Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing
It is still unknown why the resident orca pods within the Salish Sea are dying. There are many possible theories, ranging from: pollutants from nearby cities to increase in marine traffic. A leading thought is the deaths are driven by loss of the orca's main food source, the Chinook Salmon. The Chinook or King Salmon is the largest salmon found in the Salish Sea and similarly to the resident orcas, is endangered. (Via The New York Times)
Trump Accepts the Resignation of Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. Chief
Happy birthday America, Scott Pruitt has resigned as acting Chief of the EPA. Will his replacement be much better? Mostly likely not, but we shall see. (via New York Times)
The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific knowledge on marine litter and ocean plastics. It is based in part on a longer, more detailed article from November 2017 by MPA News’ affiliated service Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM).
If you are interested in this topic, please note that OCTO – the organization that produces MPA News and MEAM – also runs the global discussion list on marine litter and ocean plastics: MarineDebris.Info. It is a thriving community. In April 2018, for example, there were over 170 member posts to the list. To subscribe to the MarineDebris.Info email discussion list, click here.
By Carlos A. Espinosa and Néstor J. Windevoxhel
The challenges facing coastal and marine protected areas in Central America remain as serious as ever. And in some ways they are getting worse.
In last month’s MPA News, we examined the ongoing debate over the value of large vs. small MPAs: whether MPA designations should focus on large offshore sites or smaller inshore ones. This debate has been going on for many years, and we’ve reported on aspects of it several times.
By Anne Nelson
The effective management of MPA networks requires an array of elements. These include having adequate technical capacity of site managers, good science, committed leadership at multiple levels (sites, agencies, and policy makers), shared goals among MPAs, and monitoring of the network’s ecological effectiveness.
Importantly, it also requires good connectivity among site managers – in other words, a social network.
These recent articles or preprints on MPA-related science and policy are all free to access.
Article: Suchley, A. & Alvarez-Filip, L. “Local human activities limit marine protection efficacy on Caribbean coral reefs.” Conservation Letters e12571 (2018)
Volcano fills in MPA with lava
A small, inshore, no-take MPA in the US state of Hawai‘i has been covered up by lava from ongoing volcanic eruptions on the archipelago’s Big Island. The 0.2-km2 Wai'opae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District was designated in 2003, and was popular with snorkelers and swimmers. Now it is covered by lava rock. Hundreds of nearby homes were also destroyed by the lava flow.