Sunday, January 29, 2012


Initial Conference Announcement 
The International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN) will hold its fourth biennial conference November 2012 in Chile. Marine educators will again gather to share resources and to advance a network aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the Pacific and the communities who depend upon it. The exact dates will be confirmed soon, so please visit this web site for updates.

For More Information 
For more information about the Chile 2012 conference or, more generally, IPMEN please contact:

Friday, January 27, 2012

SPREP launches Clean Pacific 2012 Campaign

Press Release: Pollution Prevention
The Clean Pacific 2012 campaign will be launched in partnership with the World Wetlands Day celebrations in Apia, Samoa on 2 February. The relationship between proper waste disposal practices, management and pollution prevention and healthy wetlands is a critical one. The Clean Pacific campaign will aim to promote a clean and healthy environment for our Pacific peoples through improved waste management practices.

The World Wetlands Day theme for 2012 is “Wetlands and Tourism” and with tourism being a major income earner for the Pacific Islands, this industry is set to grow over the coming years. While there are many examples of environmentally sustainable tourism, there are also a number of unsustainable examples of tourism, which generate waste and pollution and cause damage to our wetlands.

The Clean Pacific campaign is a regional waste management and pollution control campaign coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with its member countries. The campaign will galvanise actions at all levels to improve the management of wastes and pollution through promotion of a range of activities, which contribute to a healthy environment, including wetlands.

SPREP will support relevant grass roots activities for waste reduction and management, pollution prevention, and hazardous chemical management during the campaign year.

There are major problems on the management and disposal of solid waste throughout the Pacific, so the programme is focusing on raising awareness and building capacity in this important area,” said Mr. David Sheppard, SPREP’s Director General.

SPREP is pleased to embark on this campaign and we look forward to good work to come as we all unite on our Clean Pacific campaign.

In the Pacific region, isolated populations and remote locations are challenges beyond our control and often make sustainable waste management and pollution control difficult. At the same time they underscore the need to focus on local solutions that can be sustained regardless of external factors such as fuel prices and shipping costs.

Recognising these and other challenges, the Clean Pacific campaign focuses on ensuring that the right practices and policies are adopted by Pacific island countries to support sustainable management of waste and prevention and control of pollution.

The campaign will also show that a clean Pacific relies on everyone from the most senior politician to the smallest family taking immediate and responsible action to solve the dual problems of waste and pollution.

For more details please contact SPREP’s Waste Management and Pollution Control Team at

Friday, January 20, 2012

PACIFIC 2012 International Maritime Exposition, Darling Harbour, Sydney, 31 January – 3 February 2012

You are invited to attend the PACIFIC 2012 International Maritime Exposition to be held at Darling Harbour, Sydney, 31 January – 3 February 2012, as a Trade Visitor (i.e. as a guest of the organisers).

Trade Visitors will enjoy FREE access to PACIFIC 2012's unprecedented program of specialist conferences, forums and seminars, including AAMA’s own seminar, “The Sea and the Environment – Opportunities, Constraints and Risks”, to be held on 31 January and 1 February. Further details of this seminar shown below.

While you are at Pacific 2012 why not visit the Australian Association for Maritime Affairs at their stand in Hall 6, stand no. 6A15. Free full size copies of the poster MARITIME AUSTRALIA 2011 will be available while stocks last. (For a preview of the poster see the AAMA web site

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TEDxNewy TALK: Tim Silverwood - How did our lives become so plastic?

In July 2011, Tim Silverwood sailed 5000km from Hawaii to Vancouver to research and document the accumulation of plastic in the infamous North Pacific Gyre, otherwise known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Tim, a keen surfer, developed a love affair with the ocean from a young age and has since become an advocate and activist of the need to protect our sea from the scourge of plastic pollution. Tim is an ambassador for Keep Australia Beautiful and is co-founder of the non-profit organization, 'Take 3' that asks everyone to simply take 3 pieces of rubbish with them when they leave the beach, waterway or... anywhere. Tim is currently gathering content for an Australian based documentary on the plastic pollution issue.

PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard, NAMEPA formalize partnership that promotes marine environmental protection

Coast Guard Modernization Banner
Coast Guard Headquarters
U.S. Coast Guard
Photo Release
Date: January 19, 2012
Contact: Media Relations
(202) 372-4620

Coast Guard, NAMEPA formalize partnership that promotes marine environmental protection

Department of Homeland Security Coast Guard logo
PHOTOGRAPH OF: Ms. Carleen Lyden-Kluss, co-founder and executive director of North American Marine Environment Protection Association(NAMEPA), and Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, deputy commandant for operations, participate in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington Jan. 10, 2012. As part of the new partnership the Coast Guard and NAMEPA will collaborate to create an elementary school curriculum that will focus on marine debris prevention.
WASHINGTON — Ms. Carleen Lyden-Kluss, co-founder and executive director of North American Marine Environment Protection Association, and Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, deputy commandant for operations, participate in a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2012. As part of the new partnership, the Coast Guard and NAMEPA will collaborate to create an elementary school curriculum that will focus on marine debris prevention. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

PHOTOGRAPH OF: Ms. Carleen Lyden-Kluss, co-founder and executive director of North American Marine Environment Protection Association(NAMEPA), and Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, deputy commandant for operations, shake hands during a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington Jan. 10, 2012. This partnership allows the Coast Guard to further its marine environmental protection mission and message through NAMEPA's strategic alliances with port captains, industry and maritime interests.
WASHINGTON - Ms. Carleen Lyden-Kluss, co-founder and executive director of North American Marine Environment Protection Association, and Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, deputy commandant for operations, shake hands during a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2012. This partnership allows the Coast Guard to further its marine environmental protection mission and message through NAMEPA's strategic alliances with port captains, industry and maritime interests. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard and the North American Marine Environment Protection Associationannounced an agreement to co-develop and implement outreach, training and educational materials aimed at reducing maritime pollution.
Under the memorandum of understanding, signed during a ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters, Jan. 10, the Coast Guard will expand its marine environmental protection education and outreach program within NAMEPA’s strategic alliances. Furthermore, the Coast Guard will collaborate with NAMEPA to develop an elementary school curriculum that will focus on reducing marine debris.
“NAMEPA is honored to be partnering with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary in our shared goal to ‘Save our Seas’,” said Carleen Lyden-Kluss, co-founder and executive director of NAMEPA. “Through this partnership, we will be able to join forces in promoting the reduction of marine debris, and help in the education of the public about the risks associated with careless disposal of litter. It is our hope that this initial effort will be followed by future projects which serve to protect our marine environment and promote respect and care for it.”
“By partnering with NAMEPA to increase outreach efforts to students who will be future stewards the world's ocean, we are fulfilling the Coast Guard’s maritime stewardship mission to protect our valuable marine environment.” said Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, the Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Operations.
Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
The United States Coast Guard -- Proud History. Powerful Future.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

GHOST NETS 2004-2009; Summary Report from Australia's northern shores

Article taken from GNA news issue 5 

Ghost Nets Australia (GNA) Summary Report
Between 2004 and 2009, Ghost Nets Australia (GNA) rangers removed and recorded 6,035 nets of varying sizes across approximately 1500km of north Australian coastline. The data that rangers recorded from these nets built into such a large database that GNA thought it was about time to get it published! So in the middle of this year, the data was collated into a summary report that gives an indication of the type and origins of the nets, as well as highlighting the impact that they have on the marine environment.

All this data highlighted distinct patterns showing the accumulation of nets in certain areas, or net ‘hotspots.’ These hotspots are predominantly found in the north-eastern and north-western corners of the Gulf and are the reason why the rangers in those areas are working so hard to clear their beaches!

By matching the nets found to examples in the ‘Net Kit’, compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an indication of both their type of fishery and the country from which they originated has been possible. 
The most frequently recorded nets were trawl nets and came from Taiwan and Indonesia.

Ghost nets are a threat to many marine animals, particularly turtles (of which six of the world’s seven species are found in north Australian waters).  The nets recorded by GNA contained fish, crabs, sharks, sea snakes, crocodiles, dugong and over 100 turtles.  Unfortunately, the true number of animals caught in nets could be expected to be significantly higher than that recorded, as the passage of time may see many of the trapped animals decay out of the net before they are found.

The results of the summary report confirm what rangers have been saying for many years - ghost nets are a huge problem in north Australia. It is only through the hard work that rangers do to record and remove the nets that people will understand the problem and change can happen.

The GhostNets team would like to send a big thank you to all the rangers who recorded this data, to everyone who helped put this document together and to those who have helped make the program a success. Copies of the 2004-2009 GNA Summary Report can be found on the GhostNets Australia

GHOST NETS AUSTRALIA: Dealing with debris

An article taken from GNA issue 5 here
From GNA newsletter here
Since 2010 Ghost Nets Australia (GNA) has expanded our work to a broader issue of marine debris, we did this as a normal response after clearing the beach of nets, naturally moving on to the rest of the rubbish brought in by the tides. In doing this we became part of a global movement to combat marine litter. 

We’ve discovered that this rubbish issue is bigger than our scope and wish to introduce a partner “Tangaroa Blue” who works with community groups to clean beaches and record information about this rubblish.  Heidi Taylor is the founder of Tangaroa Blue and talks about how her organisation came about;

Once you start picking up marine debris on the beach, it's hard to walk past any item that shouldn't be there. Back in 2004 walks along Ellensbrook Beach in the south west of Western Australia meant coming back with armfuls of rubbish, so we started taking bags with us, and always managed to fill those, and so we started organising beach clean ups. And guess what? We never come back with an empty rubbish bag.....

That's when Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care Society was formed and launched The Australian Marine Debris Initiative. And by 2011 more than 6500 volunteers along 500 coastal sites around  Australia have removed well over 650,000 bits of marine debris. Now not only did we want to remove the debris from the coast to ensure that it wouldn't entangle or be ingested by marine life and seabirds, but we collected data on exactly what we were finding, and this is all housed in the National Marine Debris Database.

The goal for the database is to provide information and evidence on what is being washed up at different sites around Australia and New Zealand, which can then be used to help trace the items back to the source, and ultimately to find practical ways of stopping those items from ending up in the marine enviornment in the first place.
Communities, industry groups, government agencies, schools and individual volunteers have joined the Australian Marine Debris Initiative by adopting a section of coastline on which to run regular marine debris monitoring clean ups and clean up materials, training & support and educational materials are all provided for those who register.

For more information on how to get involved visit or email

Teachers wishing to incorporate marine studies into their teaching plans AUSMEPA has units of work on Marine Stormwater Pollution here and Student Leadership here, which may assist in getting students working with community projects like these.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

PLANET ARK - helping everyone to make a difference

About Planet Ark's Environmental Campaigns (from their website here)

Planet Ark designs its campaigns so you can make a difference. Whether through recycling more, planting trees for treeday or changing to energy efficient lightglobes, small changes to individual behaviour add up to big savings for the environment.
Most of our campaigns have their own sites which provide detailed information, and focus on the ways you can make a difference. See the campaign pages fo a summary of each campaign and links to the campaign sites.

Aluminium Cans

Australians currently recycle over 2 billion aluminium cans each year. Find out more about Aluminium Cans and how you can help our environment

Business Recycling

The Business Recycling website is designed to make it easy for businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses, to find recycling services in their area.

Carbon Reduction Label

Planet Ark and the Carbon Trust have launched the Carbon Reduction Label in Australia. Planet Ark is working with businesses wanting to undertake carbon footprinting and labelling of their product.

'Cartridges 4 Planet Ark'

Australians send 34 printer cartridges to landfill every minute. We are determined to make our landfills the biggest loser by urging Australians to deprive their garbage bins of electronic waste.

Festive Recycling

Between Christmas, New Year and Australia Day Australians produce more recycling than any other time of the year. Which is why Planet Ark and Australia Post encouraging everyone to have a clean and green festive period.

National Recycling Week

Recycling aids in the fight against global warming by reducing the amount of new materials we use to sustain out lifestyle.

National Tree Day

National Tree Day, proudly sponsored by Toyota, is Australia's biggest community tree-planting event.

Make It Wood - Do Your World Some Good

When sourced responsibly, wood can play a big part in helping tackle climate change by storing carbon and through reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Make It Wood - Do Your World Some Good explains why and highlights how to choose the right wood.

Palm Oil Free

Palm Oil Free is Planet Ark's campaign to help stop deforestation in South East-Asia due to palm oil plantations, which are destroying the habit of the amazing Sumatran and Bornean orangutans as well as many other incredible birds, animals, plants and critters.

'PaperCutz 4 Planet Ark'

'PaperCutz 4 Planet Ark' aims to encourage people to switch from paper-based to electronic communications to save water, energy and resources used in paper production and distribution, as well as the solid waste and greenhouse gases emitted in the process.

Plastic Bag Reduction

Planet Ark led the National Plastic Bag Reduction Campaign in Australia from 2002 to 2005. Since then millions of Australians have embraced the use of reusable bags as part of their regular shopping habits.


RecyclingNearYou is your one stop shop for local recycling information.

Climate Change

While climate change may seem insurmountable the solutions don't necessarily have to involve radical changes to our lives, but rather, are achievable by working smarter and using our resources more efficiently.

Surface Tension Exhibition; Art, Science and open source solutions

Art communicates in a way that no other medium can, coupled with science it can yield remarkable innovations. An interesting integration of art and science is highlighted in the Science Gallery website here and more particularly in the Science Gallery Exhibition SURFACE TENSION; THE FUTURE OF WATER here.   

Many thanks to our  friend Cynthia Pannucci at Art & Science Collaborations, Inc (ASCI) here who brought this interesting exhibition to our attentionCynthia noted that "some of today's art-science practitioners are getting involved in open-source [free collaboration], practical, physical solutions to ocean issues like clean-up of oil spills, floating garbage, and heavy metals."
"Protei_002" is a prototype for a fleet of low-cost, articulated, DIY, semi-autonomous, oil-collecting sailboats. The full-sized boat pulls a sorbent boom, which absorbs oil off the top of water near spill sites. It is the first sailboat that can catch winds from both sides and can therefore sail upwind and intercept the oil sheens as they travel downwind. It can be controlled remotely and so does not endanger the health of operators via exposure to toxins. It can travel long distances from shore, work continuously during the day or night, and is much cheaper than existing skimming technologies. It is open source, making it possible for individuals to tailor the design to different functions, and to collaborate on its development.

"Protei_002" is included in the current exhibition, "Surface Tension: The Future of Water" at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

It's worth a look.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seagrass-Watch Magazines are now available online

Seagrass-Watch HQ announced that their popular magazine, most recent issue 44, is now available online  (click here)Both low and high resolution versions of the magazine are available.

"Seagrass meadows are being lost globally at unprecedented rates. Yet what we know about the consequences of this loss and its relationship with charismatic megafauna such as Sea Turtles is surprisingly limited. In this issue recent research is discussed that has sought to provide further understanding to the inter-relationship of Sea Turtles with seagrass.

The loss of seagrass in the Great Barrier Reef region due to cyclones and flooding has had evident impacts upon Sea Turtles. This issue describes the efforts of many volunteers and scientists to help save these turtles and how turtles undergo dietary shifts throughout their development that may help them survive this loss."

Review of GreenPort Congress - bridging communities

03 Jan 2012

Dimitrios Theologitis
Dimitrios Theologitis
PORTS ARE NOT ISLANDS. As European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas said recently “Ports are engines of economic development and sources of prosperity for our cities, regions and nations”.
To be sustainable, a green port must bridge between its many stakeholders in business and social communities and support knowledge sharing and cooperative innovation. This was a key theme running through the 6th Green Port Congress in Hamburg (14 and 15 September 2011) bringing together 200 delegates from nearly 30 countries.
Green Port? No longer a choice!
Being a green port is no longer a choice. Ports have a key contribution to make in the sustainability of the logistics chain and their communities. This was the message from the opening speakers.

Want to know more? Click here

Monday, January 2, 2012


Collaborative efforts like this are very heartening. Here is the latest news on the World Ocean Summit.
News Release

Global Ocean Conference to Examine Future Use and Governance of the Seas

30 November 2011 –
The Economist is organizing the “World Oceans Summit” (Singapore, 22-24 Feb 2012), which will bring together a program of more than 200 global leaders from various sectors and disciplines, including business, government, academia, international organizations and NGOs.
The World Ocean Council (WOC) is a member of the summit’s Advisory Board and the WOC Executive Director, Paul Holthus, is an invited plenary speaker. The WOC is working closely with The Economist to ensure the program for the gathering, their first ocean event, is balanced and includes solid representation from the ocean business community.
Several WOC Members are invited speakers, including: Spyros Polemis, Chairman, International Chamber of Shipping and Tim Smith, Chief Executive Officer, North Asia, Maersk Line. Other confirmed speakers include: Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank; Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Singapore; and Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
The summit will present a robust and objective multi-stakeholder examination of critical issues affecting the future of the seas such as:
  • How can the economic potential of the oceans be realized in a sustainable way?
  • What kind of global leadership and collaboration is needed to address the challenges of ocean sustainability?
  • Could new governance frameworks deliver better results for the oceans?
  • How can business take the lead in reducing the footprint of human activities in the oceans?
Please click here to download a copy of the latest summit program – or to register for the World Oceans Summit.
A registration rate discount of 20% is available to WOC Members (Corporate, Association and Affiliated Institution). For WOC Membership information, contact
For further information from The Economist, please contact Alice Wong(+852) 2585 3312 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (+852) 2585 3312      end_of_the_skype_highlighting  or

About the World Ocean Council (WOC)

The WOC is the only international, cross-sectoral alliance for private sector leadership and collaboration in “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”. Companies and associations worldwide are distinguishing themselves as leaders in ocean sustainability and stewardship by joining the WOC. Members to date include over 36 leadership organizations from a wide range of ocean industries: oil and gas, shipping, seafood, tourism, ocean technology, maritime law, marine environmental services and other areas.