Weekly Ocean News 17.05.24

May 17, 2024



A new study has confirmed the long-held assumption that orcas take just one breath between dives, and a young sperm whale’s journey across the Mediterranean highlights the many threats facing ocean animals. 

Scientists have discovered bioluminescence is actually pretty common among deep-sea shrimp, with a new study identifying 157 species that are believed to possess the ability to emit light and a rare deep-sea squid has been captured on video flashing its huge attack bioluminescent headlights! 

A new study finds individual sea otters use tools (mostly females) to eat larger prey and reduce tooth damage when their preferred prey becomes depleted. 


UK fishing industry to benefit from cutting-edge technology (Remote Electronic Monitoring and Discard reform) to help manage fish stocks, and NOAA partners with UK Anglers and scientists to learn more about Blue sharks. 

The eighth meeting of the Specialised Committee on Fisheries will take place on 23 May 2024, discussing a range of topics including MPAs, fisheries management plans, fishing opportunities and non-quota stocks – see the full agenda here. A debate was held in Westminster Hall where MPs considered the future of the South West under-10-Metre Fishing Fleet. 

The Norwegian government has announced 30 tonnes of Atlantic bluefin tuna in 2024 will be allocated for live storage research and development. 

Ways to fish in the mesopelagic zone are being explored – a layer of water that stretches from 200-1,000 meters beneath the surface, which has, thus far, remained relatively unexploited! 

Discharges from ships is causing great damage to Baltic Sea 


How to increase the impact of Marine Protected Areas.  Marine protected areas fall short on 2030 biodiversity targets. 


Russia continues to spark fears of an oil grab in British Antarctic territory. 

A new paper discusses the impacts of climate change on the Ascension Island MPA and its ecosystem services. Watch Extreme Fishing with Robson Green: At the Ends of the Earth, where the actor embarks on a journey profiling fishing destinations around the world and begins by visiting Ascension Island in the middle of the Atlantic – the most remote place he has ever fished! 

The last piece of privately owned land in the strategic Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic is up for grabs, a property likely to entice China but which Norway does not intend to let go without a fight. 


Animal welfare advocates are condemning the delay in adding decapod crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters, to the UK Animal Welfare Act, despite the government’s acknowledgment of their sentience in 2022.  

African penguins could disappear in the wild as soon as 2035 as numbers have dropped from over one million breeding pairs in the 1900s to less than 10,000 today – a decline of 95%. Baby skates are also on the verge of extinction in Tasmania.  

A new study identifies priority sites for whale shark ship collision management globally, and hundreds of starving and stranded pelicans turn up along the California coast. However, conservation does work — and there is proof! 

Climate Crisis 

Climate scientists discuss what a 3 °C world would look like – brutal heatwaves and submerged cities. Researchers have found that 2023 was the hottest summer in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 2,000 years and there are steady rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean.  

Coal phase-out is necessary to solve climate change, but what is the price tag of this phase out? 

Experts say coral bleaching has never been so bad, but jellyfish could be one marine creature that benefits from climate change. However, climate change could significantly alter distribution of jellyfish and other gelatinous zooplankton in the Arctic Ocean. 

Experts say UK ‘net zero’ project will produce 20m tonnes of carbon pollution, and Ministers are considering plans to weaken the UK’s carbon-cutting plans by allowing the unused portion of the last carbon budget to be carried over to the next period, which would go against the recommendation from the Climate Change Committee. MPs are told the UK is failing to put climate crisis at centre of national security measures, something that the US and Germany have already done. 

There is more untreated sewage, this time illegally pumped into Windermere. 

A group of activists are fighting for the right to scrutinise Russia’s climate policies, and in particular its enormous methane emissions, in court. Meanwhile, Europe is working at breakneck speed to achieve the 2030 climate goal to cut emissions by 55% and increase the share of renewable energy to as much as 45%.


After INC-4, only one meeting is left to agree a global treaty to limit plastics pollution. With festering disagreements surrounding a cap on plastic production, success is far from assured, but real-world plastic-waste success stories will help to boost the global treaty. 


The search for the perfect wetsuit: is there one that doesn’t harm the planet? 

2024 Science Without Borders® Challenge, an international student art contest that promotes ocean conservation – this year’s theme was ‘Hidden Wonders of the Deep’!  

Britain’s most ambitious seaweed company.  

The Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) secures £1.5 million to continue aquaculture research. 

Could bird flu in cows lead to a human outbreak? 

More news