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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.
UNESCO has launched a new program to collect, analyze, and monitor environmental DNA (AKA eDNA) to better understand biodiversity at its marine World Heritage sites. Scientists will collect genetic material from fish cells, mucus, and waste across multiple locations along with eDNA from soil, water, and air. The two-year project will help experts assess […]
It’s about time we had a conversation about the birds and the bees…or in this case, the otters and the seagrass. A new study found that the ecological relationship between sea otters and the seagrass fields where they make their home is spurring the rapid reproduction of the plants. Otters dig up about 5% of […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor An abandoned oil tanker off the coast of Yemen is deteriorating rapidly, and experts say that a hull breach could have far-reaching environmental impacts and threaten millions of people’s access to food and water supplies. The FSO SAFER tanker holds 1.1 million barrels of oil — more than four […]
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