Happy Headlines - July 2023

Monthly Marine Happy Headlines – July 2023

Welcome to our newest feature, Monthly Marine Happy Headlines!

Each month, we spotlight several marvellous marine discoveries, spreading ocean joy around the globe. From conservation success stories to empowering community action, the discovery of new species, and ground-breaking research articles,  join us for some ocean joy!

Headline 1 – European Parliament backs the Nature Restoration Law

As seen in The Guardian, the EU has passed a key law to protect nature, the Nature Restoration Law. 

Despite being a core component of the Commission president’s European Green Deal – this key law only just passed, following months of debates. Though, campaigners were successful in ‘watering it down’. 

The law will place recovery measures on 20% of the EU’s land and sea by 2030, rising to cover all degraded ecosystems by 2050. 

According to a landmark scientific assessment in 2019, nature is dying faster than humans have ever known – with thanks to climate change, pollution and overexploitation. This law aims to reverse the trend and to help hit biodiversity targets that have previously failed. 

Headline 2 – The Shark Fins Act was adopted into UK Law

Excellent news for UK shark enthusiasts as the Shark Trust recently reported that The Shark Fins Act passes into UK law

This act will reinforce existing shark finning regulation through the broad application of global best practice. And whilst it is not an all-out ban on shark fin consumption and trade, it does prohibit the important and export of detached shark fins, whether loose or in products. It creates a more challenging environment for traders, and is welcomed by marine conservationists. 

Happy Headlines - Blue Shark
Blue Shark, Cornwall UK

Headline 3 – 16 UK Councils declare a ‘Motion for the Ocean’

An initiative created by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a ‘Motion for the Ocean’ is a model ‘Ocean Recovery Declaration’ that seeks to help all local governments recognise that the world’s ocean is a fundamental part of climate regulation. Regardless of where you live, every person needs the ocean to be healthy. 

So far, 16 councils in the UK have declared an urgent need for ocean recovery, including Plymouth, North Devon, Monmouthshire, Blackpool, and Canterbury. A full list, and further information, can be found here.

Headline 4 – Costa Rica announce the launch of a National Blue Carbon Strategy

‘Blue carbon’ is a carbon that is naturally captured carbon by coastal wetlands and marine ecosystems e.g., mangrove forests. These ecosystems also provide key habitats for numerous species, and protect areas against the impacts of storms. As such, they are excellent nature-based solutions to climate change.

Costa Rica’s wetlands, which are larger than Luxembourg, could be a crucial source of climate, ecosystem, and biodiversity benefits, however, like wetlands worldwide, have often been undervalued. This new National Blue Carbon Strategy will build upon existing national and international regulatory frameworks that promote wetland conservation, coastal and marine governance, and climate change mitigation. However, it provides a mechanism to implement previously made commitments, including protection 100% of the country’s coastal wetlands. 

Costa Rica is one of three countries, along with Belize and Seychelles, with which the protecting coastal wetlands and coral reefs project of The Pew Charitable Trusts originally worked to incorporate ambitious coastal wetland protections into their NDCs. You can read more about the initiative here

Headline 5 – Australia’s humpback populations rebound

Reported recently by Deltaplex Media, the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans (ORRCA) have reordered a 57% annual increase in humpback whales. This marks an incredible recovery for Australia’s humpbacks, whose populations mysteriously crashed in 1961 and were subsequently considered an endangered species (1973). 

Enjoyed Happy Headlines – July 2023?