Environmental News September 20 - October 9, 2015

Quote for the week

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”
—David Attenborough

Court Says Antibiotic Use in Chilean Fisheries Should Be Public Knowledge
Date: September 8, 2015
By: Phil Wilson, LA Times
Date: September 20, 2015
By: Lizabeth Paulat
The organization Oceana won a landmark case last week against the Chilean government. The appeal, which went up against the National Fisheries and Agricultural Services (Sernapesca) found the judges unanimously decided that the Council for Transparency had to release its data regarding antibiotic usage in Chilean salmon.
Read more here.

Climate change to increase rick of erosion, flooding along Pacific coasts, study suggests
Date: September 21, 2015
By: ABC Science
Climate change will put coastal areas from Sydney to California at increased risk from erosion and flooding, independent of sea-level rise, a new study suggests. The research, published today in Nature Geoscience, is the first to link a pattern of beach erosion around the Pacific with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate cycle.
Read more here.

Pope Francis comes to the United States to preach for action on climate change
Date: September 21, 2015
By: Eric Holthaus, Slate
Pope Francis arrives in the United States on Tuesday, and climate change—an issue he’s called “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day”—figures to be a central theme in his message to Americans. A recent poll showed climate change is the most important issue for the world’s poorest countries, and for good reason: On our current course, we’re locking in several decades of rapid environmental change, and the world’s poor stand to bear the brunt of the damages.
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Research uncovers microscopic key to reducing ocean dead zones
Date: September 22, 2015
By: Brighman Young University
Dead zones occur when nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural fertilizers and sewage washes downstream into the ocean and creates huge blooms of toxic algae. Sadly, there are hundreds of them around the world. A recent publication this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is discovering the potential of naturally-occurring bacteria called rhizobia to stem the tide of oversaturation with nitrogen-based fertilizers.
Read more here.

Starfish Wasting Disease May Be Tied to Warming Waters
Date: September 22, 2015
By: Magan Crane, Discovery News
In recent years, millions of the starfish, also called sea stars, have had their legs curl up and pull away from their bodies, breaking the animals to pieces before they turn to mush, often in a matter of days. Once densely packed onto the rocks and on the ocean floor, the key predators are simply missing from some locations, their numbers cut by 95 percent or more. Scientists have been left racing to figure out why.
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Why some scientists are worried about a surprisingly cold ‘blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean
Date: September 24, 2015
By: Chris Mooney, The Washington Post
Indeed, last week we learned from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the first eight months of 2015 were the hottest such stretch yet recorded for the globe’s surface land and oceans, based on temperature records going back to 1880. It’s just the latest evidence that we are, indeed, on course for a record-breaking warm year in 2015. In the North Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland and Iceland, the ocean surface has seen very cold temperatures for the past eight months.
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New Study Finds Almost Half of US Seafood is Wasted Each Year
Date: September 24, 2015
By: The Fish Site
US - New research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has found that around 47 per cent of the edible US seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste. This huge amount of waste also adds to other problems threatening global seafood resources such as overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Read more here.

Cousteau adds voice to American Samoa protest
Date: September 25, 2015
By: Radio New Zealand International
The well known ocean explorer and film producer, Jean-Michel Cousteau, has added his voice to widespread protest about US boats fishing in American Samoa. Large fishing vessels from the United States may soon be allowed to fish temporarily in the territory's protected waters, which are reserved for local 'alia' or small fishing boats.
Read more here.

Federal Court Affirms Denial of Russian Beluga Import for Georgia Aquarium
Date: September 29, 2015
By: Animal Welfare Institute
A federal court today affirmed the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) denial of Georgia Aquarium’s application for a permit under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to import 18 beluga whales from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk for public display at several facilities in the United States. The court also backed NMFS’ interpretation of its regulations, concluding that an import could potentially encourage the capture of additional belugas from this stock for the purpose of public display worldwide.
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No long-term future in tar sands, says Alberta’s premier
Date: September 30, 2015
By: Suzanne Goldenburg, The Guardian
The leader of Canada’s biggest oil-producing province has declared she sees no long-term future in fossil fuels, predicting Alberta would wean itself off dirty energy within a century. In an early reveal of her forthcoming new energy policy, Alberta’s Rachel Notley said she would fight climate change by cleaning up the tar sands, shutting down coal-fired power plants, and converting to wind and solar power.
Read more here.

New Zealand Plans One of the World’s Largest Ocean Sanctuaries
September 29, 2015
By: Rebecca Howard, The Wall Street Journal
New Zealand plans to create an ocean sanctuary almost the size of Texas, becoming the latest island nation in the Pacific to put ecological protection and tourism ahead of fishing and mining industries. At a time when global stocks of many fish species are declining, protected marine areas have been created across thousands of miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Read more here.

Obama just announced the first new marine sanctuaries in 15 years
Date: October 5, 2015
By: Chelsea Harvey, The Washington Post
At the second annual Our Ocean conference, which opened Monday in Chile, world leaders will address the challenges to marine ecosystems around the globe and announce the extra steps they are taking to protect the world’s oceans. President Obama announced plans for two new marine sanctuaries, one off the coast of Maryland, and the other in Lake Michigan. They’ll be the first new national marine sanctuaries designated by the federal government in the past 15 years.
Read more here.

Chile Adds Massive Ocean Sanctuaries to Growing Global List
Date: October 6, 2015
By: Chris D’Angelo, The Huffington Post
On Monday, during the 2015 Our Ocean conference in Valparaiso, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park -- giving Chile claim to the largest marine reserve in the Americas -- as well as the Easter Island Marine Park, which will be the third-largest fully protected marine area in the world.
Read more here.