NOAA Investigations Into Mislabeling Seafood Protects Consumers and Fishermen

Seafood consumers and the law-abiding fishermen who catch that seafood gained a big victory last week when a complex NOAA Office of Law Enforcement investigation into conspiracy, misbranding and smuggling resulted in two guilty pleas in federal court.
Read more of the NOAA News Release.

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GULF UPDATE: Want to Help the Gulf of Mexico? Kill Your Lawn. | ExpeditionDispatch from 1planet1ocean (Vol. 4 No. 3)


28 June 2010 (Vol. 4 No. 3) GULF OIL DISASTER UPDATE

Want to Help the Gulf of Mexico? Kill Your Lawn.

Helping the Gulf Begins in Your Back Yard — Literally

The lawn has become as much of an American icon as baseball and apple pie. But at what cost? (Photo credit: From the cover of “The American Lawn” by Georges Tevssot)

From “The Ocean Doctor” blog:
Since 1948, radio station KBMW has been serving as the “Voice of the Southern Red River Valley,” a tri-state area including North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, boasting some of the “richest farmland in the United States.” So why did they want to interview a city boy who lives for salt water? To update their listeners on the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and most importantly, tell their listeners how they could help. Like so many of us, they feel a deep connection to the Gulf, even from more than 1,200 from water’s edge, and the daily images of oil erupting from the BP well has led to palpable frustration. It’s hard to watch and not be able to help. Truth is, KBMW’s listeners are more connected than they may realize, and they can materially help the Gulf of Mexico — and their own neighborhoods, by just getting outside and doing some gardening.
Read on…

Rebuilding the Gulf’s Shattered Fishing Industry – On Land

Next-Generation Land-Based Aquaculture Offers a Way to Keep the Gulf in the Seafood Business…Sustainably

The Gulf of Mexico and its Fishing Industry Face Uncertainty

From “The Ocean Doctor” blog: NOAA announced further fishing closures in the Gulf of Mexico due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now a total of 37 percent of federal Gulf waters are off limits to fishing, an area of nearly 89,000 square miles where NOAA considers fish and shellfish potentially too toxic for human consumption. For a region where commercial fishing is a vital part of the economy, the future of the region grows increasingly uncertain with each barrel of oil spewed into the deep Gulf waters. There’s a solution: Rebuild the Gulf of Mexico fishery on land. Investing in “next-generation” sustainable land-based, closed-containment recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) could keep the Gulf region in the seafood business profitably, while creating green jobs and reducing fishing pressure on wild stocks.

What is “next-generation” RAS aquaculture? From the outside, many of the systems look like an ordinary warehouse. Inside, they’re a specially-constructed system of pumps and filters that recycle 99 percent of their water and grow healthy and heathful fish without chemicals, antibiotics or genetically-modified anything. Read on…

On ABC’s Good Morning America…

The “Ocean Doctor” Talks with ABC’s Bill Weir on the Impacts of Methane in the Gulf of Mexico, Risks to Cuba’s Corals, and Potential Solutions, Including Next-Generation Aquaculture

Help Protect Cuba’s Ecosystems

from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Cuba's beautiful and unspoiled Guanahacabibes Biosphere Reserve, a critical sea turtle nesting area

Please Contribute:

The Ocean Foundation’s Cuba Marine Research & Conservation Fund

We’re working around the clock to help our Cuban colleagues prepare for the possibility of an oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. None of this work was anticipated and there’s much to do, so we urgently need your help to fund our efforts and ensure that we’re prepared in advance should the worst occur.

Learn more about Cuba’s vulnerability to this catastrophic oil spill.

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GULF UPDATE: Two Videos of What’s at Stake | ExpeditionDispatch from 1planet1ocean (Vol. 4 No. 2)

Read more

Cuba Oil Bid a Bad Idea, Florida Says

Florida lawmakers are seeking ways to stop Cuba from drilling for oil off its shores, including meeting with the Spanish firm working with Cuba.


The rational approach is a direct dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba,” said David Guggenheim, a senior fellow at The Ocean Foundation in Washington

WASHINGTON — With Cuba poised to drill for oil off its coast as early as this spring, Florida lawmakers are renewing efforts to block it, citing fears about damage to the state’s beaches in the event of a major oil spill.

Sarasota Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan has introduced legislation that would allow the U.S. Interior Department to deny U.S. oil and gas leases to companies involved in Cuba’s oil drilling operations. Sen. Bill Nelson plans to re-introduce legislation to pull the U.S. visas for executives of such companies. Nelson also is hoping to “outline our position” in a yet-to-be-scheduled meeting with officials from Spanish energy giant Repsol, which is working with Cuba.

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Hawaii: Massive Release of Sea Urchins Planned to Combat Invasive Seaweed on Coral Reefs (

Hawaii: Massive release of sea urchins planned to combat invasive seaweed on coral reefs. (
Ocean Today

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After the Oil Spill, Finding a Drop in the Ocean: New, Highly Sensitive Method Can Track Dispersant in Gulf of Mexico

In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April, marine chemist Elizabeth Kujawinski recognized that a technique she had developed for entirely different reasons could readily be adapted to track the chemical components of oil from the spill, as well as the dispersant used to try to clean it up.

Kujawinski brought into play a device with a powerful 7-tesla magnet (seven times stronger than the average MRI) and an intimidating name: a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer, or FT-ICR-MS. It can detect and measure vanishingly tiny amounts of an individual compound in a mixture containing tens of thousands of compounds.

Kujawinski spearheaded the grant proposal to install the FT-ICR-MS at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 2007. Since then she and WHOI colleagues Melissa Kido Soule and Krista Longnecker have been using it to develop highly sensitive analytical methods to reveal the mishmash of organic matter, dissolved in seawater, that supplies food for marine microbes.

In research published online Jan. 26 in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), Kujawinski and colleagues showed that the highly powerful mass spec and their method were also well suited to detect, measure, and definitively identify minute quantities of chemical compounds from the Deepwater Horizon spill, including a compound in the dispersant Corexit. The dispersant has been used often in small amounts on the ocean surface to break down oil clumps and make the oil easier to clean up. But never has so much been used before, and never before has the dispersant been released in the deep ocean.

Read the rest at Oceanus – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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Shark Nations Failing on Conservation Pledges

By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News

The wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic and the Pew Environment Group say most of the main shark fishing nations do not manage fisheries well.

Ten years ago, governments agreed a global plan to conserve sharks.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year, with nearly a third of species at risk of extinction.

Many fisheries target the fins for use in shark fin soup; and a number of countries, including the US, have recently passed measures aimed at regulating the trade.

Neither of the two countries catching the most sharks – Indonesia and India – has yet finalised national plans of action for protecting sharks.

Read the rest…

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Fertilizing Oceans Seen Fruitless in Climate Fight

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO | Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:39pm EST

OSLO (Reuters) – Fertilizing the oceans to boost the growth of tiny plants that soak up greenhouse gases is unlikely to work as a way to slow climate change, a U.N.-backed study showed on Monday.

Such “geo-engineering” schemes would be hard to monitor and were likely to store away only small amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

“Geo-engineering schemes involving ocean fertilization to affect climate have a low chance of success,” according to the 20-page study by the Commission, part of the U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The review, by scientists in seven countries, said 13 experiments in recent years showed faded optimism that iron dust or other nutrients could spur growth of microscopic marine plants and permanently suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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