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Sea Save Foundation “Ocean Week in Review” November 8, 2019: We Gather News; You Stay Informed

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Oxford University – 11,000 scientists declare climate emergency, Dumped fishing gear is biggest ocean polluter, China, and Russia deadlock Antarctic sanctuary, Greek tanker blamed for Brazilian oil-spill and more…

 

 

1. More than 11,000 scientists issue fresh warning: Earth faces a climate emergency

 

Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. 

Editorial Note:  A Sea Save Foundation advisor, Carlos De La Rosa is one of the signatories on this declaration.

 

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2. Microplastics, microbeads and single-use plastics poisoning sea life and affecting humans

 


Between 60 to 90 percent of the litter that accumulates on shorelines, the surface, and the seafloor is made up of plastic.  The most common items are cigarette butts, bags, and food and beverage containers. Consequently, marine litter harms over 800 marine species, 15 of which are endangered. And plastic consumed by marine species enters the human food chain through fish consumption. Alarmingly, in the last 20 years, the proliferation of microplastics, microbeads, and single-use plastics have made this problem even more pronounced. 

 

 

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3. Dumped fishing gear is biggest plastic polluter in ocean

 

Lost and abandoned fishing gear which is deadly to marine life makes up the majority of large plastic pollution in the oceans, according to a report by Greenpeace. More than 640,000 tonnes of nets, lines, pots and traps used in commercial fishing are dumped and discarded in the sea every year, the same weight as 55,000 double-decker buses.
The report, which draws on the most up-to-date research on “ghost gear” polluting the oceans, calls for international action to stop plastic pollution, which is deadly for marine wildlife.

 

 

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4. Antarctic marine sanctuary talks deadlocked for eighth straight year

 

 

A multinational effort to create giant marine sanctuaries around Antarctica to counter climate change and protect fragile ocean ecosystems has failed for an eighth straight year, officials said Saturday. Opposition from China and Russia torpedoed the proposal at the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), a consortium of 25 nations plus the European Union, sources familiar with the closed-door discussions told AFP.

 

 

 

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5. Brazil blames devastating oil spill on Greek-flagged tanker

 

A Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of an oil spill which has tarred thousands of kilometers of coastline over the past two months, Brazilian investigators have announced. Police said the tanker appears to have spilled the crude about 700km (420 miles) off Brazil’s coast between 28 and 29 July, bound for Singapore with oil loaded at Venezuela’s San José terminal.

 

 

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6. Google employees call for corporate climate change action

 

Google employees are demanding the company issue a climate plan that commits it to zero emissions by 2030. An online petition posted Monday bears signatures from more than a thousand Google employees. It also calls on Google to decline contracts that would support the extraction of fossil fuels and to avoid collaborating with organizations involved with the oppression of refugees. Amazon and Microsoft employees have similarly called on their employer to take steps for climate change action. Workers from both companies joined climate marches in September.

 

 

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7. Vietnam Told China to Get Out of Its Waters. Beijing’s Response: “No, You Get Out.”

 

HANOI—For months earlier this year, Vietnamese officials tracking the operations of a Chinese oil-and-gas survey ship off their country’s coast in the South China Sea sent urgent communications to Beijing, demanding that the vessel leave Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. China’s response: Vietnam should stop drilling activities off its own southern coast, according to a Vietnamese official. There, a rig named Hakuryu-5 had begun work in May under a contract with Russian state-owned company Rosneft, which operates an offshore block licensed by Vietnam.

 

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8. Satellites are key to monitoring ocean carbon

 

Satellites now play a key role in monitoring carbon levels in the oceans, but we are only just beginning to understand their full potential. Our ability to predict future climate relies upon being able to monitor where our carbon emissions go. So we need to know how much stays in the atmosphere, or becomes stored in the oceans or on land. The oceans, in particular, have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and then store the carbon for thousands of years.

 

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9. Ban on destructive fishing practice helps species recovery in Indonesian park

JAKARTA — Fish stocks in a marine national park in Indonesia increased significantly in the years after a ban on the use of coral-destroying nets was imposed, a recent study has found. The overall biomass of herbivorous fish species in Karimunjawa National Park more than doubled in 2012-2013 from the 2006-2009 period, signaling a recovery in fish stock, the researchers write in their study published in July in the journal Ecological Applications. They attribute the increase in biomass, which is key in conserving reef fish biodiversity, to a complete ban in 2011 on muroami fishing. This particular practice, common across Southeast Asia, uses large, non-discriminatory nets in combination with pounding devices to smash into coral reefs to flush out fish. 

 
Read more from “Monga Bay”
                                   

 

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10. Senate bill includes millions for ocean acidification research

 

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would authorize millions of dollars through 2024 for ocean acidification research, including partnerships between the seafood industry and academic institutions. S. 2699, the Ocean, Coastal and Estuarine Acidification Necessitates (OCEAN) Research Act, would authorize $35.5 million in funds each year from fiscal years 2020 through 2024 for NOAA to research ocean acidification. The measure, introduced on Oct. 25 by Senators Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, would reauthorize the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act for funding from NOAA and the National Science Foundation, which lapsed in 2012. 

 

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11. Competing for space on the increasingly crowded ocean

 


Oceans cover nearly three-quarters of the Earth, and it’s getting crowded out on the water. Energy, shipping, fishing and conservation groups all need space to operate on the world’s oceans, and are bumping up against each other more frequently. All agree the competition is going to increase in coming years. A conference Tuesday at New Jersey’s Monmouth University brought together industry and environmental groups, who agreed that communication and coordination are essential to sharing the ocean.

 

 

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12. Our Ocean Conference Participants Pledge USD 64 Billion to Protect Oceans

 

The sixth Our Ocean Conference generated 370 pledges for a clean, healthy and productive ocean. The Our Ocean conferences offer an opportunity to announce new voluntary actions to protect the ocean, responsibly manage marine resources and promote sustainable economic growth. The Government of Norway hosted the 2019 Our Ocean Conference, focused on the theme “the state of the sea and measures to ensure healthy, clean and productive seas.” The Conference convened from 23-24 October, in Olso, Norway, and brought together 500 world leaders and 100 youth representatives from 100 countries.

 

 

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13. Ted Danson urges lawmakers to take action against single-use plastics

 

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate would authorize millions of dollars through 2024 for ocean acidification research, including partnerships between the seafood industry and academic institutions. S. 2699, the Ocean, Coastal and Estuarine Acidification Necessitates (OCEAN) Research Act, would authorize $35.5 million in funds each year from fiscal years 2020 through 2024 for NOAA to research ocean acidification. The measure, introduced on Oct. 25 by Senators Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, would reauthorize the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act for funding from NOAA and the National Science Foundation, which lapsed in 2012. 

 

 

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14. Uncle Sam wants you to eat more shark

 

Late last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent out a newsletter featuring a potentially surprising piece of advice: For a sustainable source of protein, try eating shark sometime. NMFS is an arm of the federal science agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and it’s responsible for protecting fish populations and their ocean habitats.

 

 

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15. How to keep abalone out of poachers hands and in the sea

 

Marine experts discuss ways in which poaching of abalone can be avoided as oceans continue to be plundered. South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, seized over R4 million worth of abalone on Monday and arrested 10 people. Despite the critically low levels of abalone in South Africa’s waters, it is still being poached illegally. According to Marcus Burgener, Head of Marine program for Traffic at WWF South Africa, about 95% of abalone is being taken out of the waters illegally.

 

 

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16. Mr. Kline goes to Washington, pushing for more offshore drilling money for Louisiana

 

The chairman of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is scheduled to testify Thursday before a Congressional committee in support of legislation that would give coastal states a greater share of revenues generated by offshore drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. CPRA Board Chair Chip Kline will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is considering a bill sponsored by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy that would increase the share of offshore drilling revenues that goes to coastal states under the GOMESA program.

 

 

 

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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