Giving thanks to Australia for the world’s largest network of marine reserves
Tide Report from Upwell
We’re a mere two days away from the first officially-sanctioned national stuff-yourself-until-you-drop holiday of the season. We know, you can’t wait, but there’s a big blue ocean out there, and there are sharks swimming around it. And salmon. And bluefin tuna. And, so far at least, more than one cod. Read on…

In this issue
  1. ICCAT Heeds Scientific Advice on Bluefin, Underwhelms on Sharks
  2. American Samoa Protects Its Sharks
  3. Australia Establishes World’s Largest Network of Marine Reserves
  4. Five Creative Ways to Get People to Pay Attention to the Ocean 
  5. Mining Meets Salmon in Alaska
  6. The Last Cod
  7. Calendar

ICCAT Heeds Scientific Advice on Bluefin, Underwhelms on Sharks

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) wrapped up its annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco on Monday, and as is often the case with such gatherings, the news that emerged was a mixture of the good and the not-so-good.
  • The Good: ICCAT agreed to abide by the advice of its scientists, and recommended a quota of 13,500 tons for Eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna, a marginal increase over the existing quota of 12,900 tons. A Canadian proposal to increase the Western Atlantic bluefin quota gained no traction; that quota remains at 1,750 tons.
  • The Not-so-Good: The quotas were set for only one year in the west and two years in the east, not the three years for which scientists and environmentalists were hoping.
  • The Good: ICCAT agreed to re-craft its mandate to boost protection for sharks.
  • The Not-so-Good: Despite that agreement, it failed to enact the shark protection proposals that were on the agenda at this year’s meeting.
But the undeniably meta-good news is that ICCAT did what it and other international bodies seem to do all too rarely: It (finally) heeded the advice of its scientists, at least for now. We think that is something worth celebrating and encouraging.

Amplify this: This is a win, not just for bluefin tuna, but for science. Spread the word by sharing this post on facebook:

American Samoa Protects Its Sharks

While ICCAT may not have done what many had hoped in terms of shark protection, some nations and territories continue to act unilaterally when and where they can.

As Juliet Eilperin writes in the Washington Post, NOAA plans to require almost all sharks landed by recreational fishermen off the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico to measure at least eight feet from nose to fork in the tail, a move that is specifically aimed at protecting the embattled dusky shark.

Meanwhile, American Samoa has implemented a series of measures to protect sharks within its waters. Shark fishing is now banned in its territorial waters, and the sale, possession, and distribution of fins and other shark parts is prohibited. The Pew Environment Group says the measures mean that the Pacific Ocean territory now has the toughest shark protections in the United States.  

Amplify This: Let’s give American Samoa some Twitter love: “American Samoa raises the bar, prohibits all shark fishing in its waters. Who’s stepping up next?”

Australia Establishes World’s Largest Network of Marine Reserves

For an interactive version of this map, visit the Australian government’s official marine reserves page.

Australia has created the world's largest network of marine national parks, protecting an area of ocean the size of Western Europe. Announcing the decision, the country’s Environment Minister Tony Burke said that, "We don't want people to only know the magnificence of their oceans through aquariums or by watching 'Finding Nemo'." The crown jewel of the network is arguably the newly-designated Coral Sea Marine Reserve, which includes a highly protected area of almost 200,000 square miles, the Coral Sea Marine National Park. That makes it the second-largest highly-protected marine sanctuary in the world, and the largest inside any country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Amplify This: Celebrate this news with your Twitter followers during this Thanksgiving week, acknowledging the Pew Environment Group, which made establishment of the Coral Sea Reserve a cornerstone of its Global Ocean Legacy Project: “In Thanksgiving week, I’m giving thanks to Australia for establishing the world’s largest network of marine reserves. @pewenvironment”

Watch this

Five Creative Ways to Get People to Pay Attention to the Ocean Two months ago, Ariel Schwartz wrote a great piece for FastCoExist about Safeway’s decision to sell FAD-free skipjack tuna in its stores. Her latest ocean-themed post showcases the efforts of San Francisco nonprofit Blue Trail to create - via a day-long Design Jam competition - a series of interactive installations on ocean sustainability, to be placed along the city’s waterfront during next fall’s America’s Cup.

Roll up, roll up, and look at the trash that drains into the bay.

Mining Meets Salmon in Alaska Bristol Bay in Alaska is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and to strong runs of several other salmon species. Which is why a diverse array of allies is lined up in opposition to a mooted gold and copper mine, known as Pebble Mine. It’s an issue that may soon be coming to a head, or at least reaching a turning point, as Edwin Dobb explains in this post for National Geographic News. 

The Last Cod Because even the best Tide Report can be made better with a cartoon:

Drawn for the Ottawa Citizen, and brought to our attention via the @OceanWarrior Twitter feed.


November 25-29
2012 MPA Conference, San Francisco, California

November 26-December 3
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Doha Climate Conference. Doha, Qatar.
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