Marine and Coastal news round-up in the Western Indian Ocean Region (14 September 2017)

Date posted: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ballast Water Convention Enters into Force 

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) has entered into force. The Convention addresses aquatic invasive alien species (IAS) by requiring all ships to implement a ballast water management plan, among other actions. The Ballast Water Management Convention aims to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species from one region to another by establishing standards for the management and control of ships’ ballast waters and sediments. Under the Convention, all ships engaged in international traffic must manage their ballast water and sediments to a specific standard, following a ship-specific ballast water management plan. Ships are also required to carry a ballast water record book and an international ballast water management certificate.

Click here to read the full length article. 

Related publication : The GloBallast Story: Reflections from a Global Family  - Partnerships to catalyze transformational innovations in marine biosafety

To find out what implementing the Ballast Water Management Convention means for ship owners, click here to see the latest IMO video or here for the  infographic.

Ecological Spatial Connectivity to Effective Coastal Marine Protected Areas and to Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change

A paper  "The central importance of ecological spatial connectivity to effective coastal marine protected areas and to meeting the challenges of climate change in the marine environment"  draws on the extensive literature on ecological spatial connectivity in the marine environment to describe the profound consequences of ecological spatial connectivity for the design, use, and management of effective MPAs, and the implications of ecological spatial connectivity for the roles of MPAs in a changing global climate. The paper focuses on MPAs and MPA networks in coastal marine environments, including intertidal, embayments and estuarine ecosystems, and on important interactions between ecosystems across the land–sea interface. The paper is published in the Journal of Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

Click here to read the full length article.

Global Shift in Marine Protected Area Analysis and Reporting 

United Nations Environment Programme - World Monitoring and Conservation Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature launched Marine Protected Planet Interactive - the world’s most authoritative and ambitious platform for information about ocean protection. Marine Protected Areas cover 6.35% of the ocean.

Several large-scale marine protected areas have been announced in recent months. Marine Protected Planet Interactive for the first time tells the story behind the headlines and will enable a scaling up of ambition for global marine conservation. Users can access data about the spatial location and size of protected areas. 

Click here to go to the: Marine Protected Planet Interactive Platform

Ship Exhaust Makes Oceanic Thunderstorms More Intense

Thunderstorms directly above two of the world’s busiest shipping lanes are significantly more powerful than storms in areas of the ocean where ships don’t travel, according to new research. A new study mapping lightning around the globe finds lightning strokes occur nearly twice as often directly above heavily-trafficked shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea than they do in areas of the ocean adjacent to shipping lanes that have similar climates. The new study is the first to show ship exhaust can alter thunderstorm intensity.

Click here to read the full length article or here for the full length paper.

New study suggests that sperm whales travel together, dine alone

Sperm whales have long been known to be highly social creatures and a new study confirms that when a group of them travel, they tend to hang pretty close together.
But when it comes to chowing down, it appears they prefer to dine alone. 

The study, which used sophisticated “Advanced Dive Behavior tags", allowed the researchers to gather unprecedented amounts of data on sperm whale movement, socialization and feeding and diving behavior that previously had been difficult, if not impossible, to obtain. The study is important, researchers say, because sperm whales have been notoriously hard to study – in part, because they spend a lot of time underwater and dive to great depths. The tags can record high-resolution diving depth data as well as GPS locations.

Click here to read the full length article or here to read the full length paper.

Geographical Information Systems Specialist

Individual Contractor opportunity with the Nairobi Convention Secretariat

Apply before  19 September 2017

Click here for more details