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Oceana Magazine Summer 2010: News & Notes

The Ranger on the SeaIn June, the Oceana Ranger set sail from the port of Sagunto, Spain for its annual expedition. This year Ranger sailed throughout the western Mediterranean to study the region’s seamounts. In addition, Oceana tested the pH level of the Mediterranean for the first time to assess the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the sea.

Oceana and the Natural Resources Defense Council teamed up to launch a robot to detect underwater oil plumes off the Florida Keys. Nicknamed Waldo, the six-and-a-half-foot robot resembles a yellow torpedo and can relay data in near-real time. Waldo is one of a team of robots from Mote Marine Laboratory, Rutgers University, the University of South Florida and the University of Delaware that are patrolling the waters off Florida’s west coast for oil.

Oceana board member Ted Danson testified before the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness in order to urge an end to irresponsible fishing subsidies that contribute to the decline of marine ecosystems. “There’s an inextricable link between ocean conservation and global competitiveness,” Danson told the subcommittee. “It’s quite simple: No fish. No fishermen. No future.” Global fisheries subsidies are estimated to be at least $20 billion annually – an amount equivalent to approximately 25 percent of the value of the world's fish catch.

Comedians Angela Kinsey (“The Office”) and Rachael Harris (“The Hangover”) traveled to Mexico with Oceana to film a PSA about endangered sea turtles. The PSA will debut this fall.

Oceana’s 2010 Ocean Hero Award winners were announced. The winner in the adult category was Jay Holcomb, executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which has taken the lead in cleaning birds affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The winner in the junior category was the Shark Finatics, a group of students from Brewster, New York who have teamed up to support shark conservation.

"Law & Order” star and Oceana board member Sam Waterston testified before a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Oversight Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife about ocean acidification, an often overlooked consequence of carbon dioxide emissions that could severely harm the oceans.

In May, “Mad Men” star January Jones traveled to Belize to swim with endangered whale sharks for a new “Scared for Sharks” Oceana PSA to be released this fall. Jones dived with a baby whale shark the size of a small bus during the shoot. On the same trip, La Mer also filmed January diving in Belize’s amazing coral reefs. La Mer launched a successful social media campaign around the video of this dive for World Oceans Day this year.