Monthly Archives: September 2013

Feds Clamp Down on Whale Kills in California’s Drift Gillnet Fishery

New federal emergency fishing regulations are forcing California’s drift gillnet fleet for swordfish and shark to stop fishing for the season if a single endangered sperm whale gets entangled in a net. All vessels that fish offshore will now be required to carry on-board observers at all times. The emergency measures were finally imposed today after two endangered sperm whales were observed killed in the fishery in 2010. The rules will be enforced by requiring new vessel monitoring systems tracking the locations of all drift gillnet vessels off the U.S. West Coast.    Download the emergency regulation from National Marine Fisheries Service here. Download the Marine Mammal Take Permit here. Also today, Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.org) published a new online exposé calling for an end to the gillnet fishery titled, California’s Deadliest Catch.…
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Ocean advocates unite in Boulder despite Colorado flooding

When Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) founder Vicki Nichols Goldstein came up with the idea for Making WAVES in Colorado – an ocean lovers’ conference held annually in landlocked Boulder, CO – she never dreamt that waves would literally come crashing on her doorstep. But as nearly Biblical flooding ravaged Boulder County just days before last weekend’s conference and destroyed countless properties including her own carpeted basement, the irony of the disaster became all too apparent. “I love Making WAVES in Colorado, but this is a bit much!” Goldstein posted on Facebook in the midst of FEMA visits and last-minute preparations for the conference, which went on as scheduled. “The floods and severe rains are a stark reminder that even inland, we are intertwined with the Ocean.” – coloradoocean.org (Photo © Vicki Nichols Goldstein) Despite news of the disaster, ocean leaders and enthusiasts from across the country and abroad gathered at the University of Colorado campus for a weekend full of delightful and informative talks, activities, social events and films.…
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Sylvia Earle – Eco Warrior!

Celebrity fashion photographer Roger Moenks has created the I Am Eco-Warrior project which includes an inspiring book in which he documents 53 global game-changers who are leading the world’s eco revolution.  The I Am Eco-Warrior project strives to instill a global mindset that being eco-friendly is fashionable, attainable, and “cool,” encouraging new business leaders to embark on a more sustainable future. Today, the IAMECO video series welcomes Mission Blue’s founder with their launch of: ‘Sylvia Earle: A Life Lived Under Water to Preserve Our Seas.”  You can follow I am Eco Warrior: Website: www.iamecowarrior.com YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/iamecowarrior Google+: IAMECO Warrior Facebook: www.facebook.com/iamecowarrior Twitter: @iameco_Warrior Instagram: @IAMECOWarrior  …
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Beautiful Whale with Bryant Austin & Sylvia Earle

The event is expected to sell out quickly. Purchase your tickets soon! Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres will be served. Sell Tickets Online through Eventbrite We encourage you to dress in layers and comfortable shoes for outdoor terrain. Bring sunglasses and consider a hat as well. Children are welcome to attend at no additional cost. Unfortunately Hillside Gardens is not wheelchair accessible. *Parking is prohibited at Hillside Gardens. Savory Thymes asks that all guests park at Mill Valley Middle School at 425 Sycamore Avenue in Mill Valley, CA 94941. There will be a complimentary shuttle running from the parking lot at the school to the venue (a 5 minute ride.) Shuttle service will start at 2:40 PM.  *To walk to HIllside Gardens, park in downtown Mill Valley.…
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Ocean Acidification – A Clear and very present danger

From their ongoing ‘Sea Change’ series, Seattle Times environmental reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman “present an extraordinary window on a scientific fact: The oceans are rapidly acidifying.” If we don’t act fast to undo the damage, the consequences for the oceans – and for us, whose lives depend on them – are profound. The Seattle Times explores how ocean acidification could alter the seas on a scale almost too big to fathom. The video, “Sea Change” was produced by PBS NewsHour, using The Seattle Times’ reporting and video, and funded in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Featured Photo: This pteropod, also known as a sea butterfly, comes from Puget Sound. The tiny shelled creatures are an important food source for many fish and seabirds.…
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Reason for Hope: the Mesoamerican Reef

Though much of the ocean is in precipitous decline due to humanity’s meddling, there are still Hope Spots that harbor the vibrance and biodiversity that can turn the tides on ocean degradation and form the foundation for tomorrow’s healthy ocean. Yet, even these precious ecosystems — Mission Blue has identified 19 of them — are today strained and stressed by our thoughtless plundering and pollution of the finite ocean. Photo: Kip Evans Close to the US’s doorstep, the Mesoamerican Reef is one such Hope Spot. What does it contain that gives us reason for hope? For one, the area contains one of the largest populations of manatees in the world, as well as four different types of marine turtles: Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback and Hawksbill.…
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Science Isn’t Enough: Mexico Risks Embargo Over Dead Sea Turtles

By Mission Blue Partner, Wallace J. Nichols We’ve been studying and working to protect loggerhead sea turtles in Mexico for nearly 20 years. As a scientist and conservationist, one strives to acquire the best available information, build the best team possible and to use the most appropriate tools to solve a problem, be it pollution or dead endangered animals. A combination of incentives, referred to as “carrots” and “sticks” are commonly used to nudge or force a solution ahead. Sometimes a “silver bullet” technology saves the day, but that’s rare. Photo: Mocchi The work of conservation is typically slow, incremental, and human. It’s been our experience that those who would spend two decades or more working closely with fishermen to understand and protect sea turtles typically have the best interests of both people and nature in mind, although sometimes they are called “turtle-huggers” or scapegoated over another competing agenda. …
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Photo of the Week ~ Walking Shark

Mission Blue partners at Conservation International have played a part in the discovery of a new species of Epaulette Shark, or Walking Shark (Hemiscyllium Halmahera.) Discovered in Halmahera in north eastern Indonesia, this will be the ninth recognized species of walking shark in the world. These are relatively small sharks with the largest only reaching 121 cm (48 in) in adult body length. Instead of swimming, these sharks “walk” along the ocean floor by wriggling their bodies and using their small paddle-like pelvic and pectoral fins to push themselves forward across the ocean floor. It will only swim if being pursued by a predator, and even then, not for long.  The good news is, according to Dr. Mark Erdmann, the local government and emerging dive tourism industry is excited to promote its newly-named endemic species.…
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Okeanos

Capacitor and The Aquarium of the Bay Proudly Present Okeanos Capacitor presents “Okeanos Intimate” with Pre-show talks led by marine biologists and oceanographers. Mission Blue Founder, Dr. Sylvia Earle joins Okeanos LIVE on September 14th. Tickets available here: http://www.capacitor.org/okeanos-intimate/ WHEN: 8 Saturdays Beginning August 10th[Pre-Show Talk and Show at 7pm]WHERE: Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, San Francisco, CA “If I was to sum up the phrase ‘creativity for change’ I would use one word – Okeanos” ~David de Rothschild  Imagine you could go to the aquarium and completely immerse yourself in the tank…without getting wet.  At the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, you can.  Beginning August 10th Capacitor, San Francisco’s dance/cirque company, dives into the deep to bring you Okeanos Intimate. …
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2013 SeaKeeper Award Goes Out Tonight

Our friends at SeaKeeper and the Sargasso Sea Alliance are gathering at the St. Francis Yacht Club tonight to present the 2013 International SeaKeeper Award to honor and promote key figures who have made extraordinary commitments to protect this unique area of our ocean. The event will take place along with the America’s Cup which will be in full swing this week. In attendance will be Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue director Patty Elkus and more passionate ocean advocates from the Sargasso Sea Alliance and other hardworking nonprofits. For last minute tickets, click here. The Sargasso Sea, one of Mission Blue’s 19 Hope Spots, is a dynamic ecosystem of thriving diversity that contributes to overall ocean health. Located near Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea is the only sea without a land boundary.…
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