Planetary Challenge winter 2018

About this class

This course helps students understand our physical environment, and the impact we have on our environment.

Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by mrob10 on April 20, 2018
The article “Fisheries emissions rising despite recent efforts, UBC study shows” by Bethany Lindsay discusses and brings forward how different types of fisheries bring different amounts of Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. A new research from the University of British Columbia discovered that crustacean fisheries, like shrimp and lobster, actually create the most emissions than other fisheries. The study found a 21% increase in Greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of fish, from 1990-2011.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Dajia Bergeron on April 20, 2018
In the article "Fisheries Emissions Rising Despite rect efforts"  written by Bethany Lindsay explains the findings about a study on fisheries and their greenhouse gasses emmisions. According to the University of B.C. research, harvesting crustaceans such as shrimp is creating a bigger carbon footprint. From 1990 to 2011, there has been an increase in carbon footprint of around 21 percent per tonne of fish. The study’s leader Robert Parker said that he didn’t really think this result was actually considered bad.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by veronicajchang on April 20, 2018
In the article “Fisheries and the Environment”, it is described how marine ecosystems are severely damaged due to commercial fisheries; the purpose of this article is to inform the public on the causes and effects of commercial fisheries’ practices. It is further stated how overfishing disrupts the aquatic ecosystems; though fish may be renewable, they are not inexhaustible; the life and health of fish are in danger, as many are losing their habitat and are getting contaminated by elements negatively affecting the waters that fish live in.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by ChaiEl on April 20, 2018
The following article “The Government of Canada protects Species at Risk habitat” has for purpose to justify how several marine mammals are at risk in their own natural habitat. The author of the article further puts the blame on climate change, which is resulted by our actions (again!). As mentioned in class, several causes can endanger the ocean; coral bleaching, ocean acidification, fish migration and many others.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by RosalieCB on April 20, 2018
In an article called “Race to the Bottom:Impact of Deep-sea Fishing Severely Underestimated written by Alastair Bland, on April 2018, we study the impacts that deep-sea fishery has on the environment.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Nicholastank2 on April 20, 2018
In an article by Popular Science, they talk about how half of marine life population has disappeared in the last 45 years. The article also notes that by 2050, coral reefs will face extinction by 2050 if the current rate of pollution in the ocean continues. Ocean species like Tuna have declined by 74% and seas cucumbers have declined by over 90%. Though they do point out that due to a change in ocean conservation policy such as increasing ocean protection zone have increased fishing laws. Many of these zones are now starting to return to there previous state.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Rainertaycho on April 20, 2018
According to the article "Are current fishing regulations misguided?" by John Matson, fishes all over the world continue to decline while certain species of fishes are being driven to endangerment at an alarming rate. Governments all over the world has implemented different kinds of regulations such as selective fishing in order to reduce the likelihood of an endangered species being caught and sold. What the government did not account for are the unintended consequences such as unintentionally shifting the ecosystem out of balance.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Username on April 19, 2018
    The article Sustainable Seafood Farms Can Help Asia’s Oceans, published by the Asian Pacific Post, focuses on the increasingly alarming rate of destruction or the Asian marine ecosystem along with the imminent collapse of itself and the fishing industry, while also present certain solutions. It informs us that across Asia, 64 % of the resource bases for fisheries at between a medium and elevated risk of overfishing, with estimates that by 2048, there would be no fish left for commercial fishing.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by AlexandraGevry on April 19, 2018
The article “Environmental Impacts of Ocean Fishing & Fisheries” demonstrates that human activities have severely affected the marine life on the Earth’s oceans. Fisheries may be necessary for providing food and for the economy but they are causing huge damage to the environment. Environmentalists are warming us that if the fisheries continue to expand worldwide, negative impacts would dramatically increase and interfere with the trophic level within the ecosystem.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Devon Sarkissian on April 19, 2018
In Agriculture’s Portfolio for an Uncertain Future: Preparing for Global Warming, readers are informed that global warming poses threats on agriculture.  Since agriculture takes place outdoors, climate change affects when, where, and how food and timber are produced (Drabenstott, 1992).  Changes in climate can cut crop yields, force regional shifts in production, an increase in irrigation costs, etc.  Luckily, major technological changes have been made in the twentieth century to make agriculture more adaptable.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Maya Rinaldi on April 19, 2018
The purpose of Carly Cassella’s article “A Sperm Whale Found Dead in Spain Had 29 Kilos of Plastic in Its Stomach” is to display the severe consequences that ocean pollution can have on marine life. After the young sperm whale was found dead on a beach in Spain, an autopsy was performed on the whale to get further information on the cause of its death. It was revealed that the whale died because it could not get rid of the trash it had swallowed which consisted of several plastic bags, cans, pieces of rope and net.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by mirufdd on April 18, 2018
In his article from The Guardian, Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of “World Wildlife Fund Australia”, wanted to share his successful projections concerning the problem of overfishing. Seeing, the urgent need in seafood business, the country decided to take actions into their own hands. Indeed, studies showed that a huge range of marine species were declining in numbers. Ocean ecosystems were in danger because of the overfishing and the dangerous fishing practices. As the demand in seafood increase, the offer is lowering rapidly.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Stefan on April 17, 2018
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/06/23/news/canadas-fishery-severe-decline-warns-ocean-watch-group  

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by alex11 on April 17, 2018
In the article from Global News titled “Swirling pile of trash in Pacific Ocean is now 3 times the size of France” written by Emanuela Campanella. The author talks about the danger of ocean pollution in which revolves around trash in the Pacific Ocean.  One of the ways the author explorer this concern, she states that “Scientists are warning that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, between Hawaii and California, is accumulating trash faster than ever and is now three times the size of France.”. (Campanella).

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Julian on April 17, 2018
Scientists have created a mutant enzyme capable of eating plastic bottles. This discovery is a major breakthrough for environmentalists since it could solve the global plastic pollution crisis. Initially, in 2016, a team of Japanese researchers found a specie of bacteria that can break down the molecular bonds of one of the most commonly used plastic in the world, polyethylene terephthalate,  also known as polyester or PET. Then, two years later, Prof John McGeehan, from the University of Portsmouth, UK, led a research on the enzyme produced by the plastic-eating bacteria.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by kevin on April 16, 2018
In the article “Singapore Deploys Robot Swans to Monitor Pollution and Look Serene While Doing So” the writer presents a new innovative tactic the Singapore government has put into effect to test water quality. Peter Dockrill, the author of the article iterates how ultimately, the goal of the swan is to oversee the quality of their water bodies while being environmentally friendly and not disrupting species living in the water being analyzed. Dockrill mentions how amidst blending in seamlessly, the swanbots are also a more affordable option when testing water samples.

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Champlain College, Saint-Lambert
by Nicholastank2 on April 11, 2018
Compared to 1990, in 2011 there was an 60% increase in the amount of crustacean caught and represented the greatest growth in the fishing industry. This increase in caught shrimped has led to a huge increase in the amount of CO2 emitted by boats capturing crustacean, by about 28% between 1990 and 2011. This has been attributed to a decrease in the cost of gas. The catching of crustacean only accounts for 6% percent of tonnage by the fishing industry but emits  22% of all CO2 by the industry.

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2 months 3 weeks ago

I decide to comment on this summary because the globe's oceans are threatened by various issues, such as over fishing and pollution you have mentioned and to have more knowledge on the subject and its causes is interesting to me and important to our planet in order for us to keep benefiting from our ocean's resources, which play a major role in human life's nutrition and our ecosystems. In my opinion, over fishing is manageable over time through policies, ententes and aquaculture. The bigger issue is the pollution, which is not as manageable because its impacts are long lasting and it is a struggle to find solutions for it, since it has been stacking up from years behind creating damage. The pollution also plays a role in the fish stocks, so as we already over fish, there are also large amount of fish that are decreasing due to the perturbation of their ecosystem caused by many factors such as the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere mentioned in your summary.

2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose to respond to this summary because I find that it has a lot of interesting information concerning the problems oceans have to deal with nowadays. In an article that I found on ocean acidification, I learned that types of aquacultures such as oysters within Washington State were depleting, which gave that first signs of ocean acidification to the state (Craig, 2015, p.1629). Not only does it affect the life in the ocean, it also has repercussions for people because of its impact on the economy (decreases revenues from fisheries and oyster cultures) (Craig, 2015, p.1629). Most of the ocean acidification comes from sources such as emissions of carbon dioxide and nutrient pollution in the water, closely linked to human activities (Craig, 2015 p.1629). In the state of Washington, a council was made to discuss the issues and possible solutions of ocean acidification, which led to a report that illustrated what should be done (Craig, 2015, p. 1630). I think that more of those types of reports should have a significant impact and should be followed by our politicians if we wish to find a balance between our consumption of earth’s resources and what it is able to offer us.
Source:
Craig, R. K. (2015). DEALING WITH OCEAN ACIDIFICATION: THE PROBLEM, THE CLEAN WATER ACT, AND STATE AND REGIONAL APPROACHES. Washington Law Review, 90(4), 1583-1657. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/1776675644?accountid=44391

2 months 3 weeks ago

I genuinely believe that this was truly an incredible article. These bacteria! it seems that they keep getting discovered and never truly stop being diverse, unique and yet so simple creatures. Finding that one can dissolve material that are not biodegradable is groundbreaking, in my opinion and can't believe i never heard of that before. But i do have question which i can't seem to find the answers online...Are these bacteria easy to cultivate? How fast can they eat a, lets say, bottle? Then, how much time until they eat enough to make an impact? the "10 or 100 times faster" doesn't really relate to how fast it normally is. I feel like these questions should be answered for us to keep being impressed at how science is helping us save the planet. i agree that if they prove to be of efficient use, we would be blessed as humans. and I agree on the issue of having more humans play with the ecosystem being dangerous. We already messed up a few times, we should be more careful.

2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose to comment on your summary because much like yourself, I also believe that fishing is an important source of sustenance in an increasingly vegetarian society, and that we must draft and apply stricter regulations to fisheries. As your article proposes, by 2048 it is quite possible that little to no sustainable sea life remains for industrial fishing, also supported by the Asian Pacific Post and the United Nations. In fact, overfishing has become so rampant in certain parts of the world that scientists hypothesise that by 2048, the Asian oceans will have lost over 45 % of their biodiversity and over 90 % of their corals (Mata Press Service). The assertions you made and supported concerning the various causes of ocean pollution, loss of biodiversity and reduction in water quality are all of vital importance to the planets ecosystems. These are all, however, very complex issues, with equally complex solutions. Yet, there does exist a viable alternative which would, in my opinion, provide a “complete” solution, requiring fewer steps than attempting to resolve each variable on its own; aquaculture. Aquaculture, is quite simple the farming of marine life in controlled and often artificial environments. Thus, rather than polluting the natural environment, fishing companies create large water reservoirs and grow their fish, process and restart. This allows for a minimum of pollution, it ensures that the natural environments are not overfished to the point of replenishment becomes impossible and should reduce the costs run by companies (Mata Press Service). Humans have grown accustomed to overconsume, and as this remains a world run on money, it would be quite difficult to convince corporations to reduce their production and profits in exchange for stronger regulations and taxation on pollution. Therefor, at least for now in my opinion. A most viable option would be to substitute our ocean fisheries by aquaculture fisheries in the hopes of saving what remains of our ocean biomes.
Works Cited
Mata Press Service. (2018, April 27). Sustainable seafood farms can help Asia's oceans. Retrieved April 18, 2018, from http://www.asianpacificpost.com/article/8254-sustainable-seafood-farms-c...’s-oceans.html

2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose to comment on this summary because I have never given much thought about the impacts that fisheries have on the environment. On the contrary, I thought more about how humans and the climate-changing environment affect fisheries. Much like you, I did not know much about this issue and I am surprised to find out about the intensity at which fisheries pollute. If I had to name the first problem about the fishing industry that came to mind, it would be that humans are fishing too much. Indeed, around three quarters “of major fisheries [have been] fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted” at the beginning of this millenium (Clark & Clausen, 2008). However, I know now that this is not the only important aspect to focus on regarding fisheries. In 2005, a study revealed that “fisheries burned almost 50 billion L of fuel in the process of landing just over 80 million t of marine fish and invertebrates” (Tyedmers & Al, 2005). I think that it is our responsibility as consumers to inform ourselves about where our food came from and what was sacrificed so that our groceries stores are filled with fresh foods. The same principle applies for other sources of foods, such as those coming from agriculture. Even if the issue of fisheries' emissions would be addressed, however, over fishing would still remain an issue.

Bibliography

Clark, B., & Clausen, R. (2008). The oceanic crisis: Capitalism and the degradation of marine ecosystems. Monthly Review, 60(3), 91-111. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/213216506?accountid=44391

Tyedmers, P. H., Watson, R., & Pauly, D. (2005). Fueling global fishing fleets. Ambio, 34(8), 635-8. Retrieved from https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/207674214?accountid=44391

2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose to respond to this article summary, as I had learnt quite a bit on different types of fishing, such as longlining and bottom trawling, two of which are quite dangerous to the marine life, prior to reading this. I had watched a documentary about bad fishing activity called “Sharkwater” whom Rob Stewart, a biologist, activist, and shark-lover, created, and thought this topic was one that was very interesting. With that said, as mentioned in the article you summarized, the author states that entanglements account for 85% of right whale deaths caused by humans; I do think this is a huge issue, as it is something that can easily be prevented. In addition to right whales, the most commonly entangled whale is the humpback whale. That being said, it was shown that California’s Dungeness crab commercial trap fishery was responsible for one third of entanglements, and this number has doubled since 2015 (Howell, 2017). As stated in your article, this can be prevented as lower-strength rope nets could be used whilst still being able to catch a significant amount of fish, crab, and lobster, as well as reducing the dangerous entanglements by 72%. Considering this, I do agree with Deborah Cramer, when she mentions that we should reduce ship strikes further and change the material we use to catch fish. Not only that, but I also agree that we must eliminate fishing lines, as they are lethal to many aquatic organisms who are caught by accident; although techniques like longline fishing have been banned, a large part of the fishing community still practice this illegal way of catching fish. Lastly, I think that implementing policies in the federal legal system would significantly help protect ocean wildlife and making trap fisheries more sustainable.

Howell, L. (2017) Whale entanglements skyrocket off the U.S. West Coast. Mongabay: News & Inspiration from Nature’s Frontline. Retrieved from https://news.mongabay.com/2017/06/whale-entanglements-skyrocket-off-the-...

Reply to: Ocean Management
2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose to comment on your summary because i have seen alot of videos online about the plastic pollution massively affecting marine life, I also feel somewhat responsible as someone who used to live in one of the five countries that create at least 50% of the plastic pollution in the ocean. I agree that this is a problem that must be tackled immediately before the marine life are forced to adapt to a deterioration environment. According to the study "Global research priorities to mitigate plastic pollution impacts on marine life" by A.C Vector et al. "plastic pollution now impacts all marine and coastal habitats... [and its] impact on the physical condition of habitats has received little attention". According to the study, in more extreme cases, plastic pollution has been seen to alter the physico-chemical processes such as light and oxygen availability along with temperature and water movement, which leads to alteration in micro and meiobenthic communities and interruption of foraging pattern of key species.
The consequences of plastic waste is not only limited to 'how we get rid of it inland' but also its effects on both land and marine life if not disposed of properly. I believe this is a problem that must be tackled immediately because with the plastic pollution messing up the marine habitat and with the fisheries over exploiting the fishes, i don't think they would last another couple of centuries.

Work Cited:
https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_376116/UQ376116_OA.pdf?Expires=...

2 months 3 weeks ago

I chose this summary due to my interest in fishing and how it has an affect on our environment. Im interested in knowing what are the possible causes and effects these two attributes have on each other and how it can affect us as humans.
After reading through you summary, I would have to agree with you that the only way that we can enforce change and restrict these measures is by enforcing laws and having a program ran under government control. I cannot see any other way to make change happen other than that. Having fisheries controlled by the government is in my opinion the most optimal and efficient way that we can sustainably manage these fishing industries.

2 months 3 weeks ago

The problem with sustaniable fishing is that it assumes that the growth rate of a species will be constant, but fails to take into account changes in the environment and that they do not live in isolation and as such, there are countless other variables in play that are never taken into account when looking at sustainable fishing. In order for sustainable fishing to be successful, every aspect of the eco system has to be analysed in order for the species in that eco system to survive and flourish. Everything from the specie them self to there predators to our very affects must be looked at with a fine toothed comb.
www.nature.com/ncomms/

2 months 3 weeks ago

I decided to chose this article due to my interest in the causes and effects that come into consideration when talking about climate change, and how it could be or could not be problematic and if it is something that we as humans should be worried about.
I would have to agree with you, this summary was well written and went through all the main points in order to understand the situation. It is true that we as humans need to be more patient and aware about the process. If we take more care of our envionment we could possibly see some changes and a reduction in change in climate. The problem with this is that humans do not have the patience in order to change their way and standards of living for long term impact. Humans are used to having something done and having immediate impact, but this is not the case for this situation. Humans will need to adapt to a different standard of living in order to have the best and most successful way of reducing climate change.

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