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 are our top 10 positive ocean news stories from August 2020 to give you some #oceanoptimism.
The Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland welcomes its first guests, Little White and Little Grey, who completed their epic journey from a Chinese aquarium to this new open water sanctuary. These two will never have to perform for food again.
Read the full story: SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary
Image by Sea Life Trust.
Sea Otter Fans
Sea Otters help seagrass, kelp forests and other coastal habitats thrive. Although they have the thickest fur of any animal, they need to eat 25% of their body weight every day to stay warm. As a keystone species their appetite positively affects the rest of the marine ecosystem. Thanks to conservation efforts, populations of sea otters are recovering along North America’s Pacific coast.
Read the full story: The Guardian
Image by Isabelle Groc.
Common Dolphins, once thought regionally extinct in the Adriatic Sea, are back. In the mid-20th century they were sadly culled due to a belief that they were a threat to the fishing industry. Listed as endangered in the Mediterranean Sea, recorded sightings are now on the increase.
Read the full story: University of St Andrews
Image by Tilen Genov, Morigenos.
Endangered Hawksbill Turtles have returned to the Island of Koh Samui in Thailand to nest during lockdown after decades of staying away. With the pandemic keeping millions of tourists away from the world’s beaches, sea turtles have taken the opportunity to take back their traditional nesting grounds. We hope that when the tourists return, protection of marine life will be the top priority.
Read the full story: The Guardian
Image by Banyan Tree Samui.
Eleven new Emperor Penguin colonies have been discovered in Antarctica, boosting the known world population to more than half a million. Satellite images revealed red-brown guano patches against the white of the ice, where breeding penguins endure temperatures as low as −50°C (−58°F).
Read the full story: British Antarctic Survey
Photo by Lin Padgham.
Grey Reef Sharks hang out with the same friends year after year. These social groups are remarkably stable, with movements between groups being rare. They are most active at night, but by day return to a particular spot on the reef, forming groups of around twenty.
Read the full story: New Scientist
Photo by Nature Picture Library / Alamy.
People power has helped scientists study Antarctic Crabeater Seals. A new marine protected area covering over 2.2 million km2 is being planned. Volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ searched satellite photos to find seals in the Weddell Sea. Understanding seal population dynamics, and their diet of krill, supports their conservation.
Read the full story: EurekAlert!
Image by Ursala Rack
Deep Sea Fans
30 new deep-sea animals have been discovered within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The invertebrates were found on seamounts up to 3400m deep, and include fragile bamboo corals, octocorals, sponges, a brittle star, squat-lobsters and sea fans.
Read the full story: Charles Darwin Foundation
Image by Ocean Exploration Trust/Nautilus Live.
Dwarf planet Ceres is an ‘ocean world’ with reservoirs of briny sea water beneath its surface. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, about 1/3 the size of our moon. The NASA Dawn Mission has shown that Ceres is still geologically active, has minerals essential for life, and has a very thin atmosphere of water vapor from ice volcanoes.
Read the full story: Guardian
Image by Lights in the Dark
Marine Life Fans
Sea Shepherd has signed an agreement with Peru to help establish and protect new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Peru’s waters include over 30 whale and dolphin species, 60 shark species, and the largest anchovy population in the world. The partnership provides at-sea and legal support to prevent exploitation of this vulnerable marine ecosystem in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
Read the full story: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Image by Sea Shepherd.