Breaking Waves: Ocean News

03/12/2019 - 00:00
The legislation, if signed, would see the state become the first in the US to legalize the alternative to cremation and burial When Briar Bates was dying she made a request to her friend, Katrina Morgan: bury me in my garden. As a 42-year-old artist and landscape designer, Bates had spent years tending to her garden on Vashon Island, Washington, and didn’t want to leave it behind when she died, according to Morgan. Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 15:53
Ocean Leadership ~ Remember the Mayflower? 400 years later, Plymouth is launching something new. As warmer weather finally returns to Washington, D.C., I begin preparations and negotiations with my 59-year old body for another Cherry Blossom 10-miler in a month (the trees should actually be near the peak of their bloom this year). One of the great things about this city is the National Park area, where I ran my six miles yesterday.  I truly enjoy and am inspired by exploring and connecting with historic sights and “urban wilderness” areas that stretch from D.C. all the way to the Appalachian Trail.  They are some of the best parts of living in our nation’s capital. Last week, I read about a new plan from the University of Plymouth to designate the seas around historic Plymouth as the United Kingdom’s first National Marine Park. The study that proposed the idea — which drew upon experts from beyond just marine science, dipping into social science and humanities as well — noted that marine parks promote marine literacy and stewardship, something we at COL are always working towards. Different from a marine protected area, a marine park can empower everyday citizens to care for and build a connection with the ocean in a way they may not have been able to otherwise – like the trash (including plastic) that many of us pick up as we enjoy the D.C. area parks. On top of all of that, the parks can have human health and economic benefits, too.  Just the shear, natural, oceanic beauty of Johnson National Seashore near Pensacola, Florida, and Biscayne National Park near Miami, along with numerous other coastal state and national parks across our maritime nation, have inspired me and countless others to spend much of our lives trying to better understand and care for the ocean. A well-resourced and managed park inspires curiosity and partnership in the surrounding community, and I think increasing and enhancing marine parks in the U.S. to that end is something we could (and should) certainly do, especially considering that about 40 percent of the nation lives near the coast. I wonder what D.C. might be like if its famous Tidal Basin was transformed into more of a tidal pool basin, where in addition to looking at cherry trees that rarely bloom on time and memorials to Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson, residents and tourists alike could learn about the oyster reefs that filter the largest estuary in our nation (the Chesapeake Bay), catch a glimpse of a rare Atlantic sturgeon, or see a blue crab somewhere other than their dinner plate. I think our ocean world could use a few more pilgrimages to oceanic parks that truly educate, inspire, and change perspectives as well as behaviors. Warm Seas Scatter Fish Fish provide a vital source of protein for over half the world’s population, with over 56 million people employed by or subsisting on fisheries. But climate change is beginning to disrupt the complex, interconnected systems that underpin this major source of food. A team of scientists led by Christopher Free, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, has published an investigation of how warming waters may affect the productivity of fisheries. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 03-11-2019 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/11/2019 - 14:23
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Wikimedia Commons) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was Stronger America Through Seafood held a congressional briefing to discuss the future of the nation’s aquaculture industry, both nearshore and offshore. Why It Matters A domestic aquaculture industry can provide many potential benefits, ranging from blue economy growth and job creation to maximizing U.S. food safety and security, while increasing sustainable domestic sources of healthy protein. Moving the U.S. aquaculture industry forward, however, must balance rigorous, science-based environmental protections with a federal regulatory and permitting system that encourages entrepreneurial investment. Key Points Panelists spoke about the need for the United States to invest in domestic seafood production through aquaculture to reduce reliance on other countries for this important protein source. Mr. Robert Jones (Global Aquaculture Lead, The Nature Conservancy) stated that most aquaculture is produced internationally, and the United States imports 90 percent of our seafood. Several aspects regarding the possibility of a domestic aquaculture industry were discussed, from economic to environmental benefits. Ms. Kathryn Unger (Country Director, North America, Cargill Aqua Nutrition) highlighted direct and indirect jobs aquaculture could create in several states across the country, from technology and equipment manufacturing to new markets for American soybean farmers, as byproducts of soybean oil production can be turned into fish feed. Mr. Jones explained some environmental benefits domestic aquaculture can provide. For example, rearing fish creates a smaller carbon footprint compared to land-based protein sources. Shellfish and seaweed farming can also filter water and provide critical habitats for juvenile fish. When asked about environmental challenges, Mr. Jones stated that new coastal siting tools can assist managers, coastal planners, and businesses in identifying suitable sites for marine aquaculture that avoid environmentally sensitive habitats and can mitigate any negative impacts. Several speakers expressed frustration that the United States has not established a stronger foothold in the marine aquaculture industry, especially since much of the technology and techniques other countries utilize originated in the United States. They agreed that a strong regulatory environment that is sustainable, encourages economic growth, and protective of the environment is necessary to move the domestic aquaculture industry forward. Quotable “One of the benefits we bring as the United States to the aquaculture industry is we have the ability to do it right and to show other parts of the world that this is how you can do it sustainably, do it properly, and do it well.” — Kathryn Unger (Country Director, North America, Cargill Aqua Nutrition) “NOAA and the U.S. has some of the best aquaculture scientists there are […] to learn best practices and apply them elsewhere, to apply them overseas to places that are looking to develop aquaculture more sustainably than they have.” — Robert Jones (Global Aquaculture Lead, The Nature Conservancy) Related coverage from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Fish Fights! The Science of Food Security 2018 Industry Forum, “U.S. Offshore Aquaculture: Will We Fish or Cut Bait?” Jon White – From the President’s Office: 11-05-2018 Federal Court Upholds Seafood Traceability Rule; Targets Fraud 2017 Public Policy Forum, “Feeding the Future: An Ocean of Opportunity” Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post One Fish, Two Fish, Farmed Fish, Good Fish? appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/11/2019 - 14:09
Experts worry that injecting sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere could put some regions at risk A new study contradicts fears that using solar geoengineering to fight climate change could dangerously alter rainfall and storm patterns in some parts of the world. Related: Geoengineering may be used to combat global warming, experts say Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 13:34
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA/NMFS/OPR) Climate change is shifting productivity of fisheries worldwide (From University of California Santa Barbara/ By Harrison Tasoff) — Fish provide a vital source of protein for over half the world’s population, with over 56 million people employed by or subsisting on fisheries. But climate change is beginning to disrupt the complex, interconnected systems that underpin this major source of food. A team of scientists led by Christopher Free, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, has published an investigation of how warming waters may affect the productivity of fisheries. The results appear in the journal Science. The study looked at historical abundance data for 124 species in 38 regions, which represents roughly one-third of the reported global catch. The researchers compared this data to records of ocean temperature and found that 8 percent of populations were significantly negatively impacted by warming, while 4 percent saw positive impacts. Overall, though, the losses outweigh the gains. “We were surprised how strongly fish populations around the world have already been… Read the full article here: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2019/019360/warm-seas-scatter-fish The post Member Highlight: Warm Seas Scatter Fish appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
03/11/2019 - 13:15
It is no surprise that the government’s strategy on fracking has been deemed unlawful, write Robin Russell-Jones and Geraint Davies. Carbon emissions will be even lower if the gas boiler is run on hydrogen gas, writes Carl Arntzen. And Stephen Martin and Stephen Sterling say wealth redistribution is needed to reduce global warming It is no surprise that the government’s strategy on fracking has been deemed unlawful (Fracking guidance illegally ignores climate change, 7 March). Gas may be more fuel efficient than coal when burnt, but shale gas is 95% methane, and methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. According to the IPCC it has a global warming potential (GWP) 85 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. Misleadingly, HMG have relied on an obsolete figure of 36 for the GWP of methane, dating back to 2013. Methane levels plateaued in the late 1990s, but have started to increase again over the past decade and have now reached 1,900 parts per billion, against a pre-industrial level of 700. Fracking is the obvious culprit. Satellite data over the US has shown that methane leakage exceeds 5% of shale gas production, an observation that fits with more recent studies by Nasa showing that fossil fuels are the major contributor to the continuing rise in atmospheric methane. Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 12:00
Australian Electoral Commission unable to take further action as Facebook page carried an authorisation Electoral authorities say they are powerless to take further action over a lack of transparency on pro-coal Facebook advertisements linked to a secret Glencore-funded campaign. Last week, the Guardian revealed that Glencore, the multinational mining giant, had funded a vast, covert campaign to bolster support for coal, run by political operatives at the C|T Group. Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 10:58
Rainer Schimpf got swept into the mouth of a Bryde’s whale off coast of Port Elizabeth Like the Bible’s Jonah, a South African marine conservationist has narrowly survived after being caught in the jaws of a whale. Rainer Schimpf, 51, was swept into the mouth of a large Bryde’s whale off the coast of the South African town of Port Elizabeth while snorkelling and filming a sardine run last month. Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 10:44
Family escapes unhurt after research station burns down on remote Shetland island The directors of a world-renowned bird observatory on the remote island of Fair Isle, which was destroyed by fire on Sunday, hope to quickly rebuild the research station. The observatory, based in a two-storey wooden lodge that opened to visitors in 2011, was razed to the ground after a fire broke out on Sunday morning and quickly took hold. Continue reading...
03/11/2019 - 06:48
High court to hear five challenges to plans for UK’s biggest aviation hub Five judicial reviews challenging the legality of the government’s decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow airport have begun in the high court. Protesters against the decision by the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to approve the expansion demonstrated outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday before the start of the hearing. Continue reading...