Ocean Action Hub

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Cruise Industry Committed to Sustainable Development Goals

1 Nov 2017 - In honor of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) highlighted its members commitments to the U.

1 Nov 2017 - In honor of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) highlighted its members commitments to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

“By declaring 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the U.N. provided our sector with the opportunity to raise awareness of cruise travel as a catalyst for positive change,” said Donnie Brown, vice president of maritime policy, CLIA. “CLIA’s cruise line members have contributed to this change through initiatives that protect the environment, create sustainable communities where our ships visit and build economic prosperity and jobs.”

The cruise industry has had the most impact on six of the Sustainable Development Goals: 

#7 Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Cruise lines place a high priority on energy efficiency as part of their environmental protection programs. Innovative investments include energy-efficient design standards to achieve a 30 percent reduction in new ship CO2 emissions by 2025, hull paints with special non-toxic coatings that reduce fuel consumption by up to five percent, energy-saving LED lights, higher efficiency appliances and solar panel installation to provide emissions-free energy. Cruise line research and investments in alternative fuels for future applications advance the development and availability of new energy solutions.  

#8  Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

The global cruise industry contributes approximately $120 billion annually, supporting almost one million full-time jobs and employing approximately 200,000 seafarers. CLIA cruise line members employ world-class crews and provide a rewarding employment experience with crew retention rates of up to 80 percent.

#9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

CLIA remains an ardent supporter of seaport infrastructure across the globe. The port community is critical in transporting people and goods worldwide. Viable ports are critical to the cruise industry as they ensure the efficient, seamless processing and travel experience for the nearly 26 million passengers who will cruise globally this year. The entire cruise industry realizes the impact the port industry has on cruising, job creation and the communities it serves, and remains committed to maintaining resilient port infrastructure.    

#11 Sustainable Cities and Communities: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cruise lines are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the more than 1,000 communities their ships visit. This includes strict adherence to environmental best practices, regulations, mandatory industry policies to protect oceans, air and wildlife and the unique social and cultural fabric of destinations.

#13 Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

CLIA cruise line members use a multi-faceted approach to reduce cruise ship air emissions, working to develop cutting edge, sustainable environmental innovations and practices. Through constant innovation and new technologies, cruise lines can reduce sulfur oxides emissions by as much as 98 percent. CLIA members supported the development and implementation of the first ever global and legally binding greenhouse gas reduction regime for an entire international industry sector.

#14 Life Below Water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

CLIA played a leadership role at the IMO in the creation of the Ballast Water Management Convention to address the transfer of aquatic organisms and pathogens in ballast water. The Convention makes ballast water management more environmentally friendly through the establishment of regulations and guidelines which reduce the risk of introducing non-indigenous organisms to environments. Above and beyond international regulatory requirements, CLIA members are also committed to not discharge untreated sewage anywhere in the world.

CONTINUE READING: https://maritime-executive.com/article/cruise-industry-committed-to-sust...

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Global Action Taken on Ocean Challenges

10 Oct 2017 - Public and private actors from 112 countries around the world made commitments worth over $7 billion to tackle global oceans challenges at the Our Ocean conference in Malta on 5-6 October.

10 Oct 2017 - Public and private actors from 112 countries around the world made commitments worth over $7 billion (€6 billion) to tackle global oceans challenges at the Our Ocean Conference 2017 held in Malta on October 5-6.

The resources will be invested to strengthen the fight against marine pollution and enlarge protected areas, reinforce security of the oceans, foster blue economy initiatives and sustainable fisheries and intensify E.U. efforts against climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030. 

Participants also announced the creation of new Marine Protected Areas spanning more than 2.5 million square kilometers, more than half the size of the entire European Union.

Oceans cover more than 70 percent of the planet. They produce most of the Earth's oxygen and absorbing 30 percent of the carbon emitted. Three billion people worldwide depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. One billion people rely on seafood as their main source of animal protein. But the oceans face a multitude of threats, such as pollution, climate change, overfishing and criminal activities at sea. Marine pollution is a massive problem with over 10 million tonnes of litter annually ending up in the sea. By 2050, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish. 

The Our Ocean conferences are a response to these mounting challenges. This year's conference has brought together public and private actors from six continents, and, for the first time, has gathered significant commitments from the private sector, including Airbus, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour, Royal Caribbean Cruises, AXA, Sky and others.

Starting in 2014, high-level participants from more than 100 countries have attended the Our Ocean conferences (hosted by the Governments of the United States in 2014 and 2016 and Chile in 2015 and by the European Union in Malta this year), including Heads of State or Government and ministers, companies ranging from large industry and the traditional fisheries sector to Silicon Valley tech, NGOs and philanthropic organizations. They have made over 700 concrete, measurable and tracked commitments. 

Next year's conference will be hosted by Indonesia, followed by Norway in 2019. 

CONTINUE READING: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/global-action-on-ocean-challenges

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Collecting and Transforming Ocean Plastic

29 Aug 2017 - Plastic debris in the ocean is an emerging global environmental issue, with densities up to 580,000 pieces per square kilometer documented and high concentrations found along

29 Aug 2017 - Plastic debris in the ocean is an emerging global environmental issue, with densities up to 580,000 pieces per square kilometer documented and high concentrations found along the coastal margins near plastic sources and in convergence zones. Global plastic production is increasing exponentially, doubling roughly every 11 years. Over the next ten years, humans will make as much plastic as the entire amount manufactured from the 1950s through 2016. 

Although plastics originating from land-based sources make up most of the marine debris in the oceans, there are some sea-based types of plastic debris that can have significant impacts on marine habitats. Waste Free Oceans (WFO), a foundation based in Belgium, has developed a creative answer to the issue. Using “trash catchers” that can be attached to fishing boats, WFO’s partners collect ocean plastic floating on the water’s surface and then transform the collected waste into new products.

Where is the ocean waste collected?

Waste Free Oceans collaborates with fishermen to collect waste, as they are present in the fishing areas all year and play a major role in environmental surveillance of their regions. Their familiarity with local water conditions as well as necessary technical knowledge and tools make them an ideal fit as partners.

The Trash Catcher can be towed, or if the body of water is a river, it can be statically placed in the current where it can rest unmanned until the net needs to be emptied. In developing the Trash Catcher, care has been given to minimize the extent to which aquatic fauna will be caught or otherwise affected. The trawl net extends only 28 inches into the water column (with the rest supported above the water line) in order to keep out aquatic life. 

Special trips for the collection and recovery of marine litter will only take place in predefined hotspots of ocean debris. Therefore, fishermen avoid consumption of fuel in the search for marine litter, optimizing the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the trawl collection system. Additionally, fishing vessels operating the trawls operate at very slow speeds with an average of six knots per hour. Waste Free Ocean’s intention is to distribute the technology in coastal regions with accumulating waste in hotspots around the world – coastal cities, waste-polluted rivers and regions with high inflow of waste. 

Transforming the trash into sustainable products

The world is ready and waiting for products offering environmental solutions rather than more challenges. People are demanding sustainable choices – and are ready to pay for them. Plastic collected in oceans can be combined with other recycled material to create new goods.

WFO joins hands with companies big and small who would like to send a clear message of environmental responsibility. Collected trash is sent to a local recycler for sorting, cleaning and turning into polymer pellets. A converters combines the pellets with other polymers and then creates a new product. The brand develops the final product and brings it to market.

The green cleaning brand Ecover used the launch of its Ocean Bottle washing-up liquid to highlight the long-term dangers of dumping plastic in the sea. Ecover worked with manufacturer Logoplaste to combine plastic trawled from the sea with a plastic made from sugarcane and recycled plastic, in what was hailed as a world-first for packaging. Plastic can take thousands of years to degrade through the combination of salty seawater and the sun. The variable quality of plastic retrieved from the sea and analysed by Ecover's scientists meant it had to be blended with other recycled plastic material to make it robust enough for a household cleaning product. In the initial trial, 10 percent of the plastic in the new bottle has been retrieved from the sea.

CONTINUE READING: https://maritime-executive.com/blog/collecting-and-transforming-ocean-pl...

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Call for Action at UN Ocean Conference
4 Jun 2017 - A surge in the number of voluntary commitments to take action to improve the health of the ocean has bee
n recorded, and more are expected as the Ocean Conference gets underway on Monday, 5 June at United Nations Headquarter in New York.

The Conference will explore how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The commitments, now numbering over 600 and still increasing, target a wide range of ocean problems, ranging from protecting coral reefs, strengthening sustainable fisheries, reducing plastic pollution and addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean.

Among the commitments are 13 registered by the governments of Belgium, Fiji, Grenada, Indonesia, Palau and Sweden. They feature initiatives to combat marine litter, conserve and manage marine environments, to protect biodiversity and marine life and to meet targets for marine protected areas. 

Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu have pledged their support to the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), committing to address the significant amount of marine debris caused by lost and discarded fishing gear. Around 640,000 tones of fishing equipment is left in the world's oceans each year. Commonly known as “ghost gear”, abandoned, lost and discarded fishing nets, lines and traps can lurk in oceans for up to 600 years and are one of the biggest and most potent threats to sea life. 

One of the vows made by the private sector takes aim at reducing CO2 emissions from the global shipping industry. Registered by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and its 37 member national shipowners’ associations, the initiative seeks to minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification. The ultimate goal of the project is to reduce CO2 emissions per ton of cargo transported one kilometer by sea by at least 50 percent by 2050.

The young sisters Melati (15) and Isabel (13) Wijsen, who founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in Bali three years ago have declared their aim to make Bali plastic bag free in 2018.

The Conference will result in a Call for Action that will be formally adopted on Friday. It calls on countries to implement strategies for reducing the use of plastics. The Call takes note of the Paris Agreement on climate change and includes measures to protect coastal and blue carbon ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass and coral reefs as well as enhancing sustainable fisheries management. Countries are called upon to decisively prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The Ocean Conference, the first U.N. conference of its kind on the issue, is hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden.

CONTINE READING HERE: http://maritime-executive.com/article/call-for-action-at-un-ocean-conference

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Ocean Litter Portal Established

27 Mar 2017 - Researchers at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) have compiled all available scientific data on marine litter in a single database, now accessible from the online port

27 Mar 2017 - Researchers at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) have compiled all available scientific data on marine litter in a single database, now accessible from the online portal AWI Litterbase (www.litterbase.org).

The portal shows the distribution of litter and its interactions with organisms. 

The Institute’s latest interaction analysis shows that 34 percent of the species monitored ingest litter, 31 percent colonize it and 30 percent get entangled or trapped in it. The total number of affected species is rising steadily and is currently at 1,220. 

In just ten years, the concentration of marine litter at a deep-sea station in the Arctic Ocean studied by AWI scientists has risen 20-fold. Plastic and glass was found most frequently. Glass does not usually drift; it sinks straight to the ocean floor. This indicates local sources and coincides with increasing ship traffic in the region due to the receding ice. It is difficult to determine the source of the plastic litter though, as it often covers a considerable distance before reaching the seafloor.

Marine litter is also found at the sea surface in the Arctic. Though it remains unclear how the litter gets so far north, it is likely to pose problems for local marine life.

The database and portal has been established by Dr Melanie Bergmann from the AWI, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research along with her colleagues Dr Lars Gutow and Mine Tekman. The team’s motivation: previous compilations of scientific data never included all datasets, because there were too many differences in the methods applied by the various research groups. Some researchers collect litter with trawling nets and calculate the weight, while others such as Melanie Bergmann rely on underwater cameras. Some extrapolate on the basis of the amount in a given area (one square kilometer); others use the distance covered (in kilometers) instead.

“Our global maps also show data in different units. However, we intentionally designed Litterbase with this feature, since it allows users to filter results by type of unit. In this way, values using the same unit can easily be compared –for the first time, for litter in different regions and ecosystems,” explains Gutow. 

CONTINUE READING: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/ocean-litter-portal-established