Scientists Provide First Large-Scale Estimate of Reef Shark Losses in the Pacific Ocean: In a study published online on April 27th 2012, in the journal Conservation Biology, an international team of marine scientists provide the first estimates of reef shark losses in the Pacific Ocean. They report that many shark populations have plummeted in the past three decades as a result of excessive harvesting — for their fins, as an incidental catch of fisheries targeting other species, and in recreational fisheries. This is particularly true for oceanic species. However, until now, a lack of data prevented scientists from properly quantifying the status of Pacific reef sharks at a large geographic scale.
They estimate that reef shark numbers have dropped substantially around populated islands, generally by more than 90 percent compared to those at the most untouched reefs. According to the scientists, the pattern — of very low reef shark numbers near inhabited islands — was remarkably consistent, irrespective of ocean conditions or region. News of this article was sourced from ScienceDaily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120427100109.htm
Read the full article: NADON, M. O., BAUM, J. K., WILLIAMS, I. D., MCPHERSON, J. M., ZGLICZYNSKI, B. J., RICHARDS, B. L., SCHROEDER, R. E. and BRAINARD, R. E. (2012), Re-Creating Missing Population Baselines for Pacific Reef Sharks. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01835.x
IPBES: New Intergovernmental Body to Focus on Sustainable Management of World’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems: IPBES was established by more than 90 Governments in Panama City on Saturday 21 April, after several years of international negotiations. “Today, biodiversity won”, said the chair of the meeting, Sir Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom. “Biodiversity and ecosystem services are essential for human wellbeing. This platform will generate the knowledge and build the capacity to protect them for this and future generations.” The German city of Bonn won the bid to host the secretariat of the new independent body.
IPBES aims to tackle head-on the accelerating worldwide loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem service by bridging the gap between accurate, impartial and up to date science and policy-makers.
More details on the IPBES website: http://www.ipbes.net/
2 species of Alaska ice seals face endangered listing: As many as six species of ice seals could be joining the endangered species list this summer, following final review and decisions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Of the four species of ringed seals and two distinct population segments of bearded seals, only two of them appear in U.S. or Alaska waters. Those two are the Arctic ringed seal and the Beringia DPS bearded seal.
For more details– http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/2-species-alaska-ice-seals-face-endangered-listing
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