WiseOceans Happy Headlines

Monthly Marine News – November 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 – Maldives grants extra protection to whale sharks

In a move welcomed by conservationists, the Maldives has officially granted protection to whale sharks under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Acts!

Reported by on by The Marine Diaries, this move, prompted by the IUCN’s red list ‘alarm’ in 2016, replaces their previous classification under the Fisheries Act. With the backing of cabinet recommendations, this decision goes beyond paperwork—it’s a commitment to addressing conservation challenges and safekeeping the habitats of these gentle giants. 

Headline 2 – UK declares support for moratorium on deep-sea mining

The UK has said publicly for the first time that it will back a moratorium on deep-sea mining, after its previously supportive stance for the controversial practice came under fire from scientists and parliamentarians.

The government announced its support for a temporary suspension of sponsoring or supporting licences for projects to exploit metals from the seabed until enough scientific evidence was available to assess its impact on Monday and this move brings the UK in line with Brazil, France and Germany, which are among more than 20 countries to have called for a pause in deep-sea mining, at least until the environmental effects are better understood.

Headline 3 – Jersey Government proposes new marine spatial plan

In late October 2023, the Government of Jersey released the draft of its first ever Marine Spatial Plan (MSP), outlining increased protection of Jersey’s waters from 6% to 27%.  The JMSP identifies the Island’s key sensitive marine habitats such as kelp, maerl and shallow reefs, and highlights that Jersey needs to expand its protected areas to include these vital ecosystems.

The public consultation is now open until 2 January 2024 and it needs your support. Read more here

Headline 4 – Mysterious Galápagos reefs harbour strawberry squid

The Galápagos Islands are famed as a bizarre menagerie of blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises and seafaring iguanas. But the waters surrounding the archipelago are also brimming with biodiversity, including nearly 3,000 species ranging from pint-size penguins to colossal whale sharks.

And now researchers have discovered yet another trove of life’s diversity in the Galápagos, this one in a dark, frigid world more than 400 meters below the waves. The team used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to map two pristine cold-water coral reefs—one of which is the size of eight football fields—and two submerged volcanoes, or seamounts, in high resolution. These abyssal reefs, which may be thousands of years old, are teeming with sharks, squid and a variety of other creatures. Thanks to Scientific American for this story

Headline 5 – 2023 Ocean Photographer Of The Year winners announced

As seen in The Guardian, the winners and finalists of this year’s contest celebrate the blue planet but they also draw attention to the many environmental challenges to marine life and ecosystems – from a warming climate to human development and tourism. The winning images are on show until May 2024 at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Enjoyed Happy Headlines – November 2023?