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November 20, 2009

The Scanner

This week in ocean news,

…the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas approved next year’s Atlantic tuna quotas, disappointing conservationists who say that only a complete closure of the fishery will allow the great fish to avoid collapse.

…scientists recommended a lower pollock quota this year in the North Pacific fishery, the largest in the U.S., as the population still struggles to rebound. Spawning levels are at their lowest in 30 years.

…in Japan, scientists photographed a juvenile coelacanth for the first time. Long thought to be extinct, these ancient creatures were rediscovered in the early 20th century and little is known about them.

…the U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transporation Committee passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009, which would require all sharks be landed whole in the U.S. and eliminate loopholes that allowed the transfer of fins at sea in order to get around shark finning laws. The vote brought the Act one major step closer to becoming law.