The MAP News
Mangroves Can Counter Ocean Acidification
AUSTRALIA - Researchers discovered that mangrove forests can buffer ocean acidification because they are known to increase the alkalinity of the waters surrounding these ecosystems. The alkaline solutions can counter acidification. The study was printed in Global Biogeochemical Cycles on May 24, 2016. It was authored by James Z. Sippo, Douglas R. Tait, Damien T. Maher and Ceylena Holloway from Southern Cross University, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Lismore and National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, Australia. Ocean acidification can harm the ecosystem just like the "climate change." It is actually referred to as the evil twin of climate change. About one-quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas doesn't remain in the air, rather it disperses in the ocean. This decreases pH in a process called ocean acidification. READ MORE
'Zombie corals' pose new threat to world's reefs
AUSTRALIA - Zombie corals, which look healthy but cannot reproduce, have been discovered by researchers, dashing hopes that such reefs could repopulate areas destroyed by bleaching. Scientists have also found that a common ingredient in sunscreen is killing and mutating corals in tourist spots. The new evidence of harm to corals comes as the most widespread coral bleaching event in recorded history is sweeping the world’s oceans. Water temperatures have been driven up by a run of record-breaking hot years, caused by climate change and the El Niño phenomenon. Very warm water causes corals to lose the algae that normally live inside them and help them feed. Corals in every major reef region have already experienced severe bleaching. About 93% of the reefs on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have been affected, and almost a quarter of the reef is now dead. Corals are hotspots of biodiversity and crucial nurseries for fish, upon which 1 billion people rely for nourishment. READ MORE
Exotic honeybees are the only effective pollinators of a temperate mangrove
AUSTRALIA - A few years ago I was approached by Tyge Hermansen, a postgraduate student based at University of Wollongong. He had been making extensive observations on pollinators visiting flowering Avicennia marina, one of two mangrove species found around Sydney. He was trying to determine what organisms were the key pollinators of the mangroves, especially in urban areas where they are now isolated from other patches of native vegetation. He needed assistance identifying insects that he caught while making these observations, both through Museum staff and associates, and from comparison against our collection. As we went through his samples he started talking about his observation that very few of the insects collected at the flowers were transferring any pollen at all, and the vast majority of the insects that did move pollen between flowers in a way that resulted in pollination were introduced honeybees, Apis mellifera. READ MORE
Vietnam shrimp farming sector crushed by drought, lack of regulation
VIETNAM - The prolonged drought and subsequent saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam have damaged more than 81,000 hectares of shrimp breeding ponds in eight provinces, according to that country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). Farmers in Ca Mau Province in the very south of the country, where most of the big shrimp farmers are located, have suffered the biggest losses, followed by farmers and breeders in Kien Giang, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces. Losses incurred in Ca Mau are estimated at VND 260 billion (USD 11.6 million, EUR 10.4 million). Most of the farmers in Ca Mau import shrimp larvae from central Vietnam, where the breeding stations are situated – around Cam Rhanh and Nha Trang. These are sent down to Ca Mau, but can’t survive when the salinity is too high as it is due to the drought. READ MORE
New plans to restore Pulau Ubin and support biodiversity on the island
SINGAPORE - Plans to restore the shoreline on northern Pulau Ubin, build a coastal boardwalk and support the recovery of endangered plants and animals on the island were revealed on Sunday morning. Announcing these initiatives at Pulau Ubin, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee said more must be done to protect the rich biodiversity teeming on Pulau Ubin. Noting that the island has over 720 native plant species and over 500 animal species, including some not found on mainland Singapore, he said: "This is remarkable, but we must do more. "We have plans to restore Ubin's eroding shoreline, which will serve as a base for more of Pulau Ubin's flora and fauna to be restored in the near future." Shoreline restoration was one of the earliest priorities for The Ubin Project, announced in 2014 to generate ideas from the public on how to sustain Ubin's special character. Erosion has badly affected about 40m of the northern part of the island, destroying the habitats of critically endangered species like the Eye of the Crocodile tree and leading to the closure of Noordin Beach - a popular camping site - in 2013 for public safety. READ MORE
26th August marks the 10th anniversary of Phulbari Day
BANGLADESH - This 26th August marks the 10th anniversary of Phulbari Day - the day of rage and the day when three people were killed in the name of dirty coal. In Bangladesh and London, we will be mourning for those killed whilst celebrating ten years of halt to the project. Spectacular start to the Break Free 2016 of global actions against dangerous fossil fuel projects, as Reclaim the Power shut down the biggest open cast coal mine in the UK, in Merthyr Tydfil. Local people explain why so many people oppose an expansion of the mine, and how thousands more jobs could be created in renewables than the paltry 150 at the mine. The German protest was a massive success with over four thousands people joining the march to shut down open cast coal mine. Also the powerful protest in South Wales, which took place between 30 April and 4 May. The Phulbari story comes at the end. READ MORE
The Environmental Web Tool
CAMBODIA - Cambodia suffers from one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, with an average of one percent of the country’s forest lost each year. But in an initiative funded by USAID Supporting Forests and Biodiversity (SFB), Winrock International hopes to help solve the problem by launching a free web-based tool aimed at informing environmental policymakers and citizens about the estimated impact of land use policies to the environment. The Watershed Environmental Services Tool (WESTool) is an interactive mapping instrument that compiles published scientific data and water models to estimate how historic and future land usage impacts the environment – from its effects on carbon emissions and soil to people and economies. The tool is designed to help policymakers better understand and measure the costs associated with land development and the long-term effects those decisions will have, not only on surrounding ecosystems, but throughout the country. Michael Netzer, a program officer and ecosystem services analyst at Winrock, highlighted the importance of maintaining a balance between ecosystems and the people and processes which alter them. READ MORE
Mangroves vital for marine ecosystem
INDIA - It is essential to declare mangroves reserve forests in view of their enormous importance in maintaining the marine ecosystem, according to experts. They expressed the opinion at a two-day seminar on mangrove conservation, which concluded here on Thursday. It was organised by the Centre for Mangroves and Coastal Ecology. K Kathiresan of the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology at the Annamalai University said mangroves are ecologically significant and economically important for preserving coastal biodiversity, protecting the coastlines and for increasing fish catch. India has a total area of 4,740 sq km under mangroves, with more than 4,000 species, and “what is required is the restoration of ecosystem services of mangrove areas, with community participation, financial support and strong political will.” P Balakiran, District Collector of Kannur in Kerala, narrated his efforts and travails in getting 600 acres of mangrove area notified and emphasised the need for declaring mangrove areas as reserve forests to protect them. Many lands under mangroves were in private possession and they should also be bought and conserved, he added. He said he had bought 1,200 acres from private owners in Kannur district at ₹2 lakh per acre to conserve mangroves. READ MORE
Community Groups, Scientists Partner To Restore Saint Lucia Mangroves
SAINT LUCIA - Officers from the departments of forestry and fisheries, together with Saint Lucia National Trust staff and residents of Vieux Fort and Praslin, recently joined regional experts to establish mangrove nurseries to help replenish the island's critically threatened wetlands. "Some persons in Saint Lucia understand the value of healthy mangroves, while others still regard it as swampland. However, with support from the communities and partners in Vieux Fort and Praslin, there is a sense of hope," said Alleyne Regis of PCI Media Impact, who is leading the community engagement. "It is refreshing to see the survival and sustainability of such a valuable plant species be embraced by the communities," he added. An initiative of the Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network, the project is to see the establishment of two temporary nurseries, as well as the training of community representatives and more than 10 forestry and fisheries officers. READ MORE
Why Is Asian Seafood Farming A Cause For Concern!
USA - While naturally occurring shrimps from the ocean are very healthy, the same cannot be said about shrimps bred in fish farms particularly in the Asian part of this world. In a study conducted about 60% of 342 samples of frozen shrimp collected were contaminated with vibrio, salmonella, e.coli or listeria. They also had traces of the following antibiotics; sulfa, enrofloxacin and oxytetracycline. The countries that export shrimp to the U.S which include; Vietnam, India, Thailand and Indonesia have crowded and highly polluted seafood farming conditions which further increases the spread of diseases in the seafood and the overuse of antibiotics only contaminates the seafood even more. A study carried out by Consumer Report, wild shrimps from Argentina and the United States have the lowest bacteria levels of all the samples collected from around the world. READ MORE
Activists Fight to Save Cancun’s Mangrove Forests
MEXICO - Tiny green sprouts push past the rubble weeks after bulldozers razed a mangrove forest that lined the Mexican coast in Cancun. A recovery was beginning as birds and reptiles slowly repopulated the area, but the fight wasn’t over to save the Tajamar Mangrove from becoming offices buildings, apartments or stores in the resort town. Hundreds of citizens and activists worked for years to protect the thriving mangrove forest, but in the predawn hours of January 16 2016 developers destroyed about 110 acres for the new development– Malecón Tajamar. Immediately the loss was felt by the community. A federal judge halted construction after developers failed to follow the law that required the relocation of all endangered species. Activists with the Salvemos Manglar Tajamar stand guard, preventing developers from pouring concrete and continuing their work. “The project is stopped for now and that keeps us tranquil but we are still vigilant,” said Cristina Sardaneta, an activist for the group Salvemos Manglar Tajamar. READ MORE
My name is Maria Savage. I'm the most recent intern for MAP in Thailand. It is my first day on the job and my first full day in Thailand. I am feeling worlds away from my Country and am very excited for whats to come.
I am a Canadian citizen born and raised in Newfoundland, so I am no stranger to rain, wind and coastlines. I have a love for the ocean and am currently working towards a B. Tech in Marine Environmental.
I will be volunteering for MAP until mid August. I am looking forward to gaining and sharing knowledge about amazing mangroves.
MAP-Asia Office Development & Field Project Assistant (Intern)
Mangrove Action Project (MAP)
MAP - Asia Office
B-206 Yaotak Building
Amphur Muang, Trang 92000
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Thursday, June 23, 2016
MAP News Issue 393, June 25, 2016
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:05 PM