YOUR WEEKLY BRIEFING FROM PARLEY
Endemic golden jellyfish are returning to a unique lake in the small island nation of Palau, after a drought in 2016 wiped them out. Researchers at the Palau Coral Reef Research Foundation have been carefully monitoring the lake, and were delighted when the population recently showed signs of recovery. The jellyfish migrate every day, forming a mesmerizing underwater swarm as they travel to different parts of the lake throughout the day and night. Parley collaborator Rick Miskiv, who shot the above photo in 2014, explains that “there is a cognitive dissonance when you realize the jellyfish don’t sting at all. As the fear of abates you are immersed in the surreality of the light rays shining on millions of jellyfish migrating to the light. It’s a one-of-a-kind underwater experience.”
(Breaking story) An explosion at a plastics factory in the Dominican Republic has killed at least 6 people and injured over 100, including more than 20 children whose school was across the street. The Polyplas plastic company is located in a residential neighborhood in the capital of Santo Domingo, with three schools and two hospitals nearby. A gas leak is believed to have caused a boiler to explode.
Officials at NOAA say last year was slightly worse than average for the entanglement of large whales. The agency says about 70 percent of the confirmed entanglement cases were attributable to fishing gear, such as traps, nets and fishing line. Entanglement is a major concern for jeopardized species like the North Atlantic right whale, which number only about 440.
When people think of coral reefs, they typically picture warm, clear waters with brightly colored corals and fishes – but other species live in deep, dark, cold waters, often far from shore in remote locations. Researchers are now finding these varieties are just as ecologically important as their shallow water counterparts, and just as vulnerable to human activities like fishing and energy production.
In an effort to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as other illegal maritime activities, two newly-designated areas around the Seychelles are being expanded. In total, these areas are 26 percent of the island nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone, covering approximately 350,000 square kilometres. The zone includes the extremely isolated Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.