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Ocean

Pacific leaders warned today that entire island nations will disappear under the waves unless action is taken to address climate change. The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) wrapped up its annual meeting in Palau with a call to action on the issue of global warming, with the 15-nation regional grouping saying there was no excuse not to act to curb climate change.

Thousands of people lined the banks of London's Thames River today for the spectacular finish of the world's longest ocean race. Twelve elegant 70ft yachts crewed by amateurs ended their epic 40,000-mile journey under London's iconic Tower Bridge, which opened at 12:45 BST to allow the first three to sail through.

The world's first deep-sea mine could soon become a reality after a Canadian mining company agreed plans to dig up part of the seabed off Papua New Guinea. Nautilus Minerals intends to use a British-built robot to extract copper, gold and other metals from the ocean floor, 1,500 metres below sea level. Richard Page, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace International, gave us his reaction to the news.

The Marine Conservation Society has released the results of its annual survey of British beaches and they cleaned up almost a quarter of a million pieces of litter nationwide. The MCS says that beaches in the west of England had almost double the amount of litter per kilometre than the national average, at over 4,000 pieces. VoR spoke to Lauren Eyles, beachwatch officer for the north of England at the Marine Conservation Society.

The Global Oceans Commission has proposed that the UN considers setting up a global maritime police force to ensure over-fishing and illegal dumping are controlled. VoR's Tim Ecott asked one of the three Global Commissioners, South African Minister of State Trevor Manuel, why he thought an international force would be useful.

The southern right whale is one of the most endangered species in the world. Reduced to a tiny fragment of their original populations, the whales are now protected but populations are declining. The British Antarctic Survey are developing satellite imaging technology that can accurately count the population of whales from space. We spoke to Peter Fretwell, a geographic information scientist with the British Antarctic Survey.

The Australian government is coming under pressure to tackle the issue of whaling in Japan after activists released images of Japanese boats allegedly showing the butchered carcasses of four minke whales. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to John Frizell, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace.

The winner of the 2013 British Wildlife Photography Awards, George Karbus, dedicated himself fully to photographing Ireland’s emerald coastline. In 2009 he was awarded the Nature’s Best Photography Award. He masterfully captures the beauty of the Atlantic depths and marine wildlife.

 

The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than previously thought, according to a new report. A review from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean says the seas are becoming increasing acidic which may lead to the extinction of key species, with overfishing and pollution adding to the problem. VoR’s Brendan Cole speaks to Professor Alex Rogers from Oxford University about the findings.

A major leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant last week has released radioactive water into the ground. We discuss with John Large, a nuclear consultant, how worrying this is, how the situation is being tackled, and what the implications are for the environment. He compares the situation with Chernobyl.

New research indicates that dolphins may be able to recognise the sounds with which they are identified by other dolphins. VoR’s Tim Ecott speaks to Justin Gregg, a Research Associate with the Dolphin Communication Project.

An apparent slowdown in the rate of global warming has led some climate change sceptics to question whether scientists are right to predict further warming. VoR’s Tim Ecott speaks to Richard Allan, a climate scientist at the University of Reading.

Sea Shepherd has announced it will use military-style drones in its fight against Japanese whalers.
New research by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of East Anglia has revealed important evidence of the acidic effect increased CO2 is having on the oceans.
Deep sea sharks face being wiped out to meet surging demand for fish oil dietary supplements, according to conservationists.
A new study by America's National Academy of Sciences shows that Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral in the last thirty years. One of the causes is the crown of thorns starfish, a creature that multiplies when fed nutrients washed into the sea by polluted rivers.
World, Australia, Nature, Great Barrier Reef, Starfish, Ocean
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March 2017
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