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Marine Resources

2018:  FEB

February 2018 Issue

Canada Protects Critical
Habitat for Eight Species

The government of Canada has signed eight Critical Habitat Orders under the Species at Risk Act. The approved orders will allow for further protection of eight at-risk species, including two whales (the North Atlantic right whale and beluga whale of the St. Lawrence Estuary), three fish species (spotted gar, eastern sand darter, Rocky Mountain sculpin), and one mollusc species (northern abalone). Also approved is the Proposed Critical Habitat Orders of the northern bottlenose whale and the lake chubsucker fish species.

A Critical Habitat Order focuses on protecting specific geographic locations and conditions essential for the survival and recovery of the species, such as where they give birth, hatch, feed or raise their young. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is especially concerned about the plight of the North Atlantic right whale following multiple mortalities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during the summer of 2017.

The Critical Habitat Order approved for the North Atlantic right whale will provide protection for the whale’s critical habitat in the Grand Manan Basin (Bay of Fundy) and the Roseway Basin (off southwestern Nova Scotia).

Open Ocean, VORTEX Partner
On Offshore Metocean

Open Ocean, which launched Metocean Analytics in 2015 to offer metocean studies on demand, teamed up with Spanish wind expert VORTEX to make Metocean Analytics a complete online solution for site analysis during offshore project development. Metocean Analytics is upgraded by including the SERIES and FARM solutions from VORTEX.

VORTEX is an independent private company that has been providing wind data and analysis to the wind energy sector since 2005.

Metocean Analytics simplifies and accelerates the analysis process for offshore development sites, providing average metocean conditions, extreme value analysis and operating weather windows.

UK Pledges Funds
To Fight Plastic Pollution

The U.K. will use funds from its foreign aid budget to fight plastic pollution in developing countries.

“We’ve all been very concerned by the pictures we’ve seen in recent months of the impact of pollution on marine life, the impact of plastic pollution,” U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said, according to UN Environment.

“We are looking at what more we can do and how we can use overseas aid money to ensure we’re... reducing this terrible pollution that is taking place and affecting marine life so devastatingly.”

The details of the U.K.’s pledge have not been announced yet. There are suggestions that the funds should be used on engineering, waste management strategies and innovative technology.

A new study by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, revealed that 90 percent of plastic waste entering the oceans comes from just 10 rivers, all in Africa and Asia.

Real-Time Data Reveal
Cause of Algal Bloom

Aptly described as “guacamole soup,” the 2016 algal bloom in Florida’s St. Lucie Estuary prompted a state of emergency in response to mounting health, environmental and economic concerns.

Sea-Bird Scientific’s Dr. Ian Walsh worked alongside scientists from Florida Atlantic University to study the bloom. Using real-time data from a network of land/ocean biogeochemical observatory (LOBO) systems, the scientists were able to determine probable causes of the algal bloom by utilizing real-time broadcasts of salinity, dissolved organic matter and nutrient data to trace the movement of water.

The result: high freshwater discharge from Lake Okeechobee into St. Lucie appeared to be “clogging” the natural exchange of freshwater and seawater, allowing blue-green algae to flourish in the trapped high-phosphate freshwater.

Real-time data can act as a lens to dynamic systems; as conditions change and variables interact with one another, up-to-date access to data is crucial for creating accurate models and making a timely response in a state of emergency. Access to a diverse array of sensors is crucial for piecing together a data-driven story.

Survey on LNG
As Marine Fuel

Over the last 12 months, the ECA regulations have continued to drive many decisions in the LNG market. As new LNG infrastructure became operational, and with further projects in the pipeline, LNG as a marine fuel has seen more traction with new LNG vessels on order.

Oil & Gas IQ surveyed more than 500 LNG specialists involved in the LNG bunkering supply chain to gain a deeper understanding of how the sector is continuing to move forward in challenging market conditions; as well as new opportunities and trends for the coming years.

This survey revealed that while the industry is on the cusp of dramatic change, it isn’t moving forward as fast as original predictions suggested. Slow infrastructure development, the regulatory landscape and competition from alternative fuels are all contributing to the challenges in the sector.

Respondents highlighted that alongside lower costs, technological innovation and partnerships are critical to driving LNG forward as the fuel of the future.

2018:  FEB

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