"The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes progress on a new marine protected area for rare glass sponge reefs in northern B.C.’s Hecate Strait but has concerns that draft regulations posted this week will not do enough to save them.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted draft Hecate Strait MPA regulations to the Canada Gazette today. They allow for some fishing activities including bottom trawling to continue around the reefs, and other types of fishing to continue above them. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is proposing to allow these activities to continue while they conduct monitoring and research. Cable laying within the MPA is also being allowed under the regulations."
News and Updates
Via The National
"Casual visitors are not allowed in the reserve. Exceptions are made for descendants of the former population, who can visit their ancestral homes.
In the reserve’s core area around the island of Bu Tinah, only scientists and rangers from the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, or Ead, have access."
"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says man is the lionfish's best predator. To help control the population FWC approved a lobster incentive program: 1 extra lobster over the bag limit for 10 lionfish per person, per day during the lobster mini-season July 29-30."
Via NOAA NCCOS
"As the coordinator for NOAA’s Phytoplankton Monitoring Program, I am usually working with our network of volunteer ‘citizen scientists’ to identify harmful algal bloom (HAB) species that can have potential health impacts on marine organisms like fish, turtles, and mammals (including us!). Here I have the opportunity to look for HAB organisms in this protected marine area as an added component to the research study. Another aspect I am introducing is the identification of marine plastics in the near surface waters, which will complement a similar study being done in the sediments. This will help us to establish for the first time a snapshot of how much plastic may be in FKNMS waters so that we can start to see what potential harm this may have on the organisms that live here."
"Today, leaders of maritime agencies from the United States and China met to strengthen their commitments – nationally, bilaterally, and internationally – to a conservation-minded approach to the ocean. The United States and China committed to combatting global climate change, ocean acidification, unsustainable fishing, marine pollution, and marine litter. The bilateral maritime agenda is broad and an increasingly important part of the bilateral relationship. The Pacific Ocean is both an area of differences – on issues like the South China Sea disputes – as well as an area for meaningful efforts to overcome challenges. The United States and China recognized their essential leadership roles in ensuring the long-term sustainability and health of the ocean, which plays a vital role in our nations’ prosperity and that of the world as a whole."
Via Yahoo News
"China and the United States launched a joint initiative Wednesday to protect the oceans, highlighting such cooperation as proof the two nations can work together despite stubborn disagreements.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and State Councilor Yang Jeichi chaired the first meeting of a new oceans working group, on the third and final day of key annual talks between Beijing and Washington."
"The Challenger Scallop Enhancement Company will mount a legal challenge to the Government's decision to open up a further 2100 hectares in Tasman and Golden Bays to mussel farms.
The Ministry for Primary Industries announced 10 days ago that long-disputed Aquaculture Management Areas could go ahead."
The Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR Leadership Program) is looking for 12 motivated individuals based in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Ecoregion shared by Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico (state of Quintana Roo only) who are committed to conservation of the region’s coastal and marine ecosystems and wish to develop leadership skills to advance their careers. The deadline for applications is July 15th.
"The 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday aimed at drafting a legally binding international treaty for the conservation of marine biodiversity and to govern the mostly lawless high seas beyond national jurisdiction.
The resolution was the result of more than nine years of negotiations by an Ad Hoc Informal Working Group, which first met in 2006."
"When I first began working with coastal communities in Greece more than a year ago, I was skeptical of these stories — not about their truth but about their relevance to the big picture of sustainable food. We’ve all heard about the problems with large-scale agriculture and animal production — deforestation, water-table depletion, and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Doesn’t fish farming offer an attractive alternative? Producing a pound of beef results in more than four times the CO2 emissions of producing a pound of farmed fish. It requires five times the fertilizer and freshwater use. And more than six times the total area. I could run through the numbers for chickens or pigs or goats, but the punch line is always the same. Fish come out on top. As I began to learn, however, it’s all a bit more complicated than that."