News

Marine Newsletter #18 – May 2011

Highlights from the Marine Programme at GRID-Arendal for May 2011

Featured Project

Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific
Together with the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), GRID-Arendal is a partner in a major project to address legislative, regulatory, capacity requirements and environmental issues pertaining to deep sea mineral mining for countries in the Pacific region.

A growing interest in mining deep-sea minerals in the Pacific Region has been triggered by the first commercial deep-sea mining lease being granted in Papua New Guinea territorial waters to mine ‘high grade’ Seafloor Massive Sulphide (SMS) deposits. SMS deposits include copper, gold, silver, zinc and lead. In addition to SMS, the seabed of the region is abundant in manganese nodules and cobalt rich crusts.

The Deep Sea Minerals Project is to develop a legislative and regulatory framework for deep-sea mineral mining over a four-year period. The goal is to ensure that sustainable resource management would bring tangible benefits to Pacific Island Countries and their people. The project will be launched at a three-day workshop from June 6 through June 8 in Nadi, Fiji. See "Upcoming events".

In the first stage of the project, GRID-Arendal's role will be to manage the deep sea mining assessment. Working with a group of international experts we will oversee a comprehensive review of the geological, environmental and socio-economic aspects of deep sea mining in the region.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

Data and Products

Web article featuring OCEANIDS
GRID-Arendal's OCEANIDS project has been featured in a Huffington Post article. The OCEANIDS service has not been made public yet, but will be soon, so stay tuned!

For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

Events

Recent events
Seminars/meetings/conferences related to the marine environment where representatives from GRID-Arendal have participated:

  • Workshop on Green Shipping, Arendal, Norway, 2 May – exploring how GRID-Arendal's expertise in the Arctic, marine environment and green economy might be used as a starting point for a possible UNEP green shipping initiative.
  • Meeting with potential partners and funders for the Blue Carbon Initiative, Washington D.C., USA, 2-6 May – getting input on a draft GRID-Arendal strategic plan for blue carbon.
  • Workshop on engagement with the industrial sector operating in the Arctic, Arendal, Norway, 3-5 May – discussing progress on the Action Plan on engaging with industry in the Arctic.
  • Technical expert meeting for the LifeWeb project "Protecting habitats and migration corridors for marine mammals in the South and Northeast Pacific and the Caribbean through marine protected area networks”, Miami, USA, 9-11 May – addressing data-related issues for the mapping and GIS analysis of marine mammal migration routes, critical habitats and human threats/interactions in the Wider Caribbean Region.
  • World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC), Linköping, Sweden, 9-13 May – discussion and knowledge exchange for scientists, policy-makers, engineers and other specialists with an interest in issues related to renewable energy.
  • Meeting with representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 24 May – discussing possible areas of collaboration.
  • Meeting with the Assistant Deputy Minister (Oceans and Law of the Sea) of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, Canada, 24 May – discussing Shelf issues.
  • Meeting of the Geological Association of Canada, Ottawa, Canada, 25-27 May – giving presentations on the UNEP Shelf Programme as well as the Methane Gas Hydrates and the Pacific Marine Minerals and Deep Sea Mining Assessment.
  • Technical expert meeting for the LifeWeb project "Protecting habitats and migration corridors for marine mammals in the South and Northeast Pacific and the Caribbean through marine protected area networks”, Salinas/Guayaquil, Ecuador, 26-28 May – addressing data-related issues for the mapping and GIS analysis of marine mammal migration routes, critical habitats and human threats/interactions in the region.

Upcoming events

6-8 June
Nadi, Fiji: Workshop to set platform for management of deep seabed minerals, organised by the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), in collaboration with GRID-Arendal. See "Featured Project". The workshop will be followed by a two-day steering committee meeting of selected experts on 9-10 June on an assessment of regional marine mineral resources. 
For more information, please contact Elaine Baker or Yannick Beaudoin.

8 June
Arendal, Norway: GRID-Arendal celebrates World Oceans Day. The celebration will include staff jumping in the sea outside the office together with local scuba divers, as well as a presentation by Flumill, a company which is developing a device for generating power from tidal streams. The goal is to raise awareness on marine issues.
For more information, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

Other

Did you know that…
…deep sea volcanic vents may be more common in our oceans than previously thought? Recently, scientists discovered a new set of vents in the chilly waters of the Southern Ocean.
Source: EurekAlert
…only 3 percent of Earth’s sea floor has been mapped? Now, new explorers are planning to go to the deepest spots of the world's oceans.
Source: Fox News

Our favorite website of the month

Marine Stewardship Council

If you would like your website to be featured here, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

Picture of the monthA polymetallic hydrothermal sulphide, which typically can contain copper, lead and zinc with varying concentrations of gold and silver.
Photo credit: Nautilus Minerals.

EarthWire Marine

EarthWire Marine is a free online news service provided by GRID-Arendal. You can get marine environment news e-mailed to you every day or sign up to an RSS feed. Registering is simple. We pledge to protect your privacy, and users can at any time unsubscribe from the service. To subscribe, visit the EarthWire Marine website.

For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter, please visit our Marine Programme website.

Wednesday 01 Jun 2011