The last two issues of MEAM featured two Skimmers chock full of cutting edge research and insights from some of our climate change researcher heroes. If you didn’t have a chance to check them out yet, we highly recommend doing so now!
The United Nations Is Considering Banning High-Seas Fishing
In a recent study, published through Science Advances, researchers try to determine how influential high sea fisheries are for global supplies. The results show that the answer is very little. Another question to ask though is “how important is the high seas for the overall health of global fish stocks?” (via Hakai Magazine)
Hundreds of Researchers From Harvard, Yale and Stanford Were Published in Fake Academic Journals
An undercover study, performed by a German team led by journalist Silvia Eckert, discovered that hundreds of papers were submitted to predatory journals by real researchers from prominent institutions. These journals go on to create fake conferences with “experts” to draw in millions of dollars. One plausible explanation for these researchers to submit to these inauthentic journals is purely to say they were published. ( via Motherboard)
How Whale Poop Could Counter Calls to Resume Commercial Hunting
Researchers continue to explore the importance of whales for the overall vitality of ocean. Results have shown that fecal wastes from whales increase abundance of sea life, especially that of phytoplankton, which in turn consumes atmospheric carbon helping to mediate climate change. The IWC Scientific Committee will use this information, and more, to decide on the fate of commercial whaling. (via Scientific American)
Dosed salmon, clipped fins, a ‘dinner bell’: How far is too far in helping starving orca?
J50 is one of the 75 remaining residential Salish Sea orcas, and she is dying. Sick with intestinal worms and suffering from a fungal infection, J50 needs help fast. Oral medication is necessary to treat these ailments, and to supply these is going to require some ingenuity. (via Seattle Times)
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 Phys.org)
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.
Editor’s note: The Skimmer is a MEAM feature where we briefly review the latest news and research on a topic. This Skimmer features new research and insights presented at the 4th International Symposium on Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans (ECCWO), held in June 2018 in Washington, DC. In last month’s MEAM, we covered new research on how weather and climate extremes are impacting marine ecosystems, as well as some climate change tools and resources, presented at the symposium. This month we examine what practitioners can do about it.
Marine species just are not where they used to be: Managing and conserving species on the move
- The problem: Much of current conservation action is based on maintaining species in the same places they have been located historically and at roughly the same levels of abundance. Marine resource management, likewise, is based on historical assumptions about where species are and in what numbers. But we are currently seeing big geographical shifts in marine populations in response to climate change, sometimes across political and management boundaries. How in the world can we deal with this?
Ocean planning and blue growth-related news and resources:
- US President Trump issues new US ocean policy deemphasizing conservation and spatial planning
- European Atlas of the Seas updates enable citizens to create their own sea maps
- European Commission releases first annual report on EU blue economy
- Handbook for developing indicators for MSP - with focus on blue growth - available
- Handbook for developing MSP visions and strategies also available
- New international forum on MSP to meet biannually
- Washington State (US) adopts spatial plan for evaluating new projects along Pacific coast
- White papers describe how ocean business clusters can promote sustainable ocean development and how to better engage the private sector in ocean governance
- Study analyses space demands for nine key EU maritime sectors and interactions between sectors
- AquaSpace publishes review of tools and methods for spatially allocating aquaculture
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)