Marine Newsletter #1 2014 – January

Highlights from the Marine Division at GRID-Arendal for January 2014

Featured Project

Deep Sea Minerals in the Pacific Islands Region: a Legal and Fiscal Framework for Sustainable Resource Management
Funded by the European Union and managed by the SOPAC Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) this project aims to support Pacific Islands in governing and developing deep sea mineral resources. The project provides technical support and advice to improve technical capacity, community involvement and government management of deep sea mineral resources.

A primary objective of the project is to support informed and careful governance of any deep sea mining activities in accordance with international law, with particular attention to the protection of the marine environment and securing equitable financial arrangements for Pacific Island countries and their people. The Project is also working to encourage and support participatory decision-making in the governance and management of national deep sea minerals resources.

15 Pacific Island Countries are taking part in the project: the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

An important output, where GRID-Arendal has been deeply involved, is the report series Deep Sea Minerals: A physical, biological, environmental, and technical review.

For more information, please contact Elaine Baker.

Map of the Month

Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Ecosystems
February marks the conclusion of GRID-Arendal’s one year project in Abu Dhabi to assess the contribution of Blue Carbon ecosystems to the wellbeing of the Emirate and its residents, and options for management actions both through policy and financial mechanisms. The map below illustrates the location and extent of mangrove, seagrass, salt marsh, algal flat, and sabkha (salt flat) ecosystems.

Mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses are already well-known for their capacity to store and sequester carbon dioxide. 'Candidate' blue carbon ecosystems like algal flats and associated ecosystems such as sabkha represent areas for further scientific discovery and exploration into their value related to carbon sequestration and storage.

Click on the image to view the full map.

For more information, please contact Allison Bredbenner or Christian Neumann.


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

  • Working meeting on the preparation of communication materials related to the North Caspian Coastal Zone Bio & Geodiversity Management Master Plan, Arendal, Norway, 13-16 January. 
  • GRID-Arendal Marine Kick-off Retreat for 2014, Arendal, Norway, 20 January – reflecting on the year gone by and the one ahead.
  • Arctic Frontiers Conference, Tromsø, Norway, 20-24 January – participating in consultative meetings of the project “Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic”, and co-organising workshops dedicated to shipping, fisheries, oil and gas, and climate change.
  • EU Deep Sea Mining Assessment project meeting, Brussels, Belgium, 27 January – discussion with EU representatives.
  • EMODnet training workshop, Tenerife, Spain, 27-30 January – training in Digital Terrain Model (DTM) development.
  • 7th Meeting of the Liaison Committee for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles in West Africa, Praia, Cape Verde, 27-29 January.

Upcoming events

2 February
Local and global: World Wetlands Day.
For more information, please see Ramsar Convention website.

4-7 February
Freetown, Sierra Leone: National workshop for production of the National State of the Coast Report.
For more information, please contact Morten Sørensen or Wouter Rommens.

5 February
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project end of project meeting.
For more information, please contact Christian Neumann.

5 February
Oslo, Norway: Conference on marine waste, organised by Avfall Norge.
For more information, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

11-12 February
Cambridge, MA, USA: Presencing Institute Global Forum. GRID-Arendal will co-lead a reflection lab entitled 'Cultivating our Commons: Fishing Ecosystems'.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

Spotlight on Success

Global Seafloor Geomorphic Features Map
A scientific paper on the global seafloor geomorphic features map that GRID-Arendal and partners have worked on since 2012, has been accepted for publication in the 50th Anniversary Special Issue of the journal Marine Geology.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris.


Did you know that...

...a step-by-step guide to reducing impacts on whales and other marine species during seismic sea floor surveys has been developed? The comprehensive whale protection programme was developed for a seismic survey close to the main Western Gray Whale feeding area near Sakhalin Island, just north of Japan.
Source: Science Daily
...Google’s free global satellite imaging programme could be used to better monitor and control fishing? A study that used Google Earth to track fishing from space found that actual catches taken from Persian Gulf fisheries could be six times greater than the official numbers the Gulf states reported to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Source: SciDevNet

Our favorite website of the month

Pacific Climate Change Portal

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
In 1978, experimental dredging to recover manganese nodules was carried out in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. The dredging removed the upper 4.5-cm layer of sediment and left behind a track approximately 1.5 m wide. In 2004, a team of researchers returned to the area, where the original disturbance is still clearly visible more than 20 years later.
Photo: Ifremer, Nodinaut 2004, Nautile.

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

Friday 31 Jan 2014