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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 In Cispatá on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, scientists have calculated just how much carbon a mangrove forest stores. Up until now, that number has treated mangroves like trees on land — missing more than half of their carbon store in the soil under trees. The calculation in Cispatá estimates the […]
Over the last decade, nearly 91% of the sunflower sea star population has been wiped out, landing the species a “critically endangered” categorization last year. The sea stars, which have 24 arms, are an important part of the underwater food web: they keep kelp forests healthy by feeding on sea urchins.
Why This Matters: Between rising temperatures, overfishing, ocean acidification, among other harms, people have thrown the U.S. West Coast marine ecosystem off the balance.
Video gaming experts say that game design is now shifting towards specific environmental issues. Since games are designed by young people, it is not surprising that eco-based storylines like climate change and ocean exploration are coming into vogue. For example, the BBC Blue Planet II nature documentary inspired a video game called Beyond Blue, in which […]
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