Happy World Oceans Day!

Happy World Oceans Day 2014! ~ Together we have the power to protect the Ocean and all it’s marine life.

Join the MarineBio Conservation Society ~ Donate to the MarineBio Conservation Society

Discover 101+ ways you can help protect one of the most valuable resources on our Planet with the MarineBio Conservation Society: www.marinebio.org/oceans/conservation/local/

Learn more about #WorldOceansDay at: www.worldoceansday.org

Photo Credit ~ Christian Vizlwww.christianvizl.com / Christian Vizl UWPhotography

IUCN Press release: Whales & dolphins need more protected areas

For more information, review copies or to set up interviews, please contact: Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations, t +41 22 999 0346, m +41 76 505 33 78, ewa.magiera@iucn.org

For immediate release: September 5, 2011

Whales & dolphins need more protected areas

Background: A new book, Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises is released, calling for accelerated efforts to conserve marine mammals by protecting a greater area of the ocean. Currently only 1.3% of the ocean is protected but many new Marine Protected Areas are being created. Erich Hoyt, the book’s author and IUCN’s cetacean specialist, examines current and future developments in ocean protection. The book is a key resource for cetacean scientists and managers of Marine Protected Areas. Since most of these areas promote whale and dolphin watching and marine ecotourism, the book is also useful for finding some of the best places to spot the 87 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises in 125 countries and territories around the world. The book is published by Earthscan / Taylor & Francis and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. 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 >>

UN Secretary criticizes G8 on climate change

I’m in Geneva, Switzerland right  now attending a meeting at the UN on global health. I had the privilege of meeting Ban Ki Moon briefly on Monday when he stopped by an exhibit I put together for the conference. He was quiet, and gracious, and personable. I couldn’t help but wonder what his thoughts are on this week’s G8 summit in Italy. Global health is on the agenda here this week, but there it’s been all about the economy and climate change. Following the progress of this week’s summit on the refreshingly Michael Jackson-free BBC Europe and CNN International channels, I was disappointed to see that little progress was made. Today, Ban Ki Moon spoke out against the G8 stating “The policies that they have stated so far are not enough, this is politically and morally (an) imperative and historic responsibility … for the future of humanity, even for the future of the planet Earth.” Continue reading

The 11th Hour

“The 11th Hour”, Leonardo DiCaprio’s film on the human impact on the environment opened nationwide Friday. I’ve been looking forward to this film and appreciate DiCaprio’s efforts to raise awareness on these issues. I also had the pleasure of meeting with one of the film’s participants, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, and I worked on deforestation with her daughter during my career days at The Carter Center. Wangari is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. She’s been fearlessly fighting for the environment and for human rights for decades in Kenya. She is the founder of The Greenbelt Movement, an organization responsible for planting more than 30 million trees across Kenya to preserve the environment and fight erosion. Continue reading

Remembering R. Aidan Martin

It’s never easy to lose a friend or a loved one. But in this case, not only do we lose our friend, but we lose an incredibly talented and passionate marine biologist and conservationist who dedicated his life to teaching others about the magnificence of sharks and rays and the importance of protecting them.

Aidan (aka Rick) passed away suddenly in his home in Vancouver on February 13. We were shocked and saddened by the news and feel a deep loss as Aidan was a recent, but important part of the MarineBio family. He signed onto our Board of Advisors as Director of Elasmobranchs in late November 2006 and we were thrilled to have such a talented scientist with a passion for conservation on board. Continue reading

Another great holiday gift idea

If you’re one of those people, like me, who have so much “stuff” that you really don’t want or need anything for Christmas, ask your friends and family to support a good cause in your name. MarineBio.org is a nonprofit organization that you can support with tax-exempt donations. A gift to us would help us cover our increasing hosting and development costs, and would greatly help us get more species launched and more content online. When you consider that MB reaches more than 300,000 people each month, you can be certain that you are making a difference when you make a donation to MarineBio.org. You’re helping us show and teach people about the wonders of the ocean and marine life so that they can develop a strong appreciation and desire to protect it. Continue reading

Indonesia Expedition 2006

David, Dr. Wood and I recently returned from MarineBio’s expedition to Indonesia where we spent two weeks in the Lembeh Strait and the Bunaken National Marine Park shooting underwater photos and video for MarineBio.org. We’re slowly getting over our jet lag and adjusting to life on terra firma again – not an easy thing after two weeks of nonstop diving in one of the most biodiverse underwater regions in the world.

Overall, the expedition went well and we came back with around 2,000 photos and several hours of video. We were surprised that the visibility in Bunaken only averaged about 40 feet and are trying to figure out why we didn’t see the 100 foot+ visibility we expected. There was quite a bit of plastic and other debris in the water; we’re hoping that it’s not pollution that’s causing the legendary clear waters of Bunaken to cloud, but the small particles in the water looked more like fibers than plankton. In spite of the low viz, the diving was still pretty spectacular and we saw lots of cool critters, particularly during our time in the muck diving capitol of the world – Lembeh Strait. Continue reading