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 February 5, 2018 - 12:55pm, by abrown

By Spencer Showalter

In November 2017, more than 200 countries convened in Bonn, Germany for Conference of the Parties 23 (COP 23), the most recent in the yearly United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences. These meetings began in the 1990s with the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, a pioneering international agreement that set the groundwork for substantially reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. COP 23 was a notable meeting for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first meeting since the Trump Administration announced its intention to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the major outcome of COP 21. Secondly, COP 23’s main goal was to iron out the details of the Paris Agreement in order to continue to chase the international goal of limiting warming to under 2˚C (3.6˚F)—a goal that is already on tenuous ground. So, given that the US is not participating in the Paris agreement, what did the American delegation do at the conference? What were the outcomes of the conference?

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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 (Old 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. I hope that someone can get attention during the IMPAC4 Congress in relation to this terrible situation in Guatemala.

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Posted on January 24, 2018 - 2:34pm, by abrown

by: Priscilla Rivas

“Have you seen what’s happening in the news?” is a question that seems to cause a lot of stress for environmentalists lately. From taking the phrase “climate change” out of the National Security Strategy, to drastically shrinking national monuments, the Trump Administration has stirred a lot of controversy around environmental issues. Such moves are commonly opposed by Democrats, and supported by Republicans. Trump’s latest plan for offshore drilling, however, is facing opposition from both sides of the aisle. In such divisive times, it is notable that an environmental regulation may be the one to bring Republicans and Democrats together.

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Posted on January 8, 2018 - 12:48pm, by abrown

By Kelly Martin

Whether you were ready for it or not, another year has come and gone. With the start of 2018, a few things are inevitable: you keep writing the date with “17” at the end, the post-holidays blues set in as you go back to work or school, and you struggle to stick to your list of New Year’s resolutions. While we can’t help you write the date correctly or ease the transition from the holidays back to the real world, we here at Currents have got you covered with a list of New Year’s resolutions that are easier to keep than waking up at the crack of dawn every morning to go to the gym. Below you’ll find a list of 5 New Year’s resolutions that will help save the oceans and only require small changes in your daily routine! Pick just one or take on all five – any changes are a great start.

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Posted on January 4, 2018 - 1:42pm, by abrown

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing has direct ties to human traffickingdrug smuggling, slavery, and even gang activity. Oh, and of course it directly affects the economic and food security of billions.For example, West Africa, a region where more than 50% get the majority of their protein intake from fisheries and over 3 million are directly employed in the industry, loses 2.3 billion dollars annually to illegal fishing. Foreign IUU fishing is even an issue in the Pacific Northwest. In 2013, it was estimated that Alaskan crabbers lost over 560  million to IUU fishing to Russia.

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Posted on September 15, 2017 - 6:51am, by mdwyer

By Sarah Poon

What if anyone in the world could access expert help and advice on fisheries management with just the click of button?

Overfishing is a global problem that can only be overcome by a global effort to address it. But there is no one-size-sits-all approach. Fisheries managers need access to tools and methods that can be effective on a local scale.

EDF's Virtual Fisheries Academy is a new resource for fisheries management professionals all over the world. Getting strong fisheries management in place around the world relies on an empowered network of fishery managers, fishermen, scientists and other practitioners who have the knowledge and skills to develop fishery management solutions that work for their fisheries.

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Posted on September 14, 2017 - 8:45pm, by jdavis

Hi everyone! It was a pleasure to attend IMPAC4 in the beautiful beachfront town of La Serena, Chile. Joining me were 1100 attendees from 59 countries — a good turnout.

Below are the highlights of the conference, giving you the main news and outcomes from the week. If I’ve missed anything, please let me know at jdavis [at] marineaffairs.org and I’ll add it. Thanks! (And if you'd like a more detailed, blow-by-blow account of the conference, please see my live-blog of it.)

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Posted on September 14, 2017 - 11:49am, by kvpugh

Golfo Dulce, a tropical fjord located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, exemplifies the need for conservation action in areas that provide critical ecosystem services to migratory species. In the marine realm, few point endemic or severely range restricted species exist and it is rarely possible to secure protection for the entire range of a species within a single Marine Protected Area. This exacerbates the need to prioritize sites with the greatest conservation potential for the establishment of MPAs. Protection is needed most in breeding, feeding, spawning, resting, and nursery grounds, where aggregations occur and migratory species visit seasonally.

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Posted on September 12, 2017 - 10:10am, by jijr

By Joseph Ierna, Jr.

Each year along the hurricane corridor, it happens like clockwork. Massive storm systems spawn and are born off the coast of Africa, in the warm Atlantic Ocean currents. They march along the Ocean, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. We know they are brewing and we know they are coming. And each year, the chatter starts in the community about the storm details. Here on Long Island in the Bahamas, Hurricane Joaquin, a major storm system that demolished the island in 2015, was used as a comparison to the storm that came though this week, Hurricane Irma. Joaquin was a storm that everyone on Long Island, Bahamas was touched by, with some stories holding very tragic details.

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What’s the deal with overfishing? What’s at stake? And what can we do about it? We teamed up with the good folks at TEDEd on this animated short to explain.

Punchline: Wild fish simply can’t reproduce as fast as 8 billion people can eat them. So we need better management of fishing. Our ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures all depend on it.

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