Ocean Action Hub

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The Economist World Ocean Summit 2019, Abu Dhabi

The sixth World Ocean Summit will strive to build greater collaboration across regions and connect the world to new ideas and perspectives.

Taking place in March 2019, this world-renowned event will take place in the Middle East for the first time – a region often overlooked in ocean discussions.

The Economist will bring together political leaders and policymakers, heads of global business, scientists, NGOs and multilaterals from across the globe, and will aim to provide a forum for discussion amongst a more diverse and representative participation on the future of the ocean than ever before.

Featured Topics

The overarching theme for the sixth annual World Ocean Summit is Building bridges.

We will ask what new thinking, coming from diverse parts of the world, can contribute to the sustainable development of the ocean? How can this new information be shared globally? How can collaboration between countries and regions be optimised? Featured topics include;

• Finance: the role of sovereign wealth funds; blue carbon systems; insurance; Islamic finance and the ocean

• Technology and innovation: aquaculture; a focus on cities and waste management

• Governance: illegal fishing; lessons from land economies

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Can conservation save our ocean? | The Economist

In order to avoid disaster–and to ensure a sustainable supply of fish for the future–far more of our ocean needs urgent protection.

The ocean is facing its greatest ever challenge - overfishing, pollution and climate change are all threatening the health of a resource on which the whole world depends.

The crew of this ship is on a mission to try and save one of the most endangered sea creatures on the planet. They’re in the middle of a marine protected area in Mexico - a conservation zone where certain types of fishing are banned.

Local fishermen are poaching a species of fish that is so highly prized in China, they can make tens of thousands of dollars in just one night. With ocean life under threat from overfishing, pollution and climate change, could marine protected areas be the answer?

Near the Mexican fishing town of San Felipe, on the The Upper Gulf of California... Conservation group, Sea Shepherd is working with the authorities to help enforce a Marine Protected Area - or MPA. A designated section of ocean to be conserved, managed and protected.

Maintaining rich, diverse ecosystems is key for the health of the Ocean - and ultimately the survival of humanity. But ocean life is under threat. From plants to micro-organisms and animals, species are disappearing forever.

Marine Biologist Patricia Gandolfo and the rest of the Sea Shepherd crew are here to stop poachers.

Caught up in the nets of the criminal gangs and local fishermen is one particularly rare porpoise - the Vaquita. Worldwide there are thousands of sea species currently threatened with extinction. Losing just one species from the food chain can have a disastrous effect on an entire ecosystem.

After it’s sold on, the Totoaba’s swim bladder can fetch up to $100,000 a kilo in China, where it’s prized for its medicinal properties.

Critics disapprove of Sea Shepherds use of direct-action tactics in some of their campaigns, but in the Gulf of California, their presence is welcomed by the Mexican government.

Globally, the fishing industry employs 260 million people, but many more subsistence fishermen depend on the ocean for their income. Local fisherman here claim protecting the ocean has limited how they can fish, destroying their way of life. Yet doing nothing may ultimately present more of a threat to their livelihoods.

Currently Marine Protected Areas make up only 3.6% of the world’s ocean but a growing number of scientists are calling for 30% to be protected by 2030.

Cabo Pulmo now has a thriving eco-tourism and diving industry. The environmental rewards provided by the MPA to the local community have been valued at millions of dollars a year - Far more than they ever made from fishing.

The ocean is facing its greatest ever challenge - overfishing, pollution and climate change are all threatening the health of a resource on which the whole world depends.

Marine protected areas can come in many forms. But if they are to be effective, they must align the need for conservation with the needs of those who depend on the ocean for survival.

In order to avoid disaster–and to ensure a sustainable supply of fish for the future–far more of our ocean needs urgent protection.

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The temperature of the ocean is rising

13 Mar 2018 - Further improvements in data-gathering technology could improve forecasting of extreme weather events.

13 Mar 2018 - MEASURING the temperature of something as stratified as the ocean has never been easy. Before the 1980s, ships automatically recorded the temperature of water flowing through their ports, but the great depth variance of these ports and the dearth of data outside major shipping routes made the figures incomplete and unreliable. Next came satellites, which were able to capture more surface-temperature data in three months than the total compiled in all the years prior to their advent. Nonetheless, they too have limitations: for example, their infrared sensors are susceptible to cloud contamination.

Continuous monitoring of sea temperatures only began in 2000, run by an international collaboration called Argo. This is a regularly replenished fleet of untethered buoys, now numbering nearly 4,000, which divide their time between the surface and the depths, drifting at the whim of the currents. Over ten-day cycles they sink slowly down to about 2,000 metres (6,560 feet) and back up, measuring temperature and salinity as they go. Although the network is still sparse—one float for every Honduras-sized patch of ocean—their data have revolutionised oceanographers’ understanding of their subject.

One of the biggest benefits of better-measured seas is the possibility of getting to grips with dramatic weather events. The top three metres of the oceans hold more heat energy than the entire atmosphere does. How much of that energy escapes into the air, and when and where it does so, drives the strength and frequency of storm systems. And more and more energy is becoming available to do that driving. During the past hundred years, the average surface temperature of the seas has risen by about 0.9°C (1.6°F), according to America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This means that, since the 1980s, about a billion times the heat energy of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been added to the ocean—roughly an atomic explosion every few seconds.

Yet even as the amount of energy the oceans hold has risen, the details of its transfer to the atmosphere remain unknown for large swathes of water. This is particularly important when it comes to understanding a phenomenon like the South Asian monsoon. Its rains are driven by the huge size of the Bay of Bengal, and by the amount of fresh water that pours into it from the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems. Because this buoyant fresh water cannot easily mix with the denser salty water below it, the surface gets very warm indeed, driving prodigious amounts of evaporation. Better understanding these processes would improve monsoon forecasts—and could help predict cyclones, too.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2018/03/daily-chart-6

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World Ocean Summit 2018

The Economist Events' fifth World Ocean Summit was held in Mexico on 7 - 9 March 2018 and expanded into a wider, more ambitious World Ocean Initiative focused on five pillars: sustainable fisheries

, pollution, climate change, finance and technology. Its aim is ambitious: to deepen engagement with the private sector and particularly private capital's involvement with the ocean. At the World Ocean Summit 2018, particiants:

  • Meet with impact investors, decision-makers, government officials, and leaders in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) who can drive scalable, sustainable investment in the ocean.
  • Define investment frameworks, with the ocean community, for scaling responses in the areas of plastics and pollution, sustainable fisheries and climate change.
  • Build strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors to build sustainable best practices within your organisation, country or industry, and lead change.

What's new for 2018?

  • An extension of the Word Ocean Summit 2017, deepening on the issue of financing
  • Focus on measurement providing accountability of blue initiatives in the areas of fisheries, pollution and climate change
  • The first business case of the blue economy that drives discussions on investments and growth in the blue economy

Featured speakers included:

  • Luis​ ​Guillermo​ ​Solís,​ ​president,​ ​​Costa​ ​Rica 
  • Guðni​ ​Th.​ ​Jóhannesson,​ ​president,​ ​​Iceland 
  • Enrique​ ​Peña​ ​Nieto,​ ​president,​ ​​Mexico 
  • Erna​ ​Solberg,​ ​prime​ ​minister,​ ​​Norway​ ​​(via​ ​live​ ​video) 
  • Tarsicio​ ​Granizo,​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​environment,​ ​​Ecuador 
  • Arif​ ​Havas​ ​Oegroseno,​ ​deputy​ ​coordinating​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​maritime​ ​affairs,​ ​​Indonesia 
  • Vidar​ ​Helgesen,​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​climate​ ​and​ ​environment,​ ​​Norway 
  • Beth​ ​Christensen,​ ​professor​ ​and​ ​director​ ​of​ ​environmental​ ​studies​ ​programme,  Adelphi​ ​University 
  • Dagmar​ ​Nelissen,​ ​senior​ ​researcher​ ​and​ ​consultant,​ ​​CE​ ​Delft  
  • Geir​ ​Molvik,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Cermaq 
  • Michael​ ​Eckhart,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​global​ ​head​ ​of​ ​environmental​ ​finance,  Citigroup 
  • Werner​ ​Hoyer,​ ​president,​ ​​European​ ​Investment​ ​Bank 
  • Jonathan​ ​Taylor,​ ​vice-president,​ ​​European​ ​Investment​ ​Bank  
  • Matthew​ ​Arnold,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​global​ ​head​ ​of​ ​sustainable​ ​finance,  JPMorgan​ ​Chase​ ​&​ ​Co. 
  • Gary​ ​Gysin,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Liquid​ ​Robotics,​ ​A​ ​Boeing​ ​Company 
  • Alf-Helge​ ​Aarskog,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Marine​ ​Harvest 
  • Sylvia​ ​Earle,​ ​president​ ​and​ ​chairman,​ ​​Mission​ ​Blue 
  • Claus​ ​Fuglsang,​ ​senior​ ​vice-president,​ ​research​ ​and​ ​technology,​ ​​Novozymes 
  • Alexandra​ ​Cousteau,​ ​senior​ ​advisor,​ ​​Oceana 
  • Carter​ ​Ries​ ​and​ ​Olivia​ ​Ries,​ ​co-founders,​ ​​One​ ​More​ ​Generation 
  • Francisco​ ​Saraiva​ ​Gomes,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Pontos​ ​Aqua​ ​Holdings 
  • Rolando​ ​Morillo,​ ​vice-president,​ ​sustainability​ ​and​ ​impact​ ​group,​ ​​Rockefeller​ ​&​ ​Co 
  • Martyn​ ​Parker,​ ​chairman,​ ​global​ ​partnership,​ ​​Swiss​ ​Re 
  • Darian​ ​McBain,​ ​global​ ​director​ ​of​ ​sustainable​ ​development,​ ​​Thai​ ​Union 
  • Peter​ ​Thomson,​ ​special​ ​envoy​ ​for​ ​the​ ​ocean,​ ​​United​ ​Nations 
  • Richard​ ​Branson,​ ​founder,​ ​​Virgin​ ​Group​​ ​(via​ ​live​ ​video) 
  • John​ ​Haley,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​​ ​Willis​ ​Towers​ ​Watson 
  • Audrey​ ​Azoulay,​ ​director-general,​ ​​UNESCO  Paula​ ​Caballero,​ ​global​ ​director,​ ​climate​ ​programme,​ ​​World​ ​Resources​ ​Institute 
  • Margaret​ ​Leinen,​ ​director,​ ​Scripps​ ​Institution​ ​of​ ​Oceanography,​​ ​University​ ​of  California,​ ​San​ ​Diego
  • Timothy​ ​Gordon​ ​,​ ​marine​ ​biologist,​ ​​University​ ​of​ ​Exeter 
  •  Ove​ ​Hoegh-Guldberg,​ ​director,​ ​Global​ ​Change​ ​Institute,​​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Queensland  
  • Paul​ ​Jardine,​ ​executive​ ​vice-president​ ​and​ ​chief​ ​experience​ ​officer,​ ​​XL​ ​Catlin 
  • Roz​ ​Savage,​ ​senior​ ​fellow,​ ​Jackson​ ​Institute​ ​for​ ​Global​ ​Affairs,​ ​​Yale​ ​University 
  • Rana​ ​Kapoor,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​YES​ ​BANK  

For event updates, follow the World Ocean Summit on Twitter via @Economist_WOS with the hashtag #OceanSummit

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4th World Ocean Summit, Bali, Indonesia

Focus: How to finance a sustainable ocean economy. Organized by The Economist.

Organized by The Economist, the summit aims to bring a critical eye to the vital issue of how to finance a sustainable ocean economy in order to mobilise a new discussion on how capital and the private sector can drive scalable, sustainable investment in the ocean. 

Register at: http://econ.st/1NEx9pT

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How much plastic is being dumped in the ocean? - The Economist

13 February 2017 - If current rates of economic growth were to continue, by 2025 the cumulative plastic waste dumped in the sea could reach 155m tonnes, according to a study.

13 February 2017 - If current rates of economic growth were to continue, by 2025 the cumulative plastic waste dumped in the sea could reach 155m tonnes, according to a study. Explore The Economist's free "content hub" on the ocean, with a selection of articles on marine sustainability and issues facing the world ocean, including:

  • If the oceans were transparent, what would humans see?

  • How artificial reefs are boosting fish stocks

  • How, after years of humans damaging the high seas, the oceans are fighting back

READ MORE: http://learnmore.economist.com/story/58a17d1cb67271a267b3d1b4.

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The world’s deepest ocean trenches are packed with pollution - The Economist

13 February 2017 - Nasty chemicals abound in what was thought an untouched environment.

13 February 2017 - Nasty chemicals abound in what was thought an untouched environment.

Not far off the coast of Guam lies the deepest point on Earth’s surface, the Mariana trench. Its floor is 10,994 metres below sea level. If Mount Everest were flipped upside down into it, there would still be more than 2km of clear water between the mountain’s base and the top of the ocean. Such isolation has led many to assume that it and similar seabed trenches will be among the few remaining pristine places on the planet. However, a study led by Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in England, has shown that nothing could be further from the truth. As Dr Jamieson and his colleagues report this week in Nature Ecology and Evolution, trenches actually are loaded with pollutants.

Despite the cold, the darkness and the high pressure, ocean trenches are home to ecosystems similar in many ways to those found on other parts of the planet. In one important respect, though, they are different. This is where the energy that powers them comes from. In most ecosystems, sunlight fuels the growth of plants which are then consumed by animals. In a few shallower parts of the ocean, hydrothermal vents provide energy-rich chemicals that form the basis of local food chains. No vents are known to exist below 5,000 metres, though, and no sunlight penetrates a trench. The organisms found in them thus depend entirely on dead organic material raining down upon them from far above.

Since these nutrients, having once flowed into a trench, never make their way out again, Dr Jamieson found the notion that trenches have somehow remaining untouched by human activities questionable. He suspected that long-lived pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (which were once used widely in electrical equipment) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (employed in the past as flame retardants) might have made their way into the bodies of organisms living in trenches.

To test this idea out, he and his colleagues sent an unmanned lander to the bottom of the Mariana trench and also to the bottom of the Kermadec trench, near New Zealand. This lander fell to the seabed and spent between eight and 12 hours there, capturing amphipods (a type of crustacean, pictured) using funnel traps baited with mackerel. At the end of its mission it jettisoned some ballast and floated back to the surface with its prey.

In total, the lander was able to collect specimens from ten sites in the two trenches. The shallowest site sampled was 7,227 metres down in the Kermadec trench. The deepest was 10,250 metres in the Mariana. When the team looked for pollutants in the captured amphipods, they found that polybrominated diphenyl ethers were indeed present, but at moderate concentrations. Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, however, were almost off the scale.

In animals collected from clean coastal environments, polychlorinated-biphenyl levels do not normally exceed one nanogram (billionth of a gram) per gram of tissue. In grossly polluted areas, like the Liao River in China, that level may rise a bit above 100 nanograms. In the Mariana trench, Dr Jamieson found, amphipods dwelling at 10,250 metres yielded 495 nanograms per gram of the pollutant. Those 8,942 metres down yielded 800 nanograms. And at 7,841 metres he and his colleagues discovered the staggering level of 1,900 nanograms per gram of amphipod tissue analysed. Values from the Kermadec trench were more modest, but still pretty high—ranging from 50 nanograms to 250 nanograms per gram.

Precisely why the Mariana trench has such elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls remains unclear. Dr Jamieson suspects it has to do with the trench’s proximity to the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a whirlpool hundreds of kilometres across that has amassed enormous quantities of plastics over the years, and which has the potential to send the pollutants that bind to those plastics deep into the ocean as the plastics degrade and descend.

What consequences all this has for the Mariana’s organisms is unclear. Polychlorinated biphenyls disrupt the hormone systems of some animals that dwell nearer the surface, and can also cause cancer, so the news is unlikely to be good. But what Dr Jamieson’s work shows beyond peradventure is that no part of Earth’s surface is insulated from the activities of Man.

Continue reading: http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21716891-nasty-chemicals-abound-what-was-thought-untouched-environment-worlds

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