Tag: healthy oceans

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NOAA prepares major research expedition to sub-polar regions

Scientists from the National Oceanography Centre are preparing to set sail to sub-polar regions on a very technical and scientific challenge - to measure the currents of the northern North Atlantic Ocean from the surface to the seafloor. They hope to discover the key processes that control heat content and heat transport in the sub-polar gyre, and the local and global effects of those changes. The international Overturning in the Sub-polar North Atlantic Programme (OSNAP) has been four years in the planning. In early June, the fieldwork programme will officially commence when the UK research icebreaker RRS James Clark Ross sails out of Newfoundland in Canada with 26 scientists and technicians on board. The ultimate goal of the project is to bring all their measurements together to calculate the total ocean circulation in the region. Dr Sheldon Bacon from the UK's National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is the principal investigator for UK-OSNAP and has overall responsibility for the project and linking with international partners. Dr Bacon said: "It has taken a huge amount of work, both nationally and internationally, to get OSNAP approved and funded. "It is a major research expedition to high latitudes where, in some locations, icebergs and sea ...

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EU proposes full ban on fishing with driftnets

The European Commission wants to prohibit the use of any kind of driftnets for fishing in all EU waters as of 1 January 2015. Although rules are already in place to forbid using driftnets to catch certain migratory fishes, the practice continues to be a cause of concern due to the incidental catching of marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds which are mostly protected under EU legislation. To fight circumvention, the Commission proposal includes a full ban of driftnets fishing in the EU as well as the prohibition of keeping driftnets on board of fishing vessels. Furthermore, to avoid ambiguity, the proposal refines the current definition of a driftnet. Driftnets are fishing nets that can drift and operate close to or at the sea surface to target fish species that swim in the upper part of the water column. Since 2002 all driftnets, no matter their size, have been prohibited in EU waters when intended for the capture of highly migratory species such as tuna and swordfish. However, the current EU legislative framework has shown weaknesses and loopholes. The small-scale nature of the fishing vessels involved and the fact that they do not operate together in the same areas ...

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First ever study describes deep-sea animal communities on a sunken container

Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year. Many of these containers eventually sink to the deep seafloor. In 2004, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) discovered a lost shipping container almost 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) below the surface of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In the first-ever survey of its kind, researchers from MBARI and the sanctuary recently described how deep-sea animal communities on and around the container differed from those in surrounding areas. In February 2004, the cargo vessel Med Taipei was traveling southward along the California coast when severe winds and seas dislodged 24 shipping containers, 15 of which were lost within the boundaries of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Four months later, during a routine research dive using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV)Ventana, MBARI scientists discovered one of these containers on the seafloor. In March 2011, a research team led by Andrew DeVogelaere of the sanctuary and Jim Barry of MBARI completed another ROV dive at the container. During this dive, they collected extensive video footage, as well as samples of seafloor sediment at various distances from the container. They then compared the animals found on the container, on the ...

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Protest by Greenpeace at the Port of Rotterdam

Mikhail Ulyanov, an ice-breaking shuttle tanker (ice class - ARC6) belonging to OAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group), has been the subject of a Greenpeace protest, whilst at the Port of Rotterdam carrying a cargo of 67,000 tonnes of crude oil, loaded on the continental shelf of the Pechora Sea, Russia. The actions of Greenpeace have compromised a safe operating environment for the Mikhail Ulyanov, her crew and protesters themselves and exposed the involved parties to the useless and unreasonable risk. Commenting on the Greenpeace action, Mr Mikhail Suslin - Vice President, Head of Safety Department of OAO Sovcomflot said: "We are extremely disappointed that our vessel has been the subject of an irresponsible publicity stunt by Greenpeace, which occurred despite the measures taken by our ship and the port authorities, including the Coast Guard and the Marine Police. Mikhail Ulyanov is an ultra-modern high ice class shuttle tanker, with a technical specification above most of her peers, including conventional tankers transporting crude from oil-fields on the continental shelf of the North Sea. The actions of Greenpeace have caused unnecessary extra stress for the ship's captain and potentially unsafe operating conditions for the vessel when manoeuvring in the restricted area of the ...

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ITOPF Handbook now available

A new edition of the ITOPF Handbook is now available for 2014/15. This contains a wealth of valuable information and guidance for those likely to be involved in spills of oil and chemicals from ships. It features information on ITOPF's technical and information services, oil spill statistics, the fate and effects of marine oil spills, clean-up techniques, the organisation of spill response, contingency planning and compensation. ITOPF's Oil Tanker Spill Statistics 2013 published in January, is now available in Chinese   Please click at image below to download ITOPF Handbook  In the outbreak, I was frank with you propecia before and after has changed my being. It has become much more fun, and now I have to run. Just as it is improbable to sit.

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IPCC Report: A changing climate creates risks but opportunities exist

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report today that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming. The report, titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. A total of 309 coordinating lead authors, lead authors, and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers. The report concludes that responding to climate change involves making choices about risks in a changing world. The nature of the risks of climate change is increasingly clear, though climate change will also continue to produce surprises. The report identifies vulnerable people, industries, and ecosystems around the world. It finds that risk from a changing climate comes from vulnerability (lack of preparedness) and exposure (people or ...

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CO2 in the tropical Pacific Ocean is increasing

New NOAA research has revealed unprecedented changes in ocean carbon dioxide in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last 14 years, influencing the role the oceans play in current and projected global warming and ocean acidification. Natural variability has dominated patterns in ocean CO2 in this region, but observations now show human activity contributes to increasing CO2 levels. "Carbon dioxide in tropical Pacific waters has been increasing up to 65 percent faster than atmospheric CO2 since 1998," says Adrienne Sutton, a research scientist with the NOAA Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington and lead author of the paper in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles. "Natural cycles and human-caused change appear to be combining to cause more rapid change than our models predict." The new research documents the rise in the level of CO2 that the tropical Pacific Ocean gives off into the atmosphere. While this region emits CO2, global oceans overall are an important sink for CO2 and absorb more than 25 percent of fossil fuel emissions annually. But 70 percent of the change from year to year in the global oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO2 is driven by variations in ...

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ΝΟΑΑ study shows Deepwater Horizon oil causes development abnormalities in large marine fish

Crude oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster causes severe defects in the developing hearts of bluefin and yellowfin tunas, according to a new study by a team of NOAA and academic scientists. Oil near the Deepwater Horizon disaster spill source as seen during an aerial overflight on May 20, 2010. (Credit: NOAA) The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, show how the largest marine oil spill in United States history may have affected tunas and other species that spawned in oiled offshore habitats in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and other large predatory fish spawn in the northern Gulf during the spring and summer months, a time that coincided with the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. These fish produce buoyant embryos that float near the ocean surface, potentially in harm's way as crude oil from the damaged wellhead rose from the seafloor to form large surface slicks. The new study shows that crude oil exposures adversely affect heart development in the two species of tuna and an amberjack species by slowing the heartbeat or causing an uncoordinated rhythm, which can ultimately lead ...

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Efforts to address marine debris problem

Marine plastic debris is a serious environmental problem that needs immediate global attention. DNV GL says that has now begun efforts to address the problem in a partnership project with WWF-Norway, called Plastic Aquatic. Even when all preventative measures for reducing plastic pollution have been taken, there will still be large amounts of plastic in the oceans, and cleanup will be necessary. Creating efficient solutions requires understanding of the problem in all its complexity. Together, DNV GL and WWF Norway have partnered to create a concept platform which makes further research and innovation possible. The world needs solutions to remove environmental toxins and plastics from the ecosystem, even if we are able to remove only a small fraction. This must be done without having significant negative effects on the marine life. At the same time, we are in serious need of political will, money and arrangements to prevent new debris from ending up in the ocean in the future, says Nina Jensen, general secretary of WWF-Norway. The seas and oceans are increasingly becoming the waste dump of the planet. The European Commission aims to adopt additional measures which could contribute to a further substantive reduction in the future.EC issued last October ...

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ICS chairman praises IMO efficiency at World Ocean Summit

ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka, addressed delegates at the World Ocean Summit organised by The Economist magazine in San Francisco on 25th February, following a key note speech by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and a video presentation by HRH Prince Charles of the UK. In response to a suggestion, endorsed my most of the Summit delegates, that the United Nations might establish a 'World Ocean Organization' to tackle the crisis developing with respect to the environmental wellbeing of the high seas below the surface, Mr Morooka suggested that a model for such a new UN agency already exists in the form of the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) which works within the framework provided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Mr Morooka explained that, although the IMO may be one of the smallest UN Agencies with commensurately modest costs, it regulates the global shipping industry very effectively through a wide range of diplomatic Conventions that are genuinely enforced worldwide. He remarked: "The IMO MARPOL Convention on pollution prevention has contributed significantly to the dramatic reduction in oil pollution from ships despite massive growth in maritime trade. MARPOL also addresses sulphur emissions and the ...

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