Oceans

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[edit] Oceans

[edit] Abstract

Our oceans, although they seem indestructible, are much like our lands and atmosphere in the sense that pollution takes on a big negative role."The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (COP), chartered by Congress with commissioners appointed by the president, has issued a 500-page draft report calling for new management practices to protect the nation’s coastal waterways from pollution, overfishing and mismanagement.[1]" Each and everyday more and more pollutants are being put in the ocean and killing millions of our aqua life. Our oceans isn't just a large body of water made up of several smaller bodies of water. It is one big world ocean.Ki Pass

[edit] The Marine Fish Conservation Network

The Marine Fish Conservation Network (Network) is the largest national coalition dedicated to promoting the long-term sustainability of marine fish by pressing for changes in the way we manage our ocean's fish. With more than 160 members - including environmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishing associations, aquariums, and marine science groups - the Network uses its distinct voice and the best available science to educate policymakers, the fishing industry, and the public about the need for sound conservation and better management practices. Today, the Network continues to work with the eight regional fishery management councils and the National Marine Fisheries Service - the federal entities charged with serving as stewards of our ocean fish resources - to ensure that federal laws and regulations uphold the ideals and mandates established by the Sustainable Fisheries Act.[2]

[edit] Two currently pending bills

  • The first is the "Oceans 21" bill introduced by the bipartisan co-chairs of the Oceans Caucus in the House of Representatives (Republicans James C. Greenwood and Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania and Democrats Sam Farr of California and Tom Allen of Maine). The bill seeks to implement many of the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. The bill would set, for the first time, clear national ocean policy and endow federal institutions with the power to implement it, focusing not on individual species or isolated environmental problems but on oceanic ecosystems.
  • The second is legislation introduced by Representatives Rahall (D-WVA) and Farr (D-CA) to reform the regional management councils that determine how many fish can be taken from American waters and who gets what portion of the allowable catch. Some of these councils are more effective than others in protecting habitats, but the councils tend to be dominated by fishing interests. Their members are not bound by normal conflict-of-interest rules, and they do not always follow scientific analyses in setting limits. The bill would begin correcting these problems. Most important, it would tether conservation decisions more closely to the best available science regarding ecosystem health and separate these conservation decisions from those about allocating the catch.[3]

[edit] Committee on Ocean Policy

To meet the challenges raised by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order on 
December 17, 2004, declaring that it shall be the policy of the United States to:
1. Coordinate the activities of executive departments and agencies regarding ocean-related matters in an integrated and effective
manner to advance the environmental, economic, and security interests of present and future generations of Americans; and
2. Facilitate, as appropriate, coordination and consultation regarding ocean-related matters among Federal, State, Tribal, and  
local governments, the private sector, foreign governments, and international organizations.[4]

[edit] Red Tide

Red tide is a toxic algae (Alexandrium) bloom along cosastlines that closes shellfish beds. It is called red tide because it colors the water a rusty color at extremely high concentrations. Shellfish, including hard-shell clams, soft-shell clams, oysters, mussels and scallops, are particularly prone to contamination as they feed by filtering microscopic food out of the water. During red tide blooms, hard-shell clams, soft-shell clams, oysters, mussels, whelks, and moon snails harvested from areas affected by the blooms are not safe to eat.[5]

Harmful Algae Harmful algae are microscopic,single-celled plants that live in the sea. Most species of algae or phytoplankton are not harmful and serve as the energy producers at the base of the food web, without which higher life on this planet would not exist.