Monday, October 5, 2020

Sea Save Foundation "Ocean Week in Review" Oct 5, 2020: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

COVID vaccines could decimate shark populations, Nations commit to reverse nature loss,  Attenborough calls for global $500 billion a year investment in nature and more.

1. Could COVID protection trigger shark eradication?

The race to develop a safe and effective COVID Vaccine to save human lives is an international priority.  However, we do not need to create a new crisis as we address another. Plant-derived squalane has been proven to be just as effective as shark-derived squalene in vaccine studies and in the skincare industry. COVID vaccines will be needed by virtually everyone. With the pandemic, climate change, and economic disruption, this is no time to create a new ecological crisis.

2. World leaders pledge to halt Earth’s destruction ahead of UN summit

There are 64 leaders from five continents warning that humanity is in a state of planetary emergency due to the climate crisis and the rampant destruction of life-sustaining ecosystems. To restore the balance with nature, governments and the European Union have made a 10-point pledge to counteract the damage.

3. France bans wild animals in circuses, marine parks

France will phase out the use of animals in traveling circuses and orcas and dolphins in marine parks, the country’s environment minister announced Tuesday. Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili said during a news conference that a ban on animals like tigers, lions, and elephants in circuses will take effect in “coming years,” according to The Associated Press. A separate ban on breeding or bringing in dolphins or killer whales to France’s three marine parks will take effect immediately. The government will begin implementing the circus regulation “as soon as possible,” she said.

Read more in "The Hill"

4. David Attenborough calls for global $500 billion a year investment in nature

British ecologist and nature documentary host David Attenborough called for a $500 billion per year global investment in nature on Wednesday. The call came during a one-day summit held by the United Nations convened to discuss the protection of wildlife on the planet.  The world spends a collective $80 billion to $90 billion on wildlife and nature conservation each year. However, according to Reuters, studies show that much more money is needed to keep ecosystems from collapsing.  Attenborough joined conservation groups Wednesday cautioning that the planet's future is in "grave jeopardy," according to the wire service. "Our natural world is under greater pressure now than at any time in human history, and the future of the entire planet – on which every single one of us depends – is in grave jeopardy," Attenborough said in a statement.

Read more in "Reuters"

5. Greenland is on track to lose ice faster than in any century over the last 12,000 years, study finds

If human societies don’t sharply curb emissions of greenhouse gases, Greenland’s rate of ice loss this century is likely to greatly outpace that of any century over the past 12,000 years, a new study concludes. “Basically, we’ve altered our planet so much that the rates of ice sheet melt this century are on pace to be greater than anything we’ve seen under natural variability of the ice sheet over the past 12,000 years. We’ll blow that out of the water if we don’t make severe reductions to greenhouse gas emissions,” says Jason Briner, PhD, professor of geology in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. Briner led the collaborative study, coordinating the work of scientists from multiple disciplines and institutions.

Read more in "University at Buffalo"

6. Trump official stalls polar bear study that could affect oil drilling in Alaska 

A top official at the Interior Department has slowed the release of a study on the number of polar bears that give birth on land overlapping an area recently opened to oil and gas drilling, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The study has been ready for at least three months, but has been held up by U.S. Geological Survey Director James Reilly, The Post reported, noting that Reilly has raised questions about it, including why it uses data from a former scientist and why polar bear dens aren’t counted individually.  The study reportedly looks at the number of bears that give birth in an area near the southern Beaufort Sea, which is part of an area the administration has moved toward opening up for oil and gas drilling.

Read more in "The Hill"

7. Sentinels of ocean acidification impacts survived Earth’s last mass extinction

Two groups of tiny, delicate marine organisms, sea butterflies and sea angels, were found to be surprisingly resilient—having survived dramatic global climate change and Earth’s most recent mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences co-authored by Erica Goetze, oceanographer in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. Sea butterflies have been a focus for global change research because they make their shells of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate that is 50 percent more soluble than calcite, which other important open ocean organisms use to construct their shells. As their shells are susceptible to dissolving in more acidified ocean water, pteropods have been called “canaries in the coal mine,” or sentinel species that signal the impact of ocean acidification.

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

8. New marine protected areas connect hundreds of kilometers of Turkey's Mediterranean coast

Three hundred and fifty square kilometers of Turkey's coastline has been brought under environmental protection in a recent announcement by the Turkish government. This new area represents a significant expansion of the existing marine protected area network along the country's Mediterranean coast and firmly establishes Turkey as a leader in marine conservation in the most overfished sea on the planet. The announcement comes amid a growing global push to expand ocean protection through coalitions such as the UK's 30by30 alliance, which calls for the protection of 30% of the global oceans by 2030.

Read more in ""

9. Coral's resilience to warming may depend on iron

How well corals respond to climate change could depend in part on the already scarce amount of iron available in their environment, according to a new study led by Penn State researchers. The study reveals that the combination of hot water temperatures and low iron levels compromises the algae that live within coral cells, suggesting that limited iron levels—which could decline with warming ocean waters—could exacerbate the effects of climate change on corals.

Read more in "Penn Stat News"


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