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.

What’s it like to be an aquanaut?

Find out October 12-21!

Aquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live underwater? Well, from October 12-21 you can find out by tuning in to daily broadcasts shot live from an undersea research lab, the only one of its kind in the world. The Aquarius lab is located off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, 60 feet below the surface at the base of one of the many beautiful coral reefs comprising the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The scientific researchers or “aquanauts” that live in Aquarius, as well as scientists operating from the surface, are sharing their experience and intimate knowledge of the ocean while performing their latest mission, Aquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk. In addition to the live shows, the aquanaut team will keep followers continually updated on the mission’s progress through their expedition blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.

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

Massive Coral Mortality & Bleaching

This is one of the most important reasons why we need to fight harder to stop climate change. The loss of these precious ecosystems is a tragedy.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has released initial field observations that indicate that a dramatic rise in the surface temperature in Indonesian waters has resulted in a large-scale bleaching event that has devastated coral populations.

WCS’s Indonesia Program “Rapid Response Unit” of marine biologists was dispatched to investigate coral bleaching reported in May in Aceh — a province of Indonesia located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. The initial survey carried out by the team revealed that over 60 percent of corals were bleached. Continue reading

Shark week 2010

So I mosey on over to the Shark Week homepage and the first thing I see is the word ATTACK. Sigh. I guess to draw people into watching shark week they have to plaster the word ATTACK everywhere to get people’s attention. The good news is, they are making an effort toward shark conservation on the website: http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/shark-facts-tab-04.html. There’s lots of information on sharks and shark conservation there. In between reading, you can go watch “Into the Shark Bite!” and “Shark Attack Survival Guide!” and “Shark Bite Beach!” Continue reading

Check out the TEDx Oil Spill conference

TEDx oil spill conferenceIf you haven’t already, check out the TEDx Oil Spill conference. It was held/streamed live on June 28 from Washington DC and featured an impressive number of speakers including Sylvia Earle, Carl Safina, Philippe Cousteau, David Gallo (Woods Hole), Andrew Sharpless (Oceana) and many others on the oil spill, the future of energy, and what this event means for our blue planet. The oil spill is a call to action for all oceans. Topics include mitigation of the spill and the impending cleanup efforts; energy alternatives; policy and economics; as well as new technology that can help us build a self-reliant culture.

There’s no such thing as too many volunteers…

…unless the cause is toxic. I came across this image on Facebook and it really hit close to home. It was posted by one of my BFF’s from high school (hi Michelle!). A BFF whom I’d spent a week on this very coast during Spring Break ’84 in Panama City! I wish I could share fond memories from that trip, but all I remember is eating the worm. And driving Sabrina’s Oldsmobile because she was too sunburned…. Continue reading

The whales are saved!?

From commercial whaling at least, for now…

From the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society:

WDCS Press Statement:

Moratorium remains intact: Pro-whaling advocates fail to get commercial whaling condoned

Agadir 23rd June 2010 – After two days of closed-door discussions delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were unable to reach consensus on a proposal (the ‘deal’) that would see the legitimization of commercial whaling. Continue reading

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

Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles

Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydasDeepwater Horizon Oil Spill Proves Deadly for Sea Turtles in Gulf of Mexico

Oceana Releases New Report about Impacts of Oil on Sea Turtles and Threats to Populations

June 10, 2010
Washington, D.C.
Contact: Dustin Cranor (dcranor@oceana.org)

Oceana, the world’s largest international ocean conservation organization, released a new report today that finds the Deepwater Horizon oil spill extremely dangerous for sea turtles inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, sea turtles can become coated in oil or inhale volatile chemicals when they surface to breathe, swallow oil or contaminated prey, and swim through oil or come in contact with it on nesting beaches. Continue reading

A Message From Sylvia Earle

Coral reefs off Florida
Editor’s note: Oceanographer Sylvia Earle believes we can save our seas and ourselves with an intelligent attitude to the Earth’s blue life-support system. Here she expresses her opinion for CNN.

(CNN) — Since I began exploring the ocean as a marine scientist 50 years ago, more has been learned about the ocean than during all preceding history.

At the same time, more has been lost.

Two weeks ago I testified before U.S. Congress on the ecological impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I did so with perspective gained while sloshing around oiled beaches and marshes among dead and dying animals, diving under sheets of oily water and for years — as a founder and executive of engineering companies — of working with those in the oil industry responsible for developing and operating sophisticated equipment in the sea. Continue reading

Save the Great Whites too!

Expedition Great White: Feeding Frenzy

Sunday, June 6, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET/PT (Special Series Premiere)

“…what I really want … is to understand the entire life cycle of white sharks.… Once we learn that, we could help put together a comprehensive management plan to protect white sharks year round.” – Dr. Michael Domeier

A hundred sixty miles off the coast of Baja California, a team of world-class anglers will land one of the most challenging fish imaginable: the great white shark. Continue reading