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Marine Resources


August 2014 Issue

BMB Partners With MBCORC to Boost Marine Science Industry
Brand Monterey Bay (BMB) and the Monterey Bay Crescent Ocean Research Consortium (MBCORC) are exploring opportunities together for accelerating the development of the marine science industry in the Monterey Bay region and commercializing its technology, products, service and educational clusters.

BMB and MBCORC will promote Monterey Bay’s marine science industry and will use Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial infrastructure to identify, support and implement the commercialization of the regions’ products, services and technology to the global marketplace.

UK Crown Estate Approves Wave and Tidal Energy Sites
The U.K. Crown Estate confirmed leasing agreements for new wave and tidal stream energy sites, and plans for a future leasing round for tidal range projects. The leasing agreements will help bring forward five new wave and tidal stream project sites, where arrays of marine energy devices totaling up to 30 megawatts could be deployed.

The Crown Estate has also confirmed seabed rights for six new wave and tidal stream demonstration zones to facilitate innovation and commercialization of new wave and tidal stream technologies. Local organizations will be able to manage and sublet parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers.

There are also plans for a leasing process later this summer for tidal range projects, which will use a barrage to capture the rising tide, and then run the captured water through a turbine as the tide recedes to generate electricity.

Squid Tentacles’ Could Replace Fossil Fuel-Based Products
Squid tentacles have hundreds of suction cups. Each sucker has a ring of razor-sharp “teeth.” In a study published in the journal ACS Nano, researchers report that the proteins in these teeth could form the basis for a new generation of strong but malleable materials that could be used as artificial ligaments, scaffolds to grow bone, and materials for packaging, substituting for fossil fuel-based products.

The researchers discovered that squid sucker ring teeth (SRT) are made entirely of proteins. The team had already identified one “suckerin” protein and deciphered its genetic code. This protein could be remolded into different shapes. The study identified 37 additional SRT proteins from two squid species and a cuttlefish.

Mare Nostrum Project Wants Standardized Coastlines
The EU-funded Mare Nostrum Project is calling on the governments of EU countries to establish a task force to propose uniform criteria and methods for delineating their coastlines. There are currently major disparities in the legal and cadastral rules defining the line between sea and coast.

For example, in Greece only about 20 percent of the coast has been demarcated, sporadically and at different times, often based on landowners’ complaints about uncertainties. By contrast, in Spain, some 97 percent of the coastal demarcation has been completed. However, Spain’s laws create an inherently fluid line, which must be altered according to major storms. This has instant implications for private and public land ownership and major uncertainties for municipalities, landowners and enforcement agencies.

The differences in demarcation criteria have immense implications for key policies in the Barcelona Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and other EU and national laws such as the definition of a public property zone along the coast, the prohibition of construction within a setback zone, the control of planning and development, and environmental controls.

Reefs May Vanish in 20 Years Without Strong Protections
With only about one-sixth of original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the report “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012.

Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1970s, but restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts.

The report shows that the loss of parrotfish and sea urchin has been the key driver of coral decline in the region. The loss of these species allows algae, on which they feed, to smother the reefs.

$1.7 Million in Grants Available for US Maritime Preservation
The National Park Service, in partnership with the Maritime Administration, has made available $1.7 million in grant funding through its Maritime Heritage Program for projects that teach about and/or preserve sites and objects related to U.S. maritime history. Details of the grant program are available online. Applications will be accepted through September 23.

The grants are available to state, tribal and local governments, and private nonprofit organizations. Education projects will be funded in amounts between $25,000 and $50,000; preservation projects will be funded in amounts between $50,000 and $200,000.

Possible Tidal Energy Plant to be set up in Florida Current
Minesto (Västra Frölunda, Sweden), developer of the tidal and ocean current power plant Deep Green (Sea Technology, April 2014), has signed a memorandum of understanding with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to examine the technical, environmental and economic feasibility to install demonstration and commercial power plants in the Florida Current.

FAU is home to the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC), a federal U.S. research and testing center with the mission to help accelerate the commercial realization of marine renewable energy recovery, with a focus on the Gulf Stream, which can supply 30 percent of power consumption in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The potential in the Florida Current could be 4 to 6 gigawatts, comparable with two to five large nuclear power plants.


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