OCEAN SYMPOSIUM - SUSSEX 2021
THE UNITED NATIONS 'CLIMATE & OCEANS' INVITED YOU TO JOIN THEM
FOR THE OCEAN SYMPOSIUM 2021 HASTINGS, SUSSEX + ZOOM ONLINE
- 2nd OCTOBER - LIVE EVENT, WITH A STUNNING LINE UP OF SPEAKERS
The Ocean Symposium 2021
was an in-person/online fusion event!
Featuring a cast of world class speakers, underwater films, and Youth
Ambassador presentations - and a global audience via Zoom!
The presentations included local and global science. You were invited to join them in-person or from anywhere in the UK or around the world live through Zoom! Tickets were sold out for attendance at the Durbar Hall. The speakers gave freely of their time, some traveling considerable distances - featured here in order of appearance.
GONZALO ALVAREZ - The Chairman of the UNA O&C, was the master of ceremonies, coordinating the event with the generous assistance of Museum staff, who all contributed to make the event a success. The event was organized by Sussex Wildlife Trust and Youth Council members. Gonzalo is a marine biologist and tireless campaigner who inspires others to care about ocean life and the changing climate that is affecting most life in our seas, to their detriment.
‘THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL’
The Mayor of Hastings - Cllr James Bacon was set to attend, but could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances. We were fortunate that Cllr Ruby Cox was able to come in at very short notice and say a few words about the work of Hastings Council in a world of climate turmoil. Thankyou to Hastings for their continued support.
Nelson Kay -
Foundation/ Vice Chair UNA Climate & Oceans,
gave some insight as to how the SeaVax
project came about in 2015, as the result of an Australian solar engineer
(friend) reading a patent
specification for autonomous vessels and robotic fleet control, then making
contact to say this tech and the associated 'Elizabeth
Swann' vessel, was ideal to clean plastic from the oceans. It wasn't of course,
requiring a complete redesign, but it got Bluebird Marine Systems on the
case, where Nelson (as a volunteer conceptual designer) went from knowing
almost nothing about marine plastic, to being an expert on seawater
filtration in the intervening 5 years, and so the harm marine litter is
causing. He went on to explain that building a prototype and test
tank was nothing, compared to the lobbying that ensued seeking to raise
funds as a not for profit. This is an ongoing campaign via awareness projects
and strategic websites. Where the G20 (and European Union) had confirmed in
correspondence, that they were unprepared to pay to clean up their mess. Brexit did not help. Nelson explained that everyone around the world was carrying on as if it did
not matter if they continued with a high CO2
lifestyle, leaving it up to others to effect a cure, but that such attitude
meant the planet continued to warm. For example, the UK is in the middle of
a house building boom. Most of which are climate unfriendly homes built of
bricks, not even with EV
charging facilities - hence business as usual. When we need to adapt to
survive. Nelson drives an electric i3,
has installed solar conservatories at home as heating, builds in sustainable
timber, and is
fitting solar panels for 2022. He is a lobbyist for green
hydrogen - for trucks and ships - and an advocate for sustainable
housing, including fighting appeals all the way to the Secretary of State,
with a track record of multiple wins. Nelson is an intellectual property
specialist, aside from being a practical (hands on) engineer. Photo
credit: Nelson Kay for Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd., © 2016 all rights
reserved. You may download this picture for educational and
personal use without obtaining permission from the Foundation or BMS.
MAYOR & DEPUTY MAYOR OF HASTINGS - Councillor James Bacon sent his apologies, with Councillor Ruby Cox (very bravely) standing in at the last minute, giving the audience some insight into the efforts Hastings Council are making to tackle climate change, having declared a climate emergency. Big thanks to the Deputy Mayor of Hastings. We hope they continue to embrace change, such as EV charging points in the town. Hastings is home to the world's largest beach launched fishing fleet. The fishermen tend to operate sustainably, but discarded netting and other detritus can be something of a problem in a town famous for fishing, and of course the battle that deposed King Harold.
HILLS - First up to the lectern, Nikki showed us films of the work of the
Sussex Wildlife Trust in salvaging ghost
fishing nets. Some of which were re-purposed by fishermen, others
salvaged, recycled or burned. Her talk on the subject left us thinking of
the staggering challenge recovering such submerged netting represents in
terms of CO2. Worthwhile of course in conservation terms. So, a big well
done to Nikki and the team of divers that undertake such works. Around 50%
of ocean plastic is ghost fishing nets. It is a huge problem. The SeaVax
machines are capable of harvesting, shredding and returning floating nets to
a port for treatment. Nets that have been snagged on underwater obstacles,
such as rocks and sunken ships, constitute more of a problem. Hence the
Foundations 7Seven Point Plan, where tagging
is mandatory, such as to be able to locate lost nets.
CORINA CIOCAN - Gave us a brilliant presentation on the dangers of Glass
Reinforced Plastic (GRP) boat hulls. The audience were shocked to see
pictures of old fiberglass boats littering rivers and estuaries. And of
course sunken vessels. The fact that shellfish and other marine life are
ingesting glass micro fibres, as a result of the boat-building industry
being relatively unregulated, is something that should be rectified. It was
suggested that boats and yachts made of composite materials should have
passports, such that their working life is monitored, and they are finally
retired for destruction and where possible, recycling. Just as importantly,
boatyards should be inspected for unauthorized discharges during the
manufacturing process. Corina's work at Chichester harbour is well known,
more or less a benchmark study, where other studies around the world have
found similar results. Sometimes leading to shellfish beds being declared
unfit for human consumption. Well done to the lecturer for giving her time
to share this information with UNA supporters, and her persistence, where it
appears policy makers may not be up to speed as to the harm leisure
activities are causing. These are our views, not that of the speaker. The
Foundation are of the view that if reliable monitoring and regulation is not
implemented, that an outright ban of GRP as a boatbuilding material, should
TIM DAPLING - Gave us a presentation of slides with many diagrams showing data that has been collected by the IFCA, explaining how conservation areas along the Sussex coast came into being. Questions from the Zoom audience about fishing boats spotted in the conservation area, suggested that although there is a designated no-go area, that some fishermen are straying into the areas where fishing is banned. An ongoing problem for the Conservation Authority. Great work Tim!
photo credits: Nelson Kay, for Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., © 2nd October
2021 all rights reserved. You may download these pictures for educational
purposes and personal use without obtaining permission from the Foundation.
SARGEANT - Attended the Our Isles and Oceans initiative as a delegate for
the UNA C&O. Jemma presented pictures and a video of her experience
aboard their sailing yacht, where she met Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. She is a 3rd year MScu Marine Biology student at the University of Southampton, focusing on global temperature trends and how climate change is affecting sea ice extent in the West Antarctic peninsular. She is a scuba diver, qualified to PADI advanced water level, having volunteer experience at Brighton Sea Life centre and a rehabilitation sanctuary in Bali.
Jemma fielded questions from the audience. Nice one Jemma. https://ourislesandoceans.co.uk/
HAUGE - The youngest speaker of the day, Lara is a Youth Ambassador for the UNA-C&O. She is just sixteen, and a member of the Seaford Environmental Alliance. Lara is keen to help other young people learn about the climate crisis, and to express their views, starting at school. She joined the Youth Council in 2021 with the aim of making information accessible, and to form networks
to further such aims, moving towards a more sustainable future. We heard about the projects she has been involved in, including tree planting and dam building.
Lara is also concerned as to 'Green-Washing,' where unscrupulous companies
brand in such manner as to confuse the buying public into believing that
their products are more eco than they actually are. This is a trade
description and advertising standards issue. Well done to Lara for all her
MORLEY - The work carried out in the Antarctic may seem a bit distant for
most of us to comprehend the value to the United Kingdom. We were told that
up to 100 UK staff man this far flung outpost, reducing to 20 or so in the
winter. The area is protected via Treaty, such that no country may make a
claim to ownership, with the signatories enforcing such terms. Monitoring of the ice mass
and surrounding sea is important work that tells us a lot about the rate of
climate change, and how this affects local fauna, most of which has evolved
blood without hemoglobin to carry oxygen that does not freeze, having
developed a natural anti-freeze. This slows the metabolic rate of the
animals, but still allows some predators to hunt and catch prey. Most
interesting and nicely presented. Thanks Simon.
HICKLING - ARC Marine is an eco-engineering company who aims is to accelerate reef creation and coastal protection. They take care to model scenarios and test products for maximum efficiency, with the result being some of the best protective installations available on the market today.
Their Reef Cubes® are wholly owned & scientifically developed by ARC, protected by 2 worldwide utility patents. ARC claim their Cubes are carbon-neutral and a plastic-free solution for marine habitat restoration, using a patented Marine Crete® to ensure a safe, secure and sustainable deployment from marine
friendly waste materials.
Sam Hickling MSc, Oceanographer at
ARC Marine Ltd - "Marine innovation "
STEVE ALLNUTT - Showed us some of his splendid local underwater footage, all set to music. Steve is from Lancing, West Sussex. He has been monitoring kelp forests off the south coast of England for 25 years. They are among the most biodiverse environments on the planet, but they have been damaged by changing fishing habits and the dumping of sediment on the seafloor. Steve logs marine forests for his Sussex Underwater project. He is quoted as saying: "This year under lockdown had been a boom time for kelp. The sea's got time to rest and, like a meadow, the sea's got time to grow again and establish itself, and turn into a habitat that hasn't been seen in Sussex for years." Big thanks to Steve for sharing his work.
IVON - Is a resident of Gran Canaria and a member of the UNA C&O youth
council. He is concerned as to global warming, where temperatures have risen about 0.09ºC per decade since 1944 in the two capital islands (Gran Canaria and Tenerife), and since 1970 this figure has changed towards a 0.17ºC raise per decade. These increases are already affecting the whole social, economic and environmental aspects of the islands. He says that you might not have the political power to enact policy change, but you do have a voice to be heard. So speak up. We are very grateful to Michele for making the time to attend this UNA event. He is an example to us all.
We heard you loud and clear. Keep up your good work.
Michele Ivone-Formica Rodriguez - "Marine conservation in Gran Canaria" - UNA Youth Council
STERNO - Is a tireless campaigner, helping to keep the beaches at Eastbourne
clean. Not stopping there, he extended his efforts to include schools
cleaning up the parks of litter, and then sought to persuade locals to
reduce their carbon footprint with various initiatives. In December 2019, Eastbourne was
awarded the status of being a 'Plastic Free Community.' Plastic Free Eastbourne collaborates with the local council, authorities, schools, some environmental organisations, and local businesses to all support their mission - to reduce single use plastic and continue our work to make Eastbourne Plastic Free. This included a Refill campaign to rid us of single use plastic water bottles. Well done Oliver. We don't know where you get the energy from.
Sterno, Plastic Free Eastbourne - campaign to keep beaches and parks
clean and reduce single use plastic.
IAN HENDY - Joined us via video link. He gave a very informative presentation about trophic levels of marine flora in different locations around the world. Thankyou Dr Hendy.
Dr Ian Hendy - Senior Lecturer, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Portsmouth/ Centre for Blue Governance - "Climate-driven golden tides are reshaping coastal communities in Quintana Roo, Mexico"
HUNT & PHOEBE CHADWICK - The UNA O&C were very grateful to RS Aqua
for sponsoring this event. They had a stand in the adjoining hall where some
of their marine equipment was on display. Among other well known users,
their equipment is on the IBM Mayflower AI ocean monitoring trimaran, that is
currently undergoing tests in and off the coast at Plymouth. We were
particularly impressed with their tracking micro chips, that seem to have
unlimited uses and not a bad range and operational lifetime. Their presentation
was by way of an effective double act. Most impressive and a big thankyou to
them both for both attending and helping support the work of the UNA Oceans and
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
OCEAN SYMPOSIUM 2019 - From left to right, Nelson Kay, Chris Close, Councillor Nigel Sinden (former Mayor of Hastings), and Ryan Dusart (junior member of Cleaner Ocean Foundation). Photo credit: Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd., © all rights reserved. You may download these pictures for educational purposes and personal use without obtaining permission from the Foundation.
The general consensus is that seafood is becoming more toxic as fauna soak up carcinogens, from ingesting plastics, potentially raising cancer rates in humans and overburdening our health services.
Eventually, it is thought that whaling may have to be re-instated to make up for lost fish protein. A sad situation if it ever comes to that.
HASTINGS MUSEUM & ART GALLERY - If you are into ornate wood carving, a visit to this museum is a must.
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