thick Alberta tar sands oil flowing to a British Columbia port poses significant risks for a threatened population of killer whales and other coastal marine life…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (08-02-2018)

A mourning orca mother carried her dead baby for days through the ocean, CNN (07-27-2018)
A grieving mother orca near Vancouver Island has been carrying her dead calf for four days, after refusing to leave her baby behind when the rest of her pod left. The sad display speaks to something deeper. Killer whales eat salmon, and a number of human practices, such as damming rivers, have taken a toll on native salmon populations…

Troubled Waters

“Fausse-pêche.” Discarded fishes from unwanted catch, on Atlantic shores. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
The EU has banned discarding caught fish in February 2013. The ban has been phased in gradually, beginning with the North Sea in 2014. By 2019 it will cover all the EU’s fisheries, with some exceptions. Regulatory tools such a seasonal or area closures can help but, alas, cannot completely eliminate the discard problem. Once a fish is caught, it is almost certainly going to die either because it is out of the water or because it was injured in the process… Captions: OECD Observer


UCSB scientists find that wealthy nations are responsible for almost all of trackable industrial fishing across the global oceans.

Furthermore, vessels registered to wealthy countries were found to be responsible for 78 percent of trackable industrial fishing in the domestic waters of less-wealthy countries, a practice employed when the wealthy countries’ demand for fish exceeds its domestic supply or these wealthy nations otherwise wish to seek out new supplies of fish.

China, Taiwan and Japan top the list of a very small number of wealthy countries whose industrial fishing dominates the high seas, with China and Taiwan together responsible for a little more than half of all the trackable industrial fishing in the shared waters. Meanwhile, China, Taiwan and South Korea were also found to be the top three industrial fishing countries fishing in the domestic waters of less-wealthy nations; their vessels were detected in 45 percent of all non-landlocked nations’ waters…

Read Full Article, UCSB Current (08-01-2018)

Original Study: “Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing”; Science Mag (08-01-2018)

Large-scale commercial fishing covers more than half of the oceans, study finds; CBS News (02-23-2018)

Official fish trade ‘hugely underestimates’ global catches; Science Daily (10-09-2017)
Conservation of dwindling fish stocks is being severely hampered by poor controls on global trade, according to new research…

Overfishing is as big a threat to humanity as it is to our oceans; Guardian UK (02-16-2016)

As global per-capita fish consumption hits all-time high, UN warns on over harvesting; UN (07-07-2016)
A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that while growth in aquaculture has helped drive global per capita fish consumption above 20 kilograms a year for the first time, almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now overharvested at biologically unsustainable levels…

Chinese Foreign Fisheries Catch 12 Times More Than Reported, Study Shows; Science Daily (04-03-2013)

Nearly Half of U.S. Seafood Supply is Wasted, Study Shows, Science Daily (09-25-2015)
As much as 47 percent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research suggests…

Food Chain Collapse Predicted in World’s Oceans; Discovery News (10-12-2015)

The World’s Tuna and Mackerel Populations Are in a “Catastrophic” Decline, Quartz (09-17-2015)

EU proposes total commercial fishing ban on Atlantic sea bass; Guardian UK (10-27-2016)

African Fisheries Plundered by Foreign Fleets; IPS News (07-02-2016)

Worst “red tide” toxic algae bloom in years killing turtles, manatees in Florida

Red tide, blue glow. Photo source: ©© Dcissteve


Thousands of fish, eels and turtles are dying, sometimes as far as the eye can see, in parts of southwest Florida. Just this week, one of several lifeless manatees was pulled from the water. The suspected culprit is a toxic algae bloom known as “red tide…”

Read Full Article, CBS News (08-02-2018)

What is a red tide? MNN (08-02-2018)

Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise. Huffington Green (07-07-2016)

Wave of Toxic Green Beaches, France; By Sharlene Pilkey (10-2009)
With beaches and coastlines all over the world already under attack from sea level rise, pollution, mining, driving, seawall construction and human development encroachment, another menace is mounting an assault…

Green And Golden Seaweed Tides On The Rise, By Victor Smetacek & Adriana Zinging (08-2014)
Green, brown and red seaweeds lying on the beach are part and parcel of life in many coastal regions. The amount of beached seaweed biomass started to increase along the shores of industrialized countries in the 1970s, and by the 1990s had become a nuisance along many beaches when mass-stranding events of macroalgae became known as green tides…

Toxic Algae Blooming in Warm Water from California to Alaska, (08-05-2015)
A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago…