Picture of the week: Submission

A nice scratch under the chin. Shark likes that.

Plastic Whaleproject

The plastic whale, a project of Skyscraper is meant to raise awareness of the tons of plastics drifting in the Oceans. Most of the plastic soup drifting in our  Oceans comes from countries in South East  Asia and South America. The primary target for environmentalists is convincing the involved countries to get rid of the landfills where massive plastic waste is swept by the wind into the sea. Another target has been, for almost two decades (with little result so far world-wide) to convince supermarkets (and even better: the consumers plastics industries) to ban plastic bags, plastic cotton buds,  replacing polystyrene pizza discs with cardboard,  using biodegradable cotton buds,  to name just a few. Stop using plastics bags (for good!) for your daily groceries is a simple step to make in the New Year, to ease your conscience.   


Chinese tourist divers reputation

Tourists at Bali Beach

Why are Chinese tourists and scubadivers abusive towards wildlife? Showing little respect for the underwater world and other divers. Breaking coral while taking selfies with their Gopros or  while rushing over the coral reef or shipwrecks. Scuba divers from China have the reputation of arriving and diving in groups, not always sufficiently instructed or supervised by the crew or dive masters. Demanding from the trip organizer ‘guaranteed’’ encounters with rare species such as mantas, dolphins or sharks. Insufficient training often causes dive accidents like a diver getting lost, caught in a current, or losing diving equipment.


News: Blue carbon a solution for Indonesia?

Blue carbon  is the carbon carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. The Blue Carbon Initiative currently focuses on carbon in coastal ecosystems - mangroves, tidal marshes, and seagrasses. Mangroves are tropical forests that thrive in salt water and found in a variety of coastal settings worldwide. Mangroves store greater amounts of carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, which helps reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In Indonesia, the shrimp farming boom triggered large-scale mangrove conversion to aquacultures in this country. In 30 year around  40% of Indonesian Mangroves around its numerous island have disappeared. Projects are being developed at sites to protect and restore coastal ecosystems for their blue carbon value. An example is the Surodadi project where attempts are made to protect the mangroves and stimulate new growth of colonies by building protective fences that prevent the mud to flow back to sea at low at low tides. Professor Daniel Murdiyarso is one of the researchers investigating deforestation of the Indonesia Mangroves around the island of Surodadi.

Is Indonesia able (=willing)  to incorporate the Blue Carbon initiative in its financial planning?  It already received 4.4. billion dollars from the UN to bring down the massive deforestation, the major cause of its super high CO2 emissions. While the result of this investment is not yet clear, Indonesia has planned to build some dozens of new coal plants in the coming year. 

News: Ocean Cleanup update

Wilson update The test model  System 001 is back to Port for repairs and upgrade

News: IVF to save bleaching GB reef corals

Coral spawning: a spectacular annual event.

ivf corals for the Reef: scientists from  Southern Cross University in Australia are undertaking the largest and most complicated coral regeneration attempt ever on the Great Barrier Reef that could help save the dying coral reefs in the northern sectors. This week they will collect millions of coral eggs and sperm during the annual and beautiful coral spawning event on the reef in the first step of the ambitious project. The grown larvae will be released after a couple of weeks on the damaged sites of the reef. see further: //edition.cnn.com/2018/06/08/australia/great-barrier-reef-coral-ivf-intl/index.html

Another project under study is to genetically engineer new coral species that are more resistant to rising sea water temperature levels. Similar to the Red Sea corals that are known to survive even much higher temperatures than those of the Barrier reef.