Accelerating the solutions to ocean plastic: Trends & lessons from 5 years of the Marine Plastics Innovation Challenge

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For the week of 14 August 2017

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the latest version of the OpenChannels Weekly Update!

We are trialing a new summary-driven format to give you a brief introduction to the deluge of ocean management and conservation-related news being shared on each week.

In addition to adding these new summaries, we're also giving research-related news its own section. Any news based on primary academic research will now be grouped under the Literaturecategory below. You can find the literature linked in the Related Content section of these news posts.

As always, we would love your feedback on the new format. Love it, hate it, or just feeling "uh" about it – let us know! Nick is all ears (or, well, eyes, since this is email after all) at nwehner [at]

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
- Allie Brown, Nick Wehner, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team

News & Blogs

  • The New York Times explains the reasons why California's MPA system exists in a photojournalism-focused slideshow, highlighting the species which are being protected (

  • An analysis of the comments placed during the 45-day public comment period on the fate of U.S. marine monuments and sanctuaries shows that over 99% of Americans support one or all of the parks. The U.S Secretary of the Interior will release his recommendations on August 24 (

  • The Environmental Justice Foundation alleges that despite UN action in 2015, Taiwan's fisheries are still rife with human rights abuses (

  • Surfrider scores a legal victory against a billionaire who paid $32.5 million for coastal property and then promptly cut off public beach access. He will need to allow the public access once again. However, as of last Friday the road was still closed (

  • The University of Australia opens the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC), convening 300 marine scientists under one roof (

  • Inuit groups in Canada have successfully lobbied the government to establish the country's newest and largest MPA in Lancaster Sound (

  • The Canadian Government will require large vessels to temporarily slow-down to prevent ship-strikes with North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence (

  • In this short video, the BBC explains how the Netherlands is testing out a controversial new technique to avoid damage to the seafloor caused by beam trawlers (

  • Ayana Elizabeth Johnson asks the question, Will the Ocean Ever Run Out of Fish?(

Events & Conferences

  • Tuesday's webinar on Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making: An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers is now archived (

  • Tuesday, 22 August we'll be hosting a webinar on Do Data or Desires Drive MSP?(

  • Thursday, 28 September we'll be hosting a webinar on Accelerating the solutions to ocean plastic: Trends and lessons from five years of the Marine Plastics Innovation Challenge(

  • The 2nd SUBMARINER Conference Better Off Blue – Creating synergies for a bio-based societyis coming up 27-28 September in Berlin (

  • MSP for Blue Growth - How to plan for a Sustainable Blue Economy? will be held in Brussels 11-12 October (


  • Scientists have created a database of fish protein "fingerprints" for 54 species, aiding the process of identifying seafood fraud (

  • Algae covering plastic debris may be the cause of widespread plastic ingestion by fish, as the particles tend to smell like food (

  • Dave Shiffman summarizes his group's latest research, noting that some fishers in Florida are helping each other avoid getting caught landing protected shark species via public forums (

  • Scientists are turning to Twitter to crowdsource monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef utilizing location and image data from tweets (

  • New research argues global seafood demand could be met with aquaculture located in only 1% of the world's oceans (

  • The Environmental Law Institute has a report on Legal Tools for Strengthening Marine Protected Area Enforcement (

Grants, RFPs, & Jobs

  • Hawaii Sea Grant is hiring a Coastal Lands Program Coordinator (

  • The United Nations Environment Programme is hiring a consultant to support marine plastics systemic approach (