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
By: Peter Baker
North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered of all whales in U.S. waters, with such a small population that even one death a year can push the species toward extinction.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Research Permit #665-1652
By: Joseph Gordon, Holly Binns, Leda Cunningham & Thomas Wheatley
Seagrass is found in nearly every coastal state but has been declining for decades. Effective protection could lead to a large-scale recovery that would benefit ecosystems and coastal economies.
Chris Ross/Getty Images
By Ian Stanfield
Here are some words that you’ve probably heard: economic opportunity. The ability to take part in the global market is considered a benefit. We want job growth, we want opportunities to make money and better our living conditions. In this day and age, money makes the world go ‘round. So, what do you do if you’re locked out of the economic opportunities that most of us take for granted?
By TJ Kennedy
Back in December, Japan decided to resume commercial whaling. It was an extremely controversial decision, at least in terms of environmental protection and conservation. The International Whaling Commission (IWC), of which Japan was a member, has banned commercial whaling since 1986. But Japan has also withdrawn from the IWC, and is thus no longer bound by their requirements, at least when operating in Japanese waters.
By Angela Cruz
When you hear “fisherman,” what do you picture? I would expect you see an image of a burly man in a yellow raincoat, struggling on a hazardous sea. Men have been the face of the marine resource industry and discourse for decades, with the assumption that it is a strictly male sphere. Previously, reports stated that the global fishing industry was overwhelmingly dominated by men. However, this statistic has been turned on its head. Today, the World Bank acknowledges that when pre-harvest, post-harvest and subsistence activities are considered, the fishing industry is nearly 50% women. As Currents recognizes and discusses women in STEM, it’s equally important to include women that work in the fisheries industry and the biases they experience in that discussion as well. When we don’t understand women’s roles in fisheries, this can render them invisible in the industry. These biases and invisibility can lead to exclusion of women in fisheries management, even though they hold great stake in marine resources and are more vulnerable to environmental degradation than men. This can have negative repercussions both for management outcomes and for communities.
By Kelly Martin
A little over a year ago, I went to a job interview that I was confident I was qualified for: my resume matched up almost perfectly with the “desired qualifications” listed in the job posting. However, right before I walked in to the interview, I had a moment of self-doubt and quickly pulled my long, blonde hair back into low bun. I had straightened my hair that morning to make it look more professional than my usual untidy waves did, but under the glare of the fluorescent lights of the waiting room I suddenly became self-conscious: I was concerned that this time I spent on my appearance would make me look too feminine, and therefore, I wouldn’t be taken seriously. But with skills and experience that certainly qualified me for the job, something as trivial as my appearance wouldn’t affect whether or not my interviewers thought I was qualified enough, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case: a 2016 study found that women with “feminine appearance” were perceived as less likely to be professional scientists.
By Jenny Seifert
It’s a no-brainer that science is critical for managing ocean resources. But actually applying science in ways that are useful to managers is not always easy. Differences in pace, scale, and priorities can thwart a clean science-to-management application.
This is not a story about the magic solution for this predicament (sorry), but it is a story about how the power of connection – specifically between data and people – can be a key ingredient.
It doesn’t hurt that this story takes place in Hawai’i, whose magical waters draw people in droves. In 2017 alone, 9.4 million tourists generated nearly US$17 billion in direct tourism revenue for the state, and 89 percent of its residents participate in ocean activities at least once a month.
By Sallie Lau
“Probably a horizontal line,” says Valerie Portefaix, an artist who looks at physical and imaginary territories and how humans subvert and appropriate them. “I don’t think people see the ocean as a 3D space. They just see it as a 2D blue surface that creates distance.”