Oceans

Save the Tuna!

Amid concerns about the possible exhaustion of tuna stocks, Science reports on a positive step: Representatives of Western Pacific island nations last week put the finishing touches on a series of bold new measures aimed at saving the world’s last great tuna stocks. Last May, the group decided to bar fishing in two huge pockets …

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Global warming winners? (oceans edition)

By now it is widely recognized that ocean warming and acidification caused by rising CO2 levels will adversely affect many organisms, especially those that depend on calcium carbonate shells. But there may be winners as well. Rebecca Gooding and a group from the University of British Columbia report in the Proceedings of the National Academy …

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Sharing the catch

According to Science Insider (subscription required), NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco has endorsed broader use of a “catch shares” approach to allocating the available catch in commercial fisheries. The shares strategy (also referred to as “individual transferable quotas” or “limited access privileges”) gives individual participants in the fishery a permanent and transferable right to a set …

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Sea level falling in places — but change still problematic

This morning’s New York Times has this story by Cornelia Dean describing the changes global warming is bringing to Juneau, Alaska. While sea level is rising relative to coast lines in many parts of the world as ocean waters warm and expand, the opposite is happening in and around Juneau. As the region’s glaciers recede, …

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A framework for offshore renewable energy

Cymie posted here about the hearings Interior recently held in on both coasts on offshore energy development of all stripes. True to the President’s commitment to making renewable energy development a priority, shortly after those hearings Interior’s Minerals Management Service finalized regulations governing renewable energy development on the outer continental shelf. The regulations, developed under …

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Is an ocean acidification TMDL on the (distant) horizon?

In  January, Dan posted on the problem of ocean acidification and Sean noted that a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity had convinced EPA to look into the possible application of the Clean Water Act.  Now EPA has issued a call for interested parties to submit information as it considers whether to tighten its …

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Rx for the oceans

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, the merger of the Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, has issued a new report titled Changing Oceans, Changing World. It lays out an agenda for short-term actions for Congress and the Obama administration. The report’s key recommendations will be familiar to those who follow ocean …

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(Asian) oysters on the half shell

Almost two months ago, I blogged that a decision was expected soon about whether to deliberately introduce an Asian oyster to Chesapeake Bay in the hope of reviving the Bay’s flagging oyster harvest.  Well, it may not qualify as “soon,” but the Washington Post reports that the U.S., Virginia, and Maryland have agreed to halt …

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Lubchenco on scientific integrity

Shortly after her confirmation as NOAA administrator, Jane Lubchenco sat for an interview (subscription required) with Science and Nature. Asked about her priorities, she listed science at the top (others include ending overfishing, getting NOAA’s satellite program back on track, establishing a National Climate Service, and protecting and restoring ocean ecosystems). When pressed to expand …

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Exxon Valdez: 20 Years Later – Lessons Learned

Today commemorates a sad and calamitous event in American environmental history: the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The key facts of that ecological disaster, recounted in yesterday’s New York Times, are by now well-known: the spill of 11 million gallons of crude oil into near-shore ocean waters, …

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