Marine biology

TripAdvisor ends ticket sales for attractions that showcase dolphins and whales

Shamu Stadium at Seaworld marine park, Orlando Florida. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Shamu Stadium at Seaworld marine park, Orlando Fla. Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

TripAdvisor said Wednesday that beginning in 2020, it will further extend its "Animal Welfare Policy" to no longer sell ticketed attractions that breed, import or capture whales, dolphins, porpoises and other cetaceans for public display.

Why it matters: Attractions at parks and aquariums worldwide like SeaWorld and the Georgia Aquarium will no longer benefit from visibility on TripAdvisor. A third of Americans want animals to have same rights as people, according to the most recent Gallup Poll from 2015.

'Dead zone' the size of Massachusetts predicted in Gulf of Mexico

A stormy day on Pensacola Beach.
Photo: Carolyn_Davies/Getty Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting this year's annual "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico to be unusually large, coming in at "approximately 7,829 square miles, or roughly the size of Massachusetts."

Context: A dead zone is a hypoxic area, meaning that little or no oxygen is present, killing most marine life. NOAA says the event is largely a result of nutrient pollution flowing into the Gulf from the Mississippi River watershed. The surplus of nutrients, such as phosphorous, results in excess algae growth. When decomposed in water, the algae causes oxygen levels to plummet in the ocean's depths.