Bittersweet Start to the New Year

Tuesday, 04 February 2014

- L.A. Bag Ban now in effect
- Western Australia Shark Cull
- Our World-Underwater
- Internships

Hello fellow ocean lovers!

It's so lovely to start off the new year with inspiration, hope, and new perspectives. As of 01 January 2014, single-use plastic bags are no longer permitted to be given away in the City of Los Angeles. This new ban applies to grocery stores and large retailers that sell groceries (e.g., Ralph's, Wal-Mart, and Target). In July, the scope of covered retailers will expand to include drug stores, convenience stores, and other supermarkets in July.

Ninety cities and counties in California alone (including unincorporated Los Angeles County) have already passed similar legislation, and this new policy is poised to eliminate an estimated TWO BILLION single-use plastic bags.

Western Australia Shark Cull

In response to a number of local shark-related accidents, the government of Western Australia approved on 09 January 2014 an Act to catch and kill sharks to reduce their populations (cull). Baited hooks are being set 1 km from eight popular beaches to attract and catch sharks. Tiger sharks, white sharks, and bull sharks 3m or larger will be shot.

COARE is vehemently opposed to this action as it is vindictive and does little to achieve the desired effects of making public beaches safer. In fact, research to this effect was published nearly twenty years ago. If you live in Western Australia please be sure to let your Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) know you condemn this action.

Our World-Underwater

We've spent a bit of time in Illinois the last few years - for example, working on our shark fin bill (HB4119), and fighting against the bill that would make bag bans illegal (SB3442). We are looking forward to returning to the Windy City this year, where we're rewriting the legislation to reduce single-use bag consumption. We've just finished the latest revisions and will be introducing that later this year. We were also invited back to Chicago to take part in the Our World–Underwater show, one of the premier consumer dive shows in the U.S. The show runs from 14-16 February, at the Donald Stephens Convention Center. If you're planning to attend the show, come visit us at booth #1210.

For more information, visit


The application cycle for our new Ocean Conservation Internship in conjunction with the Our World–Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS) closed on 31 January 2014, and we will be working with OWUSS to review the applications and identify the best candidate. While the deadline for that internship application has passed, we will announce additional internship opportunities next month.


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Wishing you healthy oceans,
Your friends at COARE

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