Monthly Archives: October 2012

Protecting the Wild South [Video]

The oceans around Antarctica are the only oceans on this earth still relatively untouched by human activity. They are home to almost 10,000 unique and diverse species, many of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. But today the
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Shark Social Networking

University of Delaware researchers are using an underwater robot to find and follow sand tiger sharks that they previously tagged with transmitters. The innovative project is part of a multi-year partnership with Delaware State University
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Meet Hank the Animated Orange Roughy

Orange roughy, once called slimehead, is a deep-sea fish that can live to 100 years or more. Since they are slow growing and late to reach reproductive maturity, they are vulnerable to overfishing. Researchers report that their populations are now 10 to 30 percent (or less) of historic levels. Even with proper managment orange roughy populations are expected to take decades to recover.…
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Toro the Bluefin Tuna Asks You to do a Solid for the Ocean

An animated bluefin tuna aptly named Toro is asking the public to do a “solid” for the ocean in a new short video. “I am taking a break from the waves to ask if you can take a chill pill on eating my peeps,” the animated tuna says. Watch the video below to see what else Toro has to say. The language and animation make the short video light-hearted, but the underlying message is quite serious — bluefin tuna are in trouble and populations around the world are being run into the ground in order to meet human demand.  This short video is part of a One World One Ocean month-long campaign being called Go Fish! To learn more about this video, the campaign and what you can do click HERE.…
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Into the Deep Unknown — Scientists Unveil the Secrets of Our Seas

New facts about marine life enable scientists to locate some of the ocean’s most ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs), in the planet’s most remote places. At the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls on the international community to protect them. This is the first time the world ocean, including its international waters, comes under scientific scrutiny, combining new facts about the distribution, migration routes and reproductive, nesting and nursing grounds of many threatened species, such as tuna, sharks, turtles and whales. The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, of which IUCN is a partner, has been engaged in compiling and processing the new data. “Many of these important areas lie outside of national jurisdiction, and thus remain neglected or poorly protected,” says Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Senior High Seas Advisor.…
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Benefits of Protecting Nature Far Outweigh Investment Costs

By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Last spring I was invited by the Secretariat of the CBD to join a panel tasked with the first-ever assessment of the resources needed to achieve the Aichi Targets — the most ambitious set of global targets to protect nature in history — by 2020. This panel was co-sponsored by the governments of the United Kingdom and India and chaired by CI Board Member Pavan Sukhdev, and comprises eight global experts with a range of scientific, technical, policy and socioeconomic expertise. In order to provide as robust an assessment as possible of the resources needed to fund conservation activities ranging from pollution reduction to invasive species management, the panel first examined what we know about the economic value of biodiversity.…
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The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail – Book in the Spotlight

Convinced that the time has come for historians to take the living ocean seriously, University of New Hampshire history professor Jeffrey Bolster has written a new book—The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail. In the book, Bolster takes readers through a millennium-long environmental history of human impact on the ocean. Recently, Mission Blue caught up with Professor Bolster. Read the Q&A below to find out about the inspiration behind the story, what interesting things didn’t make it into the volume, and how writing this book changed Professor Bolster’s own view of the ocean. Can you briefly describe what inspired you to write The Mortal Sea? I’ve spent a lifetime messing around in boats, and as a young man I was a commercial seaman for ten years.…
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Shark Finning Ban Success in Costa Rica

By Richard Branson We’re in Costa Rica today with very exciting news from the OceanElders‘ efforts to stop shark finning. I saw the film Sharkwater a few years ago and it shook me to the core. Here we were decimating 1.5 million sharks per week – all for a bowl of soup. Like anyone who has seen the film, I was determined to do anything I could to see if I could help. Sharkwater was largely based around the slaughter of sharks off Costa Rica, where you also have the beautiful Coco Islands. It was sickening to see the tens of thousands of shark fins drying out on the roofs and to see live sharks being thrown back into the water to die after their fins were cut off.…
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TerraMar Project launches to Celebrate and Protect the World’s Oceans

By John Platt Did you know that most of the world’s oceans belong to you? It’s true: 64 percent of the waters that exist outside of national jurisdictions are known as the high seas. According to the United National Law of the Sea Convention, these unregulated bodies of water — and the fish and minerals they contain — belong to all of mankind and should be used to serve the common good. A new nonprofit, The TerraMar Project, aims to celebrate and protect those high seas. Officially launched Sept. 26 at the Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Conference in Monterey, Calif., the organization is the brainchild of lifelong marine enthusiast Ghislaine Maxwell. “People traditionally see individual oceans and seas. The truth is that all the oceans are interconnected and related.…
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Balaenoptera musculus: The Animal With a Heart the Size of a Car

By Mera McGrew Blue whales, which are listed as endangered on the International Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List, are the gentle giants of the ocean. Scientifically knows as Balaenoptera musculus, they are the largest animals known to have ever lived on Earth. At birth, a calf can measure about 23 feet (7 meters) in length. Fully grown, they can reach up to 108 feet (33 meters) and weigh upwards of 200 tons (181 metric tons). Reaching sizes comparable to a Boeing 737—and with hearts that weigh as much as a Volkswagen Beetle—the blue whale is even larger than the biggest dinosaurs that roamed the Earth during the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras. These giant marine mammals reach such massive sizes by eating tiny shrimp-like animals known as krill (euphausiids).…
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