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News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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A Commitment to an Arctic Free of Heavy Fuel Oil

Posted On February 6, 2017 by

In a time of uncertainty for people and the environment, I am happy to write that a positive step towards a more sustainable Arctic took place last week at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway.

Hurtigruten, a world-leading expedition cruise ship operator, joined international environmental organizations to launch the Arctic Commitment.

The Arctic Commitment asks businesses and organizations to step forward and call for a phase-out of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping. The Arctic Commitment makes a clear challenge to businesses and organizations to spearhead the protection of Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of HFO to power ships.

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Saving Lives by Reducing Emissions

Posted On October 27, 2016 by

Arctic scene

Credit: Jupiter Unlimited

Greetings from London! Just hours ago, I was lucky enough to witness the International Maritime Organization (IMO) make a pivotal decision that will drastically decrease harmful sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from global shipping.

The Marine Environmental Protection committee of the IMO just decided that a 0.5 global sulphur cap on fuels used by the shipping industry will enter into effect in 2020. By decreasing SOx emissions from the shipping industry by 85 percent, more than 200,000 premature deaths from diseases like lung cancer and heart disease will be prevented. The sulphur cap will also significantly decrease the shipping industries’ share of world air pollution.

We will now turn our attention to ensuring implementation and enforcement of these regulations. Tonight, however, we will celebrate this pivotal decision and toast the hundreds of thousands of lives saved by this measure.

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Photos: Life in the Arctic

Posted On April 27, 2016 by

My name is Sarah Bobbe and I am Ocean Conservancy’s Arctic Program Specialist based in Anchorage, Alaska. TIn case you missed it, this week I took over the Ocean Conservancy Instagram account, and wanted to post the images here! I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to share my passion for the Arctic and the conservation of this region with you all.

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Arctic Wildlife: Get to Know Brittle Stars

Posted On March 30, 2016 by

Our blog series on the lesser known (but just as cool) species of the Arctic continues with brittle stars. Read our other blogs from the series: polar cod and Arctic copepods.

Brittle stars are seafloor dwelling organisms that appear to be a quirkier, more slender version of a starfish. Although they are closely related to starfish—brittle stars differ in many ways.

Brittle stars have a distinct central disc and (usually) five skinny, flexible arms. The central disk (approximately 2.5 cm in diameter in the species Ophiura sarsii) consists of a skeleton of calcium carbonate and contains all the brittle stars’ internal organs. The disk’s appending five arms (circa 9 cm long in Ophiura sarsii) twist and coil to enable movement across the seafloor. Not only do their arms enable locomotion: brittle stars can purposely release on or move arms to evade a predator! As long as its central disk remains, the brittle star will continue to function, and its limbs will regenerate.

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