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U.S. regulator seeks to block Alaskan mine to protect salmon

By Julie Gordon VANCOUVER (Reuters) - U.S. environmental regulators moved on Friday to block development of the Pebble mine in Alaska, which could be one of the largest copper projects in the world, citing potential "irreversible harm" to the state's salmon fishery. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it has initiated a rarely used process under the Clean Water Act to "identify appropriate options to protect" the Bristol Bay fishery from the impact of the proposed mine.

Sea Shepherd challenges shark kill policy in Australia

Militant environmental group Sea Shepherd on Wednesday said it is seeking a Supreme Court injunction to halt a controversial shark culling policy in Western Australia. The group, best known for battling Japanese whalers in the Antarctic, has teamed up with Sharon Burden, the mother of a shark attack victim, to apply for a judicial review of the decision, claiming it involves the unlawful killing of a protected species.

Sea Shepherd challenges shark kill policy in Australia

Militant environmental group Sea Shepherd on Wednesday said it is seeking a Supreme Court injunction to halt a controversial shark culling policy in Western Australia. The group, best known for battling Japanese whalers in the Antarctic, has teamed up with Sharon Burden, the mother of a shark attack victim, to apply for a judicial review of the decision, claiming it involves the unlawful killing of a protected species.

Indonesia announces world's biggest manta ray sanctuary

Indonesia on Friday instituted the world's biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometres as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago. New legislation gives full protection to the creatures across all the waters surrounding Southeast Asia's biggest country, which for years has been the world's largest ray and shark fishery.

B.C. judge certifies class-action lawsuit launched by halibut fishermen

VANCOUVER - More than 400 commercial fishermen in British Columbia have been given the go-ahead to sue the federal government as part of a class-action lawsuit sparked by a halibut-management strategy. B.C. Supreme Court Judge Susan Griffin certified what she called a "novel" lawsuit, which was launched against Fisheries and Oceans Canada by fisherman Barry Burnell.

Shark attacks down last year but fatalities up

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Shark attacks fell to a five-year low in 2013 but the number of fatalities rose to 10, up from an average of six deaths in recent years, according to a report released on Monday. There were 72 confirmed shark attacks in 2013, with Florida leading the globe with 23 and Hawaii with 13, according to the University of Florida's annual International Shark Attack File. (Shark study: http://r.reuters.com/zac96v)

As hatchery fish come to dominate rivers on West Coast, lawsuits target impacts on wild runs

PARKDALE, Ore. - People on the West Coast have counted on fish hatcheries for more than a century to help rebuild populations of salmon and steelhead decimated by overfishing, logging, mining, agriculture and hydroelectric dams, and bring them to a level where government would no longer need to regulate fisheries.

Calif wildlife officials bust San Francisco man with more than a ton of shark fin

SAN FRANCISCO - More than a ton of illegal shark fins were seized from a vendor in San Francisco, state wildlife officials said Friday. Michael Kwong, 42, of Kwong Yip Inc. was cited for having 2,138 pounds of the fins, which violates California's ban that went into effect in July, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Possessing shark fins, selling or trading them is a misdemeanour under California's law, so Foy said it will be up to a judge to determine any penalty.

Tuna study reveals oil pollution causes heart problems

The reason people have more heart attacks when air pollution levels rise may have been revealed by a study on the impact of the BP oil spill on tuna, scientists said Thursday. Heart problems in humans and fish have long been linked to air pollution and oil spills respectively. But researchers had not yet sorted out exactly how the toxic compounds found in oil interfere with heart cells.

Jaw-inspiring: Ancient fish was pivotal in evolution of face, researchers find

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Let's face it. It's easy to take for granted that mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish - vertebrates just like people - have a face. But it has not always been the case. The first creatures with a backbone - jawless fish from hundreds of millions of years ago - did not. Scientists have been eager to learn how the evolution of the face unfolded.
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