Friday, April 6, 2018

Week In Review April 6, 2018: Indonesia Oil Spill Spreads "State of Emergency" Declared, Four New Marine Protected Areas in Brazil, and More

1. Indonesia Has Declared a State of Emergency as Borneo Oil Spill Spreads

Borneo, Oil Spill, Indonesia“Indonesia declared a state of emergency Tuesday April 3 after a deadly oil spill off the coast of the island of Borneo continued to spread, the BBC reports.”  Four fishermen were killed when the oil erupted in flames. there is an “overpowering stench” over the city of Balikpapan, a city of over 700,000 people. Indonesia's state-owned oil company Pertamina has finally admitted it is responsible for the major oil spill.  “The slick, which now covers an area of seven sq. mi., also threatens fishing waters off the tropical island.”
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2. Brazil Creates Four Marine Protected Areas

Trindade, Martin Vaz, archipelagos, Brazil“Brazil will soon have four vast marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Atlantic Ocean, covering an area of more than 920,000 square kilometers (355,200 square miles). The new designation will increase the coverage of Brazilian MPAs from 1.5 percent to about 24.5 percent of the country’s waters, exceeding the international target of protecting at least 10 percent of marine areas by 2020.”  Two of the four will be off limits to human activity and include one MPA in the vicinity of the archipelago of Trindade, Martin Vaz and Mount Columbia and the other MPA in the São Paulo archipelago. 
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3. Warm Seawater Melting Antarctica Ice From Below

Antarctica ice sheet, Antarctica, ice sheet, melting, sea level riseA new study used satellite information and found that the warming seawater due to climate change is melting Antarctic ice from below.  “The scientists found an area of underwater ice the size of Greater London had melted within the space of five years. The most alarming change was seen in West Antarctica, where over a fifth of the entire ice sheet had retreated rapidly across the sea floor – outpacing the rate of overall melting.”
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4. Success! Mumbai Beach Goes From Dump to Sea Turtle Hatchery in Two Years

Mumbai beach, olive ridley sea turtles, sea turtles, beach clean-upA beach in Mumbai, which 2 years ago was shin-deep in trash, has undergone what the UN calls the “world’s largest beach clean-up.”  Now 80 Olive Ridley sea turtles have made their way to the Arabian sea from a nest guarded by volunteers. A lawyer, Afroz Shah has led the clean-up efforts and worked with the local communities to reduce waste upstream.
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5. Oil Discovery - New Rules Endanger Whales and Dolphins

dolphins, dolphin pod“The push to overhaul seismic survey rules has not attracted the same public attention as the Trump administration's interest in opening coastal waters to dozens of new drilling leases or downsizing protected marine areas. But it too could have wide implications beyond enabling new oil operations.”  Environmentalists warn that the Congressional bills are “thinly veiled oil industry wish list that would upend established protections and fast-track the permitting process for oil exploration off the Atlantic, much of Alaska and even California.”
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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.

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