Papahānaumokuākea the world’s largest MPA

by Alan Yeung 2016-08-27

The White House has just announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, thus creating the world’s largest marine reserve with an aim to protect coral reefs and other marine habitats.

President Obama’s designation will quadruple the size of the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands’ no-take reserve, expanding the total protected area of the monument from 139,797 to 582,578 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers). Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is a national monument first designated by President George W. Bush in 2006 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. At the far northwestern end of the monument lie the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Kure Atoll, and Midway Atoll, which is about 1,300 miles (2,100 kilometers) from Honolulu, HI.

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Malaysia creates large MPA in Sabah

by Alan Yeung  2016-06-04

Sabah announces a ‘huge’ marine protected area and shark sanctuary with over 1 million hectares covering the peninsula and 50 islands.  It is named Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) after the first official, and will officially be the biggest marine park and second largest coral reef reserve in Malaysia.

The outcome culminates over ten years of government, scientific, community, and nonprofit organization efforts.  The area is worth protecting because of its richness in biodiversity and its impact on local fisheries.

In a 2012 baseline study, Waheed et al. reported 49% of the hard coral cover in TMP, mostly fringing and patch reefs, are in good to excellent condition. Yet, only 7% of the surveyed reefs had 75% or more coverage. There is evidence of blast and poison fishing, but the damages, such as rubble fragments, appear to be old.  Overfishing also seems to be an issue as turtles, sharks and other high-value reef species are missing.

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Stanford president meets alumni in Shanghai

StanfordConnect_SH

by Alan Yeung  2016-03-12

Stanford president John Hennessey makes his final overseas stop of the global event tour, the Stanford+Connects Tour, in Shanghai, meeting and speaking with more than 300 alumni and friends at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel on March 12, 2016.

This Shanghai event, like others in the Stanford+Connects series, brought some of the very best of Stanford to speak and share ideas with alumni, who came to Shanghai from all over Asia Pacific.

Three Stanford deans, Persis Drell of the School of Engineering, Garth Saloner of the Graduate School of Business, and M. Elizabeth Magill of the Law School, took part in panel discussions with the Stanford+Connects audience about instilling entrepreneurship at each school, and how innovation and creativity are taught and pursued at higher education.

Bill Newsome, Monica Lam, Mike McFaul, Josh Freedman, and J. Christian Gerdes gave micro-lectures at the event.  Many Stanford Connectors, especially board members of Stanford Club of Shanghai, contributed to the event.

Palau approves new massive marine reserve

Palau Rock Islands

by Alan Yeung 2015-10-27

On Thursday Palau’s Congress approved the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, making good on a pledge made by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. in 2014, for Palau to protect 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers), or 80 percent of the Pacific island nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or the territorial waters that it controls.

The new sanctuary will exclude all extractive activities, such as mining, and industrial-scale fishing and exports of catches.

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. indicated he would sign the measure into law as soon as posssible, thus establishing Palau as one of the world’s leading nations in marine conservation.  Palau now leads the world in terms of setting aside the highest percentage of its EEZ for full marine protection.

According to NGS  Palau is host to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral.

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‘Plastic bag ban’ in Hawaii

by Alan Yeung 2015-07-07

In Hawaii, residents are responding and adjusting to a state-wide ban on plastic bags that went into effect on July 1.  During this inaugural week, while the jury is still out on its impact, environmentalists are keeping up the pressure on retailers, criticizing and wondering why so many are still being given out at local grocery checkout stands.

Plastic bag in Kaneohe BayBeach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (B.E.A.C.H.) voiced its concern that the ban was having little effects on reducing litter on beaches. It surveyed the trash left behind at Ala Moana Beach Park on Sunday, July 5, and found plastic bags littered everywhere.

The new law exempts plastic checkout bags from takeout food, drinks and bakery goods. The so-called re-usable bags already thrown away shows that most consumers are not keeping them for reuse. People are treating the thick plastic bags the same as the disposable plastic bags like before.

Why ban plastic bags?

Because they seem to find their way to the coastal waters and the oceans in garbage patches.  Besides their impact on sustainability, plastic bags adversely affect wild lives such as sea turtles and birds, making them susceptible to being caught and trapped, or they inject these plastic substances and became ill.

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Tuna farming 金枪鱼养殖

tuna farmsby Alan Yeung  2015-05-27

Today, I came across a book I read last summer, written by Paul Greenberg, called Four Fish.  It talks about the dwindling supplies of ocean fish in the wild, and the current state of aquaculture. Out of curiosity, I decided to take another look at the current tuna farming activities.

It appears researchers at Kinki University in Japan have made some recent progress in a closed-loop cycle, where juveniles of bluefin tuna are spawn in captivity and can be successfully raised to maturity. But this is a project in its infancy. To date, Kinki does not need to take fish from the sea.

Yonathan Zohar and his team of scientists at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology are making their first attempt in North America.

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Indonesia blows up illegal fishing 印尼炸沉非法捕捞渔船

Indonesian blows up illegal fishing boats  印尼再显威风 炸沉外国非法捕捞渔船

2432CAD400000578-0-image-a-52_1419173994730by Alan Yeung  2015-05-21

According to media reports, Indonesian Navy blew up 41 illegal fishing vessels at six locations after obtaining a court order. These fishing boats, detained by Indonesian government due to illegal fishing in Indonesian waters, are from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippines.

媒体报道 印尼当局将41艘被法庭裁定涉及非法捕捞行为的渔船, 在全国六处地点分批炸沉。这些渔船分别来自中国、越南、马来西亚、泰国和菲律宾。

Besides teaching the illegal fishermen a lesson, Jakarta wishes to improve the welfare of Indonesia’s fishing industry and uphold her sovereignty. 雅加达不但希望通过炸沉渔船来给其他外国渔船“好好的上一课”,而且希望能间接改善印尼渔民福利,并维护印尼主权。

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