• OSPAR’s disappointing wrap-up

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 29, 2010

    Well we can’t say we are too surprised, but it’s still incredibly frustrating that OSPAR member states choose to continue endangering the health and future of an ecosystem on which millions of Europeans depend.

    Good news first – European countries agreed to create six new marine protected areas. This is an historic decision because they are the first MPAs created beyond national jurisdiction (in the high seas).

    Bad news? Where do we begin?

    Six is simply not enough – not enough high seas protection, and not enough surface area coverage.

  • Another day at OSPAR

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 22, 2010

    It has been a busy few days for us at OSPAR. So far the meetings we’ve assisted have been incredibly interesting, but the entire process is exhausting and rather intense: we’ve been getting back to our hotel at around 23h and waking up very early in the morning to prepare for meetings. The delegates look more exhausted than we do - no doubt because their negotiations have been going on into the wee hours of the morning.

  • OSPAR kicks off today in Bergen, Norway

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 20, 2010

    Today marks the beginning of the OSPAR Commission meeting in Bergen, Norway.

    In case you are wondering what this actually is, we thought we’d give you a bit of background on the Commission and what it is that they do.

    OSPAR is the result of the 1992 unification of two international Conventions related to the protection of marine environment: the Oslo convention adopted in 1972 which regulates dumping waste at sea and the Paris Convention, adopted two years later and focusing on land based sources of pollution.

  • A few days in the Alabama Alps

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: September 18, 2010

    If you’ve been keeping up with the ship's log, you'll notice that these past two weeks have been as equally intense as the others. The departure of Oceana workers from Alaska and Washington and their hydrocarbon sensors was immediately compensated by the arrival of a new group of Spanish divers and the underwater robot (ROV) to Gulfport, Mississippi. Then we begin a new phase of the expedition: the visual exploration of the seabeds in the areas whose surface waters had been covered by oil for weeks.

  • An Education on Overfishing

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 17, 2010

    A lot of people often ask what they can do to learn about the state of the oceans – there is so much information out there, it can certainly be a daunting task to sort through it all.

    That’s why we decided to pull together some of our favorite books and movies on marine issues. This list is by no means an exhaustive one, its just a couple of ideas to help get you on track.

    ­For the Bookworm:

  • Acidic Oceans

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 15, 2010

    Climate change has been connected to some of the biggest natural disasters of the past few years – the flooding in Pakistan, the destructive hurricanes slamming the US coasts, wild fires wiping out swaths of forests, crop failures around the world, etc. But one of climate change’s most devastating side effects is rarely talked about: Ocean Acidification.

  • Underwater Timebombs: World War II bombs and munitions laying dormant on the sea floor

    Date: September 13, 2010

    Last week, our CEO tweeted an interesting article (Why wartime wrecks are slicking time bombs), highlighting the impact of World War II on the oceans. According to the study by Trevor Gilbert and Dagmar Etkin, between 2.5 million tons and 20 million tons of oil are contained in the thousands of ships on the continent shelf of the oceans, just waiting to start leaking – Not good.  

  • Inspiration: A Portrait of Mr. Mangrove in Senegal

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 10, 2010

    We would like to let you know about an inspirational man who came to our attention this morning. In Senegal, Haidar el Ali is fighting for the preservation of mangroves (among many other things related to protecting the ocean’s resources), which are crucial to the reproduction of marine species. The key of his success has been connecting with and educating people on the danger of overfishing and the steps they can take to make a real difference.

  • Swept up by Offshore Wind Farms

    Author: Brussels Office
    Date: September 8, 2010

    From Paris to Pekin, offshore wind energy projects are taking off. Several weeks after France started a call for tenders for the construction of 600 wind turbines on the Atlantic coast, China has just announced it will launch a 1.000 MW offshore wind farm project.

  • MSC’s “Sustainable” Labels Take a Hit

    Date: September 6, 2010

    Those trying to lessen their impact on the environment know how hard it is to keep track of what seafood is sustainable. Not only do you have to take into account the state of the fish stock, but you have to consider mercury levels and the carbon footprint of getting it to your plate. For many, the easiest solution has been to rely on organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), to tell them what they should and shouldn’t eat.

    In the past few weeks however, MSC has come under fire for not living up to its purpose.