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September 14, 2007

This Week in Ocean News …

….the U.S. Geological Survey announced that the polar bear population could plummet to one-third of its current level by mid-century because Arctic ice is receding faster than predicted….

…a new 350-foot superferry designed to go 40 mph between Hawaiian islands concerned scientists, who thought it would collide with whales and dolphins despite new cetacean-avoiding technology…

……new DNA studies suggested that the historic population levels of Pacific gray whales far exceeded the 22,000 estimated, with researchers putting the number closer to 100,000….

..a six-week survey of the Yangtze River failed to turn up a single baiji, one of few dolphins species to adapt to a freshwater habitat. A survey in the 1990s turned up 13 of the dolphins…..

….an Alaskan man taped himself provoking a monk seal and her pup while vacationing in Hawaii. After he posted the video to MySpace, the man found himself under federal investigation and could receive a $25,000 fine….

………..a lake in Alaska boiled violently with methane…..

….fishermen in Maine reported seeing more herring after a trawler ban went into effect….

……Arctic ice cover was at an all-time record low, an “exclamation point,” said one scientist….

….elevated levels of PCBs in the blubber of whales and seals led Inuit women to give birth to twice as many girls as boys…….

……five men were arrested for smuggling endangered animal hides across the U.S.-Mexico boarder. Investigators say the men smuggled about 700 tanned sea turtle, caiman and python hides….

…the governor of a Chinese province agreed to remove whale shark from menus at the behest of the Australian government….

….model Naomi Campbell and her ex-boyfriend planned to open a five-star hotel on an Indian beach, despite its status as a nesting sea turtle sanctuary. “The lights would confuse the turtles and send them heading off in the wrong direction,” said a conservationist….

…members of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum agreed to a non-binding initiative that the world needed to “slow, stop, then reverse” global warming….

….India sought to become “a world leader” in offshore caged fishing in the next ten years…..

……and Japanese researchers succeeded in getting salmon to give birth to baby trout in a lab. The ultimate goal is get mackerel to birth baby bluefin tuna, a favorite for sushi.