Articles on Marine conservation

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Right on cue with gaping jaw and rows of teeth. Loren Javier

It’s silly season, but there is a real shark threat to fear

Each summer, for several years in a row, a tabloid would send me a picture of a shark fin photographed off Cornwall and ask if it was a Great White. “No,” I would patiently explain, “it is a harmless basking…
Can British shores really attract more people than the Great Barrier Reef? USFWS Pacific

Cash from conservation zones doesn’t add up

What has nature ever done for us? This is what leading environmentalist Tony Juniper asks in his latest book. He wants us to account for the “ecosystem services” that nature freely provides in order to…
Calling something protected isn’t enough to protect it. AAP Image/Australian Institute for Marine Science

Governments are not protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Announcements last week of the escalating damage to the Great Barrier Reef confirm Australia’s most famous and intensely managed Marine Protected Area has not been properly protected. UNESCO’s recent review…
Russia has turned its back on marine protected areas in Antarctica. Where to now? Flickr/US Embassy New Zealand

Antarctic marine reserves: how many ways can you say “Nyet”?

Russia blocked the approval of new marine protected areas in the Antarctic this week, demanding more scientific information and a definition of marine protected areas. The surprise move postpones a joint…
Each Spotted Handfish has its own unique spot pattern. Tess Moriarty

Australian endangered species: Spotted Handfish

The Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) is a small fish that lives on the sea bed in the cool, sheltered waters of south-east Tasmania. It has modified pelvic fins that look like “hands”, hence…
Chagos: more marine life than practically anywhere else, and Captain Bird’s Eye is getting his hands on none of it. Anne Sheppard/Chagos Trust

The Chagos Islands are unique and worth protecting

The Chagos Islands marine protected area is the largest of its kind in the world, encircling the dozens of tiny islands of the Chagos archipelago that lie in thousands of miles of Indian Ocean between…
On thin ice? Alan D. Wilson/naturespicsonline.com

All eyes turn to the prize as the Arctic opens for business

Foundation essay: This article on the future of the Arctic by Tavis Potts, Senior Lecturer in Oceans Governance at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, is part of a series marking the launch of…
The danger to marine life from ghost nets is symptomatic of the threat to Australia’s northern marine environment from illegal practise and overfishing. AAP Image/Department of Heritage and Government

Australia’s northern waters: killer nets and flawed funding

Are we spending money on the wrong marine resources? While some $A100 million is being thrown at a new network of marine protected areas – a doubtful investment according to some commentators - the fabulous…

Environmental factors affect sharks’ dive

The diving behaviour of sharks has been shown to be affected by the moon, water temperature and time of day. Research on…
Rubbish in the ocean - marine debris - is a terrible threat to wildlife. Discarded fishing nets are among the worst. AAP Image/Department of the Environment and Heritage/Melbourne Zoo

Ghostnets fish on: marine rubbish threatens northern Australian turtles

Each year around 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost or thrown overboard by the fisheries around the world. These “ghostnets” drift through the oceans and can continue fishing for many years. They kill…
Shark fins are a delicacy in Asia, which can sometimes lead to unsustainable fishing practices. mario ruckh/Flickr

Shark protection developments have no bite

Whether it’s from fishing and by-catch, finning or even culling, global shark populations are under a growing threat from human activity. But how successful is international law at protecting some of the…
Environment Minister Tony Burke says he can’t stop the super trawler, but will place conditions on it to help protect listed species. AAP

Super trawler protection conditions not tough enough, experts say

The super trawler Margiris is an environmental “experiment” and the conditions placed on it by the government don’t go far…
Networks of nature: a potato cod with striped cleaner wrasse at Osprey Reef, an area in the expanded marine reservations announced today. Flickr/richard ling

Big splash: welcome back to top-shelf marine conservation

Today’s announcement of a national network of marine parks is really a memorable day for Australian nature conservation. The political rhetoric and self-congratulation associated with major events is often…

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