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Animals
Shark fins drying on sidewalk in Hong Kong. Nicholas Wang / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Starbucks Urged to Cut Ties With Hong Kong Chain That Still Serves Shark Fin

Starbucks is being pressured to cut ties with popular Hong Kong restaurant chain Maxim's Caterers Limited over its offering of dishes with shark fin.

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Oceans
Ash covers the observation deck of the Jagger Museum, showing a cracked floor. National Park Service

Coral Reefs Lost to Kīlauea Eruption

By Dan Zukowski

When searing black lava from fissure 8 slid into the Pacific Ocean at Kapoho Bay on June 3, it had been five weeks since the collapse of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater, along the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. Toxic, acid-laden steam billowed high above boiling waves. Within 36 hours, the bay became paved over by lava, creating a new coastline almost a mile out and destroying shallow-water coral reefs and tidepools.

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Animals
Dean Croshere / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Plastic Shreds, Rubber Bands and Balloon Pieces Found in Thai Turtle

Plastic waste is being blamed for the death of a green turtle found on the eastern province of Chanthaburi in Thailand.

The turtle washed up on the beach on June 4, Weerapong Laovechprasit, a veterinarian at the Eastern Marine and Coastal Resource Research and Development Centre told AFP.

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Animals
Owen Freeman

What’s Happening to the North Atlantic Right Whale Is Just Plain Wrong

By Jason Bittel

Imagine if safari-goers in Africa came upon an elephant trudging through the brush covered in a tangle of ropes and netting. What if, on closer inspection, they found that the animal's mouth was blocked, preventing it from eating, or that lengths of rope had coiled around and cut into its legs, making every stride a battle? Imagine if the last thing those tourists saw was the elephant disappearing into the forest, dragging a veritable ball and chain of man-made debris behind it.

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Health

Toxic Border Pollution Sickens U.S. Border Patrol Agents

By Adam Hammell & Dana Williams

The pungent, salty air that emerged over South Bay communities last February was not a familiar whiff of wrack decomposing on our favorite beaches. In fact, it was the estimated 143 million gallons of raw sewage that raced down the rugged canyons of Tijuana, funneling directly through the mouth of the Tijuana River into the Pacific Ocean. Beachgoers, visitors, and residents of San Diego County have suffered the devastating effects of these spills for decades—yet little has been done to remedy the origins.

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Oceans
WWF / BiancoTangerine

Mediterranean at Risk of Becoming a ‘Sea of Plastic,’ WWF Warns

The Mediterranean Sea is turning into a dangerous plastic trap, with record levels of pollution from microplastics threatening marine species and human health, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report released Friday.

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Oceans
A monk seal swimming over a coral reef bottom. NOAA Photo Library

World Oceans Day: Saving Our Seas Starts With You

The world's oceans are vast and boundless, and its spectacular and innumerable diversity of sea creatures and plants may seem immune from human harm. But as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the United Nations conference on oceans last year, our seas and its inhabitants are "now under threat as never before."

The human footprint has pushed marine species numbers to the "brink of collapse." The constant consumption of plastics has turned our oceans into a dumping ground. And the burning of fossil fuels has fueled ocean heating, leading to dire consequences such as declining oxygen levels in the oceans, coral bleaching and sea level rise.

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Animals
Pexels

Microplastics May Heat Marine Turtle Nests and Produce More Females

By Mariana Fuentes

Have you ever considered that small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimeters long, or smaller than a pencil eraser head, called microplastics, can affect large marine vertebrates like sea turtles?

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Animals

Whale's Tragic Death by Plastic Bags a Reminder of a Global Crisis

A pilot whale died in southern Thailand last week after swallowing 17 pounds of plastic waste, despite a five-day effort to save the animal's life.

A necropsy revealed that the plastic debris, which included 80 plastic bags, clogged the whale's stomach, Reuters reported.

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