Shark Week 2018: Interactive Map Shows How Commercial Fishing Threatens Sharks
As the Discovery Channel marks its 30th anniversary of Shark Week, it's important to remember that many populations of the iconic ocean predator are under threat from human activity, especially from commercial fishing.
On Monday, a new interactive map was launched to show the movements of 45 sharks tagged between 2012 and 2018. Their tracks, covering more than 150,000 miles total, were overlaid with commercial fishing traffic in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, showing the challenges shark populations encounter every day.
"Many species of large sharks remain highly vulnerable throughout our oceans, and the integration provided here highlights the magnitude of threats they face," said project leader Austin Gallagher, chief scientist and CEO of Beneath the Waves, in a press release provided to EcoWatch.
Oceana collaborated with @DrAustinG from @Beneaththewaves and @DrNeilHammer from @UMSharkResearch to combine sharks… https://t.co/KIaUNH2xqL— Oceana (@Oceana)1532353649.0
"Highly mobile sharks, such as those reflected in this interactive map, often navigate through a gauntlet of fishing vessels with potential interactions," said project collaborator and shark expert Neil Hammerschlag at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in the press release." Many fishing gear types can put these sharks at risk, as both target and bycatch—especially in the international waters of the high seas where no catch limits exist for many shark species."
Tagged species include blue, tiger, shortfin mako, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, porbeagle and dusky sharks. Their tracks were added to Global Fishing Watch, an online platform launched two years ago by Google, Oceana and SkyTruth "to provide the world's first global view of commercial fishing activities."
The map shows the incredible distances the tagged sharks traveled. One 7-foot-8-inch adult male shortfin mako shark named "Oscar" traveled more than 22,000 miles in less than two years. Another 8-foot-4-inch adult male blue shark named "Buzz" traveled 3,000 south from Cape Cod, past the Caribbean to South America
The current map provides historical data but the team eventually hopes to display information in real time, Fast Company reported.
"We're hoping to expand and collaborate with more researchers to not only get more shark data but then other marine wildlife data as well, so that we can really create this interactive map platform that shows all types of marine wildlife and how they're interacting with fishing vessels," Lacey Malarky, an analyst with the illegal fishing and seafood fraud campaign at Oceana, told the website.
Gillnet Fishing Blamed for Killing Up to 100 Baby Hammerhead Sharks in Honolulu https://t.co/GNbE4MCRRK #overfishing #bycatch— Blue Planet Society (@Blue Planet Society)1530166351.0
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A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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