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Last week, Panama became the latest country to formally agree to make its national vessel tracking data publicly available through the Global Fishing Watch (GFW) map platform, joining Chile, Peru (whose vessel data is seen above), and Indonesia, which have already agreed to do this. Panama thereby commits to greater transparency in fishing activities and to promote sustainability. Panama’s fleet is made up of 275 fishing and carrier vessels. This is significant because Panama, thanks to its location and its canal, is a major “flag” state for carrier vessels, which are used to receive catch at sea and transport to port. Publishing vessel tracking data to the GFW platform will aid Panama’s monitoring and control efforts, including combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Panama has a history of fisheries conservation — it was the first country in central America to ban commercial long-lining, a particularly destructive type of fishing, in its waters in 2011. To this, we say, Olé! More countries, like the U.S., should do the same.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last summer, Florida created its first aquatic preserve in over 30 years. The Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve protects about 400,000 acres of seagrass just north of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf coast. These are part of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest seagrass bed and borders other existing preserves, creating a […]
A new study has found that whale songs can be a powerful tool for mapping the ocean floor. Seismic testing done by humans can harm whales and other marine life, but by using whale songs instead, scientists believe the practice can be adapted to be much less harmful to marine populations.
Why This Matters: For years, the fossil fuel industry has hauled “seismic guns” behind large boats, blasting loud, harmful bursts of sound that disturb sea life and impair the sonar of animals like whales and dolphins.
Much as our national parks on land are some of our greatest natural treasures, marine national monuments safeguard precious ecosystems and protect them now and for future generations. The National Marine Sanctuary System encompasses more than 600,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters, and contains amazing cultural and historical resources, as well as […]
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