In some good news this week the Dorset Echo reported that the Lyme Bay Marine Protected Area off the coast of Dorset had displayed clear recovery in marine life since the area was closed to destructive fishing practices such as shellfish dredging and bottom trawling in 2008. The paper reported that a range of species had shown increases in abundance across the area. Read the article here.
Two stories from Africa also made the news this month. The Guardian reported that the number of fish processing plants which were being built in Africa were having a devastating effect on the amount of fish left for the local populations to eat and sell. The Guardian reported that a number Russian, Japanese and Korean factories had been built in recent years and local people now caught so few fish that their small-scale fish selling businesses and subsistence fishing were now at risk. Read the article here. The BBC also reported on the ‘sex for fish’ issue which is a big problem in Kenya. According to the BBC the problem revolved around women in one of the poorest parts of Kenya “selling their bodies in the hope of taking back a prize catch.” However, some women were beginning to catch fish themselves as a way of beginning to stop this practice. Article here.
By the middle of February the controversy over Australia’s shark cull was increasing. The Guardian reported that many international experts were now viewing the cull as “futile attacks” on sharks and “revenge killings.” It was mostly tiger sharks which were being targeted, with around 60 – 70 being reported as being killed in selected areas. Despite the controversy over the cull – and the questionable science it is based on – it is set to continue. Read The Guardian story here.
Unusual news emerged on February 6th with a strange species of jellyfish washed up on the coast of Australia. Although this species was known to science it has not been classified and scientists were working to document and classify this species – Read the BBC report on this story here.
February has began with the wild weather continuing around Britain. There has been some deeply stupid behaviour, with this man taking his son out onto Pulpit Rock in Portland, Dorset during extremely heavy seas – one large wave and they would both have been in the sea! The Daily Mail dubbed the man “Britain’s stupidest father” – full article here.