"To have any reasonable chance to avert mass extinction in the oceans we must establish a worldwide network of protected areas," says Lance Morgan, president of the Marine Conservation Institute.
SeaStates US 2013 Report News Hits (http://seastates.us)
Science - Conservation biologists have an ambitious target for protecting marine biodiversity: 20% of the oceans set aside as no-take reserves, where fishing and other activities are banned. As with many other conservation targets, however the world's governments have fallen short on this goal. Little more than 1% has complete protection.
Huffington Post - For the first time ever, a comprehensive report was released this week outlining how well states protect coastal waters. "There is much room for improvement," the Marine Conservation Institute researchers wrote. The 2013 Sea States Report shows that the United States has done a lackluster job of protecting coasts through no-take protection laws, the strictest way to create a marine protected area (MPA). No-take protections mean that oil and gas drilling are prohibited, as well as fishing and other types of ecological disturbances.
Southern Fried Science - Earlier today, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue released SeaStates, the first ever national ranking of how well different U.S. states and territories protect their ocean resources. The full report is available online and is an important read, but can be summarized in 5 words: “Most states aren’t doing enough”.
Science Alert - Marine scientists from Australia and the USA today called for global efforts to protect deeper coral reefs as insurance against the widespread destruction of shallow reefs and their fish stocks now taking place around the world.
(Phys.org) —Marine scientists from Australia and the USA today called for global efforts to protect deeper coral reefs as insurance against the widespread destruction of shallow reefs and their fish stocks now taking place around the world. In the journal Nature Climate Change, lead author Dr. Tom Bridge from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and colleagues point out that global conservation policies have so far failed to prevent the widespread destruction of coral reefs and their fish life, which now threatens the food security of millions of people.
Scientific American - When most people think of coral reefs, they think of sunlit shallow shelves, teeming with sea creatures and iridescent tropical fish that almost anyone with a snorkel and a swimsuit can see. But much deeper in the ocean, 100 feet down and below, exists another type of coral reef. These deepwater reefs, many of which are unmapped and unexplored, need protection, several marine scientists wrote in a commentary published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The Press Democrat - Marine Conservation Institute's President, Lance Morgan, co-chaired a working group of environmentalists, whale experts, and shipping industry representatives to recommend modifying shipping lanes in San Francisco Bay. Modifications to the shipping lanes were approved and will be implemented this summer.
Washington Post - Marine Conservation Institute's Chief Scientist and Founder, Dr. Elliott Norse, shares his thoughts on the importance of zoning the ocean.
The Garden Island - As the country sits on the edge of the "fiscal cliff", many federal agencies gear up for potential impacts. As a member of the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), Marine Conservation Institute stresses the potential impacts on the National Wildlife Refuges and Marine National Monuments in the group's recent report. Read all about it here: http://www.fundrefuges.org/CARE/CARE_Fiscal_Cliff_Final_2012.pdf
Pacific News Center - Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan called today for Congress and Federal agencies to dedicate more attention and resources to curtailing illegal activity in U.S. Pacific Waters. Congressman Sablan’s comments came in the wake of a report by the Marine Conservation Institute that highlights the inability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to adequately enforce federal law within the boundaries of the Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, and Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monuments.
RedOrbit - A study published by the online journal PLoS One describes recent research conducted just of the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that used satellite tracking devices to better understand the daily habits of manta rays. Scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK, the Government of Mexico, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Marine Conservation Institute participated in the study. Satellite data revealed that manta rays traveled more than 1,100 kilometers and spend most of their time within 200 miles of the coastline.
USGS - For the past 5 years, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, have been studying submarine canyons and landslides to assess the potential for landslide-generated tsunamis along the U.S. east coast. This study was requested and funded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which is concerned about the potential impact of tsunamis on new and existing nuclear power plants. Recent devastating tsunamis in Samoa (2009), Chile (2010), and Japan (2011) offer sober reminders of the importance of accurately identifying and characterizing the natural events, or "sources," that can generate tsunamis.
USGS - Oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, as in the Gulf of Mexico, involves deep-sea drilling. Commonly, areas of interest for hydrocarbons overlap areas where cold-water corals (also called deep-sea corals) live. These corals do not have photosynthetic algal symbionts (zooxanthellae) like tropical corals, but they do create complex habitat for hundreds of other animals, including fishes, crabs, and shrimp. These cold-water coral reefs are centers of biodiversity in deep water. Regulations exist to keep drilling from occurring too close to the corals; however, drilling mud (a slurry of clays used to keep the drill lubricated) can form long plumes of particulates that may affect corals some distance from the drilling operation.
THE NEW YORK TIMES - An invasion of seaweed that is extraordinary in volume and geographic scope has been besieging the eastern Caribbean since June, sending resorts and government agencies from Anguilla in the north to Tobago in the south scrambling to rid beaches of the smelly, brown, bug-attracting algae before the impending high season.
THE WASHINGTON POST - Industrial fishing in the deep sea should be banned because it has depleted fish stocks that take longer to recover than other species, according to a paper to be released this week by an international team of marine scientists. The article, published in the scientific journal Marine Policy, describes fishing operations that have in recent decades targeted the unregulated high seas after stocks near shore were overfished.
CURRENTS- You may be surprised to know that corals are not only found in warm and bright tropical waters, but a stunning variety of corals live right off our coast here in the Pacific Northwest. These beautiful, deep-water corals take food right out of the water, so they don’t rely on sunlight and symbiotic algae for food like their warm-water cousins. They don’t grow very quickly, but they can live for hundreds of years.