Weekly Ocean News 31.05.24

May 31, 2024



Belugas make funny facial expressions, see the gallery showing what they mean!  

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how zebrafish change the colour of their stripes, and how the behaviour of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish threatens reefs. 

Seaweed carried to the deep-sea stores more carbon than we thought, and coral reefs still have a chance of recovery from bleaching events. A new study in Scotland supports the use of eDNA to assess biodiversity. 



Cambodia’s declining fish stocks leaves small-scale fishers losing out to trawlers. Researchers have shown links between trawls and climate change in the North Sea.  

Concerns continue around cetacean bycatch in France and the sustainability of North Atlantic blue whiting stocks. Back in the English Channel, there are new recommended measures for sprat fishing. 

Research has found that the Norwegian fishing industry buys inexpensive Russian cod and sells it to the EU without paying any duties, despite Norway’s sanctions against Russian vessels. Meanwhile, Tesco plans to remove Russian fish from shelves. 


Marine Protected Areas 

The list continues: 62% of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) designated to protect rare migratory fish species are outside of their core habitats.  


British Overseas Territories 

Russia’s oil exploration in British Antarctic Territory is threatening science diplomacy. 



One of the rarest whales was sighted off the California coast this week, only 30 individuals are thought to be alive today.  

Canada is funding an AI tool to protect whales from ship strikes by detecting them 25 times faster than the human eye can, and Scottish fishers are trialling innovative fishing gear to prevent whale entanglement in ropes, which could reduce Minke whale entanglements by 80%. Minke whales’ social flexibility has been captured through camera tags 

Climate Crisis 

Climate change influenced the additional 26 days of extreme heat the world experienced in the last year. Temperatures in India’s capital reach the highest they have ever been, and the Maldives faces increasing threats from a climate crisis it did little to create. 

What a surprise: The oil and gas industry has been lying about global warming for decades.

Wind and solar power have been found to have higher energy returns than fossil fuels. 

The market for carbon offsets shrank by 61% in the last year due to many offsetting schemes proving ineffective at mitigating biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.

NASA has launched a satellite to improve climate change predictions by measuring heat escaping from Earth’s poles, information we have never had before.



A team of UK researchers have received funding to find better ways to vaccinate ballan wrasse against bacterial infections, in the hope of them being cleaner fish to control sea lice on salmon farms. Anglers in Norway are being offered £52 per salmon for catching some of the 8,000 escapees, and more than 46,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Icelandic government to outlaw open net-pen salmon farming in the country’s fjords. 



Plastics with bright colours degrade and form microplastics faster than those with planer colours. 
Alaska fisherman pleads guilty to federal charges and faces prison after ordering his crew to shoot a whale. 

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