Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New discovery of how carbon is stored in the Southern Ocean

New discovery of how carbon is stored in the Southern Ocean.  A team of British and Australian researchers have discovered a new method of how carbon is drawn from the surface of the sea to the deep waters beneath.  Read more...
A team of British and Australian scientists has discovered an important method of how carbon is drawn down from the surface of the Southern Ocean to the deep waters beneath. The Southern Ocean is an important carbon sink in the world – around 40% of the annual global CO2 emissions absorbed by the world's oceans enter through this region.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-discovery-carbon-southern-ocean.html#jCp
Icebergs in the Southern Ocean
Icebergs in the Southern Ocean (Photo credit: Liam Quinn)

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Video: Last undersea lab to close off Florida Keys, USA

Last undersea lab to close off Florida Keys, USA.  After 20 years, the Aquarius Reef Base is losing its $3 million federal funding. The budget cut will close the lab unless it secures private funding.  Watch video...

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Fotografía hecha en Playa del Carmen, México, ...
Fotografía hecha en Playa del Carmen, México, en un lugar llamado Tortugas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Prediction by Tony Haymet

Tony Haymet, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences-
Co-chair BioMarine since 2008 shares his views on the future of aquaculture.

Sustainable aquaculture is poised to boom in many parts of the globe. In April 2011, I had the opportunity to visit – for the first time – underutilised catfish farms near the Mississippi River. Many exciting futures were discussed, but I found myself wondering how often the ponds would be flooded. As it happened, a month later, the farms were underwater.

As the physicist Niels Bohr wryly pointed out, “prediction is always difficult, especially when it is about the future”. Statistically reliable predictions are required in many regions for aquaculture in order to estimate and amortise risk.

But aquaculture is far from alone. For many commercial activities, in addition to requiring the best science, our community is increasingly asking demanding questions on the prediction of the natural world. What useful chemicals will be discovered from the ocean and ocean mud? Will the steady trend in movement of California precipitation from snow to rain continue, or accelerate? What is the average recurrence time for earthquakes under or near California’s nuclear reactors? Will the sea level continue to rise at its current rate, or faster, or slower? Is methane gas leaking from fracking operations? From a given library of 10,000 marine compounds, how many useful pharmaceuticals may be expected?

Routinely scientists and engineers are criticised for the style of their estimates, relying as we do on “probability distribution functions” rather than “yes or no” responses. My colleagues in climate sciences are often asked to making predictions about future levels of ocean acidity, global temperature, and –yes – river flow. Of course, no one knows, nor can they know precisely. Despite our very advanced understanding of the spectroscopy of trapping heat in the planetary atmosphere, we really don’t know how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases and particulates our communities will emit over the next 50 to 100 years. Although there is no apparent sign of it today, we just might come to our senses and emit less!

Our geophysicists are frequently asked to tell the world when the “big one” will happen. They are correctly hesitant to do so, or even to frame earthquake analysis in terms of prediction. Still their work has been invaluable as a spur to preparedness. One team, for example, has detected a pattern of regularly spaced quakes in the Southern California segment of the San Andreas Fault but has noted that we are currently several decades “overdue” for the next instalment. With some breathtaking science, they attributed the delay to the diminishing weight load of the Salton Sea, an evaporating lake located 130 miles to the east of my office at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Now this same team is getting ready to survey the faultlines adjacent to the San Onofre nuclear power plant located in north San Diego County.

These researchers have done much to characterise the next quake we can expect from this region – temporally and spatially – and have succeeded in managing expectations of their predictive prowess. At least I hope so. Who can forget that Italian scientists were charged with manslaughter in 2011 for (in my own words) not successfully predicting a quake that killed 308 people in 2009. Who knows if this sort of reaction will reach California when the next catastrophic quake hits?

Quite properly, scientists and engineers respond with “if … then” scenarios, along the lines of “if we emit this many gigatons of CO2-equivalent, and this level of black carbon soot, we can expect this range of warming”. It is remarkable how often scientists and engineers are criticised harshly for responding responsibly using the “if …then” format. And yet I confidently predict that this state of things will not change soon.

Institutions such as my own will have to gear up to handle more frequent requests for larger-scale predictions. I believe that we are up to the task of helping society manage its future, but we all have a role in keeping expectations reasonable.
Read more about Tony Haymet here.
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Award for USA/Taiwan coral reef program

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography granted award to establish international coral reef programme.  The aquarium in San Diego, USA along with its sister aquarium, Taiwan's National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium, have been awarded a highly competitive 2012 Museums Connect grant to connect youth in both countries to the challenge of saving these crucial marine ecosystems.
English: A Blue Starfish (Linckia laevigata) r...
English: A Blue Starfish (Linckia laevigata) resting on hard Acropora coral. Lighthouse, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Marine City Festival, Plymouth, UK

The first Marine City Festival will be held in Plymouth, UK this September.  Celebrating all thing marine related, highlights from the eight day festival will include music, film, arts and cultural events and aptly, an outdoor screening of Jaws.
Photograph of Brittania statue, taken 13th Jun...
Photograph of Brittania statue, taken 13th June 2008 on Plymouth Hoe, Plymouth, United Kingdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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NOAA plots rising sea levels in the USA

Curious about the sea level rise where you live?  Check out NOAA’s online tool which charts rising sea water in the USA. The Sea Level Rise Viewer allows coastal communities to plot the impact of sea level.  Visuals and the accompanying data and information cover sea level rise inundation, uncertainty, flood frequency, marsh impacts, and socio-economics.
IN SPACE - MAY 29:  In this handout from the N...
 (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

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OriginOil ships its first algae harvester

OriginOil has shipped the first production model of its Algae Appliance harvester to Paris-based Ennesys, in an urban algae joint venture. The programme aims to demonstrate that algae can help achieve eco-sustainability for large building complexes. OriginOil’s entry-level Algae Appliance, the Model 4, is designed to process up to four litres of dilute algae water per minute without the use of chemicals, into an algae concentrate.
Algae, 600x
Algae, 600x (Photo credit: smaller.pathological.ca)
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Monday, 16 July 2012

Promising news for algae super strain

A freak discovery of a super strain of algae could create a new biofuels industry in Australia.  Read more...
Reliefmap of Australia
Reliefmap of Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Raising shrimp in the desert

You are more likely to find a cactus in the desert than a crustation but researchers at New Mexico State University are trying to change all that with their latest project.  Researchers are using cottonseed meal and algae to try and find an economically viable way of growing shrimp in the Desert Southwest.  Read more...
Shrimp Gumbo 913
Shrimp Gumbo 913 (Photo credit: MCLipsco)

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Salt-to-drinking-water converter to be trialled by student

A device which could revolutionise life for communities around the globe will be among the first projects put to the test in Plymouth University's new marine building.

Student Ross Cosgrove, 22, will make scale models of a wave energy converter, which aims to convert salt water into drinking water, and then examine its viability as part of his course thesis.

Ross, who is studying for a Masters degree in marine renewable energy, will use computational simulation software with technology developers in Falmouth to validate his results and establish how much drinkable water could be produced in certain locations.

He will be one of the first people to use facilities in Plymouth University’s new £19million marine building, testing the prototypes in the country’s most advanced wave tanks.
English: University of Plymouth Coat of Arms
English: University of Plymouth Coat of Arms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

World's largest offshore windfarm starts generating electricity

The world's largest offshore windfarm in Cumbria, UK has started generating electricity.  The Walney project's 100 turbine are capable of generating 367MW of electricity, enough to power 320,000 homes.  The scheme has hit its generating targets ahead of schedule after opening in February 2012.  Read more...
Offshore wind turbines at Barrow Offshore Wind...
Offshore wind turbines at Barrow Offshore Wind off Walney Island in the Irish Sea Unusually good weather for April! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Monday, 9 July 2012

Martin Beaulieu

Martin Beaulieu co-owner and Director of Operations at innoVactiv. Rimouski, Canada 

He is also the acting Chair for the Accord Marine Sciences and Technologies Cluster. He holds a master's degree in protein chemistry and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry of polymers (Laval University).

Prior to joining innoVactiv’s team he held a research position at the Nestlé Research Center (Lausanne, Switzerland) where he was coordinating the research for Coffee Mate and Tea Time products.

Since 2004, he has been Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Laval University. Dr. Beaulieu is also a scientific advisor for various Canadian research organizations. He has conducted research visits to the Departments of Food Science of the University of Guelph (Canada) and University of Georgia in Athens (USA).

His research interests focus on the structure / function relationship of compounds from natural extracts for application in the fields of food, nutrition and cosmetics. To date, seven patents and more than sixty scientific communications are originating from the research he contributed to.
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Friday, 6 July 2012

Twitter: Who to follow

Did you know the BioMarine Resources Directory is on Twitter.  You can find us @BioMarineRecour

The bio marine community is growing in Twitter.  Here are some great people and organisations to follow:

Pierre Erwes, BioMarine Business Convention @BioMarineTwitts
Thalocea is a consulting company that specialises in the blue business, ports and sea freight/marine energies and resources @Thalocea
Price Albert II of Monaco is passionate about marine conservation.  Follow news of his foundation @FPA2
The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation regularly updates it's Twitter feed with news snippets @ISSF

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Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Confirmed participants at BioMarine Think tanks

Over the next few days we're going to have a look at the participants at the BioMarine business Convention Think tanks.

First up is Dr Mike Allen, Senior Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

His interests are varied and encompass both blue skies and applied research topics. Blue skies research focuses mainly on understanding the role of viruses in the ocean using genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches. Applied research focuses on biocatalysis, biotransformation, bioprocessing and technology development.

See his recent publications here.

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Commercial deal reached for production of Omega-3 oils for use in EPA products

BioProcess Algae LLC and KD-Pharma Bexbach GmbH have entered a commercial supply agreement for the production of EPA-rich Omega-3 oils for use in concentrated EPA products for nutritional and/or pharmaceutical applications.

BioProcess Algae LLC, a sustainable algal feedstocks company, and KD-Pharma Bexbach GmbH, part of the Fat & Lipids Division of Bioseutica BV, a leading producer of highly purified pharmaceutical-grade Omega-3 will work together to produce feedstock at attractive prices.

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

BioMarine Brochure

I am getting more excited as BioMarine Convention draws nearer.  Today I got my hands on the Convention programme.  Take a look below

Monday, 2 July 2012

The community and environmental benefits of growing algae


This story caught my eye today.  Fishermen in Palawan, Philippines have diversified from fishing to growing algae.   
The benefit of the move is twofold.  Firstly, the coastal communities have an alternative source of income and are no longer dependent on fish.  
Secondly, the project is also helping to restore Palawan's waters and wildlife which were badly affected by cyanide fishing.

palawan (Photo credit: sehmaschine)
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