YOUR WEEKLY BRIEFING FROM PARLEY
Just a few pieces of plastic can kill sea turtles, according to new research, and young turtles are the most vulnerable. While some individuals have swallowed hundreds of bits of plastic, just 14 pieces significantly increases their risk of death. Worldwide, more than half of all sea turtles from all seven species have consumed plastic debris.
Pacific island nations have welcomed a new weapon in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing: two King Air200 aircraft, fitted with high tech sensor, avionics and communications technologies capable of detecting fishing vessels over a broad range of ocean. One plane will join Kiribati’s patrol boat to conduct joint air/surface surveillance.
Video footage of a rare fish in water almost twice the depth it is thought to inhabit has raised questions about how marine life is responding to climate change – and just how little we really know about the deep ocean. Marine biologists from the University of Wollongong recorded the eastern blue devil fish (Paraplesiops bleekeri) using a baited remote underwater video station.
THE HIGH SEAS
The main business of the first UN High Seas treaty meeting concluded this week with applause and a palpable sense of optimism in the room. Discussions included sharing marine resources, new ways of governing protected areas and sustainable use of the ocean – paving the way for future negotiations next spring that could eventually protect 2/3rds of the ocean.
Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains – challenging the dominance of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology. The trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.
Warming oceans are modifying the composition of coral reefs, according to a new study. Corals devastated by climate change are being replaced naturally by other species such as gorgonians, which are less efficient acting as carbon sinks. The study has analyzed for the first time why gorgonians are more resistant than corals to human impacts and global climate change.