Emerging Issues Publications 


2010 Canadian Marine Ecosystem Status and Trends Report: Science Advisory Report 2010/2030

Prepared by the Science Advisory Secretariat of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the ESTR reports on the condition, trends, drivers, and stressors of 25 Canadian ecozones - 15 terrestrial, 1 freshwater, and 9 marine. It includes key findings and identifies emerging issues related to: climate and oceanography; species; contaminants; industrial impacts and development; coastal zone cumulative impacts; and biological and ecological effects.

40 Priority Research Questions for Ocean Science in Canada

Released by the Council of Canadian Academies in 2012, this report identifies 40 priority research questions that, if answered, would have the greatest impact on addressing future opportunities and challenges relating to ocean science in Canada. The 40 questions were developed in a collaborative, open and democratic process during a two-day workshop.

Aquatic Invaders Under High Surveillance

This DFO Science article is about monitoring invasive species such as green crabs, skeleton shrimp, and golden star tunicates, in the St Lawrence River Estuary and Gulf of St Lawrence.

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends

Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 presents 22 national key findings derived from a collaborative assessment of Canada’s ecosystems by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The 22 key findings emerged from the synthesis and analysis of background technical reports prepared on the status and trends for many cross-cutting national themes.

Canada's Small Scale Fisheries Report

The workshop report titled “Small Scale, Big Value: Creating a Value Chain to Support Atlantic Canada’s Sustainable Fisheries” includes the results of discussions at the workshop that led to broad agreement on several recommendations, which have been compiled and released in the report. The main findings include recommendations around: markets, new relationships, building links, values-based branding, and sharing stories

Impact of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series No. 75: “An Updated Synthesis of the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biodiversity” presents the results of a scientific synthesis on the impacts of ocean acidification on marine and coastal biodiversity.

Entanglement of Marine Species in Marine debris

“The NOAA Marine Debris Program, in partnership with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has published two reports that assess the current state of science on two marine debris impacts: ingestion and entanglement. The two reports are: “Entanglement of Marine Species in Marine Debris with an Emphasis on Species in the United States” and “Occurrence of Health Effects of Anthropogenic Debris Ingested by Marine Organisms”.

Japanese Skeleton Shrimp under scrutiny

“Japanese Skeleton Shrimp under scrutiny” is a DFO Science article about the invasive species and the nature of the crustacean's interactions with mussel spat.

Keeping The Green Crab At Bay

“Keeping The Green Crab At Bay - A Proactive Approach” is a DFO Science article about the European green crab; one of the ten “most unwanted” invasives in the world

Marine Debris Reduction Plan

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has released the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan. Virginia is the first state on the east coast to have a plan in place to address marine debris. The plan aims to reduce the amount of marine debris from land-based and water-based sources in Virginia, for ecological, social and economic benefits, through: leadership, prevention, interception, innovation, and removal.

Marine Plastic Waste and the Circular Economy

The International Institute for Sustainable Development has published a summary of meeting, titled “Marine Plastic Waste and the Circular Economy: Building Long-term Solutions to Immediate Challenges” convened by the Prince’s Charities International Sustainability Unit and the Global Ocean Commission on 18 March 2015, in Washington, DC, USA.

Non-Native Seaweed in Massachusetts

A fact sheet that summarizes information on invasive seaweed species in Massachusetts, their ecology, and potential impacts to the marine ecosystem and economy.

Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean

This 2010 report was published by the National Academies (USA). A key finding of the study is that a global network of chemical and biological observations is needed to monitor changes in ocean conditions attributable to acidification.

Ocean Acidification in the Northwest Atlantic

“Ocean Acidification in the Northwest Atlantic: Exploring Effects on Marine Life and Ecosystem Processes” is a DFO Science article details research on the effects of ocean acidification in the northwest Atlantic, including research on cod and lobster.

Proceedings of the GESAMP International Workshop on plastic particles as a vector in transporting persistent, bio-accumulating and toxic substances in the oceans

This report is the record of a workshop organized by GESAMP as part of its “New and Emerging Issues” Programme. It was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 28 to 30 June, 2010 and hosted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

Results of acidification and hypoxia work

Results of acidification and hypoxia work” is a DFO Science article. Research has found that the magnitude of acidification in the St. Lawrence is disproportionate to that observed in the open ocean: in the span of 75 years, the pH of the deep waters in the estuary has dropped by 0.2 to 0.3 units, stabilizing at around 7.6 to 7.7.

Shellfish, Nitrogen, and the Health of Our Coastal Waters

The Woods Hole Sea Grant and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension have released a four-page bulletin “Shellfish, Nitrogen, and the Health of Our Coastal Waters” that summarizes the potential for shellfish to be used to mitigate the effects of excess nutrients in coastal waters. This document discusses the potential and the challenges to using shellfish production as part of a nutrient reduction plan.

State of the Gulf of Maine Report: Emerging Issues - Circa 2010

This paper discusses some of the emerging issues around the Gulf of Maine (including the Bay of Fundy). The focus is on the environment and natural resources, covering the watersheds (lands and waters), estuaries, coastal and offshore waters, and how society is responding to their care.

The Impact of Ocean Acidification on State Waters

A newly released report issued by a Maryland State Task Force “Task Force to Study the Impact of Ocean Acidification on State Waters Report to the Governor and the Maryland General Assembly” outlines the impacts that acidification has on Maryland waters and calls for monitoring, industry partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies to address the threat.

The Foundation for Environmental, Social and Economic Prosperity in Nova Scotia: A Panel of Expertise Report on Biodiversity to the Steering Panel

Part of the Nova Scotia Natural Resources Strategy 2010 process.

The Gulf of Maine Council's EcoSystem Indicator Partnership (ESIP)

The Gulf of Maine Council's EcoSystem Indicator Partnership (ESIP) has released the fact sheet on contaminants in the Gulf of Maine/Bay of Fundy. The fact sheet summarizes data from the Gulf of Maine for three key indicators - chemical contaminants in mussels, sediment contaminants & toxicity, and shellfish beds approved for harvesting - The April ESIP Monthly Journal includes an announcement that ESIP is releasing an updated Monitoring Map web tool

The Regional Lionfish Committee

The Regional Lionfish Committee, also known as “Ad Hoc Committee for the Caribbean Regional Response to Lionfish Invasion” coordinated the development of a Regional Strategy “Regional Strategy for the Control of Invasive Lionfish in the Wider Caribbean”. The strategy is intended to help guide action by stakeholders concerned with, and impacted by, the lionfish invasion.

Turning the Tide on Trash: 2014 Report

This report from the Ocean Conservancy provides the data and details of the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup. Nearly 650,000 volunteers in 92 countries collected more than 123 million pounds of debris from the world’s beaches and waterways.

UN World Water Development Report (2012)

The fourth edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4), “Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk” was recently launched at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille. WWDR4 describes the major changes, uncertainties, and risks taking place in the world and their links to water resources.

UNEP Year Book 2011: Emerging Issues in Our Global Environment

The UNEP Year Book 2011 examines global emerging issues and the latest environmental developments and trends. Topics explored include plastic debris in the ocean, phosphorus in food production and loss of forest biodiversity.

UNEP Year Book 2013: Emerging Issues for the Global Environment

The UNEP Year Book 2013 highlights issues such as: the rush for resources prompted by an apparent acceleration in sea ice melt; the need for better information and sound management; and raises the issue of the recent spike in the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn.

UNEP: 21 Issues for the 21st Century

Every two years, the UNEP Foresight Process produces a ranking of the most important emerging issues related to the global environment. The latest Process resulted in a list of 21 emerging environmental issues covering the major themes of the global environment, including food, land, freshwater, marine, biodiversity, climate change, energy, waste, and technology; and important cross-cutting issues ranging from the need for better environmental governance, to the need for human behavioral change towards the environment.

UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 5 (2012)

The United Nations Environment Programme has released “The Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5)” which evaluates ninety of the most pressing environmental goals, including stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting food security, and protecting ecosystems and biodiversity.

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