Every day around the world there are positive ocean news stories, from the latest marine science research, to evidence of animal populations recovering through conservation efforts. Here is our top 10 positive ocean news stories from our daily social media feed from November 2020 to give you some #oceanoptimism.
Antarctica’s Blue Whales are thankfully returning to the rich feeding waters around South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean. These islands are infamous for being the epicentre of commercial whaling in the early 20th century, until mercifully banned.
Read the story: British Antarctic Survey
Image by Australian Antarctic Division.
The world’s first living Coral Biobank will preserve coral biodiversity. The Noah’s ark-like plan is to house and breed hundreds of the world’s most at-risk coral species. The publicly accessible facility will be at Port Douglas, Australia, next to the Great Barrier Reef. This could prove an important part of long-term coral conservation.
Read the story: The Guardian / Great Barrier Reef Legacy
Image by Great Barrier Reef Legacy.
Gentoo penguins are actually four species, not one. New evidence shows the birds are slightly different in shape and size and can be told apart by their DNA. The tally of penguin species now goes up from 18 to 21.
Read the story: Milner Centre for Evolution.
A fish’s fins may be as sensitive to touch as fingertips. They’re not just for swimming, or even walking, but for feeling too. The fins of bottom-dwelling Round Gobies have been found to have a sensitivity similar to that of the pads on monkeys’ fingers. The study suggests that limbs that sense physical forces emerged early, before splits in the vertebrate evolutionary tree led to animals with fins, arms and legs.
Read the story: UChicago Medicine
Image by Sea Fans.
An octopus tastes its food with their autonomous arms. Specialised chemotactile receptor cells within their sucker cups allow them to distinguish food from other objects they may encounter as they blindly probe crevices. It’s the arm that decides if what it finds is worth eating.
Read the story: Harvard University.
White Shark populations are on the rise off the California coast signalling a healthier ecosystem. California moved to protect its white shark population in 1994, with numbers steadily increasing.
Read the story: Guardian / California State University, Long Beach.
UK overseas territory Tristan da Cunha’s new marine protected area will be world’s fourth largest sanctuary at 700,000 sq km. The remote South Atlantic Ocean island with 250 people has a wealth of wildlife including rockhopper penguins, yellow-nosed albatross, and sevengill sharks. The UK now has 4.3million sq km, or 1% of the world’s oceans set as MPAs.
Read the story: Guardian / Blue Belt Programme
Rockhopper Penguin image by Trevor Glass/RSPB.
Seal mothers and their pups need their space. Seal colonies and nature lovers have been welcoming new life. Sadly, some folks get closer than the recommended minimum 10 metre distance, with selfies on their mind. Please keep a respectful distance from all marine life and if you see an animal that looks sick or injured, contact your local rescue service.
Read the story: BBC News
Image by RSPCA (England & Wales)
Underwater sculpture museums not only encourage marine life to thrive but also stop trawling. For example, in a bid to stop illegal trawling near his home, an Italian fisherman persuaded sculptors to create huge marble artworks – then dropped them in the Mediterranean. Scuba divers welcome!
Read the story: Guardian
Image by Marta Clinco.
Autonomous robot vessels are looking to catch illegal fishers in the act. To protect marine wildlife and ecosystems, and sustain fisheries, more and bigger marine protected areas are being created worldwide. But these MPAs need to be policed 24/7.
Read the full story: Hakai Magazine
Image by Open Ocean Robotics.
So that’s our top 10 positive ocean news stories from November 2020
Have you seen any uplifting news about the ocean and marine life? Please share them in the comments below. Want to learn more about the ocean? Check out the different ways you can learn today.
Positive Ocean News
We know the ocean is in trouble. But we also know that there are people doing great things to protect it. Follow us on facebook, instagram or twitter where we celebrate the positive side of marine conservation. Or join the Sea Fans facebook group to share your own love of the ocean.