• Nature Article on Marine Protected Areas

    Nature Magazine recently published an article titled “Policy: Marine biodiversity needs more than protection.”  This article reads in part as follows:

    “On 1 September, government leaders, directors of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others will meet in Hawaii at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress to discuss environmental and development challenges. Twenty-three NGOs, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are calling on the IUCN to make 30% of the world’s coastal and marine areas fully protected from fishing and other forms of exploitation by 2030.”

     

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  • New Study on Using MPAs to Protect Corals

    A study recently published by scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and University College Cork in the UK concludes that deep, cold-water corals are very slow to recover from damage. The study further concludes that deep-water Marine Protected Areas can be used to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems most effectively when they are put in place before that damage occurs.

    Click here to read a detailed article about this study.

  • California Commission Delays Vote on Marine Protected Areas Management Plan

    The California Fish and Game Commission voted to delay adoption of a management plan for the state’s system of Marine Protection Areas for a second time. The delay did not stop sport anglers from raising concerns on proposed changes to the plan, which they claim will betray assurances made by the commission that it would reconsider opening the protected waters to fishing every five years.

    Click here for a Eureka Times-Standard article on this vote.

  • IMMA Focus Group at 4th International Marine Conservation Congress IMCC

    The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article on their website:

    “Focus group on integrating marine mammal behavioral monitoring techniques into the process for the identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs)
    Integrating marine mammal behavioral monitoring techniques into the
    process for the identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas
    St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (YYT), Canada, Sunday July 29,
    2016. Held in association with the 4th International Marine Conservation
    Congress (IMCC), July 30 – August 4, 2016

    This IMMA focus group aims to address the following question: How can
    we better integrate marine mammal behavioral data, observed through direct
    observation or remote monitoring techniques, into the process for
    identifying IMMAs?

  • Record Numbers of Humpbacks and Blue Whales Near Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

    Record numbers of humpack and blue whales are feeding off the coast of San Francisco, a study near the Farallon Islands has confirmed

    “We don’t know if it’s food-driven or water-temperature- or climate-change-driven,” Jan Roletto, research coordinator for the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, said.

    Last year was also a big year for humpbacks. “They’ve been showing up earlier and earlier” every year, she said.

    Researchers suspect the giant cetaceans are following prey — including the tiny shrimp-like creatures known as krill, anchovies and schools of small fish. Several humpbacks were seen over the past few weeks feeding in San Francisco Bay near Fort Point, a highly unusual activity for the whales, which generally prefer to be well offshore.

  • NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Seeks Advisory Council Applicants

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has posted the following request:

    “Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for six alternate seats on its advisory council. The council ensures public participation in sanctuary management and provides advice to the sanctuary superintendent.”
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    “The sanctuary is accepting applications for the following alternate seats: business/industry; mobile gear commercial fishing; recreational fishing; research; whale watch; and youth.

  • Draft Environmental Assessment for Changes in Regulations for Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries

    The National Marine Fisheries Service, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, expanded the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (now renamed Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary or GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNFS) to an area north and west of their previous boundaries with a final rule published on March 12, 2015. The final rule entered into effect on June 9, 2015.

    Pursuant to a request from the U.S. Coast guard, NOAA is considering developing a future rulemaking to allow the following USCG discharges within part or all of GFNMS and CBNMS:

  • ACCOBAMS Reports on Marine Protected Areas

    ACCOBAMS is the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area. It is a cooperative tool for the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. It publishes a newsletter entitle FINS. The latest issue of FINS includes the following discussion of marine protected areas:

  • NOAA Withdraws Changes to Hawaii Humpback Whale Sanctuary Regulations

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has withdrawn a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2015 (80 FR 16224), to amend the regulations for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and to revise the sanctuary’s terms of designation and management plan. This withdrawal is in response to adverse comments by the State of Hawaii.

    Click here to read more about this action.

  • NOAA Ship Exploring Pacific Marine Protected Areas

    The NOAA website states:

    “From February 25 to March 18, 2016, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will explore largely uncharted deep-sea ecosystems and seafloor in and around the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM). During the 2016 Hohonu Moana: Exploring the Deep Waters off Hawai’i expedition, our at-sea and shore-based science teams will work together to make some of the first deepwater scientific observations in this area.

     
    The expedition will commence in Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu and conclude at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. During the expedition, scientists on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will conduct telepresence-enabled remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and mapping operations. Scientists will collect critical baseline information to meet NOAA science and management needs within the Hawaiian Archipelago.