Happy Headlines October 2023

Monthly Marine News – October 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 – Global Declaration for River Dolphins will help safeguard species

Since the 1980s, river dolphin populations have plummeted by 73% due to a barrage of threats, including unsustainable fishing practices, hydropower dams, pollution from agriculture, industry and mining, and habitat loss. All species are either Critically Endangered or Endangered. A 7th species – the Chinese river dolphin – was declared ‘probably extinct’ in 2007.

However, October brought positive news, as 11 Asian and South American countries today adopted a landmark deal in Bogotá to save the world’s six surviving species of river dolphins from extinction. This historic declaration not only paves a way for the recovery of river dolphin populations worldwide, but also a chance to enhance the health of the rivers in which they reside. 

Headline 2 – A new fish species has been discovered on the Great Barrier Reef

Despite the substantial threats faced by coral reefs and the species that rely on them for survival, such as fish, a new species has just been discovered!

The team from Leaf to Reef: Biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island discovered the “Lady Elliot Shrimpgoby” (Tomiyamichthyes elliotensis) as part of a University of the Sunshine Coast-led project that is mapping the changing biodiversity on and around Lady Elliot Island, a tiny coral cay on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Lady Elliot Shrimpgoby

© Mark Erdmann and Leaf to Reef: Biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island

Headline 3 – Soham Bhattacharyya named mangrove photographer of the year

As reported by The Guardian, winners and runners-up in the mangrove photography awards run by the Mangrove Action Project have been revealed. 

The winning image was ‘The Finest Flower of the Mangroves’ and it was submitted by Soham Bhattacharyya. See all the images here.

Headline 4 – Redonda island is transformed into a wildlife haven

Following the successful eco-restoration of Redonda in which dedicated Antiguans and Barbudans led the transformation of a barren rock to a lush wildlife haven in just a few years, this special Caribbean island has just celebrated another astonishing achievement! 

The mile-long spot has been officially designated a protected area by the country’s government, ensuring its status as a pivotal nesting site for migrating birds and a home for species found nowhere else on Earth is preserved for posterity.

Headline 5 – The International Coral Reef Initiative launches the Coral Reef Breakthrough

As seen in Oceanographic, The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a network including 45 countries who represent over 75% of the world’s coral reefs, has launched the Coral Reef Breakthrough

The Coral Reef Breakthrough is grounded on science-based, measurable, and achievable goals for state and non-state actors to collectively conserve, protect, and restore coral reefs at the scale that is needed to secure the future of these vital ecosystems and their critical contributions to humanity. Read more here.

“Coral reefs are more than just beautiful; they are our lifelines. They are essential to the security and resilience of many nations, especially those in low-lying island states. These are nations staring down the barrel of climate change. The Coral Reef Breakthrough is an initiative for the world, for the hundreds of millions who depend on these coastal communities”

H.E Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28

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