Weekly Ocean News 24.05.24

May 24, 2024



A new report sheds light on the future impacts of climate change on marine species across the United Kingdom. Migratory freshwater fish populations are experiencing a catastrophic global decline of 80% since 1970. 

Seaweed forests are significant contributors to ocean carbon storage, transporting between 10 to 170 million tons of carbon to deep ocean sinks each year.  

New research shows that harbour porpoises are more vulnerable than once thought. 


The 28th Indian Ocean Tuna Committee (IOTC) meeting took place and despite persistent calls for a 30% reduction in yellowfin tuna catch to allow stock recovery, the IOTC failed to reach an agreement.   

The decision on a critical proposal to completely close 10% of all fishing zones in EU waters, has been postponed until the next Member States Coordination Group (MSCG) meeting in October 2024. African nations to reconsider EU fishing deals. 

Two new bills have been introduced in the US which aim to protect ocean habitats and reduce bycatch due to trawling, and researchers have identified specific sounds that effectively deter orcas from fishing nets, though the same sounds have proven less effective for humpback whales. 

The most extensive migration ever recorded for a silky shark has been documented, revealing insights into the behaviour of this overfished species and emphasizing the urgent need for international management measures to prevent further population declines. 


Lord Benyon has praised the salmon sector’s contribution to the national economy, but he also warned that the industry has more to do if it is to address its critics. Holyrood committee launches a follow-up inquiry to address economic, social and environmental issues related to the salmon farming industry in Scotland. 

Global aquafeed companies are testing krill replacements in the acknowledgement that there are not enough fish in the ocean to feed our growing world and maintain a healthy ocean.    

Marine Protected Areas 

Marine Management Organisation has prioritised six ecologically significant inshore marine protected areas (MPAs) for assessment and management over the next year. 

New study concludes that MPAs which impose and fully enforce bans on fishing and other damaging human activities host nearly twice as many reef-dwelling sharks as those that allow fishing.  

British Overseas Territories 

International ocean tribunal delivers ‘historic legal victory’ for small island nations. 

Nearly 2,000km of fishing line dragged through Sargasso Sea last year! 


A Parliamentary Petition has been launched to save seals by banning the sale of plastic flying ring toys! Sign the petition here. 

A rise in sea urchins causes damage to kelp forests which impact prey of gray whales. 

While most people are driven to despair by the severe blooms of Sargassum (seaweed) that have been dumped on their beaches, new ways of putting it to good use are being explored. 

Rare deep-sea anglerfish washes up on a beach for first time ever. With only a few dozen seen by humans since first discovered, they usually live in darkness up to 3,300ft below sea level! 

Climate Crisis 

Half of the world’s mangrove ecosystems are at risk of collapse by 2050 as a result of climate change, deforestation and pollution. Climate change is also a threat to the UK’s saltmarshes, in addition to coastal erosion and sea-level rise. Climate change is what also made the UK’s waterlogged winter worse, and puts the humpback whale diet at risk. Top oil firms’ climate pledges continue to be failing. The Scottish government is accused of missing deadlines to take action on overfishing, and effects of climate breakdown, but is encouraged to continue growth of renewables. Norway is sued for deep sea mining plans. 


Researchers say many microplastics in the world’s oceans have likely escaped detection! As plastic invades every corner of our world, some species are using plastics as protection, including hermit crabs. Others are mistaking them for food. It turns out plastics in the ocean do more than suffocate turtles, fish and other marine life. New research shows that microplastics may actually reduce the rate at which carbon is taken from the sea surface to the depths. 


Japan’s new whaling mothership sets sail on its first hunt, and five years after the aquarium’s owner pledged to free Bella the beluga whale, she still languishes, alone, in a tiny tank amid shops in one of South Korea’s biggest shopping centres. 

Celebrate World Turtle Day with 15 photos. 

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