Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 2nd Dec 2012

Protecting Our Oceans

Milford Sound, New Zealand (c)

How should we protect marine ecosystems?  We examine the science behind Marine Protected Areas and find out how a new plan could protect the oceans around England.  In the news, the sub-zero bacterial ecosystem surviving in an Antarctic lake and fibres inspired by slimy fish.  Plus, will mixing spider and human DNA give us superpowers?

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 09:35 - Protecting the Pitcairn Islands

    Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory in the south Pacific. It’s 4500 km from New Zealand and is most famous for being where the mutineers of the Bounty set up home in the 18th century – It’s made up of 4 islands, which together cover only 18 square miles, but now there are p...

  • 18:29 - Grand Canyon could be much older than previously thought

    America’s Grand Canyon could be a lot older than previously thought – ancient enough that dinosaurs could have strolled down it...

  • 22:18 - Overcoming cunning cancer cells

    Drug resistance is a major problem when it comes to treating cancer - in many cases, chemotherapy drugs work in the short term, but the tumours become resistant to treatment and keep growing. Now a team of researchers have identified an entirely new mechanism by which cancer ce...

  • 35:35 - Becoming a Bat Detective - Planet Earth Online

    A new system allows citizen scientists to help identify bat calls, allowing anyone to become a bat detective...



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I was very depressed by the MCZ discussion, which turned out to be an opportunity for Natural England to gloss over all the problems and delays in the Marine Conservation Zone process, many of which were caused by them. I imagined this would be an adult debate, not a fairy tale! divemouse, Mon, 3rd Dec 2012

I was very pleased to have the very brief opportunity to emphasise just how diverse and beautiful the marine wildlife of the East Coast can be. We suffer in the shadow of the public profile the west has built up - largely because of a lack of academic recording away from centres of marine study. The west is great but we are too!

As someone involved in the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) stakeholder process I was disappointed that we just got the party line from Natural England without a little taste of the reality of the process, the citizen science which underpinned many of the suggestions and the parlous prospects for a full coherent, effective network with the government due to decide on how many of the 127 draft MCZs go forward. Even considering a subset is to miss the point. The 127 fulfil the brief for a coherent, adequate network - fewer would not meet the criteria. There was no slack built into the final recommendations to allow politicians to pick and choose.

There is precious little protection for marine wildlife at present. This is a pivotal moment, we need to discuss the need for more protection and the risks of not doing it. It is a shame we weren't able to discuss the MCZ process in the UK and instead got a one sided report which may have given the impression we are home and dry. We are not.

Rob Spray
Marine Conservations Society member, Seasearch East coordinator, Marine recorder for Norfolk, EIFCA committee member and decent bloke :-) reallymadrob, Mon, 3rd Dec 2012

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