Friday, September 23, 2016

Week in Review: CITES IS HERE!

1. The Sea Save Foundation is set to attend the 2016 CITES Conference

Georgienne Bradley and Jay Ireland will be attending the 2016 CITES CoP17 World Wildlife Conference being held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on behalf of the Sea Save Foundation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora begins on September 24th and runs through October 5th, aims to ensure that international trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES is a legally binding agreement between its parties who are bound to regulate their country’s trade in a sustainable and traceable manner. CITES CoP16 made shark conservation a major focus and also highlighted the protection of manta rays and sawfish. Click here to find out more and stay turned for updates!


2. Global Fishing Watch, a new online based initiative to track rogue fishing

Google, Oceana, and Skytruth recently unveiled their new project, Global Fishing Watch, that pairs data mining technology with conservation skills to help crack down on illegal fishing. The new public web platform uses AIS satellite tracking technology, which commercial fishing vessels constantly update with their locations, along with an algorithm to track the routes of boats all over the world. Public users can then log on and identify if the vessel’s behavior is positive or negative. This exciting use of satellite tracking technology and big data processing is already bringing more transparency to the fishing industry, while fast-forwarding environmental progress. Read the full story here…


3. The Atlantic Ocean gets its first marine monument

President Obama used his executive powers this week to create the Atlantic Ocean’s first US Marine Monument. The Northeast Canyons & Sea Mounts Marine National Monument encompasses about 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, a region where ocean temps are projected to warm up 3 times faster than the global average. By banning oil and gas exploration and drilling, as well as most commercial fishing, several endangered species of whales and turtles, and ancient deep-sea coral will be protected for generations to come. Read more here…


4. New coral species and rare octopus discovered in Pacific Ocean

Scientists were very excited to discover what they believe to be a new species of coral reef during a recent deep-sea ocean dive expedition. They dubbed the violet hued coral “Purple Haze”. The previously unexplored Cook Seamount, a now extinct volcano 100 miles southwest of Hawaii’s Big Island, where the dive occurred is over 3,000 feet below sea level. Researchers were thrilled when they also encountered an extremely rare species, the Dumbo octopus. More details about the dive can be found here…


5. Sea Level Rise Worries Causes Marshall Islands Exodus

The Marshall Islands, low lying islands arranged in broken arcs around lagoons, has lost over a third of its population due to concerns with rising sea level. The mass exodus is bringing people to the United States through a compact of free association that allows immigrants to stay after their visas expire if they choose. The island experienced dramatic flood events, that historically would only occur once every few decades, three times during 2014. Temporary sea walls erected by the island’s residents are no match for the ocean waves though, and often have to be rebuilt after storm events. Read more here…


6. Arctic sea ice faces its second lowest level in history

After a dreary, cooler than average summer, scientists were shocked by a report released by NSIDC and NASA this week showing arctic sea ice at its second lowest recorded level ever. Scientists began monitoring sea ice, which naturally shrinks during the warmer summer months before returning in the winter, in 1978. The report showed 1.6 million square miles of sea ice present in the North Pole. The lowest record ever occurred in September 2016 with 1.31 million square miles of sea ice reported. Sea ice is important because it reflects solar radiation back into space, helping to maintain the planet’s temperature and also influencing the circulation of both the atmosphere and ocean. A warming ocean is to blame for the sea ice, which creates a positive feedback where less sea ice is created each subsequent winter. Read the full article here…


7. International conference unveils 136 new ocean conservation initiatives

90 different countries recently took part in a two-day conference geared towards raising capital for ocean conservation. The event reviled 136 new initiatives that will take on ocean challenges related to climate change and over-fishing. Participants committed more than $5.3 billion dollars to support the initiatives and help create 40 new marine sanctuaries around the world. You can read more about the efforts here…


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Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Week in Review is a team effort produced by the Sea Save staff to provide a weekly summary of the latest in marine research, policy, and news.