The Kouris Dam, which impounds the River Kouris in the Limassol Distric on Cyprus, is now rumoured to house its very own lake monster. Tales about the dam being home to a “strange creature” began to surface three years ago, but these rumours centred mainly on the alleged dumping of a crocodile in the 3.6 km3 large dam. Today, local residents are instead talking about a serpent-like creature; a sort of Cypriot Nessie.
Deteriorating water quality, invasive species and the practise of draining lakes is now bringing the axolotl, a neotenic mole salamander native to central Mexico, to the brink of extinction. According to researchers the species could disappear in just five years and it is currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The sea cucumber, which has been an appreciated traditional food item along the coasts of South East Asia for many generations, is now beginning to show up on dinner tables across the globe. The vast majority of the captured sea cucumbers are however still devoured in South East Asia and countries such as China and Japan are big importers of the delicacy.
I thought I would report on a few good news in the world of marine conservation. First of we are going to look at tuna fishing and the endangered Mediterranean Blue fin Tuna. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) an organization consisting of NGOs and governments surprisingly voted to cut tuna quotas in half (almost) in the Mediterranean as well as instituting a complete fishing ban during the spawning season in May and June when they meet at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona.
Just a small update to inform you all about new articles new available here on AC
This week, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet signed into law a measure that outlaws all whale hunting in the Chilean part of the Pacific Ocean. The law prohibits all types of whale hunting; both commercial and scientific.
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) estimates that 51 percent of all the Bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean during 2007 was illegal and unauthorised.
Lobsters caught in the Northumberland Strait in eastern Canada are normally black, so it is easy to imagine the surprise fisherman Danny Knockwood of the Elsipogtog First Nation must have felt when he suddenly found himself face to face with a yellow and white specimen. Knockwood made the unusual catch while pulling his traps out of the sea near Richibucto Village, where the Richibucto Rivers empties into the northern Atlantic. (includes videos)
Last week, a leaping 9-foot dolphin accidently ended up in an 18-foot boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. As the panicked animal tried to escape from the vessel, it repeatedly hit the two boaters, 64-year-old Norman Howard and his wife Barbara, with its powerful tailfin.
Normally associated with the cooler seas around the poles, Orca whales are now becoming an increasingly common sight off the coast of UK. The Orca whale – also known as Killer whale, Blackfish and Seawolf – is found in all the world’s oceans and in most seas, including the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas. It is however known to prefer the cool waters of the polar regions, which makes this boom in recent sightings around the British Isles quite surprising for marine biologists.
According to a new report from the World Bank, inefficiency, wastefulness and poor management of fishing fleets are causing immense economic losses world wide. The report The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform, which was launched at the World Bank headquarters in New York and discussed at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress in Barcelona, says it would be possible to save 50 billion USD a year through wide-ranging reforms.
For many years, residents living along the Great Kali River at the border between India and Nepal have claimed that a mysterious underwater creature is catching and devouring humans who dare to venture into the river. The rumours have now been investigated by biologist Jeremy Wade, who says the perpetrator might be a Goonch catfish (Bagarius yarrelli).
Reef building corals rely on herbivore animals to continuously remove unwanted algae growth from them, since algae compete with the corals for both sunlight and nutrients. Without regular cleaning, corals eventually die and the reef becomes overgrown by various types of algae. A report scheduled to be published this week in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences now suggests that having herbivore animals present on the reef isn’t enough; there must also be a proper balance between the various species. This conclusion results from a long-term study on coral reef recovery and seaweed carried out by Dr. Mark Hay, the Harry and Linda Teasley Professor of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his co-author Dr. Deron Burkepile who is now Assistant Professor at the Florida International University’s Marine Science Program.
Is the scary looking Atlantic Wolffish, Anarhichas lupus, on the brink of extinction? Today, The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and others filed a scientific petition with the federal government of the United States, seeking endangered species protection for this intimidating eel-like creature. If the petition is successful, the Atlantic Wolffish will be the first marine fish to receive endangered species protection in New England.
A UK-Japan team equipped with remote-operated landers has now managed to film a shoal of Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis fish at a depth of 7.7 km (4.8 mi) in the Japan Trench, where the oceanic Pacific plate subducts beneath the continental Eurasian plate.
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