News Clips for February 23, 2010
Marine Protected Areas
Placement of Marine Reserves is Key – U.S. News & World Report
Saving both fish and the fishermen who depend on them appears to come down to one thing: location, location, location. In the Black Sea, for instance, setting aside just 20 to 30 percent of the most affected areas within marine reserves could accomplish nearly all the goals of protecting the entire reserve, reports a team led by Benjamin Halpern, a marine scientist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, Calif. This suggests that precisely placing the reserves, he said, “can have a dramatic effect on their ability to improve overall ocean health,” as measured by a suite of factors such as pollution and fishing.
Coral loss slowed, reversed by marine protected areas – Hawaii 24/7
A new worldwide study shows marine protected areas (MPAs), underwater parks where fishing and other potentially harmful activities are regulated, provide an added bonus – helping coral reef ecosystems ward off and recover from threats to their health. Researchers also found the protective effects of MPAs generally strengthen over time.
Local social dynamics key to success of tropical marine conservation areas – EurekAlert
As biologists and ecologists propose ever-larger conservation areas in the tropics, ones that encompass multiple countries, social scientists say it’s local people banding together with their community leaders who ultimately determine the success or failure of such efforts in many parts of the world.
Public education seen as key to marine parks’ success – ABC Online
“Enforcement and compliance with green zones and marine reserves isn’t only about the number of patrols that you set out. It’s about setting up the conditions that make people feel a part of the process.”
Ocean acidification/coral reefs
Huge vents covering the sea-floor – among the strangest and most spectacular sights in nature – pour carbon dioxide and other gases into the deep waters of the oceans. Last week, as researchers reported that they had now discovered more than 50,000 underwater volcanic springs, they also revealed a new use for them – as laboratories for measuring the impact of ocean acidification on marine life.
Melting Arctic Ice Clears Way for Shipping, Fishing, Oil Drilling … and Major Problems. – OnEarth Magazine
Summer sea ice is melting in the Arctic, exposing for the first time the fabled Northwest Passage that Europeans sought for centuries. That creates a new frontier for human endeavors … and potentially a new world of trouble, scientists said this weekend at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Diego.
Hilo site to aid whales, dolphins – Honolulu Advertiser
Sick and injured whales and dolphins will have a place to go after the Feb. 26 opening of the Hawai’i Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility in Hilo. Every year, 20 to 30 whales and dolphins wash up on state beaches, some already dead and others too far gone to save. But some that used to be destroyed can now be rescued, said Jason Turner, a University of Hawai’i-Hilo professor who will be the facility’s director.
Mixed ruling on dolphin – New Zealand Herald
Lawyers for the Federation of Commercial Fishermen tried to block six proposed bans on set netting and inshore trawling. The court ruled yesterday to refer two back to Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley for reconsideration. But the court upheld four other 2008 restrictions that the federation challenged.
New study finds link between marine algae and whale diversity over time – EurekAlert
A new paper by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Otago in New Zealand shows a strong link between the diversity of organisms at the bottom of the food chain and the diversity of mammals at the top.