Marine Newsletter #11 2013 – December

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

Featured Project

Continental Shelf Programme11th Pacific Island Countries Maritime Boundaries workshop
The 11th Pacific boundaries workshop was hosted by the University of Sydney from the 25th of November to the 6th of December. The aims of the workshop were to support Pacific nations in delineating outer continental shelf claims under UNCLOS, to facilitate countries to negotiate shared maritime boundaries, and assist the countries to draft maritime zones legislation to support resource use.

In addition, some technical personnel participated in working sessions related to spatial analysis of marine resources and associated spatial planning. During these sessions they received training using QGIS. 

The draft Pacific data portal, PacGeo, was also demonstrated and feedback collected from the future users of the system. The portal allows the Pacific nations to access regional data and securely host country specific data.

The workshop was attended by representatives from the following Pacific Island Nations: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Niue and Samoa. The programme is a collaboration between the University of Sydney, GRID-Arendal, Geoscience Australia, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, and the Australian Attorney-General's Department.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

Map of the Month

Deep Sea Minerals
The Map of the Month comes from the recent publication Deep Sea Minerals: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review and highlights the Pacific Island States that are participating in the Secretariat of the Pacific Community/European Union Deep Sea Minerals Project. This four-year endeavour began in 2011 and aims to assist these countries in guiding their sustainable use and management of deep sea marine minerals, such as cobalt and manganese.

The report Deep Sea Minerals: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review was released in December and can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.


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

  • Blue Solutions Workshop, Washington D.C., USA, 5 December – exchanging experiences, mapping current initiatives, and identifying gaps and opportunities for strengthening the uptake of ecosystem service valuation in marine and coastal environment decision making processes.
  • SPREP/SOPAC workshop on the environmental impacts of deep sea minerals activities, Nadi, Fiji, 9 December – launch of the report Deep Sea Minerals: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review.
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Fransisco, USA, 9-13 December – giving presentations on "The UNEP Shelf Programme: Highlighting efforts in West Africa and the Pacific Islands" and "Global Seafloor Geomorphic Features Map: Applications for Ocean Conservation and Management".
  • Meeting with University of Agder (UiA) and Institute of Marine Research, Arendal, Norway, 19 December – discussing a planned aquatic ecology study at UiA.

Upcoming events

20 January
Arendal, Norway: GRID-Arendal Marine Kick-off Retreat for 2014. The purpose is to reflect on the year gone by and the one ahead, explore themes of interest and discuss how to actualise and operationalise our goals.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

27-29 January
Praia, Cape Verde: 7th Meeting of the Liaison Committee for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in West Africa.
For more information, please contact Joan Fabres.

Did you know that...

...a marine protected area network has been established in the Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean, in order to exclude the selected areas from future mining of the seabed?
Source: EurekAlert
...scientists have for the first time connected the BP oil disaster to dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico? The study, led by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found lung disease, hormonal abnormalities and other health effects among dolphins in an area heavily oiled during the BP spill.
Source: The Guardian

Our favorite website of the month

Global Ocean

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.

Picture of the Month

Sea-floor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits in the Bismarck SeaSea-floor massive sulphides are deposits of metal-bearing minerals that form on and below the seabed as a consequence of the interaction of seawater with a heat source (magma) under the sea-floor.
Photo: Chuck Fisher, Pennsylvania State University

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

Thursday 16 Jan 2014