UW Symposium: Ocean Acidification Pushing Boundaries Of Environmental Law – KPLU

More on the variety of fronts that global warming has the environmental community fighting.

The University of Washington held its first annual symposium on environmental law last week. The idea is to choose a topic and examine how it fits into current and future regulations. This year’s focus—ocean acidification.  It is sometimes called the evil twin of global warming. Ocean acidification is caused when carbon pollution from fossil fuels dissolves into our waterways. Scientists say it may cause serious harm to life on the planet; some say it is already damaging the local shellfish industry. It is also pushing the envelope of current environmental law. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KPLU)

http://kplu.org/post/uw-symposium-ocean-acidification-pushing-boundaries-environmental-law

Ocean fish numbers on ‘brink of collapse,’ WWF reports – Thompson Reuters via CBC

Stocks of group that includes tuna, mackerel, bonito down 75 per cent since 1970

While I hate to post really dire news, this article is important because we (all countries) subsidize fishing in many ways, which needs to change to make any difference in the oceans. Many of us have pushed for creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and some have been created, but many more are needed. The NW Tribes, while not entirely supportive of MPAs have done a huge amount of good work in trying to re-establish habitat and lead the way forward in salmon protection here in the Northwest and on the Peninsula in particular. Many fishing groups are very supportive and have helped in a variety of ways, while a few remain unconvinced. It’s interesting that in my interviews with “old timers” who have lived and fished here from the 30s on, almost all of them, including the ones that I would consider the least friendly to “environmental” labels, supported a moratorium on fishing for a 10 year period to restore stocks.

Now it’s time to get our government to really push harder to convince the global community to protect the oceans outside the 50 mile limit. According to this article, we don’t have much time left to do something significant.

The amount of fish in the oceans has halved since 1970, in a plunge to the “brink of collapse” caused by over-fishing and other threats, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ocean-fish-wwf-1.3230157?cmp=rss&utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

New hydrophones monitor ship noise in Salish Sea – Canadian Press

More good research. Monitoring at all levels is the most critical element in securing future funding for environmental projects, and validating ones that have been done. It has been the neglected part of all funding over the decades, and glad to see another good outpost established.

Researchers have installed another underwater listening station in British Columbia’s Salish Sea to better understand how shipping noise impacts at-risk whales. The installation Monday was part of a program run by Port Metro Vancouver, the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada and the hydrophone’s manufacturer. Underwater noise has been identified as a threat to orcas that make their home in the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland and are listed as at risk by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.(Canadian Press)

http://globalnews.ca/news/2222637/new-hydrophones-monitor-ship-noise-in-salish-sea/

Scientists In Oregon Discover Bacon-Flavored Seaweed- AP

Now this I like! Bacon Flavored Seaweed!

What grows quickly, is packed with protein, has twice the nutritional value of kale and … tastes like bacon? The answer, according to scientists at Oregon State University, is a new strain of seaweed they recently patented. (Associated Press)

http://www.opb.org/news/article/scientists-in-oregon-discover-bacon-flavored-seaweed/

Coastal researchers launch blog to share findings about ocean – Watching Our Waterways

Lots of fish from tropical waters are being seen in the surveys reported by Chris. Check out this quick read.

It’s an interesting time for researchers to begin writing a blog about ocean conditions off Oregon and Washington, an area undergoing some fascinating changes in oceanography and sealife. Scientists from NOAA Fisheries and Oregon State University launched their new website, “Newporter Blog,” [http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/blogs/display_blogentry.cfm?blogid=1&#blogentry1] last week. It’s named after the Newport Line, an area of study off the Oregon Coast where researchers have monitored changes for the past 20 years. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2015/07/02/coastal-researchers-launch-blog-to-share-findings-about-ocean/

Want to learn to change the world? Idea #2: Watch this video

This month, Netflix launches Sylvia Earle’s “Mission Blue”. Another heroine of mine. Who is she? Check Wikipedia out

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Earle

Co-directed by Fisher Stevens (“The Cove”) and Robert Nixon (“Gorillas in the Mist”), the film, like Sylvia herself, doesn’t pull punches. It is hard hitting, but also inspiring. This is in keeping with her experience of the ocean itself, a vast and awesome location and community, at once fragile and powerful enough that while its immediate future is in our hands, our long-term future depends utterly on its continued health and functioning.

“No ocean, no life,” she says. “No ocean, no us.”

Another 5 stars. See this movie. Then come on out and let’s get working!

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/15/sylvia-earles-mission-blue-arrives-on-netflix-today/

Researchers: We Shared The Flu Virus With Olympic Peninsula Sea Otters – KPLU.ORG

There are a lot of hypothesis’ that can be created out of this. The first one I thought of was, “is this related to sewage being dumped into the oceans?”  Another one is, “If otters are being affected by human organisms, could the starfish wasting disease also be caused by something we are dumping into the ocean that we haven’t dumped before?”  Ultimately, we have to prepare for a time when we must stop using our oceans as large scale septic tanks. It’s not just our poop and pee, it’s all the chemicals that get flushed down the drain, and the chemicals we put in our bodies.


Humans are particularly generous with the flu, otter-wrangling scientists have found. People shared the 2009 swine flu epidemic with ferrets, dogs, cats, raccoons and pigs, and new research shows even wild sea otters in Washington state got hit. “These otters, which we think were living in a relatively pristine environment off the Olympic Peninsula, were exposed to pathogens that are more commonly associated with people,” said Virologist Hon Ip with the U.S. Geological Survey, who co-authored the study published in the May 2014 issue of “Emerging Infectious Diseases.” Rae Ellen Bichell reports. (KPLU)

 http://kplu.org/post/researchers-we-shared-flu-virus-olympic-peninsula-sea-otters

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