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Marine Resources


September 2016 Issue

Raytheon Launches Weather
Preparedness Training Modules

Raytheon has launched a suite of weather preparedness training modules to help teach the general public and school-aged children how to keep themselves safe before, during and after significant weather events. The modules, which were developed by Raytheon as part of NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative, incorporate feedback from both NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They are available at www.meted.ucar.edu/emgmt/wxreadynation/launch.htm.

SEA/LNG Coalition to
Promote LNG Marine Fuel

Wärtsilä and other leading marine industry players have formed a coalition, SEA/LNG, to accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. The coalition aims to help break down the barriers hindering the global development of LNG in marine applications, thereby improving the environmental performance of the shipping industry.

Other partners in the coalition include Carnival Corp., DNV GL, ENGIE, ENN Group, GE Marine, GTT, Lloyds Register, Mitsubishi, NYK Line, Port of Rotterdam, Qatargas, Shell Downstream and Tote.

UNESCO Assesses
State of the Oceans

Sixty percent of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened by local activities; 50 percent of all fish stock in large marine ecosystems (LMEs) are overexploited; and 64 of the world’s 66 LMEs have experienced ocean warming in the last decades, according to global assessments by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

The assessments identified the mounting cumulative impacts of climate change and human activities on ocean ecosystems and their impact on the world’s oceans. This is resulting in deteriorating health and declining resource productivity, notably due to unsustainable fishing and pollution. The lack of national engagement and globally integrated governance of transboundary waters threatens to further amplify these negative impacts.

Projections indicate disastrous escalation by 2030 and 2050 of the cumulative impacts of local and global hazards from tourism to climate change on marine ecosystems.

The assessments identify the important potential benefits of globally and regionally integrated governance to address these issues.

Plant-Based Seafood
In Development

New Wave Foods has successfully opened a seed round aimed at developing seafood that is sustainable and healthier for humans. Efficient Capacity kicked off the round and New Crop Capital provided additional funding.

New Wave Foods uses plant-based ingredients, such as red algae, to engineer new edible materials that replicate the taste and texture of fish and shellfish while improving their nutritional profiles. Its first product, which has already been served in Google’s cafeterias, is a substitute for shrimp.

The market for meat analogs is expected to surpass $5 billion by 2020.

Funds to Help Save
Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Efforts to save the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle will be supported by a two-year $220,162 funding commitment to a Texas A&M University at Galveston researcher, Dr. Christopher Marshall, associate professor of marine biology.

Kemp’s ridley turtles are the rarest of sea turtles. Their primary nesting grounds are in Tamaulipas, Mexico, and along Padre Island on the Texas coast. In 1947, the number of nesting females in Tamaulipas was estimated to be almost 47,000 but that figure shrank to less than 300 by 1985. Their numbers had been recovering but have staggered in recent years.

The turtles are on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the International Union for Conservation of Nature critically endangered list of species. The ultimate goal is to delist Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from the critically endangered species list to the endangered or threatened list, then a couple levels down to “species of concern”, below which the population would be considered healthy.

North Atlantic Oscillation
Affects New England Cod Stocks

In recent decades, the plight of Atlantic cod off the coast of New England has been front-page news. Since the 1980s, the stocks of Gadus morhua, one of the most important fisheries in North America, have declined dramatically.

In 2008, a formal assessment forecasted that stocks would rebound, but by 2012, they were once again on the verge of collapse. Two years later, NOAA instituted an unprecedented six-month closure of the entire Gulf of Maine cod fishery to allow stocks to recover.

While overfishing is one known culprit, a new study co-authored by researchers at UC Santa Barbara and Columbia University finds that the climatological phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is also a factor, and it contributes in a predictable way that may enable fishery managers to protect cod stocks from future collapse. The researchers found that, since 1980, NAO conditions have accounted for up to 17 percent of the decline in New England cod stocks.

Warmer NAO conditions reduced cod larval recruitment by 17 percent, resulting in fewer young fish. While the NAO-induced population decrease persisted until the fish were six years old, it affected cod catch for up to two decades. That empirical link means that NAO can be used to predict the future size of the stock, which would allow for improved management.

New Deepwater Exploration
Discovery by Shell

Shell announced a new exploration discovery in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The initial estimated recoverable resources for the Fort Sumter well are more than 125 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Further appraisal drilling and planned wells in adjacent structures could considerably increase recoverable potential in the vicinity.

Fort Sumter was safely drilled in the Mississippi Canyon Block 566, located approximately 117 km offshore southeast of New Orleans, in a water depth of 2,152 m to a total vertical drilling depth of 8,539 m. The block is 23 sq. km in size.


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