The Beacon: Emily Fisher's blog
I hate to do this to y'all, but...
Seems as though there's about to be another broken record on this front... and I'm going to start sounding like one.
So here's a little something to momentarily cheer you up.
After years of successful conservation efforts, it appears puffins might be in trouble... at least according to this year's breeding numbers. A survey showed a 30 percent reduction in the number of nesting pairs on the Isle of May off the coast of Scotland.
The possible causes? The usual suspects: intensive fishing, agriculture, and global warming.
While the puffin is not in imminent danger of going extinct, some scientists say what's more worrisome is the recent decline in puffins as a larger symptom of greater ocean ills.
Puffins are adorable, no two ways about it -- they look almost fake in their cuteness. So what was British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay thinking when he hunted and feasted on a raw puffin heart on a recent episode of his TV show, "The F Word"? Bad form, Mr. Ramsay.
[Image: Terry Cavner via www.bbc.co.uk]
Occasionally I write a "Friday Victories" blog -- if there's some particularly good news to report. Unfortunately, today's not one of those occasions.
Unless it's a victory for climate change, that is. With three weeks of the melting season to go, this year's Arctic ice pack is the second smallest ever recorded on satellite.
So chances are, in a few weeks, I'll be writing another blog reporting that the ice has shrunk even smaller than last year, claiming the record.
[Image via www.smh.com.au]
Here's an excerpt from their victorious post:
"2,600 miles of open ocean crossed in 87 days. From our first week of sinking hopes on a sinking raft, through four hurricanes that swept under us, to the unbelievable chance meeting with Roz Savage in the middle of nowhere, we have had quite an adventure. We’ve collected 10 ocean surface samples using our marine debris trawl, managed to snatch a few large pieces of plastic debris that floated under us, and caught fish with stomachs filled with particles of plastic. Plastic is forever, and it’s everywhere.
Smithsonian Magazine's September cover story spotlights the still-pristine pockets of the sea.
The author lauds the success of the ocean's protected areas, beginning with the world's largest -- a marine reserve the size of California established by the remote nation of Kiribati this past January.
Then there's the United States' version, the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It's about 140,000 square miles -- larger (and harder to pronounce) than all the other U.S. national parks put together.
The question posed here seems to be, "Hey, look how well these protected areas of the ocean are doing. Could this be part of the answer to our problems?" (Hint: Our president seems to think so.) Read the piece and decide for yourself.
That's correct. The country's cats consume on average 13.7 kg of fish and seafood, which is 2.7 kg more than the average human Aussie. And the worst part? They are eating cat food made of wild forage fish -- think sardines, herrings and anchovies -- which are important in the diet of larger fish like tuna and swordfish.
Earlier this month, the Norwegian coastguard captured dramatic footage of a ship called the Prolific discarding up to 80% of its catch of endangered fish in British waters by exploiting a loophole in EU law, which sets quotas for fish landed at ports, not what is actually caught at sea.
As the Guardian environment blogger observed, "The wasteful consequences of Europe's fisheries policies, though well-known, are rather abstract to most people - it all happens a long way out at sea. And that's the power of the video."
Couldn't have said it better myself -- this video is what our dirty fishing campaign is all about.
I know you have an old computer monitor lying around, or an Ikea coffee table you're sick of, or an old VHS collection that's gathering dust and making you feel old. Instead of turning to your friend Craig and his fabulous list, try out the recently launched Remarkd -- It's like craigslist or e-bay... with warm fuzzies.
On Remarkd you post things for sale, and then you donate a portion to the cause of your choice -- more specifically, US!
What a bright idea!
When we told you that the Vermont Country Store was selling a cosmetic product known as "squalane" obtained from shark liver oil, thousands of you contacted the store. Thanks to you, they stopped selling the product. But Wavemakers didn't just flood the inbox of the Vermont Country Store, many of you also wrote to us -- furious about beauty care supplier Dr. Susan Lark and her enthusiastic promotion of products containing squalane from sharks. Well, you spoke up and we listened! We asked her nicely and made little progress. Now it's time to get Dr. Lark to change her ways.
Now here's an eye-opener for you. Two sushi-loving high school girls in New York took on a freelance science project to check 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting (or "barcoding") technique to see whether their fish was correctly labeled.
The result? Two of the 4 restaurants and 6 of the 10 grocery stores sold mislabeled fish. Yes, it's a small sample size, but still, yikes!
- What Do Historic CO2 Levels Mean for the Oceans? Posted Tue, May 14, 2013
- U.S. Coast Guard Captures Illegal Fishermen in Texas Posted Tue, May 14, 2013
- Victory! Delaware Becomes Seventh State in U.S. to Ban Shark Fin Trade! Posted Thu, May 16, 2013
- It's Endangered Species Day! Posted Fri, May 17, 2013
- Stocks Show Signs of Recovery, But Still Work to Do Posted Fri, May 17, 2013