Carribean climate chaos, dead zones, plastic dumps, coral collapse, predatory Capitalism ..

”World Oceans Day also offered us an opportunity to showcase new and emerging opportunities e.g. wave and tidal energy potential, international telecommunication (through submarine cables) and for making the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources an integral part of our development agenda and in so doing ensuring that measures are put in place to safeguard this resource for future generations.

Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day? To remind everyone of the major part the Ocean has in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. To inform the public on the impact of the human actions on the Ocean.  .. To develop a worldwide movement of citizens, towards the Ocean. …To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the Ocean” …..

STOP Predator Capitalism Destroying the Carribean

Christopher Corbin interviews CARICOM’s Secretary for CARICOM Today.   …Mr. Corbin: What are some critical issues that the Region needs to address ?

  1. 1.POLLUTION: We must prevent, reduce and control the level of pollution entering the Caribbean Sea from both land and marine based sources. These include pollution from untreated sewage, from garbage which eventually ends up as marine litter, from agrochemical run-off – pesticides and fertilisers, from the run-off of soil from poor land-use practices and from maritime transportation including oil spills and discharge of ballast water.
  2. HABITAT DEGRADATION: We must control the degradation of critical coastal and marine ecosystems critical to our Tourism and Fisheries Sectors including coral reefs, mangroves or wetlands and sea grass beds.
  3. OVERFISHING: We must reduce on overfishing in particular on fish that help maintain our coral reefs – e.g. parrot fish.
  4. Plastic Waste Emergency in Caribbean Sea..Plastic waste is dumped or transported through waterways into the ocean via normal rainfall or flooding, and poses serious danger to marine life and coral reefs, with knock-on effects for fisheries, food security and tourism.
  5. INVASIVE SPECIES: We have already seen the potential devastation invasive species can cause as the Caribbean deals with the impacts of LionFish.  Measures must be put in place to minimise the potential for new invasive species to enter our Region including from Ballast Water and other sources.
  6. OFF-SHORE MINING AND EXPLORATION: As the Region seeks to take advantage of new opportunities for off-shore research and sustainable use of coastal and marine resources including deep sea mining – we must ensure that appropriate guidelines, standards and structures are in place at both national and Regional levels.
  7. CLIMATE CHANGE: The three key issues here relate to ocean acidification, sea level rise and global warming. This also has links to coastal/land use development and disaster planning especially as it pertains to use of coastal areas for development purposes.

.. Massive 8,000-mile Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ could be one of … the gulf’s largest. Climate change aided  record-breaking Midwest rainfall is flushing millions of tons more of fertilizer and sewage water out to sea, contributing to a devastatingly large ...

Monstrous Growth of ‘Dead Zone’ Forecast off US Gulf Coast

A dead zone, nearly record breaking in size, could grow in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, researchers announced on Monday.Thought to be responsible is the unusually high Spring rainfall across the US Midwest that caused fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi River Basin and out into the Gulf. The nutrients in the fertilizers feed algae blooms that then die, decompose and deplete oxygen from the water.

Dead zones choke out the environment of the ocean and threaten the local marine life. Researchers at Louisiana State University think the dead zone area could spread to 8,717 square miles (20,577 square km). The 5-year average of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is well under 6,000 square miles.

Expert says the sargassum situation in the Caribbean Sea is very serious

A report from The Yucatán Times.

Dr. Brigitta Ine van Tussenbroek, researcher at the Puerto Morelos Arrecifal Systems Academic Unit of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the UNAM, said that the sargassum situation in the Caribbean Sea is very serious, as the spot now extends along the eastern and northern coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The expert, a doctor in biology and ecology of seagrass and macroalgae by the University of Liverpool, forecasted the massive arrival of sargassum to the Mexican Caribbean six months ago, based on studies from the University of Florida.

“If the situation is similar to that of 2018, the damage to the ecosystem and the tourism industry will be severe,” said Dr. Ine van Tussenbroek.

“We have no idea of ​​the capacity of resilience of the environment before this event, the amount of this type of organic matter is growing exponentially; the biogeochemistry of the systems is changing completely, “Dr. Brigitta added.

“To mitigate this phenomenon requires more joint efforts involving the different nation’s governments: in addition to research, a scientific comprehensive initiative is necessary to establish the most efficient ways to collect the sargassum in the open sea without harming the ecosystem “, said the researcher, who insisted that the phenomenon is still underestimated, despite its magnitude. It has turned into a dangerous natural plague.

On the possibility that the sargassum stain spreads all over the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula , Dr. Ine van Tussenbroek, said that the possibility is wide, but that it depends on the local atmospheric conditions, such as the trade winds, which is carrying the sargasso to the beaches of the region.

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Caribbean oceans are choked by plastic bottles and rubbish …A sea of plastic: Shocking images show how bottles, bags and rubbish are choking our oceans. One image taken near Roatan, an island off Honduras, shows diver grimace as he prepares to enter the water

Rodríguez Martínez stated that in September 2015, 2,500 cubic meters of sargassum were found per kilometer of beach; while in 2018, 45,000 cubic meters per kilometer of beach were found in Puerto Morelos, we are talking about an increase of almost 200%.Scientists look at hurricane damage to Caribbean coral reefs

by Charlotte Hsu, University at Buffalo

Before and after views of a coral reef off the coast of St. John, US Virgin Islands. The reef, vibrant and full of life, is pictured in 2013 (left). The same reef is shown from a different view in 2017 (right), after hurricanes Maria and Irma tore through the region.The reef is now more sparsely populated, with many coral colonies either severely damaged or swept away.

When hurricanes Maria and Irma, the classic climate change aided  monster hurricanes,  tore through the Caribbean, they not only wreaked havoc on land, but also devastated ocean ecosystems.

Coral reefs off St. John, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, suffered severe injury during the storms, say scientists from the University at Buffalo and California State University, Northridge who traveled there to assess the damage—the first step in understanding the reefs’ recovery.

Hurricanes have always occurred in the Caribbean, so the region’s habitats should be able to come back from the brink of destruction, just as forests recover following naturally occurring wildfires.

However, climate change is putting additional strain on these habitats by increasing the likelihood of catastrophic bleaching events like those seen in the Great Barrier Reef.

Over the last 30 years, Caribbean coral reefs have suffered enormous declines both in terms of overall coral reef ecosystem “health” and the productivity of reef fisheries.

STOP Predator Capitalism Destroying Carribean

Overdevelopment of coastal areas, overfishing, direct tourism impacts such as overuse of particular reefs for recreational diving and snorkeling, and declines in water quality have in many cases led to dire consequences for coral reefs, leaving devastated underwater seascapes where thriving hard coral colonies once stood.
Hurricanes ‘sandblasted’ these Caribbean coral reefs …
In recognition of the intrinsic value and vulnerability of their coral reef ecosystems, many Caribbean nations are developing, at least on paper,  more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and increasingly stringent regulations aimed at better protecting these resources.

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