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  • Author Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) (SPREP)
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  • Author Gilbert, Trevor
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  • Collection Waste Management and Pollution Control
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International Conventions Relating to Marine Pollution Activities : meeting report, Apia, Samoa, 2-6 December, 1996.
Island and Ocean Ecosystems, Waste Management and Pollution Control
Available Online

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) (SPREP)

1999
The region served by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP; fig. 1) is situated in the middle of the largest continuous marine habitat on the planet, the Pacific Ocean. Marine mammals (whales, dolphins, porpoises, dugongs and seals) range throughout much of this huge region. Of the world’s approximately 120 living marine mammal species, three-quarters occur in the Pacific (cf. Rice, 1977a). Of the 90 or so Pacific species, perhaps a third are known to be resident in the SPREP region or at least to visit it seasonally or occasionally. However, due to the vastness of the region and the relative lack of research activity in it, very little is known about the marine mammals in the SPREP region. Much of what is known about the distribution and seasonal occurrence of large whales has come from 19th century American, French and British commercial whalers (cf. Townsend, 1935) and from researchers working in conjunction with modern Japanese whaling operations (cf. Miyashita et al., 1995a). Much of what is known about the smaller whales, dolphins and seals comes from the non-systematic, often opportunistic efforts of individual scientists. Dugongs have been studied relatively intensively in some areas because of international concern about their endangered status.
Risk of marine spills in the Pacific Islands region and its evolving response arrangements, Spillcon Conference, Sydney, 16-20 September, 2002
Island and Ocean Ecosystems, Waste Management and Pollution Control
Available Online

Gilbert, Trevor

,

Nawadra, Sefanaia

2002
Assisting the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme's (SPREP) island members to plan, prepare and respond to marine spills is one of the four activity areas of the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme (PACPOL). PACPOL activities currently include a regional risk assessment regional and national contingency plans, formulation of a regional equipment strategy and facilitating regular workshop to discuss marine spill issues. The aim of this initial shipping risk study was to identify and quantify the shipping routes, frequency of voyages and types of cargoes transported in the region as well as to map shipping incidents, navigational hazards and assess the risk of marine pollution across the region, EEZs and at a port scale. The regional and EEZ distribution of risk potential showed clusters of high risk in Fiji, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Smaller clusters occurred in Tonga, the Samoa's, Vanuatu and the corridor from Chuuk northward past Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Another potential marine pollution risk for the Pacific is the fuel oil and cargoes remaining on WWII shipwrecks deteriorating in the waters of the region. More than 1000 such wrecks have been identified amounting to over 3 million tons of shipping lost.