Seven Charged with Stealing Trade Secrets

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Seven people were charged on Wednesday with conspiring to steal trade secrets from a Houston-based business for a company in China that makes syntactic foam for military and civilian uses, Reuters reported. Those arrested and charged include four U.S. citizens.

An ocean industry expert speaking to Sea Technology believes the company to be CBM International.

Trump Sends Signal to China

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South China Sea

Trump is giving a glimpse into how he will deal with China by sending a U.S. Navy warship to the South China Sea, 12 nautical miles from an island built by China to lay claim to the contested waterway.

The UN defines territorial waters as extending 12 nautical miles max from a country’s coastline.

Learn more about the issues surrounding the South China Sea from an article in our January 2017 issue here.

Image Credit: Voice of America

National Safe Boating Week

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safe boating cartoon

It’s National Safe Boating Week in North America.

“Each year hundreds of people lose their lives in boating incidences, and they may still be alive if they had been wearing a life jacket,” said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning was the reported cause of death in 3/4 of recreational boating fatalities in 2015, and that 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

Learn more here.

WWII B-25 Bombers Found off Papua New Guinea

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WWII bomber

Two B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea by Project Recover—a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft and associated MIAs from World War II.

Project Recover comprises scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware and members of the nonprofit organization BentProp Ltd.

In February, a Project Recover team set out on a mission to map the seafloor in search of missing WWII aircraft, conduct an official archaeological survey of a known B-25 underwater wreck, and interview elders in villages in the immediate area.

In its search of nearly 10 sq. km, Project Recover located the debris field of a B-25 bomber that had been missing for more than 70 years, associated with a crew of six MIAs.

Caption: Photomosaic of downed B-25 bomber. (Image Credit: Project Recover)

It’s National Maritime Day

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Today, May 22, is National Maritime Day!

“The United States has always been and will always be a great maritime nation,” says the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In 1933, Congress declared National Maritime Day to commemorate the American steamship Savannah’s voyage from the United States to England, marking the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean with steam propulsion.

During World War II more than 250,000 members of the American Merchant Marine served their country, with more than 6,700 giving their lives, hundreds being detained as prisoners of war and more than 800 U.S. merchant ships being sunk or damaged.

Global Temp Could Pass Paris Target Before 2029

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Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement, legally binding and now in force, set a target for managing climate change via global temperature. The target set was a limit on global temp rise of 1.5° C this century.

However, a new study shows global temperature is rapidly approaching the Paris target.

In the absence of external cooling influences, such as volcanic eruptions, temperature projections are centered on breaching the 1.5° C target before 2029.

The phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation will regulate the rate at which mean temperature approaches the 1.5° C level. Predictions indicate a sustained period of rapid temperature rise might be underway.

Photo Credit: Center for Clean Air Policy

The New Silk Road

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China has announced it will institute a new policy called “One Belt and One Road” (OBOR).

The Silk Road Economic Belt will comprise three routes connecting China to Europe (via Central Asia), the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean (through West Asia), and the Indian Ocean (via South Asia), according to McKinsey.

More than 60 countries, with a combined GDP of $21 trillion, have expressed interest in participating in OBOR.

Finland Takes Over after US as Arctic Council Chair

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Arctic

This month, in Fairbanks, Alaska, foreign ministers from the eight Arctic States and leaders from the six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations of the Arctic Council convened at the 10th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting to mark the conclusion of the two-year U.S. Chairmanship and to herald the beginning of the Finnish Chairmanship, which will run from 2017 to 2019.

Foreign ministers of the eight Arctic States signed the third binding agreement negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council, the Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation.

Ministers also signed the Fairbanks Declaration, which reviews the work of the Council during the outgoing U.S. Chairmanship and provides guidance for the Council’s work during the incoming Finnish Chairmanship.

The four priorities for the Finnish Chairmanship’s two years are: environmental protection; connectivity; meteorological cooperation; and education. (Click here to read the full program.)