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'The oceans are in a bad state that is rapidly getting worse. Fisheries are starting to collapse, there are record levels of pollution, such as plastic pollution, and there is climate change.'

Oceans are world's seventh largest economy worth $24tn, says WWF report

The monetary value of the world's oceans has been estimated at US$24tn in a new report that warns that overfishing, pollution and climate change are putting an unprecedented strain upon marine ecosystems.

Deep sea sediments are acting as a sink for microplastics

Microplastic deposits found deep in world's oceans and seas

Scientists believe they have solved the mystery of where tens of thousands of tonnes of missing tiny pieces of plastic are ending up - and the answer lies in the mud and sand on the ocean floor.

Back of the net for Interface recovery drive

Global carpet tile manufacturer Interface plans to scale up its community-based scheme that sees old fishing nets recovered and converted into yarn.

The Oyster

World's largest hydro electric wave device opened

What is claimed to be the world's largest working hydro-electric wave energy device has been officially opened in Scotland.

Marine act a good start says RSPCA

The Marine and Coastal Access Bill will receive royal assent tomorrow (November 11) creating the world's only legislation protecting British seafronts.

Undersea contaminated land capping announced

More than $50m will be spent tackling contaminated land off the coast of California, America's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

Southern Water scores a hat-trick at WIAA 2009

Southern Water is celebrating having scooped up three trophies at the Water Industry Achievement Awards, held last night (Wednesday) at the International Convention Centre in central Birmingham, and organised by sister journals WET News and Water & Wastewater Treatment.

There is a growing body of evidence showing that coral could be one of the first victims of climate change

Caribbean corals face extinction

Caribbean corals are in danger of extinction because of warmer waters caused by climate change, a new study has revealed.

Coral reefs are effective CO2 absorbers as well as offering protection from floods

Reefs key protection from rising seas

Protected marine areas can be a key tool in protecting coastal communities from the impacts of a changing climate, a conservation group has said.

A still from the satellite imagery. The dark brown area shows the extent of the sediment flow while the pale aqua green is the reef itself

River pollution threatens Great Barrier Reef

Pesticide-rich plumes of sediment spewed out of Australian river mouths have been shown to reach the Great Barrier Reef, threatening to damage the coral and other sealife which make up the natural wonder.

Humans wiping out coastal marine life, study shows

Human exploitation of coastal waters and estuaries has wiped out 65% of their wetland and sea-grass habitats and depleted 90% of marine species, new research suggests.

Orphaned chimps: whole troupes are slaughtered to capture a single baby to sell to well-meaning Westerners

Great ape plight laid out in atlas

Great apes are doomed to extinction unless conservation efforts in the countries where they are found can be linked with programmes to address human poverty.

A stark warning

With more than a thousand eminent scientists agreeing we are living beyond the capacity of the planet to support us, CIWEM executive director Nick Reeves asks can we learn to live within environmental limits?

Comment - January 2005

The terrible tsunami visited on the luckless inhabitants of the coastal regions around the north-east Indian Ocean has generated vast media attention and a good deal of emotional reaction. Electronic media and communications have managed to mobilize a relief effort unthinkable 50 years ago and all those involved should be congratulated.

Human activities increase Caribbean reef threat

Nearly two-thirds of Caribbean coral reefs are currently under threat from human activities, a report by scientists at the World Resources Institute (WRI) has revealed.

International business briefs: Automakers must clean up act, EPA director, Everest litter climb, Coral symposium, EPA air pollution report, Mapping Madagascar

Global Exchange and Rainforest Action Network today denounced Ford Motor Company and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers for filing a Federal lawsuit to overturn California's widely popular new vehicle emissions standards. California's new regulations are the nation's first-ever rules to reduce emissions linked to global warming and the most advanced automotive greenhouse gas reduction targets in the world. The announcement came on the same day as the release of "Automaker Rankings 2004," a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that ranks Ford as having "the absolute worst heat-trapping gas emissions performance of all the Big Six automakers." The US EPA has ranked Ford with the worst overall fuel efficiency of all major automakers for 20 or the last 30 years, including every year since 2000. "Instead of hiring lawyers and lobbyists to fight against reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Ford and other automakers should be hiring engineers to comply with this eminently reasonable law," said Jason Mark, clean car campaigner at the human rights group Global Exchange. "Rather than resist progress, Ford and other automakers need to start driving progress forward."

European business briefs: French nuclear dispute, child asthma risk, EU compliance failure, coral protection, lightning record

A French state-owned nuclear energy company has denied sending a truckload of US military grade plutonium to Belgium earlier this week, according to environmental campaign group Greenpeace. A spokesperson from Greenpeace issued a statement claiming that the vehicle, which was headed from western France for Dessel in Belgium, was carrying plutonium left over from American Cold War stocks that are being reduced.

Sea turtles are just one of the creatures at risk from loss of habitat

Vital ocean ecosystem at risk

Ocean seagrass beds, one of the world’s most vital ecosystems, are being destroyed by human activity such as nutrient enrichment from sewage, intensive fishing, and even yachting and skiing, a report from the United Nations Environment Programme has revealed.

Carbon dioxide making oceans more acidic

The world’s oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb more carbon dioxide, a study by researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has found.

Corals, such as these off the Florida coast are at threat from climate change (courtesy NOAA)

National ocean laws and independent ocean agency needed in US

An independent think-tank in the US is calling for improved and co-ordinated governance of the marine habitats around its coasts, which would end the ‘frontier mentality’ with which costal ecosystems around the country are treated.

Ocean sequestration of carbon dioxide could damage marine ecosystems

The injection of carbon dioxide produced by industry into the ocean would lower pH, at best reducing the calcification rates of coral reef and marine calcareous micro-organisms, and at worst having a profound effect on ecosystems, according to a scientist at the University of Toronto in Canada.

<i>Caulerpa brachypus</i> surrounding another problem species, <i>Codium isthmocladum</i> (courtesy Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute)

Improperly treated sewage could be causing coral smothering by seaweed

Smothering of coral along the Florida coast by non-native seaweed could be the result of improperly treated sewage discharges, say scientists from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI) who began a new project on 23 January to study how serious the problem is.

Microbialite on coral (courtesy IRD/J-C Menou)

Microbes linked to coral reef decay

Microbial communities may be involved in the destruction of coral reefs, new research suggests. Further studies are needed to establish whether, and how, the microbes affect coral, but preliminary results show a relationship between the spread of microbial populations and the decline in coral reefs, suggesting microbial communities could be used as indicators of environmental change.

Over 90% of US streams now contain detectable levels of pollutants

Half of all streams and coastal sediments in US exceed pollutant guidelines

A new report into the state of the US environment has found that half or more of all streams and coastal sediments have at least one contaminant that exceeded guidelines for aquatic life. The report also revealed that there is insufficient environmental monitoring for authorities to develop sound environmental policies.

Hotels call for responsible tourism

The hotel industry and tourists themselves are growing increasingly aware of the negative impacts that tourism has on the environment. In the past twenty years a number of hotels have started improving their environmental policy and this is likely to become more widespread in the future.

Human gut bacteria causing disease in Caribbean coral

US researchers have revealed for the first time that a bacterial species associated with the human gut can cause disease in marine invertebrates, following the discovery that such a bacteria is responsible for white pox disease in Caribbean coral.

Bottlenose dolphins are found all around the UK coast (courtesy NOAA)

Government to protect marine environment

The Government has set out its vision for greater protection of the marine environment, which will include special conservation areas, and a pilot conservation programme in the Irish Sea to start this month.

Newly discovered European corals need protection

Scientists from the UK, France and Norway are calling for immediate controls to stop destructive fishing practices in the northeast Atlantic, where rare cold-water coral reefs are being reduced to rubble by unregulated, deep-sea trawling.

Global warming not sole cause of coral reef decline

A combination of human sewage and shipyard discharge may be responsible for the development and spread of deadly black band disease in corals, researchers say.

UK fishing to be more sustainable (photo courtesy WWF-UK)

Summit announces greatly extended ocean protection and sustainable fishing plan

The UK government has announced plans to extend European environmental protection to 200 nautical miles offshore while delegates at WWF’s Oceans Recovery Summit agreed to create a plan to steer fisheries towards sustainability.

Australia concerned over threat to Great Barrier Reef

The federal environment minister has released a report highlighting the increasing threats to the survival of one of the world’s largest coral reefs, and has blamed the government of Queensland state exacerbating the problem.

Schooling bannerfish - symbol of a healthy coral reef

New map shows coral reefs cover area as little as ten times less than previous estimates

A new atlas of coral reefs around the world has revealed that these marine ecosystems occupy a much smaller area than originally estimated, covering less than one tenth of one percent of the oceans, just half the size of France.

Coral reefs could be saved by a sea urchin

Lab raised sea urchins to pioneer efforts to reverse coral reef decline

The first sea urchins to be raised in a laboratory have been released in the US’ Florida Keys in an attempt to boost the renewal of the world’s third largest coral barrier reef.

EPA to ban all discharges from boats around the Florida Keys

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposal to ban discharges of both treated and untreated waste from boats around the Florida Keys in order to protect the region’s wildlife.

Events around the globe celebrate 2001 World Environment Day

The launch of a global ecological assessment, a prestigious environmental awards ceremony, tree planting, water hyacinth harvesting, and environmental art exhibitions are among the events around the globe to celebrate the 2001 World Environment Day on 5 June.

Australia ups environmental spending and protections

For the second year running the Australian Government has provided more than AU$1 billion (US$500 million) to the environment and has introduced strict new protections for the world's largest coral reef and native and foreign wildlife.

Islanders want the whole of Vieques to be a pristine paradise

US Navy continues bombing practice on Puerto Rican island despite allegations of increased cancer rates

The US Navy has carried out further bomb practices on the island of Vieques despite extensive protests about the effects on locals’ health and coral reefs, as well as a lawsuit from Puerto Rican authorities.

Winners of the Goldman Prize

Environmental prize honours grassroots work worldwide

Eight people have received the Goldman Prize for 2001, the world’s largest award for grassroots environmentalists.

The world's coral reefs face a bleak future

World’s coastal areas “face a grim future”

In the first comprehensive analysis of the world’s coastal ecosystems, researchers warn that if the planet’s coastal zone continues to be extensively modified or destroyed, its capacity to provide fish, protect homes and businesses, reduce pollution and erosion, and sustain biological diversity will be gravely endangered.

Life on East African reefs is about to get brighter

United Nations develops new programme to save African coral reefs

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a $10 million pilot scheme in East Africa to encourage the sustainable management of threatened coral reefs.

A new report says there could be more dead zones like that in the Gulf of Mexico

Two-thirds of the surface area of US estuaries and bays at risk

A report by a new independent commission says that that runoff from farms and cities has mostly been unabated or has actually increased over the past 30 years, threatening to turn much of America’s coastlines into new ‘dead zones’.

Political leaders face historic evolutionary choices

Political leaders around the world have an unrivalled opportunity for making historic, even evolutionary choices regarding economics, ecology, and the fate of the planet as a whole, according to a Washington-based environmental think-tank.

“This coral reef crisis is not just something happening in far away places”

US acts to protect its coral reefs

The Department of Commerce has announced new actions the US will take to protect its coral reefs, following a recent report that almost one-third of the world’s reefs have disappeared.

Clinton creates largest ever protected area, comprising nearly 70% of US coral reefs

President Clinton has announced the creation of a vast, 130,000 square mile (340,000 sq km) reserve in Northwestern Hawaii, safeguarding coral reefs home to endangered monk seals and sea turtles.

Landsat images to ease study of coral atolls

Report says Pacific nations face economic devastation as coral reefs die out

Scientists gathered at an international symposium on coral reefs warned that the Pacific Ocean faces losing the majority of its coral reefs by the end of the century and that the economies of its islands will be crippled.

Coral reefs stand to gain from the new act

Clinton approves potential $12 billion for conservation funding, but environmentalists remain sceptical

The president’s approval of the largest annual conservation funding ever still leaves environmentalists non-plussed at a lack of guarantees.

National Oceans Commission gets the go-ahead from US Congress

For the first time in more than 30 years, the US Congress passed legislation on the 25 July establishing a national commission charged with studying and re-evaluating the nation’s laws and policies regarding the oceans and coasts.

Carbon dioxide build-up threatens coral reefs

Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere could reduce coral growth by as much as 40% from pre-industrial levels over the next 65 years.

Greenpeace activists occupying oil rig in Cromarty Firth, Scotland

Protesters occupy second North Sea oil rig

Environmental activists have occupied a second oil exploration rig in the North Sea, only days after abandoning a similar protest in the same area.

Growth in e-commerce masks global environmental crisis

The growth in the internet and e-commerce is obscuring the fact that the world is facing a growing environmental crisis, the Worldwatch Institute has warned.

North Sea oil industry jeopardised by UK court ruling

A UK High Court judge has agreed with Greenpeace that the UK has failed to protect wildlife from the negative impact of the North Sea oil industry.

UK judicial review ends with future of the Atlantic Frontier in balance

Greenpeace will have to wait up to three weeks to find out whether its attempt to sue the UK Government for failing to apply the EC Habitats Directive in the North East Atlantic has been successful

Shell questions the environmental and financial costs of dismantling Brent Spar

Shell has announced that the decommissioning of the Brent Spar North Sea oil platform has cost the company double the amount it expected and failed to result in a net overall energy saving.

MAURITIUS: Port-Louis fishermen fight for pollution compensation

Fishermen in the Port Louis area are threatening to blockade the port, if they are not compensated for lack of income due to industrial pollution. They are also demanding rehabilitation of the polluted area and re-planting of corals.

Greenpeace mounts legal challenge against UK government on oil threat to marine wildlife

Greenpeace is suing the UK Government for failing to protect whales, dolphins and other marine species from the impacts of oil exploration on the Atlantic Frontier. The action follows moves by the UK Government to further deregulate oil exploration.

Robin Cook announces climate change challenge fund

British companies are being invited to contribute to the Climate Change Challenge Fund, a new initiative designed to make use of British expertise in clean technologies and renewable energies.

WORLD: New century brings new environmental challenge

The bright promise of a new century is clouded by unprecedented threats to the stability of the natural world, according to a special millennial edition of the State of the World report, released by the Worldwatch Institute.

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