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

Watch the Story of “Jenny”

MarineBio’s Director of Marine Mammals, Erich Hoyt, urges you to watch this powerful video then make your voice heard to stop the IWC.

With a decision on a proposal that will lift the ban on commercial whaling for the next ten years only a few weeks away, and the members of the European Union still struggling to find a common position concerning a practice which is strictly prohibited by law within European Union waters, leading European actor, Mario Adorf has added his voice to the anti-whaling movement by narrating a moving campaign film on behalf of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS). Continue reading

Oil slick enters Gulf loop current

From the Orlando Independent Examiner:

NASA satellite imagery on Monday shows that the rapidly expanding oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has entered a powerful current known as the Loop Current, which flows through the straits of Florida and along the eastern seaboard as far north as North Carolina before heading out into the Atlantic. The entrance of the oil slick into the Gulf Loop Current is what officials fear will be a catastrophic event. Continue reading

Low on gas… BP or Exxon?

Photograph by Carlos Barria, Reuters

Neither. Both companies were grossly negligent in my opinion. I’ll take my chances and keep driving until I find a gas station whose logo doesn’t make my stomach turn. All this finger-pointing blame game by BP makes me ill. And I’m not the only one. Obama said today:

Referring to a congressional hearing Tuesday in which industry executives were grilled about what caused the spill, the president said he “did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of B.P. and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.” “The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn’t,” Mr. Obama said. Continue reading

Impact of the Gulf tragedy on marine life?

I can’t tear myself away from the coverage of the Gulf oil tragedy. It seems the solution to stopping the flow is days if not weeks away. I wonder why oil tankers aren’t being used to contain the oil from the spill?

The loss of human lives was tragic. The impact on  human lives will be tragic. What will be the impact on marine life?  This couldn’t have happened at a worse time for some of the most fragile, and important, ecosystems and breeding grounds for Gulf species that are in the midst of spawning season. It’s spring in the Gulf. Spawning, migrating, incubating, hatching. It’s all happening now. I keep hearing about how this is going to impact seafood production for a decade. OK. Well, this is going to impact the very survival of some species forever. Including Homo sapiens.

Continue reading

2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

William Colgin / EPA / April 30, 2010

The Gulf, particularly on the Florida panhandle, is where I grew up on the ocean—as often as possible from Atlanta, Georgia. It’s where my love of the ocean began and where my commitment to marine conservation began. This spill might be a small problem compared to some of the issues the ocean is facing, but it’s heartbreaking nevertheless. Why? I think Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute says it far better and with far more knowledge than I can: Continue reading

Interview with Dr. Sylvia Earle

Today I spent 15 minutes, 31 seconds (but who’s counting?) on the phone with Dr. Sylvia Earle. Wow. What a huge honor. And for me, a dream come true. As you know from my previous post — she’s a hero to me and more importantly, to the ocean. Without further waxing poetic… here’s what we talked about. Read it — then go see disneynature oceans posterOCEANS as soon as possible — and spread the word!

MarineBio (MB): How would you describe the changes in the oceans since you first began your career as a scientist and explorer? Continue reading

The impact of heroes… Dr. Sylvia Earle

You know that question “if you could choose 3 people, alive or dead, to have dinner with, who would you choose?” For me, the person who always springs to mind first is Dr. Sylvia Earle. She became one of my “dinner heroes” when I read her book Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans. Never judge a book by its cover? Well, I did — and it changed my life. The bright blue cover and the fish caught my eye as I passed a table at Barnes & Noble and I bought the book on impulse. I read it on vacation in the Florida panhandle and couldn’t put it down. I remember sitting on the beach in Destin reading until the sun went down absolutely shell-shocked (pun purely intentional) by the state of the ocean described by Dr. Earle. Continue reading

CITES: a “tragedy of the oceans” says Oceana

I moved in January and now (more than two months later!) I’m just getting to know my neighbors.  What does this have to do with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)? Well, it turns out they got married in Singapore and had a Chinese ceremony and reception and they chose not to include the traditional shark fin soup on the menu — much to the displeasure of some of their guests. I applaud them for that and I’m so thrilled to have such awesome next door neighbors. I’m sure it took a lot of courage.

Serving shark fin soup at weddings is a very old and very honored tradition in the Chinese culture. Keeping it off the menu might be compared to banning wedding cake from American weddings. Or flowers. Old traditions die hard and shark species are dying out as a result of the over-consumption of shark fins. Bluefin tuna is going fast too and dozens of corals are at great risk among many other marine species. Too many. Continue reading

Keep wild animals wild – they’re not circus freaks

The death of Dawn Brancheau in Orlando was tragic and my heart goes out to her family and friends. I understand it was her dream since the first time she visited SeaWorld to train marine mammals and I imagine she loved what she did. We get dozens of emails from our MarineBio members and other readers who talk about their dreams of becoming marine mammal trainers. They love whales and dolphins. I do too. I love them so much I’m willing to give up seeing them up close in an aquarium. Because I know they are happiest in the wild where they belong. When they’re contained in an unnatural environment they cannot follow their inborn instincts to swim long distances, hunt for prey, travel in pods and enjoy a healthy social life with their families in the wild.

orca or killer whales, Orcinus orca

Continue reading