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Severe bleaching last year on the northern Great Barrier Reef affected even the largest and oldest corals, like this slow-growing Porites colony.
TERRY HUGHES ET AL. / NATURE

SYDNEY, Australia — The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has long been one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, so enormous it can be seen from space, so beautiful it can move visitors to tears.

But the reef, and the profusion of sea creatures living near it, are in profound trouble.

Huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef, stretching across hundreds of miles of its most pristine northern sector, were recently found to be dead, killed last year by overheated seawater. More southerly sections around the middle of the reef that barely escaped then are bleaching now, a potential precursor to another die-off that could rob some of the reef’s most visited areas of color and life. Read more here.

From The New York Times. By Damien Cave and Justin Gillis.

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Cruise companies have been encouraged to improve their environmental policies and introduce more clean technology. Photograph: Enrique Calvo/Reuters

 

Environmental standards for shipping are so low, cruise companies have a huge opportunity to improve their policies

Not many of the 25 million people enjoying the sea breeze on a cruise ship this year are likely to think about the air pollutants being emitted from the vessel.

Mostly running on heavy fuel oil, a medium-sized cruise ship produces around the same volume of air pollutants – including greenhouse gases, sulphur, nitric oxides and particulate matter – as 5m cars going the same distance, estimates the German environmental NGO Nabu.

“The standards for the shipping industry are really low compared to what we can see in road transport,” says Dietmar Oeliger, head of environmental policy at Nabu. “For a long time, politics served it well. People didn’t care about emissions on open water.”

Most countries devolve responsibility for regulating the industry to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), says Tristan Smith, shipping and climate change expert at University College London. He adds that many smaller countries do not have the resources to regulate it themselves and some choose not to restrict it – after all, the industry is a boon to local economies, bringing in tourists and providing jobs.

 

Read more about sustainable sea travel by following this link. By Sarah Shearman.

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In case you didn’t know, apparently there is a shortage of sand in the world. Since sand is used in a variety of industries, ranging from construction where it is used in mortar, plaster, concrete, asphalt, as well as being used in the pharmaceutical industry, safe to say that it is a very important resource.

This is why over in New Zealand, a report from AdWeek (via Geek) has revealed that a company called DB Breweries has launched an effort to help with the sand shortage. How, you ask? By asking customers to drink more beer, and to put their empty beer bottles through specially-built machines, where those bottles will be crushed into a sand substitute.

Read more on how drinking beer can help the increase of sand. By Tyler Lee

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The UN has declared war on ocean plastic pollution

Photo credit: UNEP/Flickr

The Clean Seas campaign was launched last week, aimed at eliminating major sources of marine plastic and changing shopping habits.

The United Nations has declared war on plastic. In an unexpected announcement that emerged from the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali last week, the UN officially launched its ‘Clean Seas’ campaign. The goal is to eliminate major sources of pollution, including microplastics in cosmetics and single-use disposable plastics, by pressuring governments and individuals to rethink the way goods are packaged and their own shopping habits. By Katherine Martinko. Read more.

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This New Shampoo Will Clean Your Hair — And The Oceans

Categories: Planet, Recommended Reading, Sea
Comments Off on This New Shampoo Will Clean Your Hair — And The Oceans

Head & Shoulders bottles will use recycled plastics removed from beaches and waterways.


Procter & Gamble announced Thursday that its Head & Shoulders shampoo bottles will be recyclable and made of up to 25 percent “beach plastics,” from trash removed from beaches, oceans, rivers and other waterways.

It will be the first shampoo bottle made from recycled beach plastics, according to the company’s press release.

“It’s important to understand how big of a disaster ocean plastics are. It’s horrendous,” Tom Szaky, founder of recycling company TerraCycle, told The Huffington Post. TerraCycle is partnering with P&G to make the bottles. “It creates problems for animals that eat them or get trapped in them. It’s a crisis, and I don’t think people understand the scale of it.”

The oceans will contain more plastics than fish by 2050, according to a report from the World Economic Forum. At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. That’s like tossing the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute.

The Head & Shoulder “beach plastic” bottles will be available in France this summer, with plans to expand to other countries after that. By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman. Read more.

 

Head & Shoulders

Photo credit Head & Shoulders. Procter & Gamble will begin selling its “beach plastic” bottles in France this summer.

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Choosing sustainable seafood

Photo credit: Mike Sutton Brown. Your Shot, National Geographic.

Aquaculture expert Mike Velings asserts in his TED Talk ‘The Case for Fish Farming’ that our oceans serve as the main source of animal protein with over 2.6 billion people dependent upon it every day.


Seafood not only offers a tasty source of omega-3 fatty acids but it is also the highest efficient source of protein, aside from insects. Making sustainable seafood choices is, therefore, the best solution to prevent irreversible damage to our oceans. Here are some tips about how to choose healthy, delicious, ocean-friendly seafood:

 

Sustainable Seafood : Consumer Guide

Seafood Watch Pocket Guide provides consumers with an easy way to check for sustainable seafood choices. © Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Stay informed

Stay informed. Learn all you can about the latest issues facing our seas and oceans and how you can make a difference. Visit to Marine Conservation Society (MCS) website to learn more about why we must do more to protect these waters, shorelines and the wildlife in their natural habitats. Read more here:

2017 Seafood Watch’s Consumer Guides

Download ‘Back to Basics: Fish Source Guide

 

Sustainable Seafood_Fishmonger

  • Get curious

Always ask your fishmonger detailed questions about where and how it was caught; especially if the labels do not provide this information. These questions will enable you to assess your fishmonger’s knowledge and appreciation about the importance of sustainable and responsible fishing and farming methods. Read more here.

 

Seafood-Watch-app

  • Use the mobile apps

There are organisations and mobile apps to help you find the most sustainable seafood. Check out Seafood Watch, developed by Monterey Bay Aquarium, to get recommendations on choosing the best seafood. The app will also locate businesses that serve sustainable seafood. The app is designed to help you make informed choices when you’re shopping or dining out.

 

MSC Labelling

Look for the blue MSC label on seafood for the best environmental choice in sustainable seafood. © Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in the UK.

  • Look for a label

Choose sustainable seafood by looking at labelling information for evidence of responsible farming and fishing. Find out the examples of Sustainable Seafood Labels to help you to make the right choice when buying seafood.

 

We must protect out oceans, ensuring that fish stocks are not depleted to a level where future generations are left without this vital and very health source of food and nutrition.

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Reducing Local and Direct Environmental Impacts Associated with Diving and Snorkelling Tourism Activities to Increase Reef Resilience

 

Maldives-coral-@-Reef-World-Foundation

Green Fins is currently active in 18 locations throughout Asia including the Maldives. Photo © The Reef-World Foundation

Location

Green Fins is currently active in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Maldives, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

 

The Challenge

Coral reefs are globally important ecosystems facing intense and unprecedented pressures. Major global issues like marine debris, coral bleaching and illegal fishing mean that experts predict at least 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed within the next 30 years. Meanwhile, the tourism industry dependent upon these reefs continues to show considerable economic growth. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2014), tourism and travel sector activities generate 9.8% of GDP and support nearly 277 million people in employment, representing one in every eleven jobs globally. The World Tourism Organization predicts that, by 2020, over 1.56 billion international trips will be made each year, most of them intra-regional and with the highest numbers in Europe, followed by East Asia and the Pacific, with coastal tourism constituting a significant part of this. By Reef Resilience Program.

Find the whole article here!

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We often fin right over them on our way to the next coral head, but we can’t ignore the importance of seagrass meadows when it comes to ocean health.

seagrass meadows

If you dive in the tropics, you’re probably quite familiar with coral reefs. You know your hard corals from your soft corals and your parrotfish from your wrasse. Some of you may even know your pleurobranchs from your nudibranchs. But you may not know much about the beautiful stretches of seagrass that you sail over to reach those reefs. In reality, we can’t ignore the importance of seagrass meadows when it comes to ocean health, and we shouldn’t ignore these environments as divers. By Charlie Wiseman. Read more.

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Conservationist Chloe Harvey is back with part two of this fantastic three-part series documenting Ginette Bariteau’s incredible journey to improve the way her business deals with the environment

Ginette Bariteau: Team-meeting-introducing-Green-Fins-min

“The assessment process highlighted areas where Ginette and her team are really stepping above and beyond the norm in terms of managing their risk to the local environment.”

Ginette Bariteau owns Scuba 6 Eco in Panama and first stumbled across Green Fins in May this year. Since then she has downloaded the Green Fins Dive and Snorkel Centre Handbook and has been working systematically to implement the environmental code of best practice within her operations ever since.

Changing our way of life towards one focused more on sustainable living can feel a little overwhelming, how on earth do we know where to start? Using a unique assessment system based on risk to marine biodiversity, the Green Fins approach helps dive businesses to identify high risk practices. They can then prioritise action and use the comprehensive Green Fins guidance material to identify realistic and low-cost alternatives. With the support of The Reef-World Foundation, international coordinators of Green Fins, Ginette assessed the performance of her current environmental practices and identified three clear priority actions to focus on addressing in the short term.

Continue reading on underwater 360.

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