"The plan for 30 new marine conservation areas unveiled by Scottish ministers last week fails to ban one of the most environmentally destructive forms of fishing - dredging the seabed for scallops.
A community environmental group says it leaves a gaping loophole in measures to protect marine wildlife. Fishermen, however, warn "ill-informed restrictions" must not be imposed on Scotland's multi-million scallop-dredging industry."
News and Updates
"The 5th CTI-CFF Regional Exchange on Marine Protected Areas (REX5), recently held in Cebu, Philippines, significantly advanced progress on the implementation of the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System (CTMPAS).
Forty representatives from the Coral Triangle Initiative member countries and partner organizations developed roadmaps to improve the management of marine protected areas CTMPAS during the workshop held in Mactan Island in Cebu from 14-18 July, 2014.
The roadmaps contain specific concrete activities to improve marine protected area management at the country-level and align it with the regional CTMPAS that was launched in May 2014 in Indonesia. The roadmaps will be implemented from 2014 to 2020 by government agencies and non-government organizations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste."
"Addo Elephant National Park (AENP), the custodians of the Bird Island Marine Protected Area (MPA) off Algoa Bay, celebrated the tenth anniversary since the proclamation of the area, recently.
The Bird Island MPA was officially proclaimed by former Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, in the Government Gazette on 4 June 2004. The news cemented the Park’s eastern boundary in Algoa Bay and also gave AENP the status of being the only national park in the world to be able to boast with the title of being home to the world’s Big 7 – with the addition of the seasonal Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale in the water off Algoa Bay to the Big 5.
The Bird Island group (Bird, Seal and Stag Islands) is home to several species of red-data listed seabirds - including the Cape gannett, roseatte tern and African penguin - while the reefs around the islands are important for abalone and linefish. Bird Island was increasingly becoming the target of abalone poachers at the time, and the immediate protection of the islands was regarded as a priority."
"Seeking to gain a high-tech edge over illegal fishers, the Government of Belize will use "eyes in the sky" to enforce fishing regulations in the biodiverse Glover's Reef Marine Reserve and other reef systems in what is the first use of conservation drones to monitor marine protected areas.
With technical assistance from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Belize Fisheries Department initiated a new monitoring program using unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e. conservation drones) to curtail unsustainable levels of illegal fishing. Besides coastal development, unregulated and unreported fishing are some of the largest threats to Belize's fishing industry."
About the Conference
Citizen Science is a partnership between everyday people and professional scientists to investigate pressing questions about the world. Citizen Science 2015 invites anyone interested in such collaborations to participate.
Everyone involved in any aspects of citizen science is welcome, including researchers, project leaders, educators, evaluators, designers and makers, volunteers, and more–representing a wide variety of disciplines.
Join people from across the field of citizen science to discuss designing, implementing, sustaining, evaluating, and participating in projects. Share your project innovations and questions.
"This campaign is brought to you by the Fund for a Sustainable Palau, a US-based charity devoted to sustaining Palau’s unique natural environment and promoting its international leadership.
It is led by diplomats, scientists, artists, scholars, philanthropists, foundations, and businesses with a personal connection to Palau and are devoted to the oceans.
$100K allows us to scale up a previously successful study that employed Palauan fishermen to collect baseline fisheries data for the Sanctuary
$250K allows us to conduct a detailed economic study to ensure that eco-tourism growth is environmentally sustainable
$500K allows us to use drone and other unmanned technology to monitor for illegal fishing in Palau's waters
$1M allows us to integrate that technology with a dedicated boat and crew to conduct research and surveillance in Palau's waters"
Via The Guardian
"Rare and threatened species including common skate, the ocean quahog, flameshell beds and the black guillemot are being given extra protection after 30 new marine protected areas off the Scottish coast were announced on Thursday.
The network includes what is thought to be Europe's largest marine protected area (MPA) in the far north east of UK territorial waters, in the north east Faroe Shetland channel to conserve deep sea sponges, muds and geological features.
The 30 new sites, which double the size of Scotland's MPA network after long delays, will cover cliffs in Caithness, deep ocean seabed habitats, sandeel colonies and marine fauna which inhabit coldwater reefs such as feather stars."
Via the European Commission
"The EU's General Affairs Council has adopted legislation to improve the planning of maritime activities. The new Maritime Spatial Planning Directive will help Member States develop and coordinate various activities taking place at sea so that they are as efficient and sustainable as possible.
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki welcomed the Council's green light: "We want to make the growth of maritime sectors both smart and sustainable. The Directive reconciles the diverse uses of the sea and will make access to maritime space more predictable. This will help avoid potential conflicts between users, so that businesses can enjoy a more stable and assured environment, and so that we can better manage the impact of human activities on the marine environment." Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik added: "This is a good example of how economic development and safeguarding the environment can go hand in hand. Good planning means a win on both counts.""
"The first four flagship sites of the Coral Triangle Marine Protected Area System (CTMPAS) were revealed last May in a launch activity at the sidelines of the World Coral Reef Conference in Manado, Indonesia.
These sites – Wakatobi National Park in Indonesia, Turtle Islands Park in Malaysia, and Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary and Tubbataha Reefs National Park World Heritage Site in the Philippines – were found to have met the criteria set out under the CTMPAS Framework for “Category 4: Flagship Sites,” defined as “large, already effectively managed sites that have regional ecological, governance and socioeconomic importance.”"