So You Want to Free Willy, Too

Written by Nate Green

After watching Ric O’Barry in The Cove, it’s hard not to want to free any dolphin you come across in captivity. O’Barry has been at the forefront of dolphin rescue since the ‘70’s, after watching Kathy, one of the five dolphins who played Flipper, commit suicide in his arms. O’Barry is now working to free the largest member of the dolphin family: the orca. Along with a former SeaWorld trainer, two other marine mammal experts, and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), O’Barry is listed as a “near friend” of Tilikum and Katina from SeaWorld Orlando; and Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises from SeaWorld San Diego. The five orcas are named as plaintiffs in PETA’s lawsuit against SeaWorld. Tilikum is the orca that grabbed and killed his trainer in 2010.


PETA is asserting that the whales are, in effect, involuntary servants: held in captivity, ripped from their families in the wild, subject to sperm collection and artificial insemination, and forced to perform; all for SeaWorld’s profit. PETA is arguing that this is illegal… under the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in 1864. PETA claims this is the first suit of its kind: seeking to apply constitutional rights to animals. Continue reading

A FALL FROM FREEDOM

A powerful and factual documentary on the often emotional issue of keeping cetaceans (whales & dolphins) in captivity.

A FALL FROM FREEDOM is the first film to expose the long and sordid history of the captive whale and dolphin business; a history that continues to this day. The illegal capture and transport of killer whales, the thousands of dolphins that are killed in order to provide marine parks and aquariums with replacement animals, and the ability of these facilities to miseducate the public about these animals.

These, and many other issues, are covered in graphic detail in this 80 minute film.

Visit the A FALL FROM FREEDOM website @ http://afallfromfreedom.org for more information about the film including screenings, interviews and how to get a copy.

“Ocean Warming”? Lovely…

I wonder if they’ll rename it “Ocean Change” too…

New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience shows us that not only is global warming (aka Climate Change) increasing the acidity of the entire ocean (by forcing more CO2 into it) and increasing it’s temperature (which alone is forecasted to cause widespread shifts in habitats, changes in currents, oxygen levels, and sea level rise due to the thermal expansion of water itself…), we now find that a warming ocean also melts ice faster. Continue reading

In Awe of the Shark

“We got some our shark scientists together to tell us how they feel about sharks….” In Awe of the Shark from Save Our Seas Foundation.

More than 90% of all top marine predators have disappeared from the oceans.

– Myers et al. 2007; MacKenzie et al. 2009

“It appears that ecosystems such as Caribbean coral reefs need sharks to ensure the stability of the entire system.”

– Enric Sala, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Visit the Save Our Seas Foundation to learn more and get involved: http://saveourseas.com

Together we can make the difference!

MarineBio Expeditions


We’re starting to think about scheduling expeditions again to gather data, photos, video, etc. of marine life and issues for marinebio.org. Check out MarineBio’s Expedition home page for the possibilities and contact us if you’re interested in joining us.

Oysters Vanishing

Oysters are disappearing from coastlines around the world because of overharvesting and disease, researchers said.

An estimated 85 percent of global wild oyster reefs and beds vanished in the past 20 to 130 years, according to a study led by Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His team examined oyster reefs in 144 bays across the world, historical records and national catch statistics in a study published in the February issue of the journal BioScience. The condition of oysters was rated as “poor” overall.

See Oysters Vanishing on Overharvesting, Disease, Researchers Say – Bloomberg.
Oysters at Risk: Gastronomes’ Delight Disappearing Globally

Seven new fish species

Starksia blenniesScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) – Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish — something scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Ocean Science Foundation are finding out. Using modern genetic analysis, combined with traditional examination of morphology, the scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species. Continue reading

Mass die-offs and the ongoing extinction crisis?

SeahorsesI thought I’d share the latest post by David Suzuki and Faisal Moola at the David Suzuki Foundation concerning the recent news about birds dropping dead from the sky and mass fish kills, etc.:

Aflockalypse Now: Mass animal die-offs and the ongoing extinction crisis

On New Year’s Eve, 5,000 red-winged blackbirds dropped out of the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Necropsies revealed no evidence of poisoning but did indicate the birds had suffered massive internal trauma. Days later, fisherman observed schools of fish floating belly up on Chesapeake Bay. In England, tens of thousands of dead crabs washed up on local beaches, and reports come in almost daily of penguins, turtles, and even dolphins dying unexpectedly in the wild. Are these events signs of the “aflockalypse”, as the media have dubbed the recent die-offs? The answer is yes. And no. Read on >>

10 year study reveals new marine species!


» View a slideshow at the Washington Post site of wonderful photos of marine life, including some bizarre new species involved in the COML Project.

» Find out more about The Census of Marine Life (don’t miss their image and video galleries) | Download the “First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery 64-page report that describes some of the scientific highlights of ten years of exploration, research and analysis undertaken by Census of Marine Life scientists.”

Well done! Here’s to another 10 years, so much to do, so little time!

Newly discovered deep sea lobster

Discovered by an international trio of scientists, the lobster, Dinochelus ausubeli, lives in the deep ocean water  near the Phillipines.

The new lobster has movable, well-developed eyestalks and an inverted T-plate in front of its mouth.

But its most striking feature is a mighty claw with a short, bulbous palm and extremely long, spiny fingers for capturing prey.

Dinochelus is derived from the Greek words dino, meaning terrible and fearful, and chelus, meaning claw.

All told, the Census of Marine Life sponsored 540 expeditions over 10 years, carried out by 2,700 researchers from more than 80 countries. It was, Ausubel says, the biggest project in the history of marine biology.

via Newly discovered deep sea lobster.

Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean

I’m an ecologist, mostly a coral reef ecologist. I started out in Chesapeake Bay and went diving in the winter and became a tropical ecologist overnight. And it was really a lot of fun for about 10 years. I mean, somebody pays you to go around and travel and look at some of the most beautiful places on the planet. And that was what I did.
Continue reading

Tragedy of the Commons

Today I’m going to take you on a voyage to some place so deep, so dark, so unexplored that we know less about it than we know about the dark side of the moon. It’s a place of myth and legend. It’s a place marked on ancient maps as “here be monsters.” It is a place where each new voyage of exploration brings back new discoveries of creatures so wondrous and strange that our forefathers would have considered them monstrous indeed. Instead, they just make me green with envy that my colleague from IUCN was able to go on this journey to the south of Madagascar seamounts to actually take photographs and to see these wondrous creatures of the deep. Continue reading