News and Updates

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 17, 2014 - 4:01am, by nwehner

Via Monroe News

"U.S. government scientists are learning to use specialized fisheye lenses underwater in the Florida Keys this week in hopes of applying "street view" mapping to research and management plans in marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, including a selection on Google Maps, giving the public a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time.

It will be like scuba diving from your computer.

About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia and in the Caribbean, but this is the first time the technology is being used in U.S. waters."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 16, 2014 - 6:49am, by nwehner

Via The Coast News

"Over the summer, [WildCoast] teamed up with San Diego-based Outdoor Outreach to take groups of underprivileged kids from several inner-city schools to local protected areas and educate them on how to be responsible stewards. The groups visited protected areas in La Jolla, the Tijuana River and Swami’s.

The students also got to participate in marine recreation activities, such as kayaking and surfing.

Their activities culminated this week as they wrote letters to State Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) asking for her continued support of the marine protected areas."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 16, 2014 - 6:41am, by nwehner

Via Care2

"In good news for whales, a number of global shipping companies have agreed to participate in a trial program that won’t just help save endangered whales from deadly ship strikes off the coast of California, but will help keep our air cleaner.

Thanks to a new pilot incentive program, which was created and implemented by the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the Environmental Defense Center, six different shipping companies passing through the Santa Barbara Channel will be paid $2,500 per trip to slow down to 12 knots, down from typical speeds of 14 to 18 knots, through October."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 16, 2014 - 6:36am, by nwehner


"A leading Arran-based community marine conservation organisation, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), has been shortlisted for a 2014 RSPB Nature of Scotland Award.  

The Nature of Scotland Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature conservation and this year will see the third round of Awards presented to organisations and individuals. 

COAST, which has been campaigning for the restoration of the seas around Arran for nearly 20 years has been shortlisted in the Marine Conservation Award category which recognises outstanding contribution to the conservation or sustainable management of Scotland's precious marine resources."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 15, 2014 - 10:20am, by nwehner

Via Business Insider Australia

"Whale Sharks are protected but in some areas of China the world’s largest fish are tuned into soup, fish oil and lipstick additives.

However, they have an increasing value if they are kept alive.

A group of researchers have now studied the impact this animal has on the economy of the island nation of the Maldives.

The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme reveals that a small group of whale sharks in a single Maldivian Atoll accounts for nearly 3% of the global shark ecotourism and nearly half that of the Maldives."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 15, 2014 - 10:16am, by nwehner


"Conservation Minister Nick Smith says the process for creating marine reserves is "a complete dog" and wants to rewrite and broaden the legislation.

Addressing the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society's annual conference at Nelson's Rutherford Hotel yesterday, the Nelson MP said a new legislative framework for marine protection was a key ambition for National if it was still the Government after the election.

It should not be just be a revamp of the Marine Reserves Act, he said.

"We actually need to think in a broader framework of marine protected areas and doing so in an integrated way," Smith said."

Blogger picture

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Waitt Foundation

On August 12th, Barbuda Council signed into law a sweeping set of new ocean management regulations that zone their coastal waters, strengthen fisheries management, and establish a network of marine sanctuaries. This comes after seventeen months of extensive community consultation and scientific research supported by the Waitt Institute. With these new policies, the small island of Barbuda has become a Caribbean ocean conservation leader and global role model. The regulations establish five marine sanctuaries, collectively protecting 33% (139 km2) of the coastal area, to enable fish populations to rebuild and habitats to recover. To restore the coral reefs, catching parrotfish and sea urchins has been completely prohibited, as those herbivores are critical to keeping algae levels on reefs low so coral can thrive. Barbuda is the first Caribbean island to put either of these bold and important measures in place.  “This will definitely benefit the people of Barbuda, and Antigua as well. No part of this is meant to hurt fishers. It’s the reverse – ensuring that they have a livelihood that will last in perpetuity,” said Arthur Nibbs, Chairman of the Barbuda Council and Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Fisheries.

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 14, 2014 - 4:17am, by nwehner

Via The Tico Times

"An increase in the number of whale-watching tours in southern Costa Rica’s Ballena National Marine Park has prompted officials from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) to increase monitoring and regulation in the area.

A large number of tourist boats could threaten the presence of whales, dolphins, stingrays and sharks in the park, located near Uvita on the Pacific coast, environment officials said. Biologists consider the protected area a perfect location between the northern and southern hemispheres for the birth of new generations of marine mammals and other species.

On their arrival, whales enter into a trance, and any abrupt change to their natural habitat could cause them to migrate to other areas with less suitable conditions for giving birth to calves – a direct threat to their species, biologists say."

Community Updates - External Link
Posted on August 14, 2014 - 4:12am, by nwehner

Via KeysInfoNet

"An end to anchoring inside protected areas of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will be among questions reaching the sanctuary's advisory council Tuesday in Key Largo.

The Sanctuary Advisory Council will debate recommendations from its Ecosystem Protection Working Group, which spent months reviewing existing boundaries and rules at the sanctuary's no-take areas along the reef tract.

"There were a lot of very tough issues before the group, some of which were   resolved and some were not," council Chairman Ken Nedimyer said a message to members this week. [...]

"The problem is that once we lose [a fishing area], we've lost it forever," Key West Charter Boat Association President Richard Gomez said at a July meeting. "We fight [the sanctuary] tooth and nail because when we know we're done, we're done.""

Posted on August 14, 2014 - 3:20am, by nwehner

The Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning — Advancement Training (CMSP-AT) team is conducting a survey to address planners' needs in translating the previously-offered in-person trainings to an online curriculum.

For the purposes of this survey, they are defining "coastal manager" as an individual whose professional occupation is focused on balancing the protection, restoration, conservation and management of coasts or coastal resources in a manner that fairly allocates and uses coastal resources while maintaining these areas and resources sustainably for the benefit of current and future generations. If that's you, then you should participate in this survey!

Please take the survey at