Posted on March 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘We know too much about the world now to keep managing the ocean in the same old way’
FRISCO — Dynamic, adaptive management is needed to manage ocean resources, including protected species and commercial fisheries, according to San Diego State University researchers, who say such a shift could benefit both commercial fishing fleets and conservation-focused stakeholders.
The need for a new paradigm is illustrated by the growing threats to ocean ecosystems, including overfishing, ever-busier shipping routes, energy exploration, pollution and other consequences of ocean-based industry, according to SDSU biologist Rebecca Lewison.
There’s plenty of data available to help managers make real-time decisions, but they often can’t react quickly enough to new information, Lewison said, after outlining a framework for “dynamic ocean management” in a paper published today in the journal BioScience. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: adaptive management, biodiversity, endangered species, Fisheries Management, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Just 50 miles northwest of San Francisco, Cordell Bank teems with life above and below the surface. This thriving ‘underwater island’ is the centerpiece of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, which NOAA has now expanded to protect additional areas like Bodega Canyon along the continental shelf. Photo courtesy NOAA.
Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones home to 25 threatened and endangered species
FRISCO — A pair of marine sanctuaries off the coast of northern California are doubling in size, offering more protection for globally significant and productive marine ecosystems. The sanctuaries encompass estuarine wetlands, rocky intertidal habitat, open ocean, and shallow marine banks.
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located 42 miles north of San Francisco, will expand from 529 square miles to 1,286 square miles. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will expand from 1,282 square miles to 3,295 square miles of ocean and coastal waters. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, national parks, ocean conservation | Tagged: California, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Environment, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, marine protected areas, ocean biodiversity, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 8, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Whales and other marine mammals would take a big hit from millions of air gun blasts proposed to uncover fossil fuel deposits beneath the sea floor of the Atlantic. Photo courtesy Tim Cole, NMFS.
Air gun blasting has a huge environmental footprint and poses ‘unacceptable risks’ to marine life
FRISCO — Proposed seismic testing for oil and gas beneath the Atlantic Ocean floor is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammals, scientists warned last week in a letter to President Barack Obama.
The letter was written in response to the administration’s announcement last month that it will, for the first time, open areas off the U.S. mid-Atlantic and south Atlantic coasts for fossil fuel exploitation. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: air gun blasting, Atlantic seaboard, Environment, marine mammals, oceans, offshore oil drilling, seismic testing | 4 Comments »
Posted on February 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A satellite view of the Great Barrier Reef, via NOAA.
Plastic micro-pollution adds insult to injury for stressed coral reefs
FRISCO — Widespread micro-plastic pollution may take a toll on the famed Great Barrier Reef, scientists said this week after discovering that coral organisms will ingest the tiny plastic particles.
“Corals are non-selective feeders and our results show that they can consume microplastics when the plastics are present in seawater,” said Dr, Mia Hoogenboom, a researchers with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.
“If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic,” Hoogenboom added. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: coral reefs, Environment, micro-plastic pollution, oceans | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘We should use international waters as the world’s fish bank …’
FRISCO — Growing exploitation of open-ocean resources will soon require the world to rethink the way it manages the high seas, including a potential ban on commercial fishing that would help distribute fisheries income more equitably among the world’s maritime nations, according to research from the University of British Columbia.
After studying fisheries data, the researchers concluded that maintaining or boosting fish stocks in the high seas would help boost coastal fisheries. If increased spillover of fish stocks from protected international waters were to boost coastal catches by 18 per cent, current global catches would be maintained. When the researchers modeled less conservative estimates of stock spillover, catches in coastal waters surpassed current global levels. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: high seas fishing ban, marine conservation, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘We’re being overwhelmed by our waste’
FRISCO — There are plenty of studies showing how hundreds of ocean species, from zooplankton to marine mammals, are affected by the plastic waste that keeps accumulating in the world’s oceans, and the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: Environment, ocean garbage patches, oceans, plastic marine debris | Leave a comment »