OpenChannels News

OC Overview
Posted on August 13, 2018 - 10:37am, by raye

Apathy towards poachers widespread in world's marine protected areas

New research by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies assesses how fishers behave when faced with poaching in MPAs. The study found that majority of fishers, in the countries studied, did nothing when faced with illegal fishing behavior. The researchers hoped to find what would make fishers more empathetic towards the protection of MPAs. (via

80,000 gallons of sewage spills into Puget Sound's Sinclair Inlet

The smell is what first alerted people near the navel base in Washington State that something was amiss. A blocked pipe has led to an extremely large sewage spill into the Sinclair Inlet. Heath departments have issued a no contact order with the inlet until August 31st. (via King 5

‘Biological passports’ show whale sharks travel less than we thought

Whale sharks are beautiful, large, peaceful creatures...and apparently also homebodies. Young whale sharks have been found to stay much closer to home than previously thought. The most likely reason is the comfort of knowing when and where food will be. (via Mongabay)

Marine Worms Are Eating Plastic Now

A team from the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology discovered that marine polychaetes do not hate the taste of plastic. In a controlled experiment, the scientists studied how much microplastic poop is expelled when adult and juvenile polychaetes are left with a block of styrofoam. The results show a lot of microplastic poop. (via Hakai Magazine)

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 7, 2018 - 10:38am, by vbell

We are pleased to announce a webinar on a recently launched project. Andre Punt and Tessa Francis will describe their work developing recommendations to estimate bycatch for the Marine Mammal Protection Act Import Provisions. They will also detail the project goals and process and take questions and comments.

OC Overview
Posted on August 6, 2018 - 11:13am, by raye

Designing the Death of a Plastic

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne have created a new type of plastic. At the end of each polymer of plastic sits a little lock that when heated or exposed to some element clicks open causing the plastic itself to dismantle. This breakthrough could end the fear that comes with non-degradable single-use plastics. (via New York Times)

MPA News

Scientists now recognize that ecosystems can sometimes undergo abrupt, dramatic changes in response to human use or environmental conditions. When a tipping point like this is crossed, we can witness upheaval in ecosystem structure and function and in ecosystem benefits to people. These tipping points can be hard to reverse due to feedbacks that reinforce the new state.

MPA News

By Carlos A. Espinosa, Néstor J. Windevoxhel, and Juan C. Villagran

Protected areas in Central America showcase the region’s magnificent landscape and tropical biodiversity – terrestrial and marine. They help maintain a sustainable supply of water, food, and other natural resources essential for all life in the region. And they provide Central America’s inhabitants a way to protect their own economy, welfare, and future.

MPA News

By Angelo O’Connor Villagomez, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project senior officer

As more countries designate MPAs in their territories, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which for over 70 years has been the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to conserve it, has recently provided clarity to help countries more accurately report their MPAs to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).


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