World Bank urges caution in mining the deep sea in the Pacific

Deep sea exploration of minerals and resources is increasing worldwide. In the Pacific, Papua New Guinea has granted a license for ocean floor mining through the Solwara 1 Project. Four other Pacific Island countries – Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu – have granted permits for deep sea mining exploration, and the Cook Islands recently initiated a minerals exploration tender process. A new draft report from the World Bank, “Pacific Possible: Precautionary Management of Deep Sea Mining Potential in Pacific Island Countries”, assesses the state of knowledge of deep sea mining’s costs, impacts, and potential revenue and finds that the short- and long-term impacts of mining on environments, economies, and societies are largely unknown. The report recommends that Pacific Island countries proceed very cautiously with deep sea mining activity to ensure that appropriate social and environmental safeguards are in place and to avoid irreversible damage to the ecosystem. Read the draft report. It is open for public comment until June 9, 2016.

Draft of first ocean plan for US federal waters released

On May 25, 2016, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) released a draft of a regional ocean plan for the US Northeast for public review. The RPB is soliciting feedback on the draft through July 25, 2016. Comments can be submitted on their website, by email, or at a series of state-based public meetings scheduled for June 2016. A final version, incorporating public comment, is slated to be approved by the RPB in September 2016 then submitted to the National Ocean Council for review. If approved in a timely fashion, the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan will be the first or among the first ocean plans for US federal waters. Access the draft plan and learn more about how to provide comments.

Request for input on MSP decision support tools

The BONUS BALTSPACE research project is conducting a survey on the use of decision support tools (DST) in MSP practice. The survey aims to assess to what degree DST are used in MSP practice worldwide, the reasons they are accepted or not accepted by practitioners, and the opinions of modellers on DSTs for MSP and marine management. The survey is open until July 8, 2016. Access the survey.

New book analyzes successes and failures of transboundary conservation initiatives

A new book Marine Transboundary Conservation and Protected Areas (edited by Peter Mackelworth and published by Routledge) analyzes a series of marine transboundary conservation to examine reasons – including the effectiveness of international rules and market forces – for their success or failure. Examples are drawn from a wide range of jurisdictions, including territorial seas, continental shelves, exclusive economic zones, and areas beyond national jurisdiction. Case studies include initiatives in the Coral Triangle, West Africa, Central America, the Wadden Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. View the book's webpage. Buyers can receive a 20% discount off the list price of US$145 by using the code FLR40 at checkout.