"In a continued triumph for lovers of the ocean (and others!) across the nation, nearly all NOAA programs were funded at the same level as last year, or grew. Of particular interest, Congress increased the funding for the Ocean Acidification Program by $500,000 to $11 million. This bump is part of an 83% increase from the $6 million budget five years ago: mirroring growing awareness and concern about the issue. The Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund, which Trump had proposed eliminating, enjoyed strong support as well, receiving $65 million. And aquaculture – for which the president had proposed flat funding, actually grew by over 60% from the previous year, to $15 million."
OpenChannels News Archives
"Allow me to introduce SoFi — like “Sophie,” but short for “Soft Robotic Fish,” revealed on Wednesday in Science Robotics, by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab."
"The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a major change to the way it assesses scientific work, a move that would severely restrict the research available to it when writing environmental regulations.
Under the proposed policy, the agency would no longer consider scientific research unless the underlying raw data can be made public for other scientists and industry groups to examine. As a result, regulators crafting future rules would quite likely find themselves restricted from using some of the most consequential environmental research of recent decades, such as studies linking air pollution to premature deaths or work that measures human exposure to pesticides and other chemicals."
"Previously, researchers believed that marine mammals could be so large because the buoyancy of water frees them from the constraints of gravity. Although this freedom may still be a factor, Gearty says that his results show that marine mammals need their heft to keep themselves warm in the often chilly oceans."
Via Hakai Magazine
"Slick with meltwater, the chocolaty goop brims with microscopic bits of once-living things that have not touched sunlight or air or flowing water for centuries, perhaps millennia. Deeper still lie plant and animal remains that could be tens of thousands of years old, dating back to the Pleistocene, when steppe bison and wooly mammoths wandered a treeless region that extended from here across the Bering Land Bridge, all the way to Siberia."
"On March 20, Brazil joined the growing list. President Michel Temer announced the creation of two marine protected areas with the Brazilian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) totaling 900,000 square kilometers. That’s an area bigger than France and the UK combined. The announcement comes at a time when a campaign run by the charity Conservation International for marine protected areas in Brazil had gathered more than 10,000 supporters."
"Australia's Maritime Border Command, working with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), has apprehended two Papua New Guinean (PNG) banana boats in the Torres Strait for suspected illegal fishing."
Via News Deeply
"In 2012, Catalina Sea Ranch became the first commercial aquaculture operation permitted in federal United States waters, and Cruver’s expansion vision reflects the consensus among some researchers and proponents that growing seafood in offshore waters could be a winning deal as wild fish catches flatline or diminish."
Via The Guardian
"Since 2012, 36% of Australia’s ocean territory has been within marine parks. However, the devil is in the detail and what is meant by a 'park'. The management plans just released in response to former prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision to suspend the 2012 plans now give us the detail, and it is diabolical for ocean protection."