Eco-news in brief 3-27

By CG News Editor Kelly Doran

Scientists discover that BP oil spill damaged coral

Scientists discovered that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill damaged a coral colony in the Gulf of Mexico, seven miles from the spill. Charles Fisher, Penn State University biologist, said that it is likely the spill reached other areas of the seafloor. The findings come from an expedition in November and December 2010, some of which will be published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Based on their findings with the coral, Fisher said that the scientists need to look for more coral communities nearby and try to determine the full impact of the spill.

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Three “pink slime” factories will be closing

Beef Products Inc., the company that is becoming infamous for their “pink slime” meat, said on Monday that they will be shutting down operations at three of four plants. Bill Marler, Seattle food safety lawyer, said that BPI could have done more to tell customers about the process of making their beef and that BPI did not handle the situation well, from a public relations standpoint. However, Marler also said that the company is big on food safety and that the South Dakota factory, at least, is very clean. This “pink slime” has come into the media lately because of social media and online petitions but has been approved for years by federal food regulators.

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Dr. Rachel Graham works to save sharks

Dr. Rachel Graham is working to outlaw fishing of multiple shark species. According to Graham, around 17 percent of shark and ray species are threatened with extinction. Around a third of the species that swim in the open ocean are also threatened. However, Graham said that she is still hopeful, as there are still sharks left and there is still time to save them.

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