Marine Newsletter #7 2013 – August

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for August 2013

Featured Project

Continental Shelf Programme: West Africa and the Pacific
The 4th Technical Training Workshop under the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles is taking place in Arendal the last week of August and the first week of September.

At the workshop, technical experts from Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone are working together, facilitated by instructors from GRID-Arendal, Geocap and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Progress to date has been excellent, and this workshop aims to build on previous efforts towards the final submission documents. Draft submissions are scheduled for the end of this year.

Tuvalu is one of the Pacific nations that have been supported by the Continental Shelf Programme, and in August they presented their joint submission with France and Tokelau to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) at the United Nations in New York. We congratulate Tuvalu on the fantastic national achievement.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris or Elaine Baker.

Data and Products

Video: The AGEDI Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project
This recently released video was shot during the extensive first three-week field mission of the project, in which international carbon experts teamed up with local volunteers to study the distribution of blue carbon ecosystems and the carbon they store in their biomass and deposit in the ground. Scientists also study the other services these ecosystems provide to the Emirate and its population, from hosting protected species such as dugongs to protecting coastlines from erosion. The video was produced by Robert Barnes.

Watch the video here.

For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

Map of the Month

Submarine canyons on active and passive continental margins
This map shows the global distribution of large submarine canyons on passive and active continental margins. Submarine canyons are more common on the steep slopes found on active margins compared to those on the gentler slopes of passive margins.

Submarine canyons have been shown to play an important role as habitats for marine invertebrates. For example, according to recent research from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, submarine canyons encompass myriad habitat types, and this heterogeneity at the landscape-scale helps to enhance local biodiversity in canyon seafloor sediments.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Miles MacMillan-Lawler.


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

  • Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Victoria, Seychelles, 17-19 July.
  • Future Perfect Festival, Stockholm, Sweden, 15-16 August.
  • Blue Carbon Policy Workshop, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 18-21 August – discussing the policy options for advancing Blue Carbon in Abu Dhabi.
  • 6th Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference, Bali, Indonesia, 26-30 August – co-hosting a Marine Ecosystem Services Valuation workgroup.
  • 4th Technical Training Workshop under the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles, Arendal, Norway, 26 August-6 September.

Upcoming events

11-13 September
Washington D.C., USA: Meetings with UNEP-RONA (Regional Office for North America), The Ocean Foundation and other partners on the GEF Blue Forests Project as well as other Blue Carbon stakeholders.
For more information, please contact Steven Lutz.

Spotlight on Success

Contribution to the Index to Marine and Lacustrine Geological Samples
An updated kmz file containing the Index to Marine & Lacustrine Geological Samples (IMLGS) database, prepared by GRID-Arendal, has been uploaded to NOAA's (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website. The IMLGS is a tool to help scientists locate and obtain geologic material from sea floor and lakebed cores, grabs, and dredges archived by participating institutions.

For more information, please contact Øystein Halvorsen.


Did you know that...

...worms are affecting methane release in the ocean? A recent study found that by burrowing into the sediment, the worms essentially create tens of thousands of new conduits for methane trapped below the surface to escape from the sediments. Bacteria consumes much of the methane, converting it to carbon dioxide, and the worms feast on the enriched bacteria.
Source: EurekAlert
...a newly discovered ocean plume could be a major source of iron? Scientists have discovered a vast plume of iron and other micronutrients more than 1,000 km long billowing from hydrothermal vents in the South Atlantic Ocean. The finding may challenge researchers’ assumptions about iron sources in the world’s seas.
Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Our favorite website of the month

Ocean Classroom Foundation

Disclaimer: GRID-Arendal does not necessarily endorse the content of external websites, and provides them for information purposes only. If you would like your website to be featured here, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

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.

Picture of the Month

Tuvalu has just presented its joint submission with France and Tokelau to the UN's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). As a low-lying island nation, Tuvalu is already facing the consequences of climate change. This is illustrated by Portraits of Resilience, a Many Strong Voices project that gives children and youth an opportunity to bring personal stories and faces to the attention of the general public and to decision-makers at international climate change negotiations.
Photo: Christine Germano / Many Strong Voices

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

Friday 06 Sep 2013