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State of the Oceans:  waves of change  Leonard Sonnenschein President, World Aquarium & Conservation for the Oceans Foundation Co-Founder, World Ocean.

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Presentation on theme: "State of the Oceans:  waves of change  Leonard Sonnenschein President, World Aquarium & Conservation for the Oceans Foundation Co-Founder, World Ocean."— Presentation transcript:

1 State of the Oceans:  waves of change  Leonard Sonnenschein President, World Aquarium & Conservation for the Oceans Foundation Co-Founder, World Ocean Network

2 World Aquarium History St. Louis Aquacenter, Inc., a Missouri not-for-profit organization formed in November 1971 which has operated the St. Louis Children’s Aquarium and the World Aquarium since 1993. World Aquarium conducts and supports conservation and research projects studying sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, coral ecology, and issues associated with climate change.

3 World Aquarium Activities


5 EDUCATION PROGRAMS Aquarium Tours – Traditional 90-minute tours – Extended Length Educational Tours Sea Camp Light & Lively Tour Seafari Experience Adventure Tour Discovery Adventure Tour Extreme Adventure Tour Mommy & Me Tour Wildlife Conservation & Sustainable Living Tour Wet & Wild Outreach Education Programs – Creature Feature – Creepy Crawly Ocean Animals – Marine Biology Career Exploration

6 RESEARCH PROGRAMS The World Aquarium utilizes its bench-level laboratories to determine by applied science environmental solutions implemented through efforts supported by its Conservation for the Oceans Foundation for field-level applications on a project by project basis. High School and College Internships are done at the Aquarium with students from over 45 universities.

7 Conservation Activities

8 REGIONAL ACTIVITIES  Publication series dealing with conservation and multistakeholder engagement

9 REGIONAL ACTIVITIES Microfinance Project for Fisherfolk in Kollam, India: This project was realized in 2008 based upon a multi-year field study including surveys of local leadership and post-analysis that led to a collaborative between the World Aquarium, Fatima Mata National College, Sathigiri Ashram and the Desinganad Multi-State Development Cooperative Credit Society Limited (DDS). DDS is a Social Organization working in the field of development support activities. It is established to promote, facilitate, conduct and co-ordinate social action/ programs for the emancipation and upliftment of the weaker sections, particularly those socially challenged and discriminated against on the grounds of gender, caste and creed. The operational area of DDS lies in the coastal region of Kollam inhabited by the traditional fisher folk and the adjoining backwaters where also the livelihood is largely dependent on fishing related activities. The impact of poverty is interwoven with fisheries throughout Kerala, India, upon which 80% of their economy is based. In one year, we expect this project to be sustainable. The aim is to positively affect the entire economy of Kollam, Kerala, India. This project, we hope, will become a model for other fisheries communities throughout the world.

10 REGIONAL ACTIVITIES Upper Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Project: This project started in September 2010 at a collaborative meeting between the Institute of Environment & Eco-Development, World Aquarium/ Conservation for the Oceans Foundation, UNESCO, A.N. College, Dept. Of Water Sciences & Environment, Bihar State Pollution Control Board and Bhagalpur University, Bihar. The meeting was entitled, “Aquatic Conservation of Ganga River in Bihar.” A focus of the project is the conservation of the Susu River Dolphin (Ganges and Indus River Dolphins). Construction of dams and barrages, dredging and development of the riverine environment, and pollutants from industrialization and intensive agriculture are the major causes of freshwater dolphin extinction. In addition, the dolphins are incidentally killed through fishing activities and are deliberately killed for their meat and oil. This book will mark the beginning of a collaboration to improve conditions of the Ganges River Dolphin and to lessen the effects of pollution, and improve fisheries and agricultural practices towards the improvement of water quality.

11 REGIONAL ACTIVITIES Caspian Sea Conservation: A Regional Approach The first contact from the World Aquarium and the World Ocean Network (WON) was established in 2004. A European Seas Regional meeting was held in January 28-29, 2006 entitled, “Mobilizing Public and Stakeholders Toward Fisheries Sustainability” involving representatives from Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. A second regional meeting was held November 6, 2007 in conjunction with Pacem in Maribus XXXII – 2007, Women, Youth and the Sea. The theme was Marine Biodiversity/Food Security. In Russia, a meeting was convened at Astrakhan University entitled, “Survey on how the recommendation of Leadership seminar on Caspian Sea and its Deltas Region Sustainable development and regional security held in 27-30 May, Astrakhan, Russian Federation - has been implemented 27 – 28 August 2010.” A summative book regarding conservation of the Caspian Sea region is expected to be published. A positive outcome of these meetings is the establishment of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Site at the Caspian Sea, improved conservation practice and development of sustainability of the fisheries as well as an agreement with the oil companies for future environmental protection were amongst the additional precedents set.

12 Growing Scientific and Popular Understanding and Dependence Upon the Ocean One billion depend on protein from the ocean 200 million employed directly from the ocean 70%-80% of the world’s oxygen is produced by oceans

13 Early Resource Management Not much is known about the ocean as an exhaustable resource until the 1900s Fish stocks

14 Collapse of Atlantic Cod

15 Creating a Law of the Sea Starting in 1945, the Truman Declaration asked for unilateral rights to the continental shelf 1950s - 4-200 miles International Law Commission 1960 – Convention of Oceans 1982 – United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea 1990 – Ratified with 60 countries

16 Evolution of the “Law of the Sea” 1960 – Convention of Oceans 1982 – United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea 1990 – Ratified with 60 countries

17 Competing Uses for Ocean Resources Mining & Drilling Destructive Fisheries Practices Jurisdiction Over Polar Use

18 Fishing on Land? Fish as protein source As fish stocks are depleted, land wildlife is further decimated such as in Africa (i.e. hippopotamuses, monkeys, lions, and leopards)

19 Growing Threats to Reef Systems Coastal development and pollution Climate Change

20 Policy Options United Nations Law of the Sea: Yes or No? A New Domestic Oceans Policy for the U.S.? New Tools for Ocean Marine Management

21 Fisheries Abolish Government Subsidies for Fishing Individual Fishing Quotas or Catch Shares Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Fisheries Marine Protected Areas and Reserves Shaping Consumer Demand

22 Next Steps A new global Approach Improved Governance at the Local Level

23 INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES World Ocean Network CONCRETE FIELD ACTIONS COMMITTEE GOALS o Implementing outdoor/indoor field actions on a local scale as well as on a global scale. o To launch a call for Field actions project within the Network, according to pre-defined criteria and objective. o Partners supports of local initiatives on the field as well as votes for global projects which will be financed by the Network fund for Field action. o WORLD OCEAN DAY Celebrations.

24 CURRENT OCEAN INITIATIVES Organic pharmaculture Sustainable agriculture to reduce fertilizer runoff Eutrophic zone amelioration Nutrients to improve coral growth Aquaculture Improving fisheries productivity through Marine Protected Area management Pollution on coastal ecosystems

25 AQUACULTURE – Aquaculture process improvement GroFish treatment Feed modification Reduced effluent

26 Aquaculture is intertwined with the natural production system through nutrients, pollutants, pathogens, release levels affecting wild stocks, economic research, and public awareness. Feed Formulation Fish Meal/Oil Oxygen Soluble Wastes bacteria Effluents Nitrogen/Phosphorus Settled Wastes Water Column Benthos Management Practices: Fish Escapes Prevention Fish Stock

27 Current Ocean Issues

28 DESALINATION & OCEAN ACIDIFICATION Climate change, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, excess nutrient inputs, and pollution in its many forms are made toxic by temperature changes, chemical solubility differences, and concomitant microfaunal alterations, fundamentally altering the chemistry of the ocean, often on a global scale and, in some cases, at rates greatly exceeding those in the historical and recent geological record. Major observed trends include a shift in the acid- base chemistry of seawater, reduced subsurface oxygen both in near-shore coastal water and in the open ocean, rising coastal nitrogen levels, and widespread increase in mercury and persistent organic pollutants. Most of these perturbations, tied either directly or indirectly to human fossil fuel combustion, fertilizer use, and industrial activity, are projected to grow in coming decades, resulting in increasing negative impacts on ocean biota and marine resources. These changes have affected the melting of the ice caps. The melting of the ice caps affects the salinity of the water. The normal pH for freshwater is 7.0. The normal pH for saltwater is 8.0-8.4. As the salinity decreases (more freshwater in the seawater) so does the pH. The acidification affects the coral reef and any carbonate process significantly. Because the carbonate ions are necessary for marine calcifying organisms, such as corals, molluscs, echinoderms, and crustaceans, to produce their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. Therefore, a significant amount of coral reefs and oceans are dying due to the changes in salinity. Change in sea surface pH caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions between the 1700s and 1990s Our Dying Oceans by Jeremy Jacquot

29 MARINE CONSERVATION – Pollution on coastal ecosystems – Eutrophic zone amelioration – Sustainable agriculture to reduce fertilizer runoff Mississippi Dead Zone Dead Zone near the mouth of the Mississippi, winter Dead Zone near the mouth of the Mississippi, summer Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Scientific Visualization StudioNASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

30 CLIMATE CHANGE & WEATHER PATTERNS As the Earth’s surface temperature increases, weather patterns will change. Changes and challenges caused by these temperature abnormalities can range from climate change patterns that cause tsunamis, hurricanes, excessive or declined rainfall, flooding, and droughts, to changes in fisheries productivity.

31 CORAL BLEACHING o Coral recovery

32 SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD Billions of people throughout the world rely on fish as a primary source of protein, particularly in developing countries with rapidly expanding populations. Worldwide, fish provide over 2.6 billion people with more than 20% of their animal protein. The world’s fisheries generate over US$130 billion annually, and contribute significantly to the economies of many countries. Even where fisheries are not important on a national level, they can be critical for regional employment, where entire communities of small-scale fishermen rely on fishing as their primary source of income. Worldwide, over 38 million people earn an income by fishing or raising fish, and if activities associated with fisheries production are included, fisheries support over 200 million people. In industrialized countries, recreational fishing also provides a large source of income.

33 RIO+20 ZERO-DRAFT DOCUMENT NEGOTIATIONS Prior to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the outcomes of this conference are being considered through various inputs from governmental, non-governmental and independent organizations for the purpose of obtaining a full spectrum of opinions from all levels of society to elicit the greatest level of buy-in.

34 Next Steps

35 THANK YOU! Any questions? World Aquarium 701 North 15 th Street, 2 nd Floor St. Louis, MO 63103 314-647-6011

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