Monthly Archives: February 2013

Photo of the Day ~ Juvenile Mola Mola

One of the ocean's oddest looking fish, the Mola Mola possesses a truly bizarre body shape, likened to a gigantic ‘swimming head.'  Female sunfish are known to produce up to 300 million eggs at one time, the largest number of eggs ever recorded in a vertebrate. Where and when the sunfish spawns is not well known, although five possible areas have been identified in the North and South Atlantic, the North and South Pacific, and in the Indian Ocean, where there are central rotating oceanic currents, called gyres. The newly hatched sunfish measure just 0.25 centimetres in length, and will increase in mass by over 60 million times in order to reach the size of a 3 metre adult. Photo: (c) Sailroe  …
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Ocean Science in the Spotlight at AAAS Annual Meeting

Can better aquaculture technology sustainably feed our growing world population? Is the future of conservation at a crossroads? How can we increase appreciation for ecosystem services like wave-breaking sand dunes and protective mangroves before a disaster? Those were some of the questions asked by leading marine researchers and conservation policy advocates at the annual meeting held by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, MA this past President’s Day Weekend. The ocean played a key role in the program at this year’s AAAS Meeting, the theme of which was “The Beauty and Benefits of Science.” With approximately 6,000 researchers and science enthusiasts from around the world, attendees ranged from astrophysicists and chemists to science communicators, reporters and even artists.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Basking Shark

The Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the second largest fish in our ocean – its relative the Whale Shark being the biggest. Despite their size, Basking Sharks actually feed on plankton which they filter out of the water, swimming slowly back and forth with their enormous mouths wide open. Photo: (c) Alex Mustard ~ AMustard.com…
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The Deadliest Ghosts

Kurt Lieber, Founder and President of Ocean Defenders Alliance kicks off our series on ‘Ghost Nets,’ featuring Mission Blue partners who are leading the charge to publicize – and remedy this growing and very dangerous problem for sea life. We’ve also embedded the just-released video from Jamie Thalman on ODA’s work, ‘Catalina Wrecked.’ We are proud to welcome Ocean Defenders Alliance to the Mission Blue family of Partners! ~ Ed. There is a long-neglected issue affecting our planets oceans.  It is not that people don’t care; it is more a classic example of “out of sight, out of mind.”  Most people are outraged when they see images of garbage or clear-cuts in national forests—but too few people understand that our oceans face similarly devastating circumstances in the form of “ghost” fishing gear. …
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Photo of the Day ~ Sea Pens

Soft corals known as sea pens, usually found at depth, and a blue cod appear in the shallow waters of New Zealand's Long Sound reserve, where tannin-stained water blocks light. When disturbed, sea pens emit a greenish light and can deflate, retreating into their bulbous feet. Photograph by Brian Skerry, National Geographic…
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The Future We Create

The Ocean is the dominant life support system on the planet and is central to our quality of life on earth. Unfortunately, there is a profound, widespread ignorance about the Ocean and its vital importance to everyone, everywhere, all of the time. Even what is known to scientists is not widely appreciated by the public, and certainly not by most policymaking officials. You can rarely prove something to someone who does not want to see it proven, or has financial or ideological reasons to not see it proven. The oceans provide 97% of our planet’s living space, yet less than 5% of the Ocean has been seen, let alone explored. Marine ecosystems hold far more biological and genetic diversity and density than the tropical rainforests which tells us that we don’t know much about this planet at all.…
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Bad News for Illegal Fishing: the Cops are on the Case.

When shady war criminals flee their country and disappear into the world, INTERPOL gets the call. The International Criminal Police Organization, as they are formally called, coordinates police action on an international level, preventing crimes from slipping between the cracks of global law enforcement. In huge news for the future of our oceans, INTERPOL is now turning its attention to combatting the criminal and detrimental practice of illegal fishing. A global project named SCALE is launching at the end of this month to detect, combat and suppress fisheries crime as well as improve intelligence sharing between fisheries enforcement organizations. Illegal fishing outfits are waging an organized, criminal war on marine life in our oceans. It is estimated that 20 percent of all wild marine fish caught globally are obtained illegally.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Anemones

A collection of bright and colorful sea anemones move with the ocean current in the Maldives. (c) Justin Lewis…
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The Gulf of Mexico: Exploring and Caring for the Ocean that Unites Three Countries

Featured photo (c) Daniel Beltrá, DanielBeltra.com For those of us who were not lucky enough to make it to Houston for Mission Blue founder Dr. Sylvia Earle’s landmark talk this week, we’re pleased to share the full-length video courtesy of Rice University’s Baker Institute. From the need for deep exploration to pressing worldwide ocean issues, the focus moved to the unique challenges of the Gulf of Mexico, and what we’ll need to do to save it for tomorrow’s children. The Civic Scientist Lectures are a series of talks by leading scientists and engineers from around the world who have impacted public policy. The Civic Scientist Program is managed by the Science and Technology Policy Program of Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston, Texas.…
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New BiPartisan Bills take on Foreign Illegal Fishing in Congress

Recognizing the growing threat posed by foreign illegal fishing, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Lisa Murkowski and 8 co-sponsors introduced two important bills on February 11th in the US Congress—the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act and the International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act—that would safeguard U.S. ports, strengthen enforcement, and protect American fishing interests. This follows introduction last month in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo of companion legislation to the International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act; that bill has eight cosponsors representing the East Coast, Caribbean and Pacific States and Territories. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing spans the globe, threatening legitimate fishing operations, undermining sustainable fisheries management, and stealing a vital resource from needy communities and the world economy.…
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