Shark week

It’s that time again. Shark Week on Discovery Channel. I haven’t been tuning in for the past few years because I’m always disappointed that they don’t discuss shark conservation more. What a missed opportunity! They are, of course, appealing to the masses so shark attacks are high on the list — but if sharks are such a huge draw that they devote a week to them each year, why not protect their investment and talk about the threats that are wiping shark populations out all over the world? Why don’t they discourage shark fishing, and discuss how shark finning is an inhumane brutal treatment of these magnificent animals? Why don’t they point out that sharks are a critical component of the marine ecosystem and that, without them, entire food webs are disrupted?

I doubt I’ll tune in to Shark Week this year either – I’ve seen enough documentaries about shark attacks. Though they do point out that shark attacks are rare I get really tired of the creepy narrator voice making sharks sound 100 times more ominous than they really are. Discovery should really focus on cultivating care for sharks – not fear.

Photo courtesy of Elasmodiver.com

Reaching the Boiling Point

Global Warming – Boiling Point by Gelbspan

David recently posted in the Plankton Forums about this book — I haven’t read it yet, but am planning to on our upcoming expedition. He says it’s a quick read and it’s not as depressing as it sounds so everyone interested in the future of civilization should read it. He pulled a few quotes from the book, that all occur before page 33: Continue reading

Coral reefs: the good news and the bad

Elkhorn coral, Bonaire August, 2004
The good news? A survey of how well the world’s coral reefs are being protected was conducted. The bad news? Less than 2% of the world’s coral reefs are being protected. This is the problem that I have with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – theoretically it’s a great idea. But when put into practice, it seems most MPAs are too small to make much of an impact. Continue reading

Can I make a difference? The power of one.

I just ordered a copy of David Helvarg’s “50 Ways to Save the Ocean.” The concept of the book got me thinking – what can I do, as an individual, to protect and possibly restore the health of the ocean? The answer is, a lot. We can all do a lot as individuals, and collectively, we can make a huge difference. And we need to – before it’s too late and the damage already being done is irreversible. If we begin taking greater care of the ocean now, it will bounce back. The ocean has been around for millenia, and it’s resilient enough to recover from harm caused by human activity. What can we do? Well, there are at least 50 things according to Helvarg’s book. Continue reading

Great book on coral reefs and their conservation

In keeping with my recent coral reefs theme, I’m reading “The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Term with Nature on the Coral Reef” by Osha Gray Davidson cover to cover. We’re featuring corals in the upcoming MarineBio.org newsletter, so I was inspired to pick this book up again. And I’m glad I did.

I’ve read — and liked — bits and pieces of the book since I bought it four years ago. I can now see that I’ve been missing out on an immensely enjoyable book now that I’m reading it properly. Davidson is a journalist who developed an appreciation for coral reefs during time spent in the Florida Keys. Continue reading