Friday, 14 March 2014

Fleet of underwater drones to map world’s oceans

A fleet of 16 autonomous underwater gliders will be sent off to explore the world’s oceans as part of an ambitious research project by Rutgers University researchers. Part of the Challenger Glider Mission Project, the underwater drones, each 2.2 metres long, will cruise the oceans at a rather modest speed of 35 km per day gathering data about the current state of the oceans. Moving forward following a tooth-shaped gliding trajectory, the unmanned submarines will rely solely on energy from buoyancy changes to move forward. The drones are based on the Webb Slocum glider platform developed by the American company Teledyne. Each of the gliders will be equipped with a GPS receiver together with an altitude sensor, depth sensor and an altimeter for precise navigation. Every time the unmanned submarine surfaces, it will send data to the operators via a telecommunications link provided by Iridium satellites.

2014 Pew Fellows Announced

Today, we are pleased to announce the 2014 Pew Marine Fellows. These Marine Fellows based in Malaysia, Chile, Mexico, and the United States will develop projects that include a genetic study of the global shark fin trade, a social and economic study of no-take fishing zones combined with territorial use fishing rights, a study of one of Malaysia’s last thriving dugong populations, an effort to incentivize community-based sustainable fishing, and the development of a nonfiction book about the problems that tangle in the food web.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Governments unite to conserve iconic Sargasso Sea

Governments of Bermuda, the Azores, Monaco, United Kingdom and the United States have signed a declaration committing to the conservation of the Sargasso Sea – a vast patch of mid-Atlantic Ocean known for its unique floating seaweeds that harbour rich biodiversity. This is the first time an international alliance has been formed to protect this unique haven of marine life.

The agreement, which was signed yesterday in Bermuda’s capital Hamilton, is part of the Sargasso Sea Alliance – an initiative led by the Government of Bermuda and hosted by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which is one of its founding partners.

Friday, 7 March 2014

The MPA Advocacy Toolkit is now live!

7th March 2014. We invite you to make use of this new, online platform. The MPA Advocacy Toolkit provides relevant material and arguments to support your advocacy work on MPA establishment and management. Over 180 reports, infographics, videos, a GIS map and other key resources have been selected, sorted and summarized to provide well-grounded arguments and lessons learned to inform and assist you in your advocacy work. In a next step, the Global MPA Action Agenda aims at developing new communications products, such as the new infographic on fisheries benefits which will be released next week.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

UNDP has launched the Equator Prize 2014 call for nominations!

Awarded every two years, the Equator Prize recognizes outstanding local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities.

The Equator Prize 2014 will honor twenty-five (25) local initiatives working to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

New mobile phone app will help track marine litter

People will soon be able to report the litter they find on the beach, thanks to a new mobile phone app developed by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Huge amounts of plastic and other debris are increasingly found in the sea, harming marine wildlife and potentially threatening human health. However, the composition, movement and origins of rubbish ending up in our seas and on beaches are still not widely understood.

Palau creates massive marine sanctuary

Exciting news! The nation of Palau, made up of 250 tropical islands located
in the western Pacific Ocean north of Australia, has decided to ban all
commercial fishing, declaring the entire region a "100 percent marine

Monday, 3 March 2014

Reefs face extinction

A new paper published this week shows the effects of ocean acidification on the recruitment of a reef-building vermetid species. The study suggests that unless CO2emissions are reduced and conservation measures taken, these reefs are in danger of extinction within this century, with significant ecological and socioeconomic ramifications for coastal systems.