ICRI News

Monaco — Ocean acidification poses a growing threat to coastal communities and needs to be on the agenda of any global climate deal, said speakers at a conference hosted by the IAEA this week. The three-day workshop, organized by the IAEA’s International Ocean Acidification Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) and the Scientific Centre of Monaco, aims to determine avenues for bringing ocean acidification forward as a dimension of a future climate deal. The participants are looking at the science of ocean acidification, the effects it has on communities and the actions policy makers can take to address it.

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 8, 2015 – A few years ago, Sudirman was a fisherman in Wakatobi, Sulawesi. He did not bring home enough income, so he took on part-time jobs.

Today, Sudirman owns a small ecotourism business, providing diving equipment and underwater guided tours for tourists. Life for him and his family is now much better.

“There were times before when we weren’t sure if we had enough food to eat. Now I can afford my children’s education needs, and more,” he said proudly.

November 4, 2014, Tela, Honduras - More than 60 marine conservation leaders from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras gathered last week in Tela, Honduras to jointly develop the 2015 Mesoamerican Reef Report Card, which will be released in early 2015. Convened by the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), this collaborative meeting was an opportunity for HRI partners to share regional data, reflect on conservation achievements and identify strategic measurable actions to advance conservation over the next two years.

The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed today, adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives.

In a new report launched today at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, held in Athens, Greece, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that the deforestation of the planet’s mangroves was exceeding average global forest loss by a rate of three to five times, resulting in economic damages of up to $42 billion annually and exposing ecosystems and coastal habitats to an increased risk of devastation from climate change.

The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released two reports on "Ecologically or Biological Significant Areas (EBSAs): Special places in the world's oceans," which describe areas that meet EBSA criteria from the Western South Pacific and from the Wider Caribbean and Western Mid-Atlantic. The reports identify ocean areas "that are most crucial to the health functioning of the global marine ecosystem," with the aim of identifying areas in which to focus and prioritize marine conservation and management.

On Sunday 14th September, five species of sharks and two manta ray species received protection under the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) when formal measures to regulate their international trade come into effect.

The five sharks and two manta rays species include Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna lewini, Great Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna mokarran, Smooth Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna zygaena, Oceanic Whitetip Shark Carcharinus longimanus, Porbeagle Shark Lamna nasus and manta rays Manta spp.

All the sharks except Porbeagle are caught for their fins, which are exported to East Asia, especially Hong Kong, where they are the key ingredient in sharks-fin soup, an expensive, but popular delicacy.

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