Headlines – News – Articles
19th January, 2012

Cruise ship wreck a threat to monk seals

Media Watch, New Scientist, 18 January 2012

The huge scale of the Costa Concordia disaster is apparent in this satellite image of the stricken cruise ship just off the Italian island of Giglio.

The oil boom that aims to protect the coast from fuel leaks from the ship’s giant tanks is visible trailing along the left-hand side. The island and its surrounding waters are part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, which is home to the endangered Mediterranean monk seal. […]

Editor’s note: For more detailed information on the monk seal at Giglio, see Italy.

Source: Costa Concordia cruise ship pictured from space, New Scientist, 18 January 2012

19th January, 2011

Medical waste spreads down Leeward Coast

Media Watch, Honolulu Star Advertiser, 18 January 2011

Medical waste and other trash continued to soil Leeward Coast beaches yesterday, washing ashore in spots farther down the shore from where the debris was initially found. […]

Barbara Billand, a volunteer with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team, said her group found a vial of blood, more than a dozen syringes and a bag of plastic medical tubing over the past two days while scouring White Plains, Nimitz and Maipalaoa beaches. The group began its cleanup out of concern over a monk seal in the area that was last seen Saturday at White Plains.

“We are concerned not just for people, but for the monk seals,” Billand said.

The Department of Health issued a statement Sunday saying Waste Management had provided documentation showing the medical waste had been sterilized and was not considered infectious, although the public still was at risk of puncture wounds. […]

Full Story: Honolulu Star Advertiser

8th June, 2009

Ocean trash problem ‘far from being solved,’ U.N. says

Press Watch — CNN, June 8, 2009

The world’s oceans are full of trash, causing “tremendous” negative impacts on coastal life and ecology, according to a U.N. report released Monday.

The oceans will continue to fill up with junk discarded from cities and boats without urgent action to address this buildup of marine debris, the United Nations Environment Programme says in a report titled “Marine Litter: A Global Challenge.”

Current efforts to address the problem are not working, and the issue is “far from being solved,” the report says. […]

The ocean litter is a problem for coastal communities, which rely on clean beaches for tourism dollars and to boost quality of life for their residents, the report says. Ocean trash also affects marine life and degrades human health.

Sea turtles, for example, think plastic grocery bags are jellyfish when the bags are floating in the ocean. An untold number of the turtles and other creatures, such as Hawaii’s endangered monk seal, swallow the bags and suffocate, drown or starve, said Holly Bamford, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine debris program.

Full article