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New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans

From Washington Post:Humans are now fishing at least 55 percent of the world's oceans — an area four times larger than the area occupied by humanity's onshore agriculture.That startling statistic is among the findings of a unique, high-tech collaboration that is providing a massive amount of new data about global fishing operations. The results, published Thursday in the journal Science, offer a powerful glimpse of the problem of overfishing on the hard-to-regulate high seas. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 31.4 percent of global fish stocks were overfished or fished unsustainably, as of 2013, while another 58.1 percent were "fully fished."Thursday's findings relied on data from Global Fishing Watch, a collaboration encompassing Oceana, SkyTruth and Google. Researchers compiled billions of data points from tracki...

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Global Warming’s Toll on Coral Reefs: As if They’re ‘Ravaged by War’

Before we call rockfish, shrimp and crab "dinner," some of these species call coral reefs "home." But those reefs, home to a quarter of all marine fish species, are now increasingly threatened as rising ocean temperatures accelerate a phenomenon known as coral bleaching.Large-scale coral bleaching events, in which reefs become extremely fragile, were virtually unheard-of before the 1980s. But in the years since, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science, the frequency of coral bleaching has increased to the point that reefs no longer have sufficient recovery time between severe episodes. Global Warming’s Toll on Coral Reefs: As if They’re ‘Ravaged by War’ - The New York Times Enter some description here... https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/climate/coral-reefs-bleaching.html

UN signals 'end' of throwaway plastic

 The end of the era of throwaway plastic has been signalled by UN environment ministers meeting in Kenya.They signed off a document stating that the flow of plastic into the ocean must be stopped.Scientists welcomed the statement, but were unhappy the agreement was only based in principle, with no firm targets or timetables.Ministers say it's a milestone because it shows governments, industry and the public that a major change is needed.Vidar Helgesen, Norway's Environment Minister, has been leading the UN debate on plastic pollution.He told BBC News: "What we came here with was the need for action. The starting point was aiming for zero emission of marine litter. So it's effectively a breakthrough for zero emission of plastic into the ocean."He admitted that this was really only the start of action against plastic litter. UN signals 'end' of throwa...

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These 10 Rivers Are Responsible for 90 Percent of the Plastic in the Oceans

 As plastic in the world's oceans continues to rise, researchers are pinpointing sources of pollution so that conservation efforts can stem the flow.  Over the last six decades, according to one estimate, 9.1 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide and 7 billion tons of it has ended up as waste. Much of that waste has infiltrated our oceans. And, according to another estimate, more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the sea each year. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research in Germany, think they've nailed down a crucial detail about plastic pollution: how it gets into the ocean. And, they found, just 10 rivers account for 90 percent of the plastics flowing into the seas. Their study is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.