Now I have that song going through my head, but I was a Police/Sting fanatic back in the day, so this is not a bad song-infection. But the reason it’s in my head is because of a message *on* a bottle. Check out the Plastiki: http://www.theplastiki.com/. I’m riveted by this concept and the design of the 60-foot catamaran. The website is fantastic. Continue reading
This is getting ugly and increasingly dangerous:
Anti-whaling activists have accused a Japanese vessel of ramming their high-tech speed boat during a confrontation in the Southern Ocean. Video of the incident appeared to show the Japanese ship severely damaging the Ady Gil, but all six crew were rescued. Continue reading
Happy New Year!
So my blog posts have been few and far between over the past few months, but I have a good excuse. For the past 15 years I’ve been commuting 25 miles to work. Alone. In my car. Then coming home in the evenings and blogging about global warming. Feeling every bit the hypocrite. I’d rationalize by saying, well, I work from home frequently to avoid the commute. And I’m very conservative with electricity. But 50 miles round trip for 15 years? That’s a lot of emitting and contributing to the problem. So. I’ve been house hunting for the past few months with the goal to reduce my commute to under 5 miles from an energy efficient home. I’m proud to say that two days ago I closed on a home 3.5 miles from my office. A home built in 2005, which means it’s much more up-to-date in terms of efficiency than the 43 year old house I was living in. I’ll have to give up my power showers in the old house where the water pressure could clean graffiti off cement, but my conscience welcomes the dramatically decreased water usage. Continue reading
I am a whale researcher and conservationist, writes Erich Hoyt, Senior Research Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and MarineBio’s Director of Marine Mammals. Recently I became very interested in toothfish in Antarctica. At up to 2.5 m long they can be the size of a porpoise or dolphin. Left alone, they live for up to 50 years; they don’t breed until they’re about 16 and not every year thereafter. But aside from some remarkably similar reproductive parameters how is this relevant to my interest in whales and dolphins? Continue reading
International coalition advances marine conservation as part of the solution to climate change
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A large international coalition today urged the United States to support marine conservation options that will help mitigate climate change.
The ‘Blue Climate Coalition,’ comprised of sixty-six conservation groups and interests and over 150 marine scientists and professionals, from 33 countries, issued communications today addressed to President Obama and the United States Senate.
Together, the coalition letters request the option for marine conservation solutions to climate change to be considered in national climate change legislation and international climate change treaties, and support for marine science research that further explores this concept. Continue reading
The first high seas Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Antarctic region has been declared in an area south of the South Orkney Islands. The proposal was successfully pitched by the UK delegation to the meetings last week of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in Tasmania. The South Orkneys MPA is situated in the northern Weddell Sea, east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula — a prime area for feeding humpback whales.
At just under 94,000 sq kms, the protection of the South Orkneys MPA is of a significant size. Overnight the global area of protected waters, with this announcement, increased by 4% according to Louisa Wood, from the IUCN Global Marine Programme. The global area of protected waters now stands at 0.92% of the world ocean — still far behind the land with as much as 12% protected, according to some estimates. Continue reading
Seafood Summit 2010 – Challenging Assumptions in a Changing World
31 January – 2 February 2010
Seafood Summit brings together global representatives from the seafood industry and conservation community for in-depth discussions, presentations and networking with the goal of making the seafood marketplace environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
While many industry events offer companies networking opportunities to showcase their products and services, Seafood Summit is different. It is the only venue that connects large and small companies from a diverse array of industries with leaders from the conservation community to bridge the gap between the latest science and the reality of the seafood marketplace. Summit attendees include international representatives with vested interest in the seafood industry, including: fishermen, fish farmers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, food professionals (chefs, restaurateurs), conservation organizations, academic scientists, media, and policy makers. Continue reading
Oceans play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. Not only do they represent the largest long-term sink for carbon but they also store and redistribute CO2. Some 93% of the earth’s CO2 (40 Tt) is stored and cycled through the oceans.
The ocean’s vegetated habitats, in particular mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses, cover <0.5% of the sea bed. These form earth’s blue carbon sinks and account for more than 50%, perhaps as much as 71%, of all carbon storage in ocean sediments. They comprise only 0.05% of the plant biomass on land, but store a comparable amount of carbon per year, and thus rank among the most intense carbon sinks on the planet. Blue carbon sinks and estuaries capture and store between 235–450 Tg C every year – or the equivalent of up to half of the emissions from the entire global transport sector, estimated at around 1,000 Tg C yr–1. By preventing the further loss and degradation of these ecosystems and catalyzing their recovery, we can contribute to offsetting 3–7% of current fossil fuel emissions (totaling 7,200 Tg C yr–1) in two decades – over half of that projected for reducing rainforest deforestation. The effect would be equivalent to at least 10% of the reductions needed to keep concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere below 450 ppm. If managed properly, blue carbon sinks, therefore, have the potential to play an important role in mitigating climate change. Continue reading
Like everyone else, we’re trying to find ways to stay afloat in this crazy economy. To help support MarineBio and to be the envy of all of your friends – check out the new items in the MarineBio gear shop: http://www.zazzle.com/marinebio
You’ll find everything from apparel, our new 2010 calendar, stickers and cards, mugs, mousepads, and even skate boards! All proceeds from purchases go toward maintaining the MarineBio Network. All MarineBio Gear can be fully customized, for example you can change shirt styles and colors, and even what the designs look like or say! Have an idea for a design related to marine life, conservation or ocean science? Tell us about it and we’ll notify you when it’s online!
20th Anniversary – Big Splash – Nov. 14 – Berkeley, CA
Biologist and ocean activist Todd Steiner of Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) in Forest Knolls, CA, near San Francisco has been fighting to stop the slide of sea turtles to extinction for 20 years. Continue reading
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Director of Education and our Director of Cephalopods, Dr. James Wood, found two amazingly cooperative two-spot octopuses (Octopus bimaculoides) while looking in tidepools at night on Catalina Island off of Southern California. This video shows the octopuses hunting, cleaning, squeezing through a crevice, and more. See Dr. Wood’s site “The Cephalopod Page” for more information about this amazing group of marine animals. We also recommend checking out the Octopus bimaculoides (Bimac/Californian Two-spot Octopus) Care Sheet at Tonmo.com.
Palau to create the world’s first “shark sanctuary”, banning all commercial shark fishing in its waters.
We couldn’t agree more and applaud President Toribiong’s efforts to protect the remaining sharks in our ocean. Hopefully other nations will follow suit. In 2006, French Polynesia decreed shark fishing, and therefore shark finning, illegal in its waters for all sharks except the mako shark, see page 9 of Oceana’s Report: Fishy Business [2 MB PDF]). Making shark fishing/finning illegal is the first great step. Enforcement of that law is the next, and is often where conservation efforts fail. We hope this is not the case for either Palau or French Polynesia or those that follow (come on U.S.A.).
The President of the tiny Pacific republic, Johnson Toribiong, announced the sanctuary during Friday’s session of the UN General Assembly.
Obama Administration Officials Release Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Report - September 17, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC – Obama Administration officials today released the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Report for a 30-day public review and comment period. The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, consists of 24 senior-level officials from Administration agencies, departments, and offices. The report provides proposals for a comprehensive national approach to uphold our stewardship responsibilities and ensure accountability for our actions.
“This Interim Report represents a wide spectrum of views and considerations, not just from within the federal government, but from members of the public, local officials, stakeholders and experts from coast to coast,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “It delivers on President Obama’s request for recommendations that will move this country towards a more robust national policy for our oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes and recognizes that we have a responsibility to protect the oceans and coasts for the benefit of current and future generations.” Continue reading
I’ve worked as a consulting environmental geoscientist since 1993 installing and sampling monitor wells, yanking countless leaking petroleum and chemical storage tanks out of the ground, finding the sources of underground leaks from other tanks and pipelines carrying all sorts of chemicals, and remediating sites with hazardous chemicals that were contaminating the air, ground water, soils, sediments, and surface water — all in violation of various State and Federal environmental regulations. Needless to say I’ve been very busy. Continue reading
Though I know many of you are too young to know what a “stag film” is, and I’m showing my age, Google it if you’re over 18. And if you’re not, you can still check this out. Some good news for a change:
By Susan Cocking
Dropping 12 feet below the ocean’s surface less than a mile off Fort Lauderdale’s beach-front towers, a diver might wonder if he or she somehow got magically transported to a remote coral reef in the Caribbean. Continue reading
and worms(?)…. How appealing is that when you think of the ocean? Something that captivates most of us and draws millions of us to its shores and into its waters? It seems that people still aren’t taking overfishing seriously. My litmus test is the culinary industry. When I have time, which is never, I love to cook. Since I never have time, the next best thing is to watch my favorite cooking shows on TV – generally competitive shows like “Top Chef” or “Iron Chef.” These are shows where the best in the business compete with each other. Chefs, particularly “celebrity” chefs, are like the fashion designers of food. They’re the ones who establish what foods are fashionable in the culinary scene – and they always seem to be using red-listed fish. Tuna, Chilean seabass, grouper. It makes me cringe. Because people are inspired by what these chefs cook and the go to the markets to buy the ingredients that these chefs use. It’s frustrating as an armchair chef and conservationist when I know there are so many other products they could and should be using – they’re the ones who need to set an example!
I highly recommend reading this excellent article published in a newspaper in Australia. The article was inspired by a new documentary film about overfishing called The End of the Line. It’s time for chefs, and cooks in general, everywhere to respect the need to stop overfishing and set an example.
“WHERE have all the fish gone?” is the key question asked by new documentary film The End of the Line. And it doesn’t pull punches in detailing the ravages of global overfishing. Collapsed species, poor people going hungry, our seas emptied of all but mud and worms. Continue reading