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Happy World Oceans Day!

Happy World Oceans Day from WildAid!

With your support, WildAid is answering the call for stronger safeguarding and enforcement of the world's marine protected areas - designated sanctuaries that are vital for mantas, sea turtles, sharks and other marine animals.

For World Oceans Day this year, we celebrated our partnership with Misool Foundation in Raja Ampat. Situated in a remote corner of Indonesia, Raja Ampat’s coral reefs lie at the epicenter of marine biodiversity, in the heart of the Coral Triangle. The region is home to 75% of the world’s known coral species, and more than 1,500 species of fish.

WildAid CEO Peter Knights Honored

Wildlife champion Peter Knights has been honored with a Bay Area Jefferson Award for public service. A segment featuring Knights and fellow shark advocate Julie Packard of the Monterey Bay Aquarium aired on KPIX Channel 5 News.

Four more Chinese airlines ban shark fin

Responding to concern from conservationists, another major Chinese airline group has agreed not to transport shark fin products on its flights.

Worldwide, nearly 60 airlines and container shipping companies have adopted policies against the carriage of shark fins. In China, Hainan Airlines remains the only major national carrier yet to put in place a fin ban.

Why is Plastic Pollution a Problem in Our Oceans?

A sea turtle tangled up in various plastics (Machalilla National Park)

A sea turtle spots a plastic bag floating among the waves. To him, it looks like a jellyfish, its general shape and consistency swaying and catching the light in just the right way. He swims toward it and ingests the bag in one gulp, satisfying his hunger, and then goes on his away. In actuality, that plastic bag lines his gut, causing digestive blockages and the sea turtle’s eventual death from starvation.

This story is all too common in the marine environment. In fact, a study estimated that more than half the world’s sea turtles and a staggering 90% of sea birds had ingested some form of plastic. Earlier this year, 13 sperm whales washed up in Germany and their necropsies revealed stomachs full of plastic waste including a 43-foot-long shrimp fishing net, a plastic car engine cover and a plastic bucket. Plastic and other debris, including discarded fishing lines and nets (also called “ghost nets”), are not just ingested, but also account for thousands of casualties.  Sharks, whales and mantas that get tangled up in nets either suffer life-threatening injuries from their attempts to escape or they simply remain trapped eventually drowning to death.

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Protesters Call on FedEx to Ban Shark Fin Shipments

Protesters rally at a FedEx storefront in Boston on September 17, 2016 (Photo courtesy Oceanic Preservation Society)

Over the past few years, a growing number of shipping companies and airlines have stepped up to save sharks in one simple yet powerful way: banning shark fin shipments. Multi billion-dollar industry leaders including UPS, Cosco and American Airlines have all clarified their cargo policies to prohibit such shipments.

Now, global advocates are turning their attention to one powerful hold-out: FedEx. Over the weekend, WildAid and our campaign Shark Savers teamed up with Oceanic Preservation Society to support a series of protests at FedEx locations from Hong Kong to Boston urging the company to adopt a fin-free policy.

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