Ocean News: Threatened MPAs, Whales Wake Up To Alarms, Chinese Like Canadian Seals!

By January 25, 2012 Ocean News
Ocean Conservation At Risk from Sunken Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship Threatens Italian MPA

Our first story is actually our Douchebag of the day who iiiiiiiiiiiiiiissss: Francesco Schettino, Captain of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which managed to run aground near the shores of the island of Giglio, Italy.

Ocean Conservation At Risk from Sunken Cruise Ship

A large Cruise Ship ran aground last week due to a Douchebag of a Captain causing damage to a local Marine Protected Area.

The cruise ship ran aground last week after the Captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, took it off course to wave hello to a friend who was offshore (Really?). The captain was drunk, of course, and when he found out he ran aground, he is said to have jumped ship into a life boat to head to safety while the rest of his crew and passengers were panicking to get to their lifeboats. The coast guard tried to convince the captain to get back on board the ship to due his captain-like duties, but he refused resulting in 16 people dying during the incident and 12 more are still missing.

Now, the ship is half in the water lying on top of precious ocean species and habitats waiting to sink. Authorities are worried about the 2,400 tons of oil on board the ship that could leak into the sea at any moment causing even more damage.

The area of the crash is also part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, a marine protected area that is kept so clean that people are not allowed to swim there. The park is home to pristine coral reefs, seagrasses, fish, dolphins, and some times the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

The cruise ship had no business being in the area for 2 reasons: 1) it was a marine park; and, 2) the depth was obviously too shallow for the ship to be in the area.

In my opinion, the Captain and the Company (The parent Company is Carnival Cruise Lines) should be heavily fined and ordered to fund the restoration efforts needed to try to piece the damaged area back together…and God help us if there is an oil leak!

Whales Warned of Shark Nets By Pingers

Whale Pingers Warn Whales to Stay Away from Shark NetsOur Second Story takes place in Queensland, Australia where government officials are happy to say that pingers installed on nets designed to keep sharks out of popular coastal swimming areas are working to keep whales from approaching the nets and getting entangled. The pingers were installed after 2009 as the government determined 27 whales were entangled within the nets between 2000 to 2009. Over the past two years, only 2 whales were entangled and both were released without any harm.

It’s great to see the Australian government is working to reduce the number of whales affected by the shark nets; however, the report did not say how many shark species are entangled in the nets as well as their fate? Something to think about…

Our last story takes us to China…I chose to share this story because the world tends to piss on China a lot especially for their environmental awareness. But this story shows that some people in China are looking out for the Ocean.

A group of Chinese Animal Rights activists attended the Beijing International Fur and Leather Product Expo to protest against the Canadian Seal Fur Trade. Russia recently announced a ban on the trade of Harp Seal Fur.

Last year, the Canadian Government sent a huge delegation to the expo to represent the fur trade, but was met from representatives for 15 different Chinese provinces to let them know that China does not want any seals furs in their country.

So it just goes to show that education is working to help people understand the issues facing the Ocean and that people from all over the world are doing their part.

But before we go I want to leave you with the question of the day:

Are the shark nets off the coast of Australia harmful to sharks?

Add your answer to the comments below to let others know what you think. It’s time that we SPEAK UP and let the world know what we think!

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