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Ocean Governance

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Multiple ocean stresses threaten "globally significant" marine extinction Last Updated on 2014-01-04 14:54:36     A high-level international workshop convened by IPSO met at the University of Oxford earlier this year. It was the first inter-disciplinary international meeting of marine scientists of its kind and was designed to consider the cumulative impact of multiple stressors on the ocean, including warming, acidification, and overfishing. The 3 day workshop, co-sponsored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), looked at the latest science across different disciplines. The 27 participants from 18 organisations in 6 countries produced a grave assessment of current threats — and a stark conclusion about future risks to marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history. Delegates called for urgent and... More »
The World's Most Protected Shark Last Updated on 2013-05-10 00:00:00 One species of shark made history today at the close of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s annual meeting of governments that share a practical and financial interest in fish stocks in the region. The oceanic whitetip, an open-ocean species with a distinctive white tip on its dorsal fin, became the most comprehensively protected shark on the planet. Member governments of the commission agreed to ban the retaining on board, transhipping, landing or storing of this shark by vessels under the jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). The IOTC, one of five regional fisheries management organizations which collectively have responsibility for the management of tuna and tunalike species across 91 per cent of the ocean, now has a common agreement to release oceanic whitetip sharks if caught in fishing gear. In combination with a decision in March at the... More »
Top 5 Ocean Priorities for the New Secretary of State Last Updated on 2013-03-29 00:00:00 When President Barack Obama convenes his cabinet in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, one might be left with the impression that defenders of our oceans are rather pointedly underrepresented. The Department of Commerce, which oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has lacked a secretary since John Bryson resigned last summer. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta probably pulled double duty as Aquaman in the president’s Hall of Justice; prior to his service in the Obama administration, Secretary Panetta served as a congressman from Monterrey, California, and as head of the Pew Oceans Commission. But now he, too, has left the building, with a shout-out to his trusty sidekick, his dog Bravo. President Obama is seeking to fill the open seat at Commerce, and to replace Jane Lubchenco, who stepped down last month as NOAA’s... More »
Saving whales: a cause worth fighting war Last Updated on 2013-01-04 12:27:30 In the 20th century humans slaughtered 1.5 million whales. It's time now to end the whale hunt and The War Against Nature, writes Reese Halter. Four Japanese whaling boats have once again set sail for the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. And four Sea Shepherd Conservation Society boats with 120 crew representing 26 nations are waiting to intercept and stop them. It is without a doubt the most courageous and perhaps meaningful fight in The War Against Nature as the new year of 2013 commences. This year the stakes are at an all-time high as the Japanese have armed coast guards on their boats, and a recent ruling by the US Court of Appeals stated that Sea Shepherd boats are to remain at least 500 yards from whaling vessels. Led by their founder Paul Watson the Sea Shepherd has recently added a new fourth vessel - in a twist of fate, buying a former Japanese... More »
Oceans experts deliver verdict on Rio+20 outcomes Last Updated on 2012-06-22 00:00:00 Scientists, legal experts and campaigners attending the Rio+20 Earth Summit have expressed frustration and disappointment at the lack of progress on oceans protection. They were speaking at a debate organised by the International Programme for the State of the Ocean (IPSO) on the penultimate day of the summit. More »