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News Headlines

Africa: At Ocean Conference, UN Agencies Commit to Cutting Harmful Fishing Subsidies

As the international community focuses this week on preserving the health of global oceans and seas, the United Nations agencies on agriculture, environment and trade are committing to the sustainable trade of fisheries.

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5 biggest threats to our oceans - and what we can do about them

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of our planet and give us food, energy and other resources. But worldwide, this fantastic underwater world is in danger. Is there still time to prevent the worst?

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A tribute to the world's oceans: why we couldn't survive without them

Most of us do not realise the impact of the oceans on our daily lives, nor how humanity has changed vast parts of the big blue and its inhabitants. About one quarter of all species live in the sea. That’s roughly about 2.2 million, with the current estimates of all species on earth at about 8.7 ...

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Research, solutions needed for looming oceans catastrophes, UN leaders say

More scientific research is needed on the world’s oceans — but enough is understood to know that immediate action is necessary to fight the “gamut of problems” circulating under the sea and on its shores, United Nations leaders said Tuesday afternoon.

Meeting Document


Provisional Agenda

News Headlines

The world on track to protect over 10% of its marine areas by 2020

With recent commitments made by governments around the globe, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is optimistic that the world is on track to protect over 10 percent of the globe’s marine areas by 2020. This was announced by Dr. Cristiana Pașca Palmer, executive secretar ...

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India's Adani signs off on controversial Australia coal mine

The Indian mining giant has announced it will start work on its Carmichael coal mine project in north-east Australia despite concern from environmentalists that it will damage Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Press Release

Global marine protected area target of 10% to be achieved by 2020

5 June 2017 – With recent commitments made by governments around the globe, the world is on track to protect over 10% of the globe’s marine areas by 2020, announced Dr. Cristiana Pașca Palmer, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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Pacific Islands have a key role to play in protecting the world's oceans

Talks in New York ahead of the first ever United Nations conference about the world's oceans have turned to debating policy specifics as negotiators look to strike a balance between the need to derive economic benefits from marine resources and ensure their sustainability for future generations.

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UN Ocean Conference: can the law protect our ocean ecosystems?

There are lots of treaties in the world designed to moderate the impact of humans on the oceans.

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Why We Need to Save Our Oceans Now—Not Later

What if the blue fades way as seawaters become brown andcoral reefs become white as marine grasslands wither and life below water vanishes? This is already happening at a staggering rate. It’s a lose-lose for all: people and planet.

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Reef Market Economy: Energetics key to keeping fish in the sea and the store

Coral reefs may be underwater, but they are also under fire: overfishing is dramatically altering these underwater treasures. While most people never get to see these ecosystems up close, they benefit from their health. Coral reefs house a high diversity and abundance of fish that support local ...

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Bizarre Faceless Fish Among Mysterious Species Discovered in Australia’s Eastern Abyss

Scientists have discovered a faceless fish during a voyage to one of the deepest parts of the ocean ever visited—Australia’s eastern abyss.

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Oysters galore! How whisky is helping to bring back native mollusks to the Scottish Highlands

Oysters were abundant in the waters around the Dornoch Firth in the northeast of Scotland from 10,000 years ago. But overfishing decimated stocks in the late 19th century and the shellfish became extinct. Now, thanks to a groundbreaking environmental project, the local population is witnessing t ...

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Searching for super-corals living on the edge

Searching for corals where they shouldn't be found has become an urgent quest for marine biologist Dr Emma Camp. As the impact of climate change on the world's coral reefs grows in frequency and intensity, the options for reef management are becoming more and more limited.

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130 million-year-old skull of unknown marine reptile species found in Russia

Paleontologists have found the remains of an unknown type of pliosauroidea - an extinct marine reptile - that lived alongside the dinosaurs 130 million years ago on the bank of the Volga River in Russia. The skull of the reptile was first discovered in 2002, but until now had not been identified ...

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Africa: How African Countries Can Harness the Huge Potential of Their Oceans

Over the past decade there's been a steady rise across Africa in the attention given to the responsible use of the oceans to contribute to economic growth - or what's known as the Blue Economy.

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Big fish in big trouble in Europe

An international team of scientists led by the University of Aberdeen have discovered that large fish, which include many of the sharks, rays and skates of Europe, are the most at threat from extinction.

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Saving coral reefs

As an archipelago, Indonesia is rich with pristine coral reefs. However, their existence is being threatened by destructive fishing, excessive tourism and marine accidents.

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We must stop seabird numbers falling off a cliff. After all, we’re to blame

About 70,000 tonnes of seabird are now afloat or on the wing off the shores of the British Isles.

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Chasing dolphins in Goa—with kindness

The summer sky is not yet blue when my husband, our eight-year-old son and I set out for Chapora Bay. We’re on an early morning quest to go dolphin spotting. In nine years of living in Goa, we have consciously stayed away from this popular tourist attraction.

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New species of carnivorous sponge discovered off of Newfoundland and Labrador

It may not be dangerous to humans, but the name of a new species of sponge discovered east of Newfoundland and Labrador might be one you still won’t want to hear — the carnivorous sponge.

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Deep sea: Potential threats to Earth's 'final frontier' are growing

Diving to depths of 2,000 metres near the Galapagos Islands in the spring of 1979, the crew of the submersible Alvin became the first to witness the phenomenon of “black smokers”.

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Coral Reefs in Northern Lau Show Amazing Recovery Potential from Disturbance

The islands that make up the Lau Group have largely been unexplored. Local Fijian scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Vatuvara Foundation surveyed 35 sites on outer fringing reefs, reef flats, and lagoonal systems in the course of an 8-day expedition looking at five islan ...


Contributions of the Convention on Biological Diversity to the United Nations Ocean Conference

Reference: SCBD/SPS/DC/JL/JG/86528 (2017-043)
To: To: CBD National Focal Points, SBSTTA Focal Points, National Focal Points for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity

pdf English 
News Headlines

Ecologist Special Report: The battle for the ‘mother of rivers'

Scientists are praising the discovery of new species and rare dolphins in the Mekong region, but overfishing and dams loom to disrupt habitats writes NOSMOT GBADAMOSI in this special Ecologist report

News Headlines

Great white shark study could be used to drop protected status, Greens warn

A scientific study of great white shark numbers could be used by the government to justify delisting the species as threatened or ordering a cull despite international treaty obligations, the Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson has warned.

News Headlines

Turkish delight: restoring Mediterranean marine life

Despite its relatively diminutive size, the Mediterranean may well be considered one of the world’s most pivotal bodies of water (its name literally translates as ‘sea in the middle of the world’). Yet marine conservation has not been a high priority for authorities overseeing human activities i ...

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Microalgae genes help them adapt to harsh oceans, other species less lucky

What do such mammoth wonders feed on? Little, semi-transparent crustaceans called krill. Lots and lots of krill. Measuring just six centimetres (around two and a half inches) and weighing about one gram fully grown, swarms of two million tonnes of krill spanning more than 450 square kilometres ( ...

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Magnesium within plankton provides tool for taking the temperatures of past oceans

Scientists cannot travel into the past to take the Earth's temperature so they use proxies to discern past climates, and one of the most common methods for obtaining such data is derived from the remains of tiny marine organisms called foraminifera found in oceanic sediment cores.

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Code of conduct needed for ocean conservation, study says

A diverse group of the world's leading experts in marine conservation is calling for a Hippocratic Oath for ocean conservation ? not unlike the pledge physicians take to uphold specific ethical standards when practicing medicine.

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Oxygen-starved oceans can take a million years to recover

About 183 million years ago something disrupted the Earth’s carbon cycle, which triggered a sudden drop in the oxygen levels of the world’s oceans, initiating a mass extinction of marine species.

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Scientists to journey into unknown ocean depths off southern coast of Australia

It sounds like the stuff of a Jules Verne novel — a voyage to the bottom of the sea.But in a first, a team of scientists is preparing to survey the darkest depths off the coast of Australia

News Headlines

In Vitro Fertilization Could Help Restore Vulnerable Coral Reefs

It's no secret that the world's coral reefs are at risk. Pollution, dredging, overfishing and, especially, acidic, warming waters are pushing these complex ecosystems to the brink of destruction, and marine scientists and researchers have been stymied in attempts to restore their health.

News Headlines

Coral reefs in hot water

Coral reefs are vital for the health of the planet, but they are systematically dying. In Fiji, a coral gardener is trying to save the world, one reef at a time.

News Headlines

Rare glass sponge reefs on B.C. Coast to star in live streamed expedition

People around the world can catch a glimpse of the rare glass sponge reefs found in the B.C. waters over the next week or so. A team of scientists will be live streaming research conducted deep underwater in Hecate Strait.

News Headlines

Changes in water temperature have an impact on the dentex in Medes Islands

The movement of the dentex, a fish living in rocky sea floors and marine lands in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, is influenced by the changes in ocean temperatures, according to a study carried out in the Medes Islands and published in the journal Scientific Reports.

News Headlines

Oceans losing oxygen as world warms

To the list of global problems the world’s oceans are facing, you can add another: They’re losing oxygen.The Pacific Ocean off the U.S. West Coast, from central California to Alaska, is one of the hardest-hit areas.

News Headlines

The quest to save the world's coral reefs

Coral reefs are the "rainforests of the sea", prized for their beauty and resources the world over. They are also one of the Earth's most vulnerable ecosystems threatened by climate change. And no place better symbolises their importance and their plight than Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

News Headlines

Deep Coral Reefs In The Hawaii Island Provide The Habitat For Shallow Reef Fishes

A recent study unveils how the deep coral reefs in the Hawaii Island play a significant role in conserving the shallow reef fishes. A great initiative by the marine biologists. Marine biologists from the Washington State University for the first time tried to explore essential facts about the de ...

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Overfishing: Harmful Ecosystem Effects Leading Fishing Industry's Collapse

Overfishing is a threat to the marine ecosystem and should be on the watch list of Ecological authorities in the Gulf of California. Gross neglect of fishing regulations could result in chaotic disturbance of the food chain that the ocean is providing to the inhabitants of coastal communities.

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FEATURE: UN’s mission to keep plastics out of oceans and marine life

27 April 2017 – There will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050 unless people stop using single-use plastic items such as plastic bags and plastic bottles, according to figures cited by the United Nations.

News Headlines

How The Oceans Became Choked With Plastic

Imagine an area 34 times the size of Manhattan. Now imagine it covered ankle-deep in plastic waste — piles of soda bottles and plastic bags, takeout containers by the mile, drinking straws as far as the eye can see.

News Headlines

Japan to exceed bluefin tuna quota amid warnings of commercial extinction

Conservationists call on Japan to abide by fishing agreements after reports annual quota will be exceeded two months early

News Headlines

Ocean Currents Are Sweeping Billions of Tiny Plastic Bits to the Arctic

Currents are acting like a conveyor belt for plastic, dumping the bits in pristine northern waters

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