Pacific Ocean

Japan to delay nuclear wastewater release into Pacific Ocean says PIF

This comes as incoming Forum chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown travelled to Japan as part of the PIF delegation in an effort to convey their concerns.

He requested a deferral of Japan's plans which will see over one million tonnes of wastewater from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant dumped into the ocean.

Half a billion dollars worth of drugs seized in Pacific Ocean

New Zealand authorities have intercepted more than three tonnes of cocaine from a vessel in the Pacific Ocean - the largest find by "some margin".

RNZ reports a media conference was held at Police National Headquarters detailing the bust.

Operation Hydros - a joint mission by police, Customs and the Defence Force - seized 81 bales of the drug, totalling 3.2 tonnes, with an estimated street value of half a billion dollars.

3.2 tonnes of cocaine was seized in Operation Hydros. Photo: NZ Police / Supplied

Forum SG Puna joins incoming Forum Chair for high level Japan visit

Brown, as the incoming Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, will be joined by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kitlang Kabua at their high level meeting with the Japan leader.

“Plans by Japan to begin discharging over a million tonnes of treated Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the Pacific in 2023 are a core reason for the Forum visit. Talks may also include the Japan-Pacific Forum nations dialogue partner relationship and ongoing priorities set by Forum Leaders, particularly related to Oceans and the Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy”, said SG Puna.

Pacific officials tell conference safeguarding the ocean is vital

Officials from the United Nations and 13 Pacific states are at the conference to speak out during negotiations of the Global Environment Facility.

The facility provides funds to combat climate issues, ocean biodiversity, and tackle the issue of marine plastic waste.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme director general, Sefanaia Nawadra, said the Pacific's unique island diversity is under threat.

PIF members discuss Fukushima treated nuclear wastewater with Japan

The Government of Japan committed to ongoing dialogue with Forum Members as a priority follow up to the PALM9 Summit in July. This followed Japan’s announcement in April of plans to begin discharge in 2023, for a period of up to 40 years. The announcement drew strong global response, including from the Forum Chair and Leaders.

In his opening comments at the third briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna noted the issues require “open and frank consultation” along with sustained dialogue at the political and technical level.

Miner loses robot deep in the Pacific

A Belgian company, Global Sea Mineral Resources, has been trialling a robot prototype, Patania II, in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, which lies between Hawaii and Mexico.

The machine is meant to collect the potato-sized nodules rich in cobalt, and other metals used in batteries, that pepper the seabed in this area.

It was connected to a ship with a five-kilometre cable, but the company says it has come free and is now resting on the seafloor.

An operation to reconnect it is under way.

Ocean cleaning machine to take on Pacific garbage

The floating boom system, established by the non-profit organisation Ocean Cleanup, has deployed from San Francisco.

It's undergoing several weeks of testing before beginning its task of trapping plastic in the Pacific Ocean later in the year.

Ocean Cleanup said the garbage patch between Hawai'i and California covered about 1.6 million square kilometres with trillions of pieces of trash.

The newspaper Hans India reported the system had 10 feet of netting that most fish can swim below, leaving the boom to collect mainly trash.

Pacific Ocean conditions leaning towards weak La Nina, NIWA

NIWA said sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern part of the ocean cooled substantially in October, while tradewinds in the west have been stronger than normal.

It said the tropical Pacific has consistent La Niña like signals in both the ocean and atmosphere.

However, if one does eventuate, it is likely to be weak and short-lived.

Plastic Ocean or Pacific Ocean?

This Pacific Conversation raises the issue of the impact of Marine Debris upon our waters providing you with more information to help make a difference in our region.

Did you know about a third of ship waste is just dumped at sea? That's like saying one of every three bags of rubbish is just tossed overboard. But throwing it 'away' doesn't make it go away, especially if it's plastic.

Pacific leaders prepare for major oceans summit

This came at a preparatory meeting for Pacific leaders ahead of June's major United Nations Conference on Oceans in New York, which is to be co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden.

One of the central aims of the conference was to identify ways and means to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

This goal concerns conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.