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Widespread adoption of products labelled 'biodegradable' will not significantly decrease the volume of plastic entering the ocean or the physical and chemical risks that plastics pose to marine environment, concluded a UN report released today.

A decade-long study of bivalves in Florida’s St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon found that the creatures are critical to the health of the waterways, and can be used as reliable indicators of ecosystem health.

The ocean is lighting up with secret forms of communication between marine animals that may have applications in satellite remote sensing, biomedical imaging, cancer detection and computer data storage, a team of Australian and international researchers has found.

Temperature for an area of the Pacific Ocean west of Peru rose to 5.4 degrees above average for the week of November 11, exceeding the November 1997 temperatures for the same region during the most powerful El Niño on record. And according to climate scientists, the current event could have at least one more warming stage left.

According to a paper published on 12 November 2015 in Science, yet another major glacier of Greenland has entered a phase of accelerated retreat. According to the paper’s abstract, the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier in northeast Greenland entered a phase of accelerated retreat in fall 2012. According to lead authors Jeremie Mouginot and Eric Rignot of the University California (Irvine), the massive glacier holds enough frozen water to raise global sea-levels half a meter.

By Andrew Merrington, Senior Media & Communcations Officer, Plymouth University.

Ocean acidification may well be helping invasive species of algae, jellyfish, crabs and shellfish to move to new areas of the planet with damaging consequences, according to the findings of a new report.

President Obama signed the “Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act,” on 5 November 2015. This legislation addresses the first recommendation of the Action Plan created by the President’s Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper today announced Mike Celata as the Regional Director of the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region. Celata, who starts his position immediately, has been with BOEM and its predecessors since 1988. He served as Acting Regional Director prior to his selection.The Gulf of Mexico Region is responsible for managing more than 4,600 active leases over 25 million acres of land on the OCS.

Living shorelines have been given a national stamp of approval in a new federal report that encourages a natural approach to managing coastal erosion.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Guidance for Considering the Use of Living Shorelines” explains the agency’s stance on natural bank stabilization methods, why living shorelines are a preferable alternative to hardened structures, and NOAA’s role in helping property owners who want to build a living shoreline.

NOAA Fisheries has issued regulations and letters of authorization to the U.S. Navy requiring they use measures to minimize impacts to marine mammals while conducting training and testing activities in Navy ranges in state waters off Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

On Wednesday, 18 November 2015, officials from the United States and Cuba are signing a historic agreement that brings the countries together to protect vital marine ecosystems from rising manmade threats such as overfishing, habitat damage and climate change. The agreement, which was first announced in early October at the Our Ocean 2015 conference in Chile, commits the two countries to collaborating on science, outreach and education regarding “sister” marine protected areas.

The federal court in Australia has found Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku guilty of contempt of court for killing minke whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, in breach of a 2008 injunction and Australian law. Brought by the Humane Society International, Australia, the legal case resulted in the court fining Kyodo $1million (AUS), or $250,000 (AUS) for every year of whaling in the Sanctuary, one of the largest fines imposed under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Quality Assurance/Quality Control of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) project recently published three data quality control (QC) manuals that provide guidance to eleven U.S. IOOS Regional Associations, as well as other ocean observing entities who collect and provide oceanographic data to a diverse data-user community. These QC manuals establish written, authoritative procedures for the QC of real-time data and meet the requirements set forth in the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009 (the reauthorization of this legislation is in progress).

A team of NASA and university scientists has developed a new way to use satellite measurements to track changes in Atlantic Ocean currents, which are a driving force in global climate. The finding opens a path to better monitoring and understanding of how ocean circulation is changing and what the changes may mean for future climate.

The Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA) announced today that the Kilroys water quality monitoring systems – deployed in the Indian River Lagoon watershed have revealed significant algae blooms in the tributaries and canals leading into Florida’s Indian River Lagoon (IRL). The first event that ORCA scientists noticed occurred in the C24 Canal where a comprehensive study of the canal is being conducted by ORCA with funding from Scott's Miracle-Gro.

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a partner in a new £2.5 million Centre for Doctoral Training in the use of 'robotic' systems for environmental sciences.

In what has to be one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, OpenROV’s new Trident Underwater Drone has raised 14 times the $50,000 goal set by the company. In fact, according to OpenROV spokespersons, they met their initial goal six minutes into the campaign.

The new FishWatch website is now live. NOAA Fisheries’ new mobile-friendly website enables users to access the nation's database on sustainable seafood anywhere, anytime, on any device.

The Shark Whisperer by Ellen Prager has been named a Finalist in the Children’s Fiction category of the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. The award recognizes both mainstream and independent titles. Over 400 winners and finalists were announced in over 100 categories. Awards were presented for titles published in 2013-2015.

In a project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, the Sailbuoy has completed a 3 week sea trial in the validation process as a wave measurement platform. For 2 weeks, the Sailbuoy “SB Wave” was stationed 10 km from the Ekofisk platforms in the North Sea, in the vicinity of a qualified wave buoy. Comparison test were made between the Sailbuoy and the wave-buoy to validate the suitability of the Sailbuoy as a wave-measuring device.

SpillFix® Industrial Organic Absorbent is made from a bi-product of the coconut (coir), which is an organic, renewable resource that is non-carcinogenic, contains no chemicals and is silica free. This 100% renewable organic material absorbs hazardous liquid spills on contact including oils, fuels, solvents, paints and chemicals, enabling effective clean up with minimal downtime.

FarSounder, a developer of 3D forward looking sonar systems for navigation and obstacle avoidance, has announced an integration partnership with Wärtsilä SAM Electronics. 3D sonar data from FarSounder’s navigation systems can now be visualized and controlled directly from all NACOS MULTIPILOT workstations. The unique forward-looking capabilities of FarSounder's navigation products add a new dimension of situational awareness to the NACOS Platinum Series.

Mussels, oysters, scallops and clams might be ingredients for fine cuisine, but they can also be a recipe for diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP). That’s a gastrointestinal illness people can get if those tasty morsels contain marine toxins. Now, researchers are reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry the development of a portable, inexpensive device that can quickly and easily screen freshly caught shellfish for these substances.

LUXUS Dual 360º P/T is a heavy-duty pan-and-tilt unit suitable for a wide range of actuation tasks and intended for many applications in subsea tooling. It represents a unique and powerful addition to MacArtney’s LUXUS range of underwater cameras, lights, and media controllers.

The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) has announced a partnership of diverse interests to restore four miles of embankment along both sides of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Lafourche Parish, LA, bringing private investment to restoration to protect both environmental and economic interests and serving as a new model of cooperation in coastal restoration efforts.

Teledyne Marine successfully hosted its first combined users’ conference, the Teledyne Marine Technology Workshop (TMTW), on October 4‐7, 2015 in San Diego, California. Over 240 customers from around the globe attended this event, which detailed the utilization of Teledyne Marine products and technologies in challenging environments ranging from the shallowest streams to the deepest recesses of the ocean.

By:Quenton Dokken, Ph.D., Gulf of Mexico Foundation,

Organized by the consulting firm Hunt Petty, LP, the SAFE SEAS – CLEAN SEAS conference brought together approximately 130 offshore drilling, policy, and environmental professionals in Havana, Cuba October 19-21 to discuss the challenges and opportunities for offshore drilling in Cuba’s territorial waters. CUPET, the national oil company of Cuba, is looking to expand oil/gas production and recent relaxing of U.S. restrictions on business interactions with Cuba have encouraged U.S. based drilling and service companies to look for opportunities.

The winners of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) fifth competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters, which offered nearly 344,000 acres offshore New Jersey for potential wind energy development, have been announced.

Decommissioning within the offshore environment is rapidly becoming a focused activity for the oil and gas industry. Latest figures from Decom North Sea suggest that there are, approximately, 470 offshore installations in the UK sector due to come out of service by 2030 with an associated cost of US$46.8 billion (£30 billion). With such a formidable undertaking ahead, oil and gas operators are developing their decommissioning plans.

SeeByte, a global leader in creating smart software for unmanned maritime systems, are pleased to announce that they will be expanding their offices and taking space in the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton.