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Marine Life & Conservation

MCS joins willdife groups calling for ban on propellers that cause fatal ‘corkscrew’ injuries

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The Marine Conservation Society Scotland Programme Manager, Calum Duncan, says the Scottish Government must be more pro-active in trying to prevent fatal injuries to seals and porpoises where the animals bodies are sliced up ‘corkscrew’ style.

MCS, along wtih 13 other wildlife groups including the Whale and Dolphin Conservation and the Wildlife Trusts, have urged ministers at Westminster and at Holyrood to put immediate restrictions on propellers in areas where harbour seals live.

“Further research is supported and welcome, but if the Scottish Government is not more pro-active at seeking to prevent these specific types of injury to seals from declining populations, they risk failing their commitments under the EU Habitats Directive. Along with other organisations, we are therefore recommending the restriction of use of all propellers, other than those known not to cause the relevant injuries, in areas where those injuries have been recorded at the most significant levels,” said Calum.

In a letter the groups said they strongly urged the UK and Scottish Governments to act on the best available evidence which is that certain kinds of ducted propellers kill and injure marine mammals.

The group said they wanted to see a restrcition on the use of all ducted propellers, other than those known not to cause the relevant injuries in areas where injuries have been recorded at the most significant levels and where seal populations appear to be worst affected by these injuries, and especially in the vicinity of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary SAC, with immediate effect.

The wildlife groups also urged an introduction of policies to limit the use of all ducted propellers, other than those known not to cause the relevant injuries to marine mammals, providing explicit guidance for all vessel skippers, with the aim of minimising ducted propeller use (where an anchor could be used instead, for example) in the vicinity of SACs.

For more information, visit www.mcsuk.org

Marine Life & Conservation

The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back

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The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative, The Great Shark Snapshot. It invites divers and snorkellers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see. This year it takes place between the 20th and 28th July.

The event is back for its 3rd year, and it is happening in “Shark Month”, more commonly known as July! To coincide with a series of events that celebrate all things shark and ray.

Divers, their clubs, dive centres, charter boats and liveaboards are all encouraged to show their support by organising dives and events through the week. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live in our ocean.

Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur

Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Manager at the Shark Trust said “It is great to see this popular citizen science event back for its 3rd year. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on a trip of a lifetime, we want divers to join in on the Great Shark Snapshot in July. I cannot wait to hear from the divers and dive organisations about the species of sharks and rays that they see. And where in the world they see them.”

It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 20th and 28th July and record every shark, ray and skate that you and your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.

The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?

Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot

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The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

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