(Image Source: Nick Murray)
Seabird dive The global seabird population may have fallen by almost 70 per cent since 1950, a new study suggests.
The study, published recently in PLOS ONE, analysed data on 162 species, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population.
They found the population of those species had declined overall by 69.7 per cent between 1950 and 2010.
"It's an awful lot," says co-author ecologist Dr Edd Hammill of the University of Technology, Sydney.
"The level of decline is considerably greater than what we were expecting."
The researchers argue this finding can be extrapolated to the global seabird population because the sample used was large and all the world's ecosystems were represented.
"Every continent is represented, every coastline of every continent is represented as well," says Hammill.
Hammill says a "back of the envelope" calculation suggests over a billion birds have been lost globally during the study period.
Even within the 162 species the fall in numbers is still staggering, he says.
"69 per cent equates to the loss of about 230 million birds," says Hammill.
Previous research has focussed on particular seabird species of interest - "something's that charismatic or catches the public's eye", says Hammil.
"No one has essentially tried to do the entire globe in one go and treat every single species as equal."
The researchers compiled a database of global seabird population records, and used modelling to estimate the overall population trend.
For the last 18 months Surf Coast Environmental Group, Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment (SANE) have been working with Coastcare, Parks Victoria and other groups to produce an educational film that showcases the natural beauty at Bells Beach and the Point Addis Marine National Park.
Produced by Angel Point Media the film includes rare and unique underwater footage of the Point Addis Marine National Park and human activities that are having a negative impact on the terrestrial and marine environments. The film narrated by Jo Ludrooke, also features archive photographs and delivers a number of simple messages outlining how visitors to Bells Beach and the Point Addis MNP can protect the environment or get involved in volunteer conservation and marine programs at the local level.
Late last week we learnt that hired corporate lobbyists are in Canberra right now having meeting after meeting with OUR Members of Parliament to prevent the declaration of sanctuaries for our South West marine life.
The industry knows how powerful our efforts have been in calling for marine sanctuaries, so they have brought in hired guns to stop us just one step short of creating an historic legacy for our marine life.
We can't let them win.
We need you to make just one call today to leave a message for your local MP letting them know you want marine sanctuaries. This will get the message through to the Environment Minister Tony Burke and tip the decision over the line.
Find your MP here and an easy 'how to' guide here.
If you wanted to send an even more powerful and convincing message to your MP then deliver your message in person by requesting a meeting when you call.
WASHINGTON, DC, February 24, 2011 (ENS) - At least 75 percent of the world's coral reefs are under such intense pressures - both local and global - that their very survival is threatened, finds the most detailed assessment of threats to coral reefs ever undertaken, published on Wednesday.
If these pressures continue unchecked, more than 90 percent of reefs will be threatened by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050, according to the "Reefs at Risk Revisited" report.
NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, left, and report co-author WRI's Lauretta Burke at the launch event in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael Oko courtesy WRI)
UPDATE 2, October 2011
A lot has been happening with the campaign as we work with the community, government and industry to bring in container deposits. But first - your letters and postcards have been sent to the various environment ministers in Australia. Over 26 councils from around Australia have also been distributing postcards - suggest your council does too. From discussions with government officials we know that they are taking notice - several thousand have been sent so far. The constant mailings help keep the pressure up. As you may have heard Coca Cola have threatened to take the Northern Territory government to court over the 2012 introduction of a container deposit system (CDS). Coke is known around the world as an opponent of CDS. However their tactic has backfired by sparking a call to boycott Coke products in the NT. They got a great deal of bad publicity. Fortunately the NT government was able to protect their scheme for the next 12 months by a special regulation - but undoubtedly Coke will still seek to oppose the CDS. The next major development will be the publishing of the impact statement on new national packaging measures. Container deposits is being assessed but less reliable, low return options from the beverage industry are also included. We are expecting a major push by Coke and their allies as well as senior departmental advisers to environment ministers, to drop the CDS option from further discussion. The impact statement will be appearing soon.
We have a big fight on our hands over coming months.
SANE Meeting Wednesday 14/9/11 at Patagonia 5.30pm
Present: Cara, Tess, Andrew, Chris, Kester, Graeme, Charles.
Apologies: Gordon, Kev.
Our meeting was held at Patagonia on the Surfcoast Highway, Torquay. Cara, the store manager from Patagonia, said staff are keen to assist SANE with their efforts in conservation activities. This included things like working bees and membership promotion.. After discussing the idea over the last couple of weeks it was decided that rather than expand our terrestrial works program, it might be valuable to explore a ‘marine’ subgroup in SANE. Consequently it was decided to invite Andrew Gray, the Coast Care co-ordinator for this region to present at the SANE committee meeting. The following Minutes are a record of that meeting:
Warming Oceans Encourage Explosion of Dangerous Bacteria
BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 13, 2011 (ENS) - Climate change is warming ocean waters, causing the spread of bacteria predicted to cost millions in health care as people are exposed to contaminated food and water and to marine diseases at work or at play.
The warning is expressed in a paper released today by European scientists in advance of a two-day conference in Brussels on the effects of climate change on the marine environment.
Project CLAMER, which stands for Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystem Research, a collaboration of 17 European marine institutes, issued the 200-page synthesis of more than 100 EU-funded projects published since 1998, together with a public opinion survey, a new book based on the scientific findings, and a major new documentary film to be featured at CLAMER's meeting September 14-15 in Brussels.
(Vibrio electron microscope image by Janice Carr courtesy CDC)