From The Federal Register, Public Meeting: Pacific Fishery Management Council (Aug. 2 & Sept. 6)

Ocean Leadership ~

AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice; public meeting.

SUMMARY:

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold two webinars that are open to the public.

DATES:

The GMT webinars will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and Wednesday, September 6, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Webinar end times are estimates, meetings will adjourn when business for each day is completed.

ADDRESSES:

The following login instructions will work for any of the webinars in this series. To attend the webinar (1) join the meeting by visiting this link http://www.gotomeeting.com/​online/​webinar/​join-webinar;​ (2) enter the Webinar ID: 740-284-043, and (3) enter your name and email address (required). After logging in to the webinar, please (1) dial this TOLL number (+1) (914) 614-3221 (not a toll-free number); (2) enter the attendee phone audio access code 572-823-832; and (3) then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar). NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate. Technical Information and System Requirements: PC-based attendees are required to use Windows® 7, Vista, or XP; Mac®-based attendees are required to use Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer; Mobile attendees are required to use iPhone®, iPad®, AndroidTM phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting WebinarApps). You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at Kris.Kleinschmidt@noaa.gov or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance. A public listening station will also be available at the Pacific Council office.

Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, Oregon 97220-1384; telephone: 503-820-2280.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Kelly Ames, Pacific Council, 503-820-2426.

For more information, click here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/19/2017-15138/pacific-fishery-management-council-public-meeting

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Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Fire in Croatia prevented from reaching Split, Montenegro asks for help

SPLIT, Croatia (Reuters) – Montenegro has asked the European Union civil protection force to help it battle several forest fires, while a blaze in neighboring Croatia that had been threatening the city of Split has “normalized”, authorities said on Tuesday.


Reuters: Environment

One Of The Biggest Icebergs In Recorded History Just Broke Loose From Antarctica

Ocean Leadership ~

The iceberg is close to the size of Delaware and consists of almost four times as much ice as the fast melting ice sheet of Greenland loses in a year. (Credit: Project MIDAS)

(Click to enlarge) The iceberg is close to the size of Delaware and consists of almost four times as much ice as the fast melting ice sheet of Greenland loses in a year. (Credit: Project MIDAS)

Scientists announced Wednesday that a much anticipated break at the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica has occurred, unleashing a massive iceberg that is more than 2,200 square miles in area and weighs a trillion tons.

(From The Washington Post / by Chris Mooney) — In other words, the iceberg — among the largest in recorded history to splinter off the Antarctic continent — is close to the size of Delaware and consists of almost four times as much ice as the fast melting ice sheet of Greenland loses in a year. It is expected to be given the name “A68” soon, scientists said.

“Its volume is twice that of Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes,” wrote researchers with Project MIDAS, a research group at Swansea and Aberystwyth Universities in Wales that has been monitoring the situation closely by satellite.

The break was detected by one NASA satellite instrument, MODIS on the Aqua satellite, and confirmed by a second, they said. The European Space Agency has also confirmed the break.

The iceberg contains so much mass that if all of it were added anew to the ocean, it would drive almost 3 millimeters of global sea level rise. In this case though, the ice was already afloat so there won’t be a substantial sea level change.

The Project MIDAS group said Wednesday that the effect of the break is to shrink the size of the floating Larsen C ice shelf by 12 percent. While they can’t be certain, they’re concerned that this could have a destabilizing effect on the remainder of the shelf, which is among Antarctica’s largest.

“The iceberg is one of the largest recorded and its future progress is difficult to predict,” said Adrian Luckman, the lead MIDAS researcher and an Antarctic scientist at Swansea University, in a statement. “It may remain in one piece but is more likely to break into fragments. Some of the ice may remain in the area for decades, while parts of the iceberg may drift north into warmer waters.”

There is no expected immediate effect on shipping, Luckman said by email.

“Icebergs from this region occasionally make it out beyond the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, but it will take a while for that to happen to this iceberg or its fragments, and there is not a lot of shipping in the area that I am aware of,” he explained.

The change is large enough that it will trigger a redrawing of the Antarctic coastline, according to Ted Scambos, senior research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Indeed, it means that the Larsen C ice shelf, previously the fourth largest of its kind in Antarctica, is now probably only the fifth or sixth largest, Scambos said.

Even larger icebergs than this have broken off of Antarctica in the past, however, including an over 4,000 square mile berg, famously dubbed B15, in 2000. That was almost twice the size of this one and broke off the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica’s largest floating ice body. It was the biggest iceberg ever recorded.

Larsen C also lost an even larger piece in 1986, Scambos said, but that occurred in considerably different circumstances. It came after the shelf had grown considerably and extended much farther out into the Weddell Sea than it does now.

“This calving is a little bit different, because it makes the ice shelf so much smaller,” Scambos said.

Indeed, the front of  Larsen C ice shelf has retracted back farther than ever previously observed, according to Eric Rignot, a glaciologist with NASA and the University of California, Irvine.

“The ice front is now almost 40 km farther back,” said Rignot by email. “A similar evolution was seen on Larsen A and B before they collapsed in 1995 and 2002 respectively,” he added, referring to Larsen C’s now missing northern cousins.

If you add together all the ice lost from the various Larsen ice shelves since the 1970s, it is around 7,350 square miles, according to figures provided by Rignot. That is a little bit smaller than the state of New Jersey.

Scientists will now proceed to track the iceberg using satellite imagery, and should be able to get a chance at regular glimpses even in Antarctic night, due to the use of radar and thermal imaging.

Read the full story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/12/one-of-the-biggest-icebergs-in-recorded-history-just-broke-loose-from-antarctica/?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.43590fc8d859

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Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Canada wildfires disrupt industry, force 14,000 from homes

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Rapidly spreading wildfires in Western Canada’s British Columbia on Monday disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged equipment at a regional electric utility and forced thousands from homes in the interior of the province.


Reuters: Environment

Jon White – From the President’s Office: 7-3-2017

Ocean Leadership ~

Jon White, President of Ocean Leadership

As I’ve traveled across the nation in the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with ocean devotees associated with NOAA’s Sea Grant program, including at the University of New HampshireMIT, the University of Alaska, and the University of Hawaii. These discussions have really brought to my attention the crucial role of Sea Grant in applying ocean research to coastal, marine, and Great Lakes resources to create a sustainable economy and environment. It is easy to see that Sea Grant’s exemplary partnerships with so many of our member institutions is helping communities responsibly use, manage, and adapt to changes in our ocean and Great Lakes. I salute everyone who is associated with the Sea Grant program; keep up with the great work and know that you are valued and appreciated!  

Congress has started moving on appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2018, and last week, a House subcommittee marked up the bill that would fund Sea Grant for the coming fiscal year. While details of some of the programs (including Sea Grant) won’t be released until just before the full committee markup, we’ll be watching and weighing in to make sure decision makers understand the important role that ocean research, and the Sea Grant program in particular, play in all or lives – and why we need to invest in them.
  
-Jon
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Member Highlight
The Beach Time Capsule
A load of boxes pulled from biologist Dale Straughan’s home yielded a veritable treasure trove for UC Santa Barbara researchers studying the impact of climate change on coastal biodiversity in California. Beginning in 2009, the UCSB team worked closely with Straughan to compare present-day results to her original data sets.

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Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Boaty McBoatface Has Come Home From The Cold Abyss With ‘Unprecedented Data’

Ocean Leadership ~

The remotely-operated submarine known as "Boaty McBoatface" is lowered into the water.(Photo credit: British Antarctic Survey).

The remotely-operated submarine known as “Boaty McBoatface” is lowered into the water.(Photo credit: British Antarctic Survey).

Scientists have gathered “unprecedented data” about some of the coldest oceanic abysses on Earth – thanks to Boaty McBoatface. The yellow submersible research vehicle returned home to the UK last week after its first voyage through the Antarctic Bottom Water, capturing data on temperature, speed of water flow and underwater turbulence in the Orkney Passage.

(Forbes / By Brid-Aine Parnell) — Boaty, as it’s fondly known, acquired its name when the National Environment Research Council (NERC) innocently ran a competition to name its newest polar research vessel, which went viral when the Internet tried to name it “Boaty McBoatface”. The NERC tried to ignore the popular vote and go with RRS Sir David Attenborough in honour of the nature show broadcaster, but there was a public outcry. The council somewhat relented in giving its new robotic research submarine the popular name.

Boaty is currently part of a seven-week expedition researching the dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow. The Orkney Passage is a region of the Southern Ocean that’s around 4,000 metres deep and about 500 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula and represents some of the coldest abyssal waters on the planet.

“The Orkney Passage is a key chokepoint to the flow of abyssal waters in which we expect the mechanism linking changing winds to abyssal water warming to operate. Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them (for the first time) in the models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21st century and beyond,” explained Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato of the University of Southampton, lead scientist of the expedition, in a statement.

Read the full story here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridaineparnell/2017/06/29/boaty-mcboatface-has-come-home-from-the-cold-abyss-with-unprecedented-data/#4a2db1b83602

The post Boaty McBoatface Has Come Home From The Cold Abyss With ‘Unprecedented Data’ appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

From The Federal Register, Request For Comments: Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments (Jul. 26)

Ocean Leadership ~

AGENCY:

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ACTION:

Notice; request for public comments.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to Executive Order 13795—Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, signed on April 28, 2017, the Department of Commerce is conducting a review of all designations and expansions of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments since April 28, 2007. The Secretary of Commerce will use the review to inform the preparation of a report under Executive Order 13795, Sec. 4(b)(ii). This Notice identifies 11 National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments subject to the review and invites comments to inform the review.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted no later than July 26, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket ID NOAA-NOS-2017-0066 by one of the following methods:

  • Mail: E.O. 13795 Review, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring Metro Campus Building 4 (SSMC4), Eleventh Floor, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

For more information, click here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/26/2017-13308/review-of-national-marine-sanctuaries-and-marine-national-monuments-designated-or-expanded-since

The post From The Federal Register, Request For Comments: Review of National Marine Sanctuaries and Marine National Monuments (Jul. 26) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

From The Federal Register, Request For Comments: Amendment 6 To The Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (Jul. 28)

Ocean Leadership ~

Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Amendment 6 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan

AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 6 to the Tilefish Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 6 was developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to establish management measures and 2017 harvest limits for the blueline tilefish fishery north of the Virginia/North Carolina border. These changes are intended to propose permanent management measures for this fishery, consistent with requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 28, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0025, by either of the following methods:

  • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​NOAA-NMFS-2016-0025, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
  • Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope: “Comments on Blueline Tilefish Amendment.”

For more information, click here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/28/2017-13390/fisheries-of-the-northeastern-united-states-amendment-6-to-the-tilefish-fishery-management-plan

The post From The Federal Register, Request For Comments: Amendment 6 To The Tilefish Fishery Management Plan (Jul. 28) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Biodiversity Loss From Deep-Sea Mining Will Be Unavoidable

Ocean Leadership ~

Vent shrimp, a species found around hydrothermal vents on the seafloor, which are also rich in commercially valuable polymetallic sulfide deposits. (Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

(Click to enlarge) Vent shrimp, a species found around hydrothermal vents on the seafloor, which are also rich in commercially valuable polymetallic sulfide deposits. (Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

Biodiversity losses from deep-sea mining are unavoidable and possibly irrevocable, an international team of 15 marine scientists, resource economists and legal scholars argue in a letter published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

(From Phys.org) — The experts say the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which is responsible under the UN Law of the Sea for regulating undersea in areas outside national jurisdictions, must recognize this risk. They say it must also communicate the risk clearly to its member states and the public to inform discussions about whether deep-seabed mining should proceed, and if so, what standards and safeguards need to be put into place to minimize biodiversity loss.

“There is tremendous uncertainty about ecological responses to ,” said Cindy L. Van Dover, Harvey W. Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “Responsible mining needs to rely on environmental management actions that will protect deep-sea biodiversity and not on actions that are unproven or unreasonable.”

“The extraction of non-renewable resources always includes tradeoffs,” said Linwood Pendleton, International Chair in Marine Ecosystem Services at the European Institute of Marine Studies and an adjunct professor at Duke’s Nicholas School. “A serious trade-off for deep-sea mining will be an unavoidable loss of biodiversity, including many species that have yet to be discovered.”

Faced with this inevitable outcome, it’s more important than ever that we understand deep-sea ecosystems and have a good idea of what we stand to lose before mining alters the seafloor forever, said Pendleton, who also serves as a senior scholar in the Oceans and Coastal Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Time is of the essence, the experts stress.

“Undersea deposits of metals and rare earth elements are not yet being mined, but there has been an increase in the number of applications for mining contracts,” said Elva Escobar of the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology. “In 2001, there were just six deep-sea mineral exploration contracts; by the end of 2017, there will be a total of 27 projects.”

These projects include 18 contracts for polymetallic nodules, six for polymetallic sulfides and four for ferromanganese crusts, Escobar said. Of these, 17 would take place in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean between Hawai’i and Central America.

Industry estimates that billions of tons of manganese, copper, nickel and cobalt lie on or beneath the seafloor. These metals are used in electrical generators and motors, metal alloys, batteries, paints, and many other products.

To read the full story, click here: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-biodiversity-loss-deep-sea-unavoidable.html

The post Biodiversity Loss From Deep-Sea Mining Will Be Unavoidable appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.


Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Regulating the indirect land use carbon emissions from biofuels imposes high hidden costs on fuel consumers

Farmers earn more profits when there is demand for corn for biofuel instead of for food only. This can lead some to convert grasslands and forests to cropland. This conversion, also called indirect land use change, can have large-scale environmental consequences, including releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere. To penalize the carbon emissions from this so-called indirect land use change, the USEPA and California Air Resources Board include an indirect land use change factor when considering the carbon savings with biofuels for their compliance with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard or California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard.

ENN: Top Stories