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2018:  FEB

January 2017 Issue

New Oceans Protection
Plan for Canada

Canada, which has the longest coastline in the world, has announced a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan. The four main priority areas are: creating a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada’s waters, including new preventive and response measures; restoring and protecting marine ecosystems and habitats, using new tools and research, and taking measures to address abandoned boats and wrecks; strengthening partnerships and launching co-management practices with indigenous communities, including building local emergency response capacity; and investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence based.

The Oceans Protection Plan will be implemented in 2017, with early initiatives to include a Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John’s.

Climate Resilience Financing
In Disarray for SIDS

The new report “Climate and Disaster Resilience Financing in Small Island States” shows that, in spite of increasing climate risks, only 14 percent of development aid for vulnerable small island nations addresses climate change and natural disasters.

The report, prepared by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, shows that more than 335 major natural disasters have occurred in small island developing states (SIDS) since 2000, resulting in an estimated $22.7 billion in direct damages.

There is currently a confusing array of dozens of small projects, half of which are below $200,000 each and collectively account for only 2 percent of all support, creating large inefficiencies and a lack of broad impact, the report states.

The report calls for more coordinated, predictable and long-term financing for climate and disaster risk tailored to the needs of small islands. It also advocates for strengthened enabling policies and institutions in SIDS to ensure funds for managing climate risk are used more effectively.

PKI Methane Number
Calculator Online

Greater use of LNG as marine fuel would reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, but barriers remain to its widespread adoption. One challenge is the varying compositions of LNG fuel globally, which can lead to engine damage and failure. DNV GL has now addressed this by developing a new online PKI Methane Number Calculator to match fuel quality with an engine’s requirements. It can also support the development of an international standard. The calculator can be applied to a wide range of engine types and used across the entire supply chain by engine manufacturers, shipowners, traders and international policy makers on LNG.

You can register to access the calculator at http://bit.ly/2gG9EVR.

Updated Data Set for
Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) announced the completion of the Chesapeake Bay High-resolution Land Cover Project to improve information about the natural and human-made features that exist on the landscape of the watershed, such as buildings, tree canopy and water. CBP will use this data set in 2017 as the foundation of its effort to evaluate stakeholder progress toward meeting reduction targets for bay pollution loads.

For 10 months, geospatial analysts worked to produce 1-m-by-1-m-resolution land cover data for nearly 100,000 sq. mi. of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and surrounding counties. This new land cover classification has a high degree of accuracy and provides 900 times the amount of information over the existing watershed-wide data set. It will be publicly available and updated periodically.

The CBP will use the high-resolution land cover data to improve and refine its current suite of modeling tools. This improved level of detail will enhance the evaluation of progress in support of the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Mid-Point Assessment.

Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels
Threaten Reefs, Communities

As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise, very few coral reef ecosystems will be spared the impacts of ocean acidification or sea surface temperature rise, according to a new analysis. The damage will cause the most immediate and serious threats where human dependence on reefs is highest.

The analysis, led by Duke University and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, suggests that by 2050, western Mexico, Micronesia, Indonesia, parts of Australia and Southeast Asia will bear the brunt of rising temperatures. Reef damage will result in lost fish habitats and shoreline protection, jeopardizing the lives and economic prosperity of people who depend on reefs for tourism and food.

The authors mapped human dependence at the country level, scoring for two indicators: shoreline protection and coral reef fisheries. Simultaneously, the authors mapped the largely unavoidable impacts of increased sea surface temperature and ocean acidification.

Using data from the maps, the study predicts that the countries of Oceania will be among the first to face the greatest environmental stresses from climate change and ocean acidification, followed by the Coral Triangle countries of Southeast Asia and other parts of Australia—all areas with high dependence on coral reefs.

Countries most likely to experience severe ocean acidification are generally different from those that will experience the earliest onset of coral bleaching. Acidification is projected to be worse for Baja California (Mexico), Japan, China and southern Australia because they are at the upper and lower latitudinal bounds of coral reef distribution and thus generally in cooler waters that naturally carry more carbon dioxide.

The authors say policy action to combat the threats of ocean acidification and surface temperature rise must be informed by data and science, but the research community is still doing a poor job of collecting this information where these threats are most substantial for people.

2018:  FEB

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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.