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July 2016 Issue


Coralpalooza Held in
Florida Keys

In recognition of World Oceans Day in June, Key Largo’s Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) hosted its second annual Coralpalooza that month, inviting volunteer recreational divers to assist in promoting ocean preservation.

Hands-on dive activities included helping CRF staff and interns in underwater coral nurseries, out-planting corals to Upper Keys reefs and monitoring the wellness of corals in existing colonies.

Over 1,000 divers participate in the CRF recreational dive programs every year. In 2015, CRF’s restoration efforts resulted in over 22,500 corals out-planted along Florida Keys reefs.


$2.4 Million Grant
For Alaska Salmon Research

A $2.4 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis (NCEAS) will fund a project to bring together data across the sciences to gain a clearer picture of the salmon system in Alaska.

NCEAS will work in partnership with Anchorage-based Nautilus Impact Investing, along with a diverse coalition of Alaskan and national salmon experts to synthesize vast amounts of social, economic, ecological and related information.

The project will answer key questions, such as the potential impacts of climate change on salmon in Alaska, and examine the global role and interconnectedness of Alaskan salmon stocks from biological, social and economic perspectives.


Report Finds Shortage
In Number of Seafarers

Launched at the International Maritime Organization, the latest five-year BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report forecasts a serious future shortage in the supply of seafarers. The report identifies a shortfall of about 16,500 officers and a need for an additional 147,500 officers by 2025 to service the world merchant fleet.

The report suggests that in the past five years the industry has made good progress with increasing recruitment and training levels and reducing officer wastage (i.e., retaining qualified seafarers and increasing the number of years they serve at sea).

While the global supply of officers is forecast to increase steadily, it is expected to be outpaced by increasing demand. Some officer categories are in especially short supply, including engineer officers at management level and officers needed for specialized ships such as chemical, LNG and LPG carriers.


Record Manatee Count
In Jacksonville

The number of manatees in local waters surged to the highest single-day counts since surveys by Jacksonville University (JU) researchers began more than two decades ago, rising 15 percent to 217 over the previous record of 189 in 2012.

Aerial surveys conducted of the Lower St. Johns River Basin and the Intracoastal Waterway showed a revival in numbers reflecting a statewide trend, likely due to stronger state regulations and more boating speed zones, said Dr. Gerry Pinto, a research scientist with the JU Marine Science Research Institute, which performs the counts under contract with the city of Jacksonville in support of the Jacksonville Manatee Protection Plan in Florida.

The single-day count for the two water areas was 155 in 2013, 185 in 2014 and 169 in 2015. The low point for the survey was 2009, when just 73 manatees were counted in both survey areas, likely due to a drought that raised salinity levels in the river, which can kill the grass beds manatees feed on and cause them to move upstream.

The survey follows an annual statewide Florida count in February of a record 6,250 manatees, conducted only a few weeks after the federal government announced it planned to remove the state’s signature sea mammal from the endangered species list. That proposal is still under review.


Australia Removed From
World Heritage Site Report

There are more than 1,000 world heritage sites in 163 countries, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate Report”. One of the sites highlighted in a draft of the report was the Great Barrier Reef, containing the world’s largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusk.

The original report contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, which described climate change as the biggest threat to the reef, requiring a response if the reef is to remain a world heritage site.

However, Australia’s Department of Environment asked that the section be removed because it could cause confusion regarding the conservation status of the Great Barrier Reef and could hurt tourism. Through diplomatic pressure, mentions of Australia were removed by UNESCO from the report.


US IOOS QARTOD
Releases New QC Manual

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Quality Control/Quality Assurance of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) project has released its latest manual providing guidance for the quality control of high-frequency (HF) radar surface currents data. Experts from universities, oceanographic research institutions, HF radar manufacturers and NOAA developed the manual. Reviewers from the U.S., Australia, Germany and Canada provided additional content and valuable suggestions during the review process.

The manual describes 17 different tests that can be conducted in real time to help data providers (operators) assess the quality of their data. Each test includes instructions that a computer programmer needs to develop code that is used within an automated software program to flag data that do not meet specified criteria.

Three major HF radar systems are used around the world: the CODAR Ocean Systems SeaSonde, the Wellen Radar (WERA) system and the Least-Expensive Radar (LERA) system. The manual addresses QC of data from all three manufacturers and makes distinctions about which tests work for specific systems.


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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.