Monthly Archives: April 2014

Whales win one: Will Japan abide by ban?

Op Ed at CNN by Mission Blue partner, Carl Safina.  CNN Editor’s note: Carl Safina is an award-winning scientist and author, founding president of Blue Ocean Institute at Stony Brook University, and host of the PBS television series “Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina.”  (CNN) — On Monday the World Court in the Hague ruled that Japan’s “scientific” whale-hunting was baloney. It ordered Japan to revoke its “scientific research” permits to all its ships, effectively tying Japan’s fleet to the dock and silencing the cannons and exploding bombs that are the way whales die nowadays. Japan says it will abide. I wish it would take this opportunity to bow gracefully out of something so dishonest and unfit for modernity. But I expect a fragile truce, and only a partial one.…
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Open Seas Teem with Life, Invisible and Invincible

Too often, we see the open ocean like the space between stars. We imagine a void, vast and hollow, characterized by emptiness and populated by ghosts. Water becomes a medium, a barrier, something crossed en route to something of substance. To the sea we consign the ashes of our dead, symbolically releasing them from this world as though the watery realm weren’t part of it. It is, of course, very much part of our world, and it is far from empty. In fact, the open ocean comprises planet Earth’s most powerful bio-engine. Though its inhabitants can barely be seen and have only recently come to science’s attention, they form an integral part of the marine biosphere. They undergird the valuable resources human beings extract from the ocean—resources we’ve come to depend on.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Harbor Seal off Cortes Bank

Spotted at Cortes Bank near San Diego, California, a harbor seal (Phoco vitulina) swims through an underwater kelp forest. Captured by Kyle McBurnie, the photo is the overall winner of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Underwater Photography Contest, which recognizes amateur photography.   …
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No Dumping. Drains to Ocean.

“No Dumping, Drains to Ocean.” We have all read this on sidewalk storm drains. You may wonder, what exactly is draining into our oceans? The answer is, lots of pollutants, including one of the biggest environmental offenders: used motor oil. Made from the same toxic substance as gasoline, 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum-based lubricants and motor oils are sold in the United States each year. Of that, 385 million gallons are disposed of every year – 35 times more oil than was spilled in the Exxon Valdez spill! Next time you are idling at a stoplight or pulling into a parking spot, take notice of all those dark, greasy spots left behind from the motor oil leaking out of cars. When it rains, storm water carries that greasy oil from the roadways into our ocean, polluting our rivers, watershed and drinking water sources, along the way.…
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