Blogs

OpenChannels has a team of dedicated bloggers addressing targeted aspects of ocean planning and management, including communication, technology, ocean uses, and more. Our bloggers are experts in the field, drawing from their own knowledge and experience.

The OpenChannels community can also benefit from your knowledge and experience. We appreciate the diversity of perspectives in this field and welcome the use of OpenChannels for sharing these views. Do you have a perspective on ocean planning you would like to share? We'll help you do that right now: just click the button above and follow the prompts. If you are interested in blogging but have questions, please email Raye Evrard at raye [at] octogroup.org. We look forward to your contribution!

The OpenChannels Team


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Posted on January 15, 2019 - 4:19pm, by abrown

By Charlotte Dohrn

Perched at the end of a narrow, low-lying peninsula on the Washington coast, the city of Westport is no stranger to exposure. The sleepy fishing town gets about twice as much rain as Seattle, and in the winter it’s often pummeled by fierce gales, king tides, and swells that easily exceed 10 feet.

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Posted on December 17, 2018 - 3:39pm, by abrown

By Henry Bell

Do you know where your favorite seafood comes from? I grew up in Minnesota, and aside from the occasional walleye or perch that came from a nearby lake, I certainly didn’t. Perhaps the grocery store label would tell me if my fish was farmed or wild-caught, but what about the fishery it came from? How about where it was processed or who imported it? Dare I question who caught it or what type of gear was used? Should I care?

Read the full text HERE

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Posted on December 12, 2018 - 1:49pm, by abrown

By Lou Forristall

What do Orcas have to do with I-1631? Nothing, yet. That’s a problem. Photo Credit: Oregon State University

I-1631, the second attempt to put a price on carbon emissions in Washington state via ballot initiative, was rejected by voters this November. 1631 sought to place a fee on carbon emissions and use the revenue to fund programs and projects related to the environment. The oil and gas industry spent $31 million to defeat it, annihilating the record in Washington for spending on a ballot initiative.

Despite what has been characterized as 1631’s “resounding defeat,” there is reason for optimism regarding climate action in Washington after 1631. Yes, it lost by about 6 points.  But it performed well compared to its 2016 predecessor, I-732. 732 was a revenue neutral carbon tax that lost by almost 10 percent. That’s progress! Small progress, admittedly, but 1631 faced some major hurdles that 732 did not.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on December 12, 2018 - 1:44pm, by abrown

By Brittany Hoedemaker

As Washington—and the rest of the world—buzzes about the declining Southern Resident Killer Whale population, I find myself thinking ever more about another predator in our waters: the sixgill shark.

The bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), with its fluorescent green eyes and six (as opposed to the common five) gills can be found in temperate and tropical waters globally. The usually sluggish sharks live along the ocean floor, rendering them out of sight and out of mind for most people despite their wide distribution. However, these sharks still find themselves listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to depletion from incidental bycatch and sport fishing.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on December 12, 2018 - 12:41pm, by raye

By: Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI)

Key Largo, December 11, 2018 Managers from four Mexican marine national parks are visiting the Florida Keys for a technical exchange to address an emerging threat posed to coral reefs by a coral disease that was first documented in Florida and is being now reported in other parts of the Caribbean. 

Marine natural resource managers from the Caribbean have expressed concern about the spread of a previously unknown coral disease that has recently been identified in Florida. The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease spreads rapidly and affects some of the slowest-growing and longest-lived reef-building corals, including the iconic brain corals, star corals and pillar corals. Scientists are still uncertain about the cause of the disease. 

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Posted on November 30, 2018 - 10:31am, by abrown

By Jessica Knoth

Tigers, elephants, gorillas, dolphins, sharks…you can picture each one, right? That’s because they are charismatic megafauna, or, in other words, species that are compelling because they are viewed as beautiful, impressive, or cute. Ironically, many of these species also happen to be endangered. A 2001 study by Anna Gunnthorsdottir found that there are stronger efforts to conserve some endangered species over others, simply because the animal is perceived to be physically attractive. The increased funding, habitat protection, and policy support for these species due to their perception by the general public can lead to more conservation successes.

Read the full blog HERE

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Posted on October 10, 2018 - 12:19pm, by raye

The Exploring Ocean Frontiers Educator Resources are based on the award-winning Ocean Frontiers film series by Green Fire Productions, portraying how unlikely allies — government, industry, science and conservation — are working together to find solutions that benefit ocean ecosystems and economies. The resources include secondary lessons and post-secondary discussion guides to engage students on an inquiry-based educational journey in ocean stewardship and facilitate discussions on collaborative ocean planning and the future of our oceans.

Students can learn about this new wave of ocean stewardship through engaging lessons that build on real-world science, featuring inspiring film clips, research data, local knowledge, place-based stories, role-playing, background information and more — providing educators NGSS-linked tools to incorporate ocean management and conservation perspectives into a variety of classroom settings. Themes include: collaborative science, ocean planning, stakeholder engagement, ocean data portals, marine biodiversity and ocean stewardship. 

Free DVDs available through November 30th. Starting in December 2018, only electronic videos will be available.

Blogs

From September until December 2018 the project will organise periodic webinars to disseminate the project tools and outcomes among the international fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Objectives

The webinars will dive deep on the methods utilised by PrimeFish partners, data and possible applications of these results. Participants will be able to test PrimeFish tools, interact directly with the main authors of the research and access main project documentation on the topic.

Course requirements

Designed for professionals of the seafood sector (companies, NGOs, associations, advisory bodies, media or research centers) and students.

Webinar topics

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