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Marine Resources


January 2016 Issue

Call for Proposals on
Black Sea Bass Habitat

The Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership (ACFHP) is seeking research and/or restoration proposals to address black sea bass habitat issues in the Mid-Atlantic region (from Long Island Sound to Cape Hatteras), with an emphasis on the use of natural and/or artificial reefs and their ability to maintain and enhance fishery productivity. Projects can range from 12 to 24 months and should include guaranteed monitoring for at least three years.

The maximum award for an individual project is $225,000, and multiple highly ranked projects will be considered if the amount requested totals less than the $225,000 in available funds. All proposed artificial reef construction projects must be developed in coordination with the artificial reef manager in their respective state to be eligible for funding.

Proposals are due by February 1. For questions or to submit a proposal, email Lisa Havel, ACFHP coordinator, at LHavel@asmfc.org.

Gas Part of Sustainable
Energy Supply

Given that the demand for energy is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2050, DNV GL asserted that gas will play a major role in a safer, more sustainable energy supply, but is calling for the market to become more efficient.

Gas is widely recognized as the cleanest of the fossil fuels in terms of greenhouse gases and as a relatively low-carbon, cost-effective fuel that can help meet carbon reduction goals. The challenge is to ensure that gas can help solve the “energy trilemma” by being available, affordable and clean.

Gas can be combined with renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. Gas can balance and stabilize the energy supply and thus help to increase the percentage of renewable energy in the grid.

Collaboration, smart technology development and the right regulatory and political frameworks are required to advance toward a sustainable energy mix and a more solid platform for gas.

MarineE-tech to Study
Deep-Ocean Minerals

E-tech elements, such as cobalt and tellurium, are vital for emerging E-technologies. These elements are in short supply, yet they are formed through natural Earth processes and occur in high concentrations in the world’s ocean basins in metal-rich deposits.

HR Wallingford is part of MarineE-tech, a new £4.2 million research program that will investigate the origins and formation of these crusts and study the potential impacts of mineral extraction.

MarineE-tech, funded by NERC (UK) and FAPESP (Brazil), will assess deep-ocean ferromanganese deposits, a major source of the elements that are essential for emerging renewable energy technologies and a low-carbon society.

The MarineE-tech team plans a research expedition to the northeast Atlantic in 2016 to discover what controls the richness of the deep-sea deposits on seamounts and assess novel exploration methods and potential effects of disturbance of these sensitive marine environments.

HR Wallingford will survey and monitor currents, water quality and sediment movement, including sediment plumes.

The MarineE-tech partnership spans industry, academia and policy makers.

Two Indian Ship
Recyclers Follow HKC

ClassNK has issued statements of compliance (SoC) to two ship-recycling facilities in Gujarat, India—Shree Ram Vessel Scrap Pvt. Ltd. and Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. Ltd.— verifying that the facilities are in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC).

Although HKC has yet to enter into force, Shree Ram and Leela have both carried out substantial improvements to their facilities in a bid toward safer and greener ship recycling, as well as developed the Ship Recycling Facility Plans (SRFPs) required for a competent authority’s certification according to the HKC.

ClassNK reviewed the SRFPs prepared by Shree Ram and Leela, which comply with requirements of the HKC, and confirmed that their ship-recycling processes follow their respective SRFPs, in addition to conducting on-site inspections before issuing the SoC.

Four New Ramsar
Sites for Japan

The government of Japan has designated four wetland areas as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites): the Yoshigadaira Wetlands located on an active volcano, the two tidal mudflats Hizen Kashima-higata and Higashiyoka-higata, and the Hinuma Lake.

Japan has also increased the area of Keramashoto Coral Reef from 353 hectares to 8,290 hectares.

With these new designations, Japan now has 50 Ramsar Sites.

Yoshigadaira Wetlands are located in the center of Honshu Island on the northeast flank of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane. The site is unique because of the high temperature and acidity from the volcano and volcanic gases. The water of the Anajigoku stream is extremely acidic (pH 2.6 to 2.8) with abundant iron and sulphur. It hosts the largest community of the aquatic liverwort in East Asia.

Higashiyoka-higata and Hizen Kashima-higata are tidal mudflats on Ariake Bay. These sites are internationally important in the life cycle of migratory waterbirds such as the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper, the endangered black-faced spoonbill, and the vulnerable far eastern curlew and Saunders’s gull. These sites also support the livelihoods of local communities and their traditional fishing and recreational activities.

Hinuma provides habitats for many species, including nationally endangered species such as the four-spot midget damselfly and Steller’s sea eagle. More than 88 species of birds are observed at Hinuma.

The Keramashoto Coral Reef is located in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, and was originally designated as a Ramsar Site in 2005. The site is internationally important as a representative of the coral reef ecosystem in the Ryukyu Islands biogeographic region, as well as for its biodiversity. Globally threatened species include the critically endangered hawksbill turtle and the endangered green turtle and loggerhead.


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