Amazing Overfishing Animation
Despite an increased awareness of overfishing, the majority of people still know very little about the scale of the destruction being wrought on the oceans. This film presents an unquestionable case for why overfishing needs to end and shows that there is still an opportunity for change.
Water Colours - by Bo Mancao
The Coral Song - by AJ Jenkins
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the new soundtrack to my life. My work with the conservation project Green Fins is all about getting divers to help protect the reef, and reaching out to local communities to do the same. Whilst most divers and dive guides are fairly knowledgeable about the reef, I’ve met plenty of people, tourists and locals alike, who don’t know that coral is alive.
This is the soundtrack for all my future presentations. And the song that will be in my head for the rest of the week. And I don’t even mind.
Go ahead. Enjoy. Sing. Share.
Hear hear! Whales record major life events in their earwax.
Who needs a diary when you’ve got whale earwax? Hormone peaks, ocean pollutants, stress levels – it’s all there.
The plugs, which can weigh 250 grams and be 25 centimetres long, reflect annual migration patterns. During a blue whale’s six-month feeding season, earwax is light-coloured, filled with fat from its rich diet. As it fasts during migration, a darker layer forms. These layers allow scientists to age whales when they’re found dead.
Now, for the first time researchers have used the earwax to study a whale’s exposure to ocean contaminants from birth to death. “This has opened the floodgates for doing some great analysis,” says Sascha Usenko of Baylor University, Waco, Texas. “Now we can look at the impact of ocean contaminants on these organisms historically, which has always been very hard to address.”
Usenko and Stephen Trumble, also at Baylor University, shaved away at a plug from a 12-year-old male blue whale that was killed in a 2007 boating accident off the coast of California. The layers contained varying concentrations of DDT and flame-retardants. Exposure was highest during its first year, probably while the whale was nursing.
The plug also contained traces of hormones, which are broken down by the body and don’t leave records elsewhere. Testosterone levels peaked at 10 years, marking the beginning of sexual maturity, which can be difficult to determine but is important for conservation efforts. And levels of the stress hormone cortisol increased over the whale’s life, possibly because finding food, migrating and mating all got harder.
Usenko says the earwax method means we can look at how exposure to chemicals in the environment alters a whale’s stress levels, and how exposure today is different from exposure say, 50 years ago.
Photo 1: Giant earplug (Image: Tonya B. Lewis/Baylor University)
Photo 2:The extracted whale earplug (B); a cross-section of the earplug (C); and a cross-section of the earplug magnified 20x to show the different waxy layers. Source: Smithsonian Blog.
Journal reference: PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311418110
FREE Ocean Explore desktop wallpaper of images from the ocean realm adventures and discoveries of NOAA’s at-sea science and education teams.
*WARNING* These pictures are so awesome, you may just end up staring at your desktop, forsaking food, water and … well… life. Because Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter.
Diving is so much fun! I kind of look at it like driving. You get good enough to pass your test, but you become a good driver through experience. Don’t stop trying to learn, even once you have your qualification. Watch what other divers, dive masters and instructors do, how they dive and try different things so you develop a diving style you’re comfortable with. Some general tips:
1. Dive with respect for the animals and the environment.
Don’t harass marine life, or treat coral like a stepping stone. Unless it’s a safety issue, you don’t want to be touching anything underwater.
2. Develop good buoyancy.
Buoyancy is how you control where you are in the water column. You can adjust this with weights and air in your BCD, but good divers can control their buoyancy with their breathing. This takes practice. You have to actively try to improve.
3. Learn your dive gear
Unfortunately we’re not marine animals anymore, and your dive gear is your life saver. Know what each of the equipment does for you. You are taught it in your courses but if you don’t dive regularly it’s easy to forget. Make sure your hoses are tucked in, so they don’t drag along the bottom causing damage to the substrate and your expensive gear!
That’s it for starters! Good luck, hope you enjoy it!
Dear Future Husband,
If this is the only
other thing we do on our honeymoon, I will be satisfied.
GoPro + sharks = <3
NB. I don’t advocate touching or riding sharks. Ever. Or touching coral…but the rest of the video is awesome.
A short 3D animation about the perils of over-fishing today by The Black Fish.
Some of us know this information, many of us don’t…either way it’s a fantastic visual representation of a major threat to ocean biodiversity.
Do you know how your seafood gets on your plate?
Sorry I haven’t been posting much original material lately… my time has been enveloped by Zoox and Green Fins work (as jobs tend to do) over the last few months, and as always it has been incredibly rewarding.
A highlight was a project of one the Zoox volunteers who managed to pull together a week of clean ups around various dive sites and beaches around Puerto Galera, Philippines.
In total, 205 people participated over the week, and we managed to collect a whopping 953.5 kg of rubbish and throw in a whole load of local community awareness about marine debris.
Organizing a clean up is much more than meets the eye, especially if you want to count what you have collected, or are trying to organize various people or town garbage trucks to meet you at a certain time. But it doesn’t have to be a big event. Take a picnic at a beach with friends, and after you clean up your mess, go and pick up the rest and see what the weirdest thing you can find is.
On one dive this week, I found everything I would need for for my own picnic including a rug, umbrella, crockery, cutlery and beer (a bit salty but so was the rest!). It’s unbelievable what finds it’s way into the ocean, but when you are faced with the reality of it being right there in front of you, it helps reinforce actions when you are dry again.
It’s thought that 80% of the trash in the ocean comes from land. And that’s not just beach-side communities, thats you and me, and family and friends. Let’s start there, with what we can easily change, and hopefully we can inspire others to start making a difference too.