Ocean Roundup: Oceans Get a “D’ for Ocean Health, Beluga Whale Population Faces “Catastrophe,” and More
BY: Brianna Elliott
– The Ocean Health Index’s third annual ocean evaluation gave ocean health a “D,” or 67 out of 100. The researchers cite overfishing, pollution, climate change, and poor ocean protections as factors leading to the score, though they say many people expected the score to be worse.
– Yesterday, California became the first state to outlaw single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. The law, signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, will phase out bags at grocery stores and others like Target as soon as next summer, followed by convenience stores in 2016. The Associated Press
– New research shows that sea monkeys, also known as brine shrimp, may play a big role in ocean currents. In laboratory experiments, researchers led sea monkeys with lasers and showed that they created visual currents—indicating that bigger marine animals may play a bigger role in influencing ocean currents than thought. The Washington Post
– Researchers warn the beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River face “catastrophe” after a challenging calving season that saw several calves die. The researchers warn that this species needs to increase its survival and birth rates to change its fate. CBC
– A new report by the World Wildlife Fund, which analyzed over 3,000 species across 10,000 different populations, found that the world has lost half of its wild animals over the past 40 years. Scientists found that overexploitation, habitat degradation, and pollution are some of the leading causes to this decline across aquatic, marine, and terrestrial animals. The Guardian