A court decision may help endangered orcas, but Alaskan fishermen are wary

The U.S. District Court in Seattle seemed to offer endangered orca whales a lifeline in September when it issued a preliminary decision that might make more wild king salmon available to the marine mammals. But while the court decision is expected to help orcas, it may be bad news for fishermen.(No paywall)

In the water and in the courts, fight to save endangered right whales grows urgent

With only an estimated 360 left, the fight to save the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet, has grown urgent — in the water and in the courts, as Rene Ebersole explains in FERN's latest story, published with Yale Environment 360. (No paywall)

NOAA reviews limits on whale catch for Alaska natives

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is reviewing catch limits for 11 Alaskan native communities permitted to catch bowhead whales for subsistence hunting. The new quota would cover a six-year period starting in 2018.

California doubles down on marine protection with two new laws

California is cracking down on illegal fishing in marine protected areas (MPAs) with a new ticketing system, says the LA Times. Previously, fishing in an MPA was considered a misdemeanor and subject to a large fine, which made authorities hesitant to approach someone who may not have even realized they were fishing in an off-limits zone. Now, game wardens hand out tickets worth a few hundred dollars that are payable in local traffic court, says the Times.

Study: expect more toxic algae blooms on the Pacific coast

Algae blooms are poisoning marine life farther north than they ever have, says a new study by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.