January/February 2007
State of the world's OCEAN

Timeless. That's the kind of topic you want if you're an editor here. Something that stays put, like still life. You see, we plan well ahead. We are semi-detached from news values. We have long 'lead-in' times. 'Imagine how your story will read in six months,' I tell bemused contributors.

No better topic, then, than the timeless Ocean. Or so I thought. And of course I was wrong. Why, even as I write, my attention is drawn to a newspaper headline: 'Climate Change is Killing the Ocean's Lungs!'

Something deeply disturbing really is brewing down there in the deep, out there over the horizon. Until quite recently, people like me were ignorant of this. Ignorance breeds panic - two sides of the same pretty worthless coin.

So the most valuable discovery for me was of my own ignorance, and the wonders I had been ignoring. I owe a deeper debt of gratitude than usual to two people for making this discovery worthwhile: Professor Dorrik Stow at the Southampton Oceanography Institute, and Sara Holden at Greenpeace International.

The NI usually takes care not to identify with any other organization. But on this occasion I felt - well blow that! Scruples be damned! If this magazine encourages you to join Greenpeace's Ocean Defenders campaign, then it will have had some effect. Action is what's needed most - and fast.

From this month's editor







2 Planet Ocean
David Ransom discovers there's just one Ocean, and it's not looking good.
PLUS: An illustrated guide to The Deep Ocean.

6 The rise of slime
Red tides, jelly-fish plagues, explosions of primitive organisms. Kenneth R Weiss reports on evolution in reverse.
PLUS: An illustrated guide to Ocean Currents.

9 Lost at sea
Life on board for seafarers sometimes resembles slavery. Martin Whitfield tells their stories.
PLUS: An illustrated guide to Ocean Life.

12 Conakry
In pictures: women and a fishing community in Guinea, West Africa.

14 Death and the whale
Greenpeace Ocean Defenders blog direct from the brutal kill in the Southern Ocean.
PLUS: Sea quotes and an illustrated guide to Ocean Resources.

17 Climate control
The Ocean is a like a giant thermostat and sponge. Dorrick Stow explains.
PLUS: An illustrated guide to Ocean Elements.

20 What people are doing to the Ocean - THE FACTS

22 The tempest
Mahfuz Sadique reports from the Bay of Bengal, where the land is sinking, the sea is rising and storms terrorize coastal communities.
PLUS: An illustrated guide to Plate Tectonics.

25 Waterworld
If National Parks are commonplace on land, argues Sara Holden, why not marine reserves at sea?
PLUS: An illustrated guide to Marine Reserves.

27 Action
A very brief briefing

28 Currents
The international round-up continues on Page 30 with Hugo Chavez's latest triumph - and his latest jibe at the US 'empire'.
PLUS: Seriously...

31 Worldbeaters
US billionaire Warren Buffet may be the first person to feature in this slot who may actually give
'worldbeating' a good name. He seems to be without 'vices, Napoleonic delusions, diabolic inclinations, secrets or enemies'.

32 Southern Exposure
Unconfined joy: children at play in a primary school in Lagos, Nigeria, photographed by Bukkie Opebiyi, who used to go to the same school.

33 View from Delhi
A poem from Nepal about the new peace agreement prompts Urvashi Butalia to meditate on the vital resistance role of writers and artists.

34 NI Jumbo Crossword
A special full-page bumper crossword from Axe, with a mystery theme.

35 Mixed Media
The best books, film and music of 2006, followed by this month's reviews.

38 Letters

40 Country Profile - Honduras




NI Japan




<This month's translation>

- Planet Ocean (NI p2-5)

- Climate control (NI p17-19)

- Lost at sea (NI p9-10)

- Conakry (NI p12-13)

- What people are doing to the Ocean - THE FACTS (NI p20-21)

- Waterworld & Action (NI p25-27)

- Country Profile - Honduras (NI p40)

- Currents (NI p28-30)
--- Beware Bolkestein re-born
--- Big Bad World


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