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 April 3, 2018 - 5:28pm, by abrown

In August 2017, a massive net pen failure released thousands of Atlantic salmon into the waters of Puget Sound. This event prompted a renewed surge of energy for the many residents, lawmakers, advocacy groups, and businesses which oppose the development of net pen salmon aquaculture in Washington. From the cancellation of Cooke Aquaculture’s Port Angeles farm lease, to the signing of a bill on March 22, 2018 to eliminate the farming of non-native finfish in state waters, the future of finfish aquaculture in Washington is beginning to look grim.

Read the rest HERE

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Our cities are becoming smart cities every day, but unless our cities are clean and litter-free, we are going to face massive problems. Globally there are over 1.5 Billion Unsecured wheelie bins, these bins are massively concentrated in cities. Wheelie bins are a prominent cause behind litter pollution and are responsible for many environmental and health problems. This occurs when bins are blown over, knocked over, or over filled, the result is huge amounts of rubbish escaping into our environment, rivers and oceans. Pollution from wheelie bins cause detrimental effects to animals, wildlife, marine organisms and to our planet as a whole.

Dangerous Impacts on Marine Organisms

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Every year eight million tonnes of plastic enter our ocean, BinStrap is committed to dramatically reducing this number simply by securing wheelie bin lids. BinStrap is a patented device that was designed with the intention of securing the 1.5 Billion Unsecured wheelie bins worldwide that are spilling plastic and rubbish into our environment, rivers and oceans. These bins get knocked over, blown over, overfilled and rummaged through by animals, birds, rodents and wildlife, this causes a huge mess and is massively polluting our planet.

Wheelie bin owners also have to face cleaning up spilt litter and rubbish that has often been in the bin for over two weeks, sometimes they can receive a litter fine even if they are not at fault, i.e. the bin has been blown over during the night or animals have got into the bin causing a mess.

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Posted on March 22, 2018 - 9:54am, by emdesanto

[Posting on behalf of Diana Castillo, graduate student at Dalhousie University - please see her contact info below]

Is your institution a subscriber to the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)? If so, you can assist with an evaluation of this major international information resource.

Since 1971 the ASFA database has been providing access to information about the science, technology, and management of marine, brackishwater, and freshwater environments globally. Operating as an international partnership of over 60 agencies, ASFA compiles and disseminates information produced around the world and is overseen by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Accessible by subscription from ProQuest, ASFA currently contains more than 2 million records, and aims to facilitate the global dissemination of information, particularly of grey literature.

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Posted on March 8, 2018 - 3:54pm, by abrown

Did you know that the pharmaceuticals you take can end up in your pee? And once that’s flushed down the toilet, they can build up in aquatic environments. At the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, researchers Tawnya Peterson, Brittany Cummings and Joseph Needoba discussed how freshwater and coastal marine environments near urban centers can retain dissolved drugs, and how this has the potential to biologically affect the organisms in these ecosystems.

Read the rest HERE

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Posted on February 22, 2018 - 12:01pm, by abrown

The recent debate over the newly-approved ‘trade remedies’ on solar imports has U.S. citizens polarized. The solar market has become the subject of another green energy versus conventional energy, left versus right, progressive versus status quo dispute.  However, upon further investigation, the roots of these opposed sides tangle in a muddy field; the political platforms to which citizens cling collapse under scrutiny.

Review of the events

  • Last year, two US solar manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to implement tariffs on international CSPV imports under section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act to relieve them of “trade injury” so they can remain competitive in the domestic solar market.
  • In May of 2017, the ITC began its investigation into the claims of injury.
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Posted on February 22, 2018 - 12:00pm, by abrown

Two stories seem to circulate repeatedly in the news: declining sea turtle populations and the dangers of fishing to marine life. Unsurprisingly, the two are related.

Fishing gear is the single greatest threat to sea turtles. Bycatch, or the incidental capture of a species by a commercial fishery, is such an extensive problem that some small-scale fishing boats can catch 16 sea turtles a day. Even more staggering: each year, over “250,000 sea turtles are accidentally captured, injured, or killed by U.S. fishermen” alone.

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Posted on February 22, 2018 - 11:58am, by abrown

What if I told you that, despite my best intentions, I could single-handedly be causing tons of recyclables to end up in a landfill? I am that person that hovers over the recycling, compost, and waste bins while struggling internally to decide what item goes where. I want to feel like I’m saving the environment one piece of trash at a time. So when in doubt, I drop it in the recycle bin. I feel better about myself for “recycling” my item, and it is always better to recycle it than toss it, right? WRONG.

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A satellite view of the deforestation in the wildlife refuge Punta de Manabique in Guatemala, and a vision proposal to revert the actual destructive tendency.

Punta de Manabique is the only place in Guatemala with coral reefs. It is home to two endangered species: The Hammerhead Shark (Sphirna mokarran) and the Chumbimba (Vieja Maculicauda). It has the most extensive seagrasses in the country, beaches and waves, swamps, tall forests, palms, mangroves, guamiles and freshwater lagoons. It provides shelter to the largest number of migratory birds in Guatemala. The flooded forests or swamps of Confra (Manicaria saccifera), a species of palm, is one of the rarest ecosystems in Guatemala, which exists only in this region.

However, since 2005 the area has been rapidly deforested. Currently, the agricultural frontier continues, wood extraction, destruction of the Motagua river basin, fauna extraction, overfishing, garbage and pollution.

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