Marine Newsletter #6 2014 – June

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

Featured Project

Aksjon Rydd Strand (Clean a Beach)
Summer holidays have just begun in Norway, and people flock to the beaches to enjoy the sun and sea. If they are lucky, they might do that without stepping on broken glass or other nasty stuff. On most beaches, however, there is always some litter that has been washed up by the sea or left by other beachgoers. Now, at least five popular areas outside Arendal are a little cleaner, thanks to around 300 pupils from five local secondary schools.

Before the beach clean-up, each school was visited by representatives from the local department of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (Flødevigen Research Station) and the environmental department of the County Governor (Fylkesmannen i Aust-Agder). The pupils learned about all the problems caused by marine waste, and how long it takes to break down various materials once they end up in the sea.

On 4 and 5 June the pupils went out to clean the beaches. They found a lot of garbage; all together 120 bags, plus some items that could not be put into bags. While they were cleaning the beaches, they were given a quiz to solve, with questions about marine waste, made by 4H Aust-Agder. The campaign, organised for the second time, was coordinated by Arendal Municipality, and funded by Aust-Agder County. The local waste management company Agder Renovasjon collected the waste, and GRID-Arendal contributed by making a photo exhibition, showing art work that the pupils made from the waste they found (see also Picture of the Month).

For more information, please contact Rannveig Nilsen.

Data and Products

First Digital Global Seafloor Geomorphic Features Map Published
The first digital, global-scale, geomorphic features map (GSFM) of the oceans was recently published by GRID-Arendal, Geoscience Australia and Conservation International.    

The map illustrates its applications for scientific research and ocean management. Information to guide global scale management decisions includes the representativeness of features within ocean basins, exclusive economic zones, as well as existing marine protected areas (MPAs), and an inventory of features in the area beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

Read more here, or download the map (PDF/PNG) here.

For more information, please contact Peter Harris.

Map of the Month

Dive Against Debris Map
This month's map comes from Project Aware, a movement of scuba divers determined to protect our ocean planet. The group is focusing on two major ocean issues – Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris.

The interactive map shows the types and amounts of debris scuba divers around the world have removed and reported from underwater environments since 2011.

Click on the image to start exploring the map.


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

  • Aksjon Rydd Strand ("Clean a Beach"), Arendal, Norway, 4-5 June – beach cleaning project with local schools; see Featured Project.
  • Deep Seas Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Planning Workshop, Rome, Italy, 5-6 June - hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
  • Liaison Committee meeting and Ministerial meeting for the West Africa Training and Capacity Building Programme for the Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf Beyond 200 Nautical Miles, Praia, Cabo Verde, 8-10 June.
  • Second Meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (STAC) to the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities in the Wider Caribbean Region (LBS Protocol) of the Cartagena Convention, Managua, Nicaragua, 10-13 June.
  • Pacific Data Information Meeting, Suva, Fiji, 17 June – organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). 
  • United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), Nairobi, Kenya, 23-27 June. 

Upcoming events

3-4 July
Geneva, Switzerland: Regional Seas Visioning Workshop, organised by the Marine and Coastal Ecosystems Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). GRID-Arendal will lead a session on how to ensure the implementation of the visioning roadmap.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

10 July
London, United Kingdom: Financing the transition towards a sustainable blue economy. The meeting is hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales, and the goal is to explore steps towards a north-south south-south collaboration that could lead to viable, low costs solutions and involve private sector financing of fisheries recovery.
For more information, please contact Yannick Beaudoin.

14-15 August
Arendal, Norway: GRID-Arendal's 25th Anniversary Celebration. Main theme: "Cold regions – hot topics: Inputs from Arendal to the global finding of Sustainable Development Goals". This will include presentations by GRID-Arendal staff and by guests, roundtable discussions, workshops and an evening reception.
For more information, please contact Peter Prokosch.

21-22 August
Arendal, Norway: Marine Symposium: Visioning our Ocean of Tomorrow. Theme: "Sharing experience and transferring capacity along the Wadden Sea Flyway: Linking people in Norway, the Wadden Sea and West Africa to improve marine and coastal ecosystem management".
For more information, please contact Tanya Bryan or Morten Sørensen.


GRID-Arendal appoints its 5th Managing Director
After serving two 4-year terms, German marine biologist and Arctic expert Dr. Peter Prokosch is stepping down as Managing Director of GRID-Arendal this autumn. The new Managing Director, Dr. Peter Harris, will take over on 1 September. Dr. Harris comes to GRID-Arendal after serving as a senior manager of the environmental division of Australia's national geoscience agency, Geoscience Australia.  

Read more here.

Did you know that...

...Alvin, the American deep-sea research submersible, turns 50? Since 1964, Alvin has made more than 4,900 dives and has enabled dozens of new discoveries and countless insights into the way the ocean and our planet work.
Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
...a list of endangered migratory species, including a large number of sharks and rays, and some species of sawfishes, is being proposed for protection under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals?
Source: Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

Our favorite website of the month

Google Earth Explore the Oceans

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

A big garbage art "Scream", made by local 9th grade pupils on the island Merdø outside Arendal during Aksjon Rydd Strand (see Featured Project). GRID-Arendal cooperated with The Scream from Nature – an art project that invites people to take action for the environment.
Photo: Lise Wulff, The Scream from Nature

For previous editions of this Marine Newsletter or to sign up to the mailing list, please visit our Marine Division website.

The Marine Newsletter will take a summer break in July. Next edition will be out in the end of August. We wish everyone a nice summer!

Tuesday 01 Jul 2014