Monthly Marine News – June 2024

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 – Sei Whales Reappear in Argentine Waters

After nearly a century of being hunted to near extinction, it is reported sei whale populations are bouncing back and returning to their former habitats. 

Sei whales are the third largest species of whale, after blue and fin, and are one of the most poorly understood of all baleen whales. Though adaptable, and found in all oceans, they are an Endangered species, and their comeback has been somewhat attributed to the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. 

Headline 2 – 81 Marine Species Identified Along the Sussex Coastline

Following the implementation of the Nearshore Trawling by-law in 2021, scientists have been monitoring underwater habitats and identifying species that live along the Sussex Bay, UK. From these studies, it has been revealed that 81 different species, from the critically endangered European eel, to spotted rays, and cat sharks are residing in the area. Read more here

Headline 3 – Blue Whales Sighted in Seychelles for the First Time in Decades

Marine Biologists have described the presence of over a dozen blue whales in the archipelagic nation of Seychelles as a “phenomenal finding” as it is the first time that the species has been spotted in these seas since 1966! 

Studies into the whale populations of Seychelles began in 2020 and identified 23 whale species using hydroponic mics. 

Headline 4 – Scientists have Potentially Discovered the First Known Smooth Hammerhead Shark Nursery

It has been reported that scientists may have discovered the first known smooth hammerhead shark nursery in the Galápagos. 

This comes after researchers were able to observe several young pups in a small bay, leading them to believe that they have found a breeding ground. In addition, they were also able to tag an individual – which is also a first for this species! 

Headline 5 – Fungus that can Break Down Plastic Polyethylene Discovered

A new study has found that a fungus living in the sea can break down the plastic polyethylene, provided it has first been exposed to UV radiation from sunlight. 

Finding plastic-degrading organisms could be a vital solution for the crisis poses by plastic pollution. Every year, humans produce more than 400 billion kilograms of plastic, and this is expected to have at least triple by the year 2060. 

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