Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sea Urchins ~ An Ocean Magazine for the Next Generation

New Mission Blue Partner, Sea Urchins Magazine is a Great Britain based children’s magazine that brings ocean conservation to kids focusing on positive and awe inspiring messages and images. ~ Ed. Where it all began… My grandfather was one of the biggest influences in my life. He used to talk to me about nature, bought me my first pair of binoculars and started my subscription to the RSPB magazine (a bird magazine). I instantly found respect for nature, the outdoors and conservation and this will stay with me for the rest of my life. Later I went on to study Biology for my further education and Marine Biology as my university degree. The next step for me was to gain all of my diving qualifications.…
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Photorealist painter uses humor to highlight dilemma of marine debris

Above: “Mighty Migration” oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″ © Karen Hackenberg 2011 “I am walking on the Discovery Bay beach outside of Port Townsend WA where I live, swim, and kayak. Collecting colorful plastic cone-shaped tips of washed-up fireworks’ rockets for use in my sculpture, I examine the live pulpy bodies of moon snails in their white shells and the purple velvet “fur” on sand dollars, as well as the stranded plastic bags, the crab shell molts, the squid egg cases, the running shoes, logs, plastic water bottles, shot gun shells, disposable lighters, ropes of bull kelp, nylon ropes, eel grasses, striated stones and glowing agates. I struggle to make sense of this diverse and incongruous debris, and to somehow make peace with its implications.” – Karen Hackenberg “Into the Belly of the Whale” gouache on paper, 8″ x 11″ © Karen Hackenberg 2012 Artist Karen Hackenberg explores the “tenuous boundary between living nature and human encroachment.” From her studio overlooking Discovery Bay, Washington, Hackenberg takes frequent beach walks that reveal both treasure and tragedy.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Belize Dolphins

A pod of dolphins swim and play in Belize, in their natural habitat. Instead of leaving photographer Justin Lewis behind, the dolphins circled backed and played with him as he free dove thrity feet below the surface. Photo (c) Justin Lewis Photography…
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New England Fisheries Face Serious Setback

Recent scientific surveys of the fish populations off the New England coast have found them at or near the lowest levels ever recorded. On top of that, there is a new measure before NOAA that would encourage renewed bottom trawling and dredging in the region. A total of more than 5,000 sq. miles of seafloor—roughly equal to the size of Connecticut—is at risk of serious ecological setback. After populations collapsed in the early 1990s, "groundfish closed areas" were set up to protect juvenile fish, spawning areas, and seafloor habitat. These sections of seabed were set aside to protect cod, haddock, flounder, and other important fish. Now, under pressure from the fishing industry, the New England Fishery Management Council has voted to let bottom trawling and dredging return to more than half of these areas.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Parrotfish

One of the most colorful fish in the sea, the vibrant hued parrotfish, Scarus sp, sleeps each night with its eyes wide open. While it dreams its colorful fish dreams we are able to get close enough to see each brilliant line and scale, Komodo Islands, Indonesia, Indo-Pacific Ocean. Photo: (c) Tanya G. Burnett,  http://www.islandexposure.us…
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Free Ride

“We gotta do better, it’s time to begin. 
You know all the answers must come from within…. Come on and take a free ride….” From where I write, on the coast of California, I can look out and see dolphins swim gracefully through forests of ocean kelp. But I know that on the other side of the Pacific, it’s a very different scenario. Ric O’Barry is in Japan monitoring the dolphin hunt in Taiji, famously exposed in the movie “The Cove.” In picturesque Hatajiri Bay, the dolphins are being forced into a cove and trapped, then sold or slaughtered, in one of the worst drive-capture fisheries on the planet. Even though a horrified international public expressed outrage after seeing the brutality unleashed on these innocent sentient creatures in “The Cove,” the drive continues there and in other parts of Japan.…
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The Golden Shore: California’s Love Affair With the Sea

Written as a celebration of the California coast and the forces that protect it, "The Golden Shore, California’s Love Affair with the Sea" is a passionate tale of one of the most unique and stunning natural habitats to be found anywhere on earth, the 1,100 miles of the California Coast. San Francisco Bay area author and ocean activist David Helvarg is uniquely qualified to take us on this journey of love and the struggle to protect the rugged wilderness that defines the western border of the continental United States. It may be a slightly dysfunctional love affair. For better or for worse, with ups and downs, lots of hard-learned lessons, and just like in real life, sometimes the lawyers get involved.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Manta in the Maldives

It’s big business, a big vote, and a big moment for sharks and mantas. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, takes place beginning next week in Bangkok, Thailand – March 3 to 14. At this critical meeting, governments will debate adding five species of sharks and two species of manta rays to the treaty. A positive result will limit international trade of shark fin and meat and manta gill rakers and help reduce the threat of over fishing facing these species. The oceanic manta (Manta birostris) and the reef manta rays (M. alfredi) are among the ocean’s most charismatic wildlife. Manta rays are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters, although oceanic manta rays can be found in temperate waters.…
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Photo of the Day: David and Goliath Revisited

"David and Goliath," Gold Winner at Our World Underwater 2013.  Another outstanding photograph of Jack Crevalles at Cabo Pulmo, Mexico.  Says photographer, Octavio Aburto, "I have been trying to portray the research and the work being done in Cabo Pulmo, where the “David and Goliath” photo was taken, in a way that is accessible to the public and in such a way that it can be easily shared. Through this photo and other photos I hope to tell the success story of marine protection in Cabo Pulmo where I conduct my scientific research." Photo: (c) Octavio Aburto    …
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Chasing Ice Nominated for Oscar

Long a skeptic about climate change, environmental photographer James Balog was faced with undeniable evidence through his Extreme Ice Survey. Many of us first encountered Balog’s work in his 2009 TED talk, where he shared image sequences from the survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change.  The riveting videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Photo: Canta Per Il Hearing that Balog’s groundbreaking documentary, ‘Chasing Ice,‘ had been nominated for an Oscar, one might assume it would be for Best Documentary or Best Cinematography – but no.  The Nomination came in for Best Original Song ~ Written by J.…
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