Our Favorite Global Marine Conservation Stories from 2020

December 30, 2020

Photo Credit: ©GlobalFinPrint


Making Our Marine Environment Safe for Future Shark Weeks

By Luke Warwick

Scientists from multiple countries and institutions published in the journal, Nature, the first-ever deep dive into the status of the world’s coral reef sharks.

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Photo Credit: ©Rhett Bennett/WCS

The Revelator

The Informal Blue Economy: East Africa’s Silent Shark Killer

By Rhett Bennett, Dave van Beuningen and Mike Markovina

Subsistence, artisanal, and small-scale fisheries represent a previously unrecognized threat to many protected shark and ray species.

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American Way Magazine

Sight fidelity: Go whale watching in New York Harbor

In recent years, whales have returned to New York waters. It's encouraging, says WCS's Howard Rosenbaum, but "we also have to recognize the big picture, that these animals are coming into contact with ships and other industries." The WCS Marine Program works with the WCS New York Aquarium on a range of conservation projects in the New York Bight.

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Photo Credit: ©WCS/Ocean Giants/Image taken under NMFS MMPA/ESA Permit No. 18786-04

Scientific Papers

Global Ecology and Biogeography

Large geographic variability in the resistance of corals to thermal stress

The findings identify the importance of environmental history and geographic context in future predictions of bleaching, and identify some potential drivers of coral resistance to thermal stress.

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Coastal Management

Strong sharing networks can help communities rebound from crises

Of the top five countries in the world most at risk to disasters, three are Pacific Island nations. Yet time and again, Pacific Islanders exhibit marked abilities to quickly recover. Part of the reason may be due to strong social networks that help to distribute resources to those most in need.

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Conservation Science and Practice

An integrated approach to tackling wildlife crime

The impact and lessons learned from the world's largest targeted manta ray fishery. Scientists describe an integrated intervention to reduce manta hunting and mortality in Lamakera, Indonesia.

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Journal of Applied Ecology

Logging Tropical Forests Jeopardizes Fisheries Important for Food and Livelihoods

The findings illustrate that logging activity in the Solomon Islands is associated with lower coral cover and structural complexity on adjacent reefs, as well as lower abundance of many types of fish commonly caught for food and sold at markets.

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Photo Credit: ©Emily Darling/WCS

The Revelator

Want to Save the World’s Coral Reefs? A MERMAID Can Help

By Emily Darling

New upgrades to the collaborative ‘Marine Ecological Research Management AID’ can turn coral reef data into conservation action—just when it’s needed most.

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Photo Credit: ©Alexander Tewfik/WCS

Press Release

WCS Congratulates Government of Belize On Newly Expanded Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve

Given its close proximity to neighboring countries and the threat of transboundary fishing, this declaration allows for the protection of an extensive coral reef complex known as the Corona Reef, located at the southwestern terminus of the Cayman Trench.

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Scientific American

We can save coral reefs

By Alfred DeGemmis, Stacy Jupiter, Simon Cripps,
and Emily Darling

Members of the International Coral Reef Initiative have agreed on the steps. Now governments have to act.

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Photo Credit: ©Vardhan Patankar/WCS
Photo Credit: ©Michael Markovina/WCS

ECO Magazine

Dr. Nyawira Muthiga Nominated Among World’s Top 15 Coral Reef Researchers

She has over 30 years of experience working in coastal Kenya and coral reefs around the world.

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National Public Radio

Offshore Wind May Help The Planet—But Will It Hurt Whales?

"Everyone is interested in the benefits of renewable energy and what that does for our climate and for society," WCS's Howard Rosenbaum says. "We also want to protect the wildlife and these habitats."

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Photo Credit: ©Maxim Chakilev


Listening to marine mammals is helping scientists understand Arctic impacts of climate change

These findings provide a baseline to guide future efforts to monitor the Arctic’s cetacean and pinniped species. They can also help inform conservation strategies for acoustically sensitive marine mammals.

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