PEIN Marine Digest - July 2010

The PEIN Marine Digest is a monthly digest of pacific marine and fisheries news and developments gathered from global news sources and a regional network of Pacific environment officers. 

The PEIN project is coordinated by the SPREP Information Resource Centre with funding assistance from the European Union.

Pacific Islands Report - 29 July 2010
A new National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report on the health of humpback whales within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary evaluates resources protected by the sanctuary. The status of humpback whales is rated as "good/fair"; however, their health is rated as "fair." Although humpback whale population numbers are increasing in the sanctuary, their overall health rating is "fair" because of an increase in reported collisions, entanglements and associated impacts. Entanglement and whale-vessel collisions have been widely identified as the primary human cause of mortality for humpback whales, both in Hawaii and around the world. Therefore, these two issues have been identified as immediate and pressing issues for the sanctuary...more

PALAU SEEKS RELEASE OF FUNDS FOR PROTECTED AREAS: $790,000 available to implement conservation plans
Pacific Islands Report - 29 July 2010
The House version of FY2011 measure wants immediate disbursement of Protected Areas Network (PAN) funding, which come from the environmental protection fees (green fees). Palau's PAN Act which was passed in 2003 aims to establish a nationwide network of terrestrial and marine protected areas. Its goal is to protect Palau's biodiversity while assisting local Marine Protected Areas...more

RARE CORAL DISCOVERED IN MARSHALL ISLANDS: Pacific Elkhorn found in survey at Arno atoll
Pacific Islands Report - 29 July 2010
Australian researchers say they have discovered what could be the world's rarest coral in the north Pacific Ocean. The Pacific elkhorn coral was found during underwater surveys at Arno atoll, in the Marshall Islands, by coral researcher Dr Zoe Richards from Queensland's James Cook University. The giant Pacific elkhorn has antler-like branches and is about five metres wide and two metres high...more

NAVY TO RECONSIDER CARRIER WHARF AT GUAM HARBOR: Public concern over reef damage cited
Pacific Islands Report - 26 July 2010
The Department of Defense will rethink its plan to build a new aircraft carrier wharf deep in Apra Harbor, partially because comments from the government and public criticized how dredging would destroy large amounts of coral. Yesterday, the Joint Guam Program Office released a statement explaining how some of the once-preferred plans for the coming military buildup have changed in the last seven months. The Final Environmental Impact Statement will be released to federal agencies today and to the public on July 30...more

Billion dollar PNG nickel mine project under threat after failed court bid
PacNews - 20 July 2010
The management of the huge Chinese financed Ramu nickel mine project in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea say its viability is under threat. The company, RAMU NICO says it's disappointed the Supreme Court last week failed to lift the injunction stopping construction of a system to dispose of mining waste in Madang's Basamuk Bay. The controversial plan is supported by the Government but opposed by landowners and environmental groups...more

U.S. INSPECTOR: GUAM DUMPING SEWAGE INTO OCEAN: Treatment plant could lose permit
Pacific islands Report - 20 July 2010
An Inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency found that Guam Waterworks Authority is discharging wastewater solids into the ocean instead of properly disposing them in the landfill, according to the latest status report filed in federal court...more

Sea Level Rise Swamps Islands
Scientific American - 18 July 2010
It's a restful sound, waves, unless they happen to be submerging the island or coastal plain you call home. A combination of climate change and bad environmental practices like coral mining is now swamping some low-lying lands...listen to a podcast

Pacific Islands Report - 12 July 2010
The largest civil penalty ever assessed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will boost the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund to implement marine conservation plans in the Pacific. "This money has the potential to do a lot of good for the region, in particular our territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, which are all struggling economically, in helping them sustainably develop their fishing industry and infrastructure," said Alexa Cole, senior enforcement attorney for NOAA's Pacific Islands region...more

Tuna power brokers block tuna protection
FIS - 2 July 2010
Tuna fisheries management groups from different countries stymied Pacific Island countries' attempts to protect tuna stocks at a paramount international Kobe II fisheries meeting that ended this week in Brisbane, Australia. "The meeting was a disgrace," said Greenpeace Pacific Oceans Campaigner Duncan Williams. "Foreign tuna industries are preventing Pacific Island countries from protecting their tuna by not agreeing to a timely process or criteria to cut the number of boats on the water to a sustainable level." ...more


PEIN Events -a diary of upcoming regional and international Conferences, Workshops and Meetings of particular relevance to the Pacific environment community

Pacific islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation Roundtable
Meeting- Samoa July 5-July 9, 2010. This year's Roundtable meeting will be include working group breakout sessions and central group meetings. For more information contact: Etika Rupeni This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%20">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN) Conference. July 6-9, Sigatoka, Fiji
The International Pacific Marine Educators Network (IPMEN) is a developing collective of marine educators throughout the Pacific. The idea for this group was one of the outcomes of a two-day meeting (One Ocean Marine Forum) on the Hawaiian island of Maui in July 2005.The aim of the Forum was to create a global network of marine educators to share knowledge, expertise and resources to solve ocean related environmental issues. It was decided to further the Forum goal by first forming a network of Pacific marine educators as a pilot. The conference theme for IPMEN 2010 is Vakarau ni se siga toka - Marine education in the new millennium. Vakarau ni se siga toka is something Fijian elders used to say (and still do today, but rarely), which translated means "Prepare whilst there is time."...go to conference website -