Friday, June 22, 2018

Week in Review June 22, 2018: White House Repeals Policy Protecting Oceans, Dynamite Fishing Decimates, McDonald's to Switch to Paper Straws, Microbead Ban In Full Effect and more

Week in Review June 22, 2018:





1. Trump Rescinds Obama Policy Protecting Oceans

President Trump is repealing a controversial executive order drafted by former President Obama that was meant to protect the Great Lakes and the oceans bordering the United States. In his own executive order signed late Tuesday, Trump put a new emphasis on industries that use the oceans, particularly oil and natural gas drilling, while also mentioning environmental stewardship. “Ocean industries employ millions of Americans and support a strong national economy,” the new order states, mentioning energy production, the military, freight transportation and other industries.


Read More... and Original Whitehouse Release


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2. In the Philippines, Dynamite Fishing Decimates Entire Ocean Food Chains


Nothing beats dynamite fishing for sheer efficiency. A fisherman in this scattering of islands in the central Philippines balanced on a narrow outrigger boat and launched a bottle bomb into the sea with the ease of a quarterback.
It exploded in a violent burst, rocking the bottom of our boat and filling the air with an acrid smell. Fish bobbed onto the surface, dead or gasping their last breaths.
Under the water, coral shattered into rubble.

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3. McDonald’s to Switch to Paper Straws in Britain as Country Turns Against Plastic 

Plastic, BritainLONDON — The queen has backed efforts to curb the use of plastics. The Church of England has encouraged a similar push. The British government plans to legislate to require it. Increasingly, companies here in Britain and elsewhere are joining that campaign, too. On Friday, McDonald’s became the latest to do so. The fast-food chain outlined plans to phase out plastic straws across its 1,361 restaurants in Britain, which currently use 1.8 million plastic straws a day, by the end of next year.

Read More...
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4. Marine Protected Areas Are Important. But Are They Working?

Ocean, ConservancyThe world won't meet international ocean conservation targets by 2020, so a team of scientists is looking at what's next for saving our seas.
You can think of a marine protected area like a boost of vitamin C taken at the onset of a cold. It may not cure you, but it can help you bounce back. These protected ocean spaces, when defended well, won't solve all the problems in the world's oceans, but they might give us a fighting chance against afflictions like climate change or overfishing.

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5. Turning Ocean Plastic into Art and Fuel in British Columbia

How a Canadian organization is setting an example on how to tackle plastic pollution and turn it into an opportunity. There are approximately 268,000 tonnes of plastic floating in our oceans, which equates to an average of five trillion individual pieces. It is now believed that plastic waste can be found on every beach in the world, from the busiest beaches to the most isolated and uninhabited islands. The plastic debris not only harms ocean ecosystems but also find its way to the world's coasts and into the food chain. More than one million seabirds and over 100,000 marine mammals die every year from ingesting plastic - and these numbers are set to increase.

Read More...
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6. IFOP and Conservation Organization Join Forces to Promote Sustainable Fisheries

Chile, NGO, TNC
The Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP) and conservation NGO The Nature Conservancy (TNC) signed a collaboration agreement on Friday that promotes joint research activities to advance the sustainability of fisheries in the Chilean coast and contribute to the protection of the marine ecosystem of the country. The four-year agreement will develop and expand the tools to improve monitoring, surveillance and assessment programs of the main Chilean fisheries, which is the main purpose of IFOP.

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7. Leaked UN Draft Report Warns of the Urgent Need to Cut Global Warming

Climate chageThe world is on track to exceed 1.5C of warming unless countries rapidly implement “far-reaching” actions to reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft UN report leaked to Reuters. The final draft report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was due for publication in October. It is the guiding scientific document for what countries must do to combat climate change.

Read more...
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8.  CA Bill Could Fund Research To Track Sharks In Real Time With Drones, Robots 

California, RobotsA recently passed state bill could provide millions to help study and track sharks off the California coast and give lifeguards and beach-goers valuable information. Assembly Bill 2191 passed the California Legislature Thursday and would provide $3.75 million to California State University, Long Beach’s Shark Lab to record the predators’ moving patterns, The Orange County Register reported.

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9.  MBARI Researchers Describe Abundant Marine Life at 'White Shark Cafe' 


White Shark, Cafe, Abundant, Monterey Bay, AquariumAn interdisciplinary group of researchers from Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, MBARI, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute conducted a month-long research cruise to the “White Shark Café.”
Halfway between California and Hawaii, this remote part of the Pacific Ocean is a gathering area for white sharks, and the researchers were trying to find out why.

Read More...
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10. The Ocean Is Getting More Acidic—What That Actually Means

AcidityATLANTIC CITY, NJ Grace Saba steadies herself on the back of a gently rocking boat as she and her crew slide a six-foot long yellow torpedo into the sea. A cheer erupts as the device surfaces, turns on its electronic signal, and begins a three-week journey along the New Jersey coast.
Saba is an assistant professor of marine ecology at Rutgers University, where she is studying how fish, clams, and other creatures are reacting to rising levels of ocean acidity.

Read More...

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11. NASA, NSF Plunge Into Ocean ‘Twilight Zone’ to Explore Ecosystem Carbon Flow

A large multidisciplinary team of scientists, equipped with advanced underwater robotics and an array of analytical instrumentation, will set sail for the northeastern Pacific Ocean this August. The team’s mission for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to study the life and death of the small organisms that play a critical role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in the ocean’s carbon cycle.

Read more...
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12.  Local Interventions Boost Coral's Resilience to Bleaching

Local conservation actions, like rounding up predatory snails, can significantly boost the resilience of corals to climate-induced bleaching, according to a study led by Duke University researchers. The study, published June 18 in Nature Ecology & Evolution, comes at a time when scientists are deeply divided over whether local efforts to protect and manage coral reefs are enough to help stem the global tide of thermal bleaching that’s decimating corals worldwide as ocean temperatures continue to warm.
Read more...
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13.  World Leading Microbeads Ban Comes into Force

A ban on the sale of products containing microbeads has come into force today as part of the Government’s world-leading efforts to prevent these harmful pieces of plastic entering the marine environment. From today, retailers across England and Scotland will no longer be able to sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products that contain microbeads – the tiny pieces of plastic often added to products such as face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

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14.  Department of Primary Industries Re-opens Celito South and Fiona Beach to Hand Line Fishing in the Marine Park

Environment, ProtectionThe state government has given recreational fishers the green light to cast a line at 10 beaches and headland reserves between Batemans Bay and Cape Byron that were previously under Marine Parks protection but the exercise has been labeled a missed opportunity in Port Stephens. The beaches were placed out of bounds for fishers when Marine Parks were established over 10 years ago for environmental reasons.

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15.  Rare Manta Ray Nursery Discovered 

Rare
Marine biologist Josh Stewart was floating underwater, looking up at the manta ray that materialized out of the blue above him, when he did a double take: The animal was a juvenile, only a few feet across—nowhere near as big as a mature giant manta ray, which can be as wide across as a giraffe is tall.

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16.  Marine reserves are vital — but under pressure

Vital, Study, Coral, ReefA massive study of nearly 1800 tropical coral reefs around the world has found that marine reserves near heavily populated areas struggle to do their job—but are a vast improvement over having no protection at all. Professor Josh Cinner from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University led a team of 37 scientists examining the effectiveness of different reef conservation strategies.

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17.  Sustainable seafood distributor reportedly lied about tuna source

Sustainable, SeafoodEven after winter storms left US east coast harbors thick with ice, some of the country’s top chefs and trendy restaurants were offering sushi-grade tuna supposedly pulled in fresh off the coast of New York. But it was just an illusion. No tuna was landing there. The fish had long since migrated to warmer waters.

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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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