Monday, December 23, 2013

Resources on 4 Special Species – ‘That’s so 2013’

In many ways, 2013 has brought with it a number of milestones of open-mindedness. From the accepted decision to allow gay marriage, to a major cosmetics brand dedicated to a ‘Self-Esteem Project’, the year has championed care and equality in the UK. So much so, that particularly creative or emotional  displays have been welcomed with the maxim that they are ‘so 2013’.

Carrying on this affectionate trend in 2014, the 3rdWorld Conference on Marine Biodiversity will be held in Qingdao, China. At the last conference, held in Aberdeen in 2011, the conference parties agreed with the IUCN that 30% of the world’s oceans should be protected areas. The current level is under 3%.

The UK accommodates just 4 of the many endangered marine species. Getting to know these 4 species is the first step to getting on-trend with mindful marine habits.

One – North Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
As they are
endangered, fishing and sale of the species is illegal. Authorities are so vigilant on this, that even when a Torquay fisherman caught a 300lb Bluefin tuna, worth a reported £500,000, and the sale was prohibited.The Marine Management Organisation suggests that tuna accidentally caught as by-catch should be released alive and unharmed back into the oceans.

Two – Leatherback Turtle
The UK is particularly important to this species, which is also critically endangered. Its declining numbers in the south Pacific are offset a very small amount by their increase in more northern regions. In springtime they have been spotted just off UK shores, attracted by flourishing groups of jellyfish.

Three – White-clawed Crayfish
The biggest threat to our native crayfish is the invasion of non-endemic species, which can take over their habitats and compromise their ability to survive. As part of our national natural heritage, trapping crayfish for food is illegal in many British areas. Check for guidelines and information here.

Four – Angel Shark
Described comprehensively by the Shark Trust here, the angel shark (aka monkfish) is an endangered species protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Killing, injuring, possessing, or trading the sharks is highly illegal. EU authorities have produced the ‘Shark Action Plan’ to cover these needs.

With these resources, you’re already well on your way to carrying on the craze for caring. Conservation’s never been so chic. 

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