Friday, September 25, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" September 25, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

Florida SB 680 - Shark fin ban is signed into law, 40% of Hawaii beaches could soon be lost, China pledges to be carbon neutral by 2060, How we can eradicate plastic pollution by 2040, and more...

1. Florida SB 680 - Shark fin ban is signed into law

Florida SB 680, a Shark Fin Ban Bill, was signed by the governor and is now law in the Sunshine State  This is a game-changer because Florida had become the shark fin trade hub of the United States. Kristin Jacobs introduced SB 680 to the Florida House of Representatives on October 28th, 2019. SB 680 is a great victory, but it came with a cost.  The bill was diluted due to the successful efforts of a strong fishing lobby.  We had the option to abandon the bill but strategically decided to take this opportunity to begin strengthening shark conservation in Florida. But we will not rest until the senseless and unsustainable shark fin practice has been stopped completely. 

Read more on the Sea Save Foundation Blog

2. China pledges to become carbon neutral by 2060

China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced Tuesday it would seek to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. It’s a notable pledge from a nation frequently targeted by Republicans, who argue the U.S. should not move ahead on more ambitious climate action without stronger commitments from other major emitters. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping said China would scale up its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Read more in "The Hill"

3. 40% of O'ahu, Hawai'i beaches could be lost by mid-century

The reactive and piecemeal approach historically used to manage beaches in Hawai'i has failed to protect them. If policies are not changed, as much as 40% of all beaches on O'ahu, Hawai'i could be lost before mid-century, according to a new study by researchers in the Coastal Geology Group at the University of Hawai'i (UH) at Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). In an era of rising sea level, beaches need to migrate landward, otherwise, they drown. Beach migration, also known as shoreline retreat, causes coastal erosion of private and public beachfront property. 

Read more in "University of Hawai‘i at Manoa"

4. Pilot whales Tasmania: Almost 400 die in Australia's worst stranding

About 380 whales have died in what is suspected to be Australia's largest stranding on record, officials say. Since Monday, hundreds of long-finned pilot whales have been found beached on Tasmania's west coast. Rescuers had managed to save 50 by late on Wednesday, and they were trying to help the remaining estimated 30 whales. Tasmanian government officials said the rescue effort would continue "as long as there are live animals". 

Read more in "BBC"

5. 2020 Arctic sea ice minimum at second-lowest on record

NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado - Boulder shows that the 2020 minimum extent, which was likely reached on Sept. 15, measured 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers). In winter, frozen seawater covers almost the entire Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas. This sea ice undergoes seasonal patterns of change -- thinning and shrinking during late spring and summer, and thickening and expanding during fall and winter. The extent of summer sea ice in the Arctic can impact local ecosystems, regional and global weather patterns, and ocean circulation. 

Read more in "NASA"

6. "Science" - Analysis of plastic pollution eradication

A new analysis published in the journal "Science" shows that the business-as-usual approach to tackling ocean plastic pollution isn’t working. Even worse, should we continue down the current trajectory, the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean is set to triple by 2040? But what’s unique about this study is that it focuses on the solutions that can stop this crisis in its tracks. Using all the technology that exists today, we can reduce ocean plastic flows by 80% – and with additional investment channeled into innovation, we can get closer to 100%. 

Read more in "World Economic Forum"

7. Ocean heat waves are directly linked to climate change

Six years ago, a huge part of the Pacific Ocean near North America quickly warmed, reaching temperatures more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Nicknamed “the blob,” it persisted for two years, with devastating impacts on marine life, including sea lions and salmon. The blob was a marine heatwave, the oceanic equivalent of a deadly summer atmospheric one. It was far from a solitary event: Tens of thousands have occurred in the past four decades, although most are far smaller and last for days rather than years. The largest and longest ones have occurred with increasing frequency over time.

Read more in "New York Times"

8. Rapid onsets of warming events trigger mass mortality of coral reef fish

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Israel and one in Greece has found
evidence that suggests sudden ocean warming can lead to mass fish deaths. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of mass fish death events and what they learned about them. As Earth continues to grow warmer due to emissions of greenhouse gasses, scientists are trying to understand what it could mean for the future of the planet and its inhabitants. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the impact of abrupt ocean warming events on fish populations. These events are predicted to occur more often as the planet warms.

Read more in ""


Sea Save Foundation is committed to raising awareness of marine conservation. The Ocean 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