SeaSpan--Marine Conservation News from the Pew Institute for Ocean Science
September-A 2006, volume 12-16
1) Researchers Find Underwater Lost World
B) NEWS AND VIEWS
2) Oil Tanker Spills in Philippines Near Marine Preserve
3) Study Links Tropical Ocean Warming to Greenhouse Gases
4) Wild salmon at risk from fish-farm fugitives
5) California Creates Marine Havens
6) ASDA Joins Call for EU Policy Pull-out
C) PEW INSTITUTE AND PEW FELLOWS (PF) NEWS
7) Alcala Reports Oil Spill Put Giant Clams in Danger
8) Erdmann Conservation International Expedition Discovers New Species
9) Kostka Addresses Micronesia Challenge
10) Vincent on National Public Radio: Diving into the World of Words
D) OPPORTUNITIES AND EVENTS
11) Conservation Scientist, The Ocean Conservancy
12) Research and Outreach Director, Conservation International
13) Conservation Biologist, Department of Biology at Queen's University
14) Site Profile Coordinator, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
15) Quantitative Animal Conservation Ecologist, University of California, Davis
16) Director, Marine Conservation, the Nature Conservancy, California
17) Environmental Defense: Fisheries Analyst, Fisheries Research Associate, Corporate
Partnerships Manager, Ocean Program Director
18) BPCP 2006 Future Conservationist Awards
19) Equator Prize 2006
20) U.S. National Sea Grant Law Center
21) Whitley Awards 2007
E) GENERAL INFORMATION AND SUBSCRIPTION INSTRUCTIONS
1) RESEARCHERS FIND UNDERWATER LOST WORLD
Two recent expeditions off the coast of Indonesia have revealed a remarkable "lost world" of marine species that researchers believe are new to science, including a shark that "walks" on its fins. "It was extraordinary," said Roger McManus of Conservation International, which conducted the expeditions along with the Indonesian government. "These expeditions uncovered what we believe are almost 60 new species to science." One of the most unusual finds are two new small epaulette sharks that swim among coral reefs and have an odd way of moving around. The team also discovered a variety of other species, including 20 new corals, eight shrimp species, and 24 new fish including a colorful "flasher" wrasse. The animals were discovered in an area called the Bird's Head Seascape in the northwestern part of Indonesia's Papua province, one of the richest underwater habitats on Earth. It's in an area known as the "Coral Triangle" that includes Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands.
Source: Clayton Sandell, ABC News, 17 September 2006
Also see Pew Fellows item #8- Mark Erdmann
B) NEWS AND VIEWS
2) OIL TANKER SPILLS IN PHILLIPPINES NEAR MARINE PRESERVE
A tanker ship (M/T Solar I) containing 2 million liters of bunker fuel as cargo sank in rough seas off the coast of Guimaras Island in the Philippines on 11 August, spilling more than a tenth of its fuel cargo. The resulting slick, 20 nautical miles wide, has heavily impacted 11 coastal communities, or "barangays", as well as four locally managed marine sanctuaries and the 10-km2 Taklong Island National Marine Reserve. The Taklong reserve - featuring mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds - has served as a field laboratory for MPA research, including on larval export and reserve effects. Within two hours of the tanker sinking, the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan was activated and the Philippine Coast Guard assigned a task force to provide overall strategy and direction for spill management. A Coast Guard briefing on the spill described the remaining fuel on the sunken tanker as "an environmental time bomb." To guard against such a disaster occurring again, the Philippine government has indicated its intent to establish sea lanes for vessels carrying oil and other hazardous substances to keep them away from ecologically sensitive areas. Currently the Philippine archipelago, with more than 7000 islands, relies on a fleet of 200 tanker vessels to carry fuel oil from Luzon Island - where the country's two refineries are located - to outlying islands.
Source: MPA News, Vol. 8, No.3, September 2006, University of Washington
3) STUDY LINKS TROPICAL OCEAN WARMING TO GREENHOUSE GASES
Rising ocean temperatures linked by some studies to tropical storms are very likely a result of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research.
The lead author of the new study, Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of the Energy Department, said the findings suggested that further warming would probably make hurricanes stronger in coming decades. But while environmentalists and some researchers have asserted that storms like Hurricane Katrina were already measurably stronger because of warming caused by humans, Dr. Santer said his study did not address that issue. The study was published online by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Source: Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, 12 September 2006
Citation: Santera, B.D. and 18 co-authors. 2006. Forced and unforced ocean temperature changes in Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclogenesis regions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103: 13905–13910.
4) WILD SALMON AT RISK FROM FISH-FARM FUGITIVES
More than a million farmed salmon have escaped into the wild from Scottish fish pens in the past three years, which scientists fear may be driving wild salmon towards extinction. Figures released by the Scottish government show 1.6 million salmon have escaped from fish farms in more than 50 separate incidents since 2000, with 821,500 escaping last year alone. So far this year, official figures show 106,000 of the fish have escaped. Recent scientific evidence shows the escape of farmed salmon from pens each year can lead to catastrophically reduced survival of the progeny of wild salmon, which breed with the domesticated fish. Scientists call the effect the "extinction vortex" because they say it could lead to the demise of wild salmon populations that have evolved over thousands of years in particular rivers. The latest figures would appear to confirm fears among officials of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation that wild salmon populations are continuing to decline despite the widespread buy-out of commercial nets in Europe and Greenland.
Source: Charles Clover, The Daily Telagraph, 29 August 2006
5) CALIFORNIA CREATES MARINE HAVENS
The California Fish and Game Commission has banned or severely restricted fishing across nearly 18% of the waters off Central California, beginning to roll out the nation's first network of marine reserves next to a heavily populated coastline. The commissioners settled on a network of 29 marine protected areas, stretching from Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz counties, that collectively cover about 200 square miles of state waters. About half are reserves that forbid any fishing; the other protected areas ban commercial fishing or impose other restrictions. This set of reserves, more than six years in the making, is expected to be a model as additional reserves are created along the entire California coast to help depleted fish populations rebound.
Source: Kenneth R. Weiss, Los Angeles Times, 16 August 2006
Additional source material:
"Network of Marine Reserves Designated in Central California"
MPA News, Vol. 8, No.3,September 2006, University of Washington
6) ASDA JOINS CALL FOR EU POLICY PULL-OUT
ASDA, Britain's second largest supermarket group has called for British withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy in order to protect the livelihoods of fishermen and preserve fish stocks in the North Sea. Gordon Maddan, regulatory affairs manager for the Yorkshire based retail chain said: "We want all the fish we sell to be sustainable. It's very clear however that the Common Fisheries Policy has failed to deliver this so we are now supporting calls for a radical change in approach." Earlier this year ASDA announced it was dramatically changing the way it sources fish, bringing its sustainable fish policy into line with its parent company Wal-Mart. Within the next three to five years, ASDA said it would only stock wild-caught fresh and frozen fish from fisheries that meet the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) independent environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
Source: Fishupdate 6 September 2006
C) PEW INSTITUTE AND PEW FELLOWS (PF) NEWS
7) ALCALA REPORTS OIL SPILL PUT GIANT CLAMS IN DANGER
At the current rate of the southwest monsoon, the Guimaras Strait oil spill could hit the giant clams abundant in the Sagay Marine Reserve, marine biologist Dr. Angel Alcala said yesterday. "These are the last of the endangered giant clams of the Visayan Sea," Alcala said. More than 35 years of preservation work at the Sagay Marine Reserve will go down the drain if the oil spill hits it, Alcala said. The giant clams (Tridacna squamosa, Tridacna hippopus hippopus, Tridacna crocea, Tridacna gigas, Tridacta maxima) described to be among the largest clams in the world, grow algae in their bodies, Mayo Antonio Cueva, Sagay Marine Reserve superintendent, said. The algae provides the clams food. They are globally endangered and it is illegal to catch and sell them, Cueva said.
Source: Carla Gomez, Visay and Daily Star, 24 August 2006
***In addition, a Special Appendix is attached to this issue of SeaSpan from reports submitted by Dr. Angel Alcala
8) ERDMANN LEADS CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITION
Two recent expeditions led by Conservation International (CI) to the heart of Asia’s “Coral Triangle” discovered dozens of new species of marine life (see Feature Article). Mark Erdmann, Pew Fellow and senior adviser of CI’s Indonesian Marine Program, led the surveys. Erdmann stated, "These Papuan reefs are literally ‘species factories’ that require special attention to protect them from unsustainable fisheries and other threats so they can continue to benefit their local owners and the global community.” The unmatched marine biodiversity of the Bird’s Head Seascape, named for the shape of the distinctive peninsula on the northwestern end of Indonesia’s Papua province, includes more than 1,200 species of fish and almost 600 species of reef-building (scleractinian) coral, or 75 percent of the world’s known total.
For more information, go to: www.conservation.org
For a profile on Mark Erdmann, go to: http://www.conservation.org/xp/frontlines/2006/09180602.xml
9) KOSTKA ADDRESSES MICRONESIA CHALLENGE
Environmentalists from Micronesia and the Pacific met at the Retreat of the Micronesians in Island Conservation to identify and revisit individual island goals concerning each island's marine and terrestrial environmental concerns. Participants included representatives of government and non-government environmental agencies from Guam, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, and the Commenwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Pew Fellow and Micronesia Conservation Trust director Willy Kostka from Pohnpei addressed the Micronesia Challenge, an agreement between countries in Micronesia that commits the islands to "effectively conserve" 30 percent of coastal resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources by the year 2020. "We are here also to learn from each other," he said, adding that members would be able to share conservation issues, experiences and needs to help one another achieve the group's conservation goals in the Pacific.
Source: Marconi Calindas, Saipan Tribue, 23 August 2006
10) VINCENT ON NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: DIVING INTO THE WORLD OF WORDS
Pew Fellow Amanda Vincent, director of Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia, was interviewed by National Public Radio's Weekend Addition on her summer reading.
To hear or read the list, go to:
Information on the Pew Marine Conservation Fellows can be seen at: www.pewoceanscience.org
D) OPPORTUNITIES AND EVENTS
11) CONSERVATION SCIENTIST, THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY
The Ocean Conservancy is seeking an experienced conservation science researcher to work with senior science staff in support of TOC's science-based advocacy efforts in four
strategic areas - conserving special ocean places, restoring sustainable U.S. fisheries, protecting marine wildlife, and reforming government for better ocean stewardship. In the near term, work will focus primarily on fisheries research in the Gulf of Mexico. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by submitting a resume or CV, letter of interest and salary expectations to: The Ocean Conservancy, 2029 K Street NW,
Washington, DC 20006; email@example.com; or 202-872-0619 (FAX), Attn: Human Resources
For more information, go to:
12) MARINE MANAGEMENT AREA SCIENCE (MMAS) RESEARCH/OUTREACH DIRECTOR
DEADLINE: 1 October 2006
The MMAS Research and Outreach Director will be a central team member of the newly established Marine Management Area Science Program within the CI Center for Applied Biodiversity Science. The R&O Director will be responsible for overseeing the 18 MMAS natural science projects and for integrating the scientific results into relevant global and regional-level conservation initiatives. The R&O Director will work closely with the MMAS Senior Director and Senior Principal Investigator, the researchers for the various projects, and the site partners in Brazil, Belize, Panama, Ecuador and Fiji. Required: Master's degree; solid understanding of the marine protected areas and tropical marine ecology; four or more years experience conducting applied marine ecological research preferably with time spent in one of the priority countries (Brazil, Belize, Panama, Ecuador, and Fiji).
Apply on-line at:
13) CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY
Candidates with a record of excellence in research and a commitment to teaching in any area of conservation biology, involving the study of birds in the field, are invited to apply. The research program is expected to be centred at the Queen's University Biological Station. The chairholder will develop field courses and contribute to programs aimed at conserving biodiversity at QUBS.
Review of applications will begin 15 October 2006
Submit applications to Dr. R.M. Robertson, Head, Dept of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
14) SITE PROFILE COORDINATOR
SAN FRANCISCO BAY NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE
The San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), located at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center in Marin County, California, seeks a Site Profile Coordinator with expertise in wetland science to write and edit a site profile for the reserve (www.sfbaynerr.org). San Francisco Bay NERR is one of 27 NERR sites around the country that promote research, education, and stewardship of the nation’s estuaries to improve coastal management and protect resources (www.nerrs.noaa.gov). The site profile is a technical document describing scientific information on the NERR’s resources, research needs, management issues and constraints, and information gaps.
For more information, go to:
15) QUANTITATIVE ANIMAL CONSERVATION ECOLOGIST
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
DEADLINE: 22 SEPTEMBER 2006
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, is participating in an initiative in the area of global environmental change and conservation biology For the Conservation Ecologist, there is special but not exclusive interest in candidates who research how large-scale environmental change will affect the abundance, distribution, and role in ecosystem functioning of fishes or amphibians.
For more information, go to:
16) DIRECTOR, MARINE CONSERVATION, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA
The Director of Marine Conservation in California oversees all marine
site-engagements and projects in the Northern and Southern California Current Ecoregions and plays a leading role in shaping marine conservation strategies for the entire Pacific Coast, seeking ways to scale up innovative approaches developed in California. The marine program in the California Chapter is at an important stage in its development. The program has
several ongoing projects, including: the buy-out of Central Coast federal trawling permits and vessels in exchange for no-trawl zone designations; the leasing of kelp forests and development of best practices in kelp harvest; engagement with the State of California in the implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act and the establishment of new Marine Protected Areas; the
reform of the San Diego urchin fishery; and the development of an "oceanzoning" model around Catalina Island.
17) ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE: FISHERIES ANALYST, FISHERIES RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER, OCEAN PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Environmental Defense’s distinctive approach to environmental protection emphasizes a focus on scientific and economic disciplines and on the use of market mechanisms where applicable to reach well-crafted, durable solutions. The organization builds teams of scientists, lawyers, and economists to investigate the scientific causes of environmental problems as well as the market forces and government policies that encourage and subsidize patterns of environmental damage. There are four open positions. These include: 1) Pacific Fisheries Analyst; 2) Pacific Fisheries Research & Project Associate; 3) Corporate Partnerships Project Manager; and 4) Oceans Program Director - Gulf Coast Region.
For more information, go to: www.environmentaldefense.org, http://www.environmentaldefense.org/careers.cfm
18) BPCP 2006 FUTURE CONSERVATIONIST AWARDS
DEADLINE: 24 NOVEMBER 2006
The BP Conservation Programme aims to contribute to long-term environmental conservation in priority areas by encouraging and engaging potential leaders in biodiversity conservation and providing opportunities for individuals to gain practical skills and experience. For 2007, the BP Conservation Programme is offering the following Conservation Awards to applicants from Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and Venezuela:
For more information about the programme, visit: http://conservation.bp.com
19) EQUATOR PRIZE 2006
DEADLINE: 31 OCTOBER 2006
The Equator Prize is awarded to recognize and celebrate outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. As sustainable community initiatives take root throughout the tropics, they are laying the foundation for a global movement of local successes that are collectively making a significant contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Five winners will be selected from a field of finalists to receive the Equator Prize 2006. Please note that in order to be considered for the Equator Prize, initiatives must be community-based – individuals will not be considered.Nomination forms may be submitted online, by Email, by Fax and by Post
For more information, go to:
20) U.S. NATIONAL SEA GRANT LAW CENTER
DEADLINE: 29 SEPTEMBER 2006
The U.S. National Sea Grant Law Center is seeking proposals for one-year, legal research
and outreach projects addressing coastal and marine issues. Approximately $550,000 in federal funds is expected for 2007.
For more information, go to:
21) WHITLEY AWARDS 2007
DEADLINE - TUESDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2006
The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK-based charity offering awards to outstanding nature conservation leaders from around the world. The Fund recognises some of the world's most dynamic conservationists and supports projects founded on good science, community involvement and pragmatism. We seek charismatic and passionate individuals who are a voice for environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation in their own countries.
For more information about The Whitley Awards visit: www.whitleyaward.org
E) GENERAL INFORMATION AND SUBSCRIPTION INSTRUCTIONS
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Source: SeaSpan, from the Pew Institute for Ocean Science
Report on Guimaras Island Oil Spill Visayas, Philippines
Updates submitted to the Pew Marine Conservaiton Fellows Program by Dr. Angel Alcala
Director, Silliman University, Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management (SUAKCREM), Philippines
Date: 29 August 2006
The Silliman University Marine Laboratory scientists and technicians visited Guimaras Island to assess the extent of damage to the marine environment and resources August 25-27. We are implementing a program of monitoring the effects of the oil spill.
The ecosystem in southern Guimaras mostly affected by the oil spill that occurred in the afternoon of August 11, 2006, was the mangrove. As of August 27th, the southern coast of Guimaras and the offshore islets showed the presence of oil. on the beaches and on trunks and roots of mangrove trees. Thus far the western coast of northern Negros Island had not been affected by the spill.
At the time of our visit, we saw many people, as many as 200 persons, who were removing the oil and the contaminated sand. We also observed that fishing activities had virtually stopped.
Some coastal pools in the mangroves have been badly contaminated, and because these pools are relatively stagnant, the oil is expected to remain there for a long time. Since the respiratory roots of mangroves are coated with oil, they are expected to be seriously threatened. Many mangrove seedlings that are coated with oil are expected to die. Remediation effort should be directed to this problem.
Coral reefs and sea grasses seem to have escaped destruction thus far, but since the sunken tanker is still at the bottom of the sea at about 1,000 meters, it continues to pose a threat to all marine ecosystems in the affected marine area. Only time will tell whether the southwest monsoon will eventually push the spilled oil further northwestward to reach the 25,000 hectare marine reserve off northern Negros, where the giant clams are found.
9 September 2006
This is an update of the bunker oil spill due to the sinking of the oil tanker Solar I about 24 kilometers southwest of the island of Guimaras in the Western Visayas, central Philippines on August 11, 2006.
The sunken tanker lies at the bottom of Panay Gulf at a depth of 640 meters according to the Philippine Coast Guard. The tanker carried a bunker oil cargo of 2.19 million liters, of which about 200,000 liters have been reportedly spilled. The Fukada Salvage and Marine Works Co., Ltd. of Japan has been engaged by the owner of the bunker oil to retrieve the remaining oil in the tanker and to re-float the tanker.
As of September 8, 2006, the oil spill has affected the coastline of southern Guimaras Island and offshore islets and the towns of Ajuy and Concepcion in eastern Iloilo province. It has been estimated that about 1,141 hectares (out of 2,369 hectares or 48.17%) of mangrove ecosystem have been affected. About 410 ha are considered to belong to the high impact category and 730.4 ha to the low impact category.
The coastline of western and northern Negros Island as well as the island of Bantayan (Cebu province) remains threatened. In these areas, especially in the Visayan Sea, some 18 MPAs have been established. Some more MPAs, including the country's premier MPA (Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park) in the Sulu Sea, will be added to the list of threatened areas when the northeast monsoon winds start to blow in November if the remaining oil is not removed from the sunken tanker before November. Although no oil has been observed sticking to corals thus far, there is no guarantee that reefs have not been affected by the oil components dissolved in water.
Mangrove seedlings and saplings in the affected areas are doomed. Mangrove pools in high impact areas with relatively show-flowing water are contaminated with oil and could retain this oil for a considerable period of time. Beaches have been contaminated with oil, and are the objects of clean-up activities. The pneumatophores of mature mangrove trees are heavily coated with oil. These trees are at risk.
Marine species found dead include a hawksbill turtle, fish, mangrove crabs, and barnacles.
Monitoring of the effects of the oil spill is on going, including their effects on human health. Government is exerting effort to help displaced fishers find employment and/or engage in livelihood activities