PEMSEA E-Update for March 2018

Welcome to the March edition of PEMSEA’s E-Update! With 2018 now well underway, we’re busy with preparations for the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress happening in November 2018, as well as looking forward to PEMSEA’s 25th anniversary. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@PEMSEA) for the latest updates.

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Kimberly-Clark, PEMSEA, The Coca-Cola Company and The DOW Chemical Company join Closed Loop Ocean to reduce ocean plastics

Together with Kimberly-Clark, The Coca-Cola Company & The Dow Chemical Company, PEMSEA joins Closed Loop Ocean, an initiative to develop a new funding mechanism to prevent plastic waste from leaking into the world’s oceans. PEMSEA and the other partner organizations will help Closed Loop Ocean bring in additional investment and understand the local market and supply chain dynamics to address the issue of ocean plastic pollution.

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DENR, PEMSEA step up preparations for 2018 East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress

Preparations for this year’s sixth East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress, with the theme “25 Years of Partnerships for Healthy Oceans, People and Economies: Moving as One with the Global Ocean Agenda”, are in full swing. Learn more about the different events and activities planned for the upcoming EAS Congress, and how you can participate!

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Government of Abu Dhabi announced as host of World Ocean Summit 2019
The Economist’s World Ocean Summit took place in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, from 7-9 March. Among other outputs, this summit saw the launch of the World Ocean Initiative, aimed at translating the impact of these summits into year-round programmes. The next summit will be held in Abu Dhabi from 5-7 March 2019.

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Only 12 vaquita porpoises remain, watchdog group reports
It is estimated there are only 12 vaquita porpoises remaining in the Gulf of California, down from 30 last year. Their extinction is being driven by illegal gillnet fishing for totoaba fish, spurred in large part by market demand from China. The vaquita may become the second cetacean species to become extinct in modern times, following the baiji, which was declared functionally extinct in 2006.

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Mindanao coastlines under coral bleaching alert
Using satellite data from NOAA, Philippine Coral Bleaching Watch announced that most of southern Mindanao’s corals were under a Bleeding Alert Watch for this summer due to high temperatures. It is hoped that the La Niña effect will dampen any damaging impacts.

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Mangrove deforestation emits as much CO2 as the entire economy of Myanmar each year
Globally, mangroves represent one of the key ecosystems for carbon storage. Despite this and other benefits they provide, mangrove coverage is in decline, with 24 million tons of CO2 released every year as a result of this deforestation, equivalent to the annual emissions of Myanmar.

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Cambodia creates its first marine national park where pirate fishers prowl
Cambodia established its first marine national park, covering 524km2, in February. It is built upon an area of existing fishing restrictions, but is in danger of having no immediate enforcement increases and no halt to development in an area that already suffers from high levels of illegal fishing.

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‘Paris of the oceans’ pact crucial to save seas, says WWF head
WWF International President Pavan Sukhdev called for an agreement on ocean protection with the scope and ambition of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Overfishing, climate change, and pollution are among the issues that need to be tackled to avoid extreme negative environmental and social impacts.

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Industrial fishing occupies a third of the planet
Using satellites to track the activity of an estimated 75% of global fishing vessels, the Pristine Oceans project found that over 55% of the ocean’s surface is industrially fished. Fishing in the high seas is dominated by a mere handful of countries, most from the East Asian region, and is noticeably impacted by holidays and seasonal fishing moratoriums.

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Maritime clusters and ocean sustainable development: WOC analysis and recommendations
A newly-released paper by the World Ocean Council (WOC) and Economic Transformations Group (ETG) focuses on the use of Ocean/Marine clusters in the development of a blue economy. Such clusters can lead to sustainable development of the economy while maintaining environmental protection and increasing social value.

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Finding the right 10% for marine protection
Coastal countries are committed under Aichi Target 11 to protect 10% of their marine territory by 2020. While the math is easy, finding the best coverage requires detailed understanding of local biodiversity. GRID-Arendal with the BlueRidge Project have developed a tool combining geomorphology with global habitat data to analyze the contents of Marine Protected Areas.

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Ocean plastic could triple in decade
A UK government study predicted that if current trends continue, ocean plastics will reach three times their 2015 levels by 2025.

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Make for the Planet calls for applications
Join Conservation X Labs for its “Make for the Planet” competition during the 5th International Marine Conservation Congress in Sarawak, Malaysia June 24-29. The competition invites conservationists, engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, and technologists to propose tech-enabled solutions to challenging marine conservation problems. Applications are open until April 1, 2018.

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Ho Chi Minh City looks to develop sea-based economy
Efforts to develop a sea-based economy are included in Ho Chi Minh City’s development plan. In addition to increasing shipping capacity to become an industrial and transport waterhub, other areas being examined include agricultural tourism, aquaculture, sea

Webinar: Building a sustainable seafood supply chain in Asia

Join this free webinar, part of our Blue Economy webinar series, on Wednesday, 28 March. Led by Corey Peet, Managing Director of the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC), this webinar will explore the work by ASIC to expand the adoption of sustainability standards and incentives in the Asian context for both supplier and buyer.

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