• CMBC's Phaedra Doukakis at CITES talks in Doha

    Posted on March 24th, 2010 emily No comments

    Look no further than the CMBC blog and Seaweb in Action for the latest on the 15th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).  Dr. Phaedra Doukakis is filling us in on the comings and goings of protection (and lack thereof) for endangered species traded globally and how that might change after this meeting.

    In addition to her CMBC affiliation, Phaedra is a Senior Research Scientist at Stony Brook University.  Much of her research focuses on sturgeon, fish famous for and threatened/endangered by their production of caviar.

    One of the big pieces of marine news coming out of CITES has been the proposal to list bluefin tuna under Appendix I.  Listing would ban trade of wild-caught bluefin tuna and acknowledge that the species is threatened by extinction. Phaedra’s notes on the discussion a couple of days ago:

    So, the bluefin may come back in plenary but since the votes were so negative (only 20 countries in support), I doubt anything will change. The truth is that I don’t think this is the Convention for commercially important fish. It may be in 20 years when things are really bad but it’s not now. There’s too much of a perception that fish aren’t wildlife, widespread populations buffer extinction risk, and fisheries management is the responsibility of the state, nation and international fisheries management organization.

    More to come on future plenary discussion…

  • Scripps hosts CA Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation

    Posted on March 22nd, 2010 emily No comments

    Photo of the 750-kilowatt solar electric carport at Coronado Naval Base; source: http://growalot.com/news/?p=66

    Scripps Seaside Forum hosted an Informational Hearing last Friday for the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation entitled: “Energy Security & Climate Change: Global Problems, Local Solutions.” The hearing represents a growing connection between climate change and national security and highlighted some of the ways that the military in the region and country are moving forward with energy policy. Among the presenters were Major General Anthony L. Jackson, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West and Rear Admiral William D. French, Commander, Navy Region Southwest.

    Amidst a miriad of energy facts including overwhelmingly high fuel costs (upwards of $400/gallon given supply lines and security for forward operating bases of the Marine Corps) and impressive wattage of solar panels (12 megawatts soon to be up and running for the Navy Region Southwest), the highlight of the meeting for me was a response of Senator Pavley to Major General Jackson’s presentation:

    He (Major General Jackson) certainly puts this in the context of what this means for our men and women serving on the battlefield. It’s interesting that the US military is reducing their energy consumption by 30% by 2010. We have a similar bill here in CA. Somehow yours isn’t controversial and ours is.

    Major General Jackson responded “we have a way of taking the controversy out of it,” to which Senator Pavley responded, “I sort of like the military way of doing it.”

    State Senator Fran Pavley is the Chair of the Committee and State Senator Christine Kehoe (Senate District 39, which includes San Diego) hosted the event.

    For more on CA’s Assembly Bill 32: Global Warming Solutions Act, stay tuned to the CMBC blog…

  • Science Friday (on Monday)

    Posted on March 15th, 2010 emily No comments

    Just had to post about the JOY of meeting Ira Flatow back at AAAS.  Jill Harris and I had a great conversation with him about coral reefs, their beauty, and their global decline.  My favorite quote from Ira during our conversation: “Yeah, coral reefs are really pushing up daisies in some spots!”  So true…  especially if you consider the “daisies” to be fleshy macroalgae that’s taking over on degraded reefs as coral cover declines.