The Beacon: Emily Fisher's blog
Happy Valentine’s Day, ocean lovers!
Here’s one from the archives (a relative oldie but a goodie) for your enjoyment:
Since it's almost Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share something that warmed our hearts. Oceana celeb supporter Kate Walsh has a new fragrance, “Boyfriend,” and guess who is helping her promote it? Another big Oceana supporter (and sea turtle lover), Angela Kinsey from “The Office.”
Check out Kate and Angela getting silly (and tipsy) and pass it on:
You can join Oceana, Kate and Angela to help get sea turtles off the hook, and speaking of Valentine’s Day, if you still need to get something special for your sweetheart, do us a big favor and buy it through this link -- $10 of each purchase goes toward our work to protect the oceans.
The winter issue of the Oceana magazine is now online for your reading pleasure!
* Visit lovely Punta de Choros, Chile, where we recently achieved a dramatic victory in stopping the construction of a coal-fired power plant.
* Sail into the Gulf of Mexico with the Oceana Latitude expedition.
* Explore Chile’s Sala y Gomez Island, whose waters were recently declared a no-take zone after our preliminary expedition there.
* Dive in with actress January Jones in her second trip with Oceana to swim with sharks. This time? The majestic whale shark.
Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless is counted among the notable ocean conservationists -- including Carl Safina, Sylvia Earle and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. -- in SEA VOICES, a coffee table book by Duffy Healey and Elizabeth Laul Healey. The couple has been involved in saving the oceans for decades, and they recently posted an excerpt of the book’s interview with Andy on their website.
Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A about krill, a topic near and dear to Andy’s heart.
Q. Krill is very important to the overall food chain of the ocean. Can you briefly explain what krill is, why it’s so important, and what Oceana and others are doing to help protect krill?
A. Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans. There are 85 species of krill, and they are present in all of the world’s oceans, and are particularly abundant in the Southern Ocean. Krill have light emitting organs called ‘photophores’ that make them glow in the dark; swarms of krill at night or in the dark ocean depths make impressive swirling light displays. The largest krill, the Antarctic krill, is thought to live up to 11 years old. Ocean wildlife eats between 150 and 300 million metric tons of krill each year.
Five-time Olympic gold medalist and Oceana spokeswimmer Aaron Peirsol has announced that he has retired from competitive swimming.
27-year-old Peirsol is regarded by many as the best backstroker of all time, with world records in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke.
And he’s made a big splash in the ocean conservation community too, with his Race for the Oceans, whose proceeds have gone towards Oceana’s work to protect the oceans.
Oceana made great strides last week in our fight to stop offshore oil drilling in Belize’s crystal blue waters.
First, last week the Belizean government decided not to re-issue the offshore drilling concessions previously held by the Taiwan-based Overseas Petroleum Investment Corp. (OPIC), an offshore oil exploration company. In October, OPIC relinquished its permits to approximately 1.14 million acres off Belize’s coast.
And second, in response to a letter from Vice President of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Prime Minister Dean Barrow agreed to put the matter of offshore drilling to a public referendum.
All six species of sea turtles in U.S. waters are threatened with extinction -- and we want to know why more isn’t being done to protect them. The U.S. government wants to charge us an arm and a leg for more information about it. So we filed a lawsuit.
Last March, Oceana submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asking for records relating to trawl gear modifications intended to prevent sea turtle bycatch in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. (The government has still not acted to modify trawl gear to protect sea turtles on much of the East Coast.) In response, NOAA asked Oceana to pay more than $16,000 for the documents.
The world’s appetite for fish continues to grow. Fish stocks, though? Not so much.
That’s the bottom line from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which released its latest State of the World's Fisheries and Aquaculture report yesterday. Global per capita consumption of fish reached a "new all-time high" in 2008.
Here are some of the facts from the report:
- Fish consumption increased to an estimated 17.1 kilograms per person in 2008, up from 16.9 kilograms in 2007.
- Fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of an estimated 540 million people, roughly 8 percent of the world's population.
- Much of the increase is due to fish farming, which is set to overtake fisheries as the main source of seafood.
- In the early 1950s, aquaculture production was less than one million tonnes per year; in 2008 it was 52.5 million tonnes worth $98.4 billion US, the report authors said.
- There has been no improvement in the level of global fish stocks -- the overall percentage of overfished, depleted or recovering stocks is expected to be slightly higher than in 2006.
- Slightly more than half of the world's fisheries were estimated to be "fully exploited," meaning their current catches are "at or close to their maximum sustainable productions, with no room for further expansion."
- About 32 per cent of world fish stocks are estimated to be overexploited, depleted or recovering and need to be rebuilt, the report said.
Last night in his State of the Union address President Obama said, "instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." Now it's time for Congress to heed that call and do its part.
Big Oil rakes in obscene profits each year as a result of billions in taxpayer subsidies. It's time to stop this.
President Obama's stated goal is for 80% of America's electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035. Our oceans can be part of the solution.
A recent Oceana report showed that offshore wind can provide domestic energy that is cleaner and more sustainable than offshore drilling, while creating permanent jobs and strengthening our economy. The report shows that offshore wind developments off the U.S. Atlantic coastline could create between 133,000 and 212,000 jobs per year right here in the United States. That's more than three times the jobs estimated to be created by expanding offshore oil and gas.
All eyes were on President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, and everyone was abuzz about who was sitting with whom, tie color, and economic competitiveness. But according to NPR, the three words that listeners used most to sum up the speech were “inspiring," “hopeful,” and “salmon.” Yes, salmon.
From the transcript:
“We live and do business in the Information Age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black-and-white TV. There are 12 different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different agencies that deal with housing policy. Then there's my favorite example: The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. (Laughter.) I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked. (Laughter and applause.)”
President Obama’s salmon remark was amusing because it’s true. America’s oceans are managed under more than 140 laws implemented by 20 federal agencies. The National Ocean Policy, which Oceana has been working to promote, will help move us away from piecemeal, disjointed management.
The first meeting of the National Ocean Council was in November, and Oceana will continue to work with the Obama Administration to ensure that the oceans -- including salmon -- have a voice.
- Obama Admin Moves Forward to Open the Atlantic Ocean to Seismic Airgun Blasts & Drilling Posted Fri, February 28, 2014
- CEO Note: State Shark Fin Bans Protected Posted Wed, March 5, 2014
- Miranda Cosgrove Stars in New Oceana PSA to Save Dolphins Posted Wed, March 5, 2014
- The Economist’s Arctic Summit Convenes in London Posted Thu, March 6, 2014