Ocean Action Hub

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Canada Just Turned 165,000 Square Miles of Ocean Into a Sanctuary

31 Oct 2019 - Canada is creating marine sanctuaries in the Arctic Ocean. The Tuvaijuittuq and Tallurutiup Imanga conservation efforts could help tackle climate change.

31 Oct 2019 - Canada is creating two marine sanctuaries in the Arctic Ocean. The conservation efforts, called Tuvaijuittuq and Tallurutiup Imanga, could help tackle climate change and protect ecosystems.

The ice in the Arctic keeps polar regions cool and helps keep the global climate at a safe temperature. As the climate crisis worsens, the Arctic heats up twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

This leads to the loss of sea ice, which exacerbates climate change and puts countless species at risk.

National Geographic reports that the new sanctuaries will cover 165,000 square miles of ocean. They will protect 14 percent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas, surpassing the country’s goal of protecting 10 percent of these areas by next year.

‘The Place Where The Ice Never Melts’

The largest sanctuary is called the Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area. The government will form it on the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. It will prevent new human activities from beginning in the area for up to five years, with the possibility of an extension of this time period. Exceptions can be made for conservation research and activities related to emergencies.

Tuvaijuittuq means “the place where the ice never melts” in Inuktitut, one of the main Inuit languages in Canada. The the region retains its ice all year round. A study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters estimates that climate change will cause all of the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice to melt within the next 20 years. Experts predict the Tuvaijuittuq region will be the last to keep its sea ice throughout the summer, meaning it could act as a summer habitat for ice-dependent species like polar bears, seals, and walruses, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut, “Freezing any new human activities will help ensure the ice that never melts will remain true to its name.”

The government just completed another sanctuary — called the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area —  after years of development. It’s located in the south of Ellesmere Island.

Tallurutiup Imanga provides habitat to 75 percent of the world’s narwhals and 20 percent of Canada’s belugas. It’s also home to the largest population of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic as well as walruses, bowhead whales, and seabirds.

CONTINUE READING: https://www.livekindly.co/canada-designates-miles-arctic-ocean-sanctuary/

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12 Apr 2018 - Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit focusing on marine conservation, has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of the overwhelming plastic pollution of the ocean.

12 Apr 2018 - Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit focusing on marine conservation, has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of the “overwhelming plastic pollution of the ocean,” the organization said in a press release.

The campaign was created by FF New York and is a visual, “dreamlike and colorful” representation intended to “highlight the sad reality of sea animals trapped in plastic waste.”

Some areas of the sea are so polluted that patches of plastic are as large as entire countries. More than one million marine animals are trapped in this plastic and inevitably die every year.

The CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Captain Alex Cornelissen, said: “Plastics are invading the oceans on an unprecedented scale. Like an invasive species, it is wiping out ocean wildlife and taking over its habitat.”

“Humans are to blame for the introduction of this most lethal substance and if we don’t stop its progress, soon the oceans will contain more plastic by sheer weight than all animal life combined.”

“But we can turn the tides, we can stop this invasion. What we have caused, we now have to fix. Stop the production and use of single-use plastics.”

As awareness surrounding these issues grows, more is being done to manage and solve the problems. The UK’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced intentions to ban plastic straws throughout England. Each straw takes more than 500 years to break down, yet every day, over 500 million straws are used and thrown away.

The ban will see bars, restaurants, and supermarkets across the nation cease distribution and selling of straws. Similarly, Taiwan recently announced plans to eradicate single-use plastics by 2030. The ban will include plastic bags, disposable cutlery, straws, and plastic cups and is intended to “create a better environment for future generations.”

Data from last week suggested that these political efforts are working. The study, which spanned over a 25-year period, discovered there was a 30% drop in plastic bags found on seabeds nearby locations which had implemented plastic bag taxes. The Guardian said this indicates that “behavioural and legislative changes could reduce the problem of marine litter.”

Captain Cornelissen said: “Together we can clean the oceans and together we can make sure that what we take out, stays out.”

CONTINUE READING: https://www.livekindly.co/sea-shepherd-launch-campaign-protect-marine-li...