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Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 2, 2014 - 10:04am, by nwehner

Via The Herald

"THE first-ever Marine Conservation Order (MCO) has been issued to protect a delicate underwater site in South Arran.

The move, which will protect fragile ecosystems in the Firth of Clyde, comes after fishermen breached a voluntary agreement not to trawl the important site.

It has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, who say the breach demonstrates that more formal measures are needed to protect the country's 30 Marine Protected Areas, including South Arran."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on October 1, 2014 - 4:34pm, by nwehner

Via The New York Times

"By Jeremy Jackson and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

PARROTFISH eat algae and seaweed. These brightly colored fish with beaklike mouths inhabit coral reefs, the wellsprings of ocean life. Without them and other herbivores, algae and seaweed would overgrow the reefs, suppress coral growth and threaten the incredible array of life that depends on these reefs for shelter and food.

This was happening in Bermuda, until the government in 1990 banned fish traps that were decimating the parrotfish population. Today, Bermuda’s coral reefs are relatively healthy, a bright spot in the wider Caribbean, where total coral cover has declined by half since 1970."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 30, 2014 - 2:05pm, by nwehner

Via Lake Stevens News Spot

"Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) today announced it will no longer pursue its pilot tidal energy research project in Admiralty Inlet, west of Whidbey Island.

“The PUD and its funding partners have worked for years to get regulatory clarity regarding the requirements and associated costs to enable a well-informed decision,” said PUD General Manager Steve Klein. “After eight years in the federal, state and local permitting process and a decision by the U.S. Department of Energy to not share the rising costs of the next stage of the project, we cannot justify going forward. The tidal project, however, remains worthwhile to pursue on behalf of the nation to further the potential development of marine renewable energy.”

According to the PUD, the requirements became more onerous than expected for a temporary research project."

In the News
Posted on September 30, 2014 - 10:07am, by nwehner

The Mares Conference on Marine Ecosystems Health and Conservation will take place in Olhão, Portugal, from 17 to 21 November 2014. Registration closes next Friday (10 October 2014), register here!

All presenters must register by 10 October or risk having their presentation removed from the program.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 29, 2014 - 10:02am, by nwehner

Via The Sydney Morning Herald

"Sydney Harbour would become a marine park that extends from Pittwater to Port Hacking under a Labor election promise announced on Sunday.

If established, the Sydney Marine Park would have a mix of sanctuary areas, where recreational fishing is banned, and general use zones. It would become the seventh marine park along the NSW coast.

Opposition Leader John Robertson, who announced the commitment while on board the timber ship, the Yukon, on Sydney Harbour, said recreational fishing and boating would continue, but a marine park would also offer additional protection to the Harbour's marine life that currently did not exist."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 29, 2014 - 9:57am, by nwehner

Via Honolulu Star Advertiser

"Being "all the way out here" does present certain challenges, however — mostly enforcing the fishing restrictions with only a minimal U.S. Coast Guard presence in the territory, officials say.

"We're so far, we're so remote" — and local officials need more help to give enforcement "real teeth," local National Marine Sanctuary Deputy Superintendent Atuatasi Lelei Peau said Thursday. The sanctuary has relied on partnerships with other agencies in the area such as the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help keep an eye on things, he said."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 29, 2014 - 9:51am, by nwehner

Via Philippine Information Agency

"In order to protect and rehabilitate the coral reefs not only in Eastern Visayas but all over the country, a new program is being introduced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) dubbed as “Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program” (SCREMP) to be implemented this year until 2020.

This is based on the DENR administrative order number 2013-12 which calls for the conduct of a strategic, sustainable and ecosystem based approach in protecting and rehabilitating the coral reef ecosystem."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 29, 2014 - 9:40am, by nwehner

Via Bahama Islands Info

"Environmental advocate Lindsey McCoy has called on government to immediately announce the establishment of the North Bimini Marine Reserve (NMBR) to protect that island’s unique ecological heritage.

Noting that more than two months have passed since Bimini’s local council sent a letter asking the Christie administration to honor this longstanding promise, McCoy said there has been no response amid growing fears that the island’s sensitive mangrove forests may be under threat from development."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 29, 2014 - 9:35am, by nwehner

Via the David Suzuki Foundation

"British Columbia's Gwaii Haanas — Island(s) of Beauty in the Haida language — demonstrates how marine protection and eco-tourism can support each other and strengthen communities. I was fortunate this summer to have a first-hand view of this relationship on board a schooner called Passing Cloud.

Referred to as the Galapagos of the North because of the number of native plants and animals distinct from their mainland relatives that evolved here, Gwaii Haanas, Haida Gwaii's southern island, includes 138 smaller islands. Geological transitions on Gwaii Haanas create outstanding biological richness and marine ecosystems, while the continental shelf's close proximity to shore makes for unique oceanographic conditions."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on September 26, 2014 - 11:21am, by nwehner

Via the U.S. Department of State

"A number of years ago, Senator Ted Stevens and I took the issue of driftnet fishing to the United Nations. The United Nations banned driftnet fishing. But everybody knows there are boats out there still dropping illegal driftnets, which are tens of thousands of miles of monofilament netting, and sometimes it breaks off and then it becomes a ghost fishing. It actually fishes until it gets laden with the carcasses of the fish it traps in its netting, it sinks to the bottom, scavengers clean it up, it rises again, and fishes once more. So there’s this unvirtuous cycle, which threatens all of us, as a result of people who break the law, people who have no respect and want to fill those big 747s and send them over to one country or another to fill the appetite. And we need to deal with that.

I think the fact that so many different countries and organizations are represented here demonstrates how people on every continent from every walk of life have a stake in the future of our ocean. And I’m particularly grateful to Foreign Minister Munoz and the Government of Chile, which has already committed to host this second annual Our Ocean Conference in Chile next year. It’s going to be a terrific opportunity for all of us to mark our progress, to hold ourselves accountable, and to think about the next steps that we can take in order to be more effective.

This really is a matter of stewardship. It’s also a matter of generational responsibility. We have a responsibility to make sure our kids and their families and the future has the same ocean to serve it in the same way as we have – not to be abused, but to preserve and utilize."