Alaska Airlines ends use of non-recyclable plastic straws
Alaska Airlines is saying STOP to plastic straws. Partnering with environmental group Lonely Whale, Alaska airlines will no longer be providing plastic straws to customers, instead opting for compostable alternatives. In 2017 alone, Alaska airlines distributed "roughly 22 million plastic stir straws and citrus picks". (via The Hill)
The Big Picture: The continuing debate over the value of large vs. small MPAs, and what it means for the field
MPA News wades back into the long-running debate over large offshore MPAs vs. small nearshore ones, and whether countries should stop designating the former to focus on the latter, as some individuals suggest. Several experts tell the newsletter, though, “It’s not an either/or - we need to do both. Just smartly.” (via MPA News)
A primer on what's needed in the UN high seas negotiations
Nature magazine offers a good primer on current management of the high seas (marine areas beyond national jurisdiction) and what’s needed from the forthcoming negotiations on a UN treaty to conserve them effectively. The article examines the challenges ahead, and hears from scientists concerned that the regulations that emerge might not be strict enough. (via Nature)
Australia Pledges Millions of Dollars in Bid to Rescue Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, pledged AU $500 million (US $379 million) to help the reef. Of these funds, AU $200 million would go to improving water quality, partially through reducing fertilizer runoff. AU $100 million would go directly to restoration and adaptation efforts (via New York Times). However, Australia is still planning to re-open many of its marine parks to fishing.
Welcome to the first edition of The OpenChannels Overview! Here, we'll briefly summarize each week's most interesting and/or important information going on in the world of sustainable ocean management and conservation. Check back regularly, as we'll continually update this post throughout the week as we add more news.