Emily Fisher's blog

How to Be an Ocean Hero this Summer

Posted Wed, Jun 8, 2011 by Emily Fisher to beach clean up, beach trash, how to be an ocean hero, litter, ocean conservation, ocean heroes, recycle, summer

© zeroXTE.com

It's World Oceans Day, so what better time to take a moment to think about doing your part to help protect our water planet?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Peter Wallerstein or a Sophi Bromenshenkel to be an everyday ocean hero. This summer, we’re asking everyone to take small steps in their lives to help the oceans. Those little things all add up to heroic efforts.

When you pledge to be an ocean hero with us, you can choose between three options -- clean up your local waterway, eat sustainable seafood or recycle. Here’s the skinny:

1. Clean up your local beach or waterway.

There’s a lot of litter on beaches and riverbanks, and much of it could end up in a sea turtle or sea bird’s stomach, or in the Pacific gyre. Picking up garbage on the beach is an easy way to help the oceans.

Extra credit: Take pictures of your clean-up on your iPhone and post them to Instagram. Make sure to tag your photos #ocean and check www.oceana.org/heroes to see what other ocean heroes are up to this summer.

Double extra credit: While you’re cleaning up, support Oceana’s cause by wearing Nautica’s World Oceans Day t-shirt, made from 100 percent organic cotton. The proceeds will benefit our work to protect and restore the world’s oceans.

2. Eat sustainable seafood.

Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide at the seafood counter or restaurant to make smart and sustainable seafood choices.

Extra credit: Check out our sustainable seafood guides on Foodspotting. The next time you’re eating fish at a restaurant, share pictures from your smart phone on Foodspotting and let others know where they should (and shouldn’t!) go for seafood.

Double extra credit: Check out “For Cod and Country,” a guide to casual, sustainable cuisine by acclaimed Washington DC chef and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver.

3. Reuse and recycle.

Take a hint from junior ocean hero finalist Wyatt Workman and don’t be a trash monster – reuse as much as possible, and when you can’t, recycle.

Extra credit: Nix bottled water and get the Oceana water bottle from Nautica. (I have one and it’s the best water bottle I’ve ever owned, hands down.)

Double extra credit: Check out sunglasses from Revo’s Eco Collection; they’re made from Revo Re-Use™, a frame material made from 100 percent recycled pre-consumer polymer resins.

Have you taken the pledge yet? Don’t forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter. Got any other ideas for how to make a difference for the oceans this summer? Let us know in the comments. And thanks to the hundreds of you who have already pledged!


Continue reading...

Announcing the 2011 Ocean Heroes

peter wallerstein

Peter Wallerstein (left) releases a sea lion back into the wild.

Happy World Oceans Day, everyone!

Whether you’re on the coast today or not, we hope you pause to recognize the beauty and bounty of the oceans. Starting today, we're asking all of you to take a pledge to protect the world's oceans -- but more on that later.

And now to the juicy stuff: this year’s Ocean Heroes!

More than 500 ocean activists were nominated, 12 were selected as finalists, and more than 12,000 of you voted. The results? This year’s adult ocean hero is Peter Wallerstein and the junior ocean hero is Sophi Bromenshenkel!

Peter Wallerstein is the program director at Marine Animal Rescue, a project of Friends of Animals, where he has spent the last 25 years rescuing marine mammal in Los Angeles County. He has personally rescued 3,000 marine mammals throughout his career, and also established a team of professional responders that humanely rescues hundreds of animals a year, including whales, dolphins, sea lions and seabirds.

Fittingly, Peter was out helping a stranded California sea lion when I called to give him the good news.


Continue reading...

Q&A with Author Mark Kurlansky

Mark Kurlansky with his 10-year-old daughter Talia.

The latest issue of Oceana magazine is now available; check it out for features about Ted Danson’s new book, our new sea turtle spokesladies and Patagonia’s threatened waters.

Also in this issue is a Q&A with author Mark Kurlansky, whose 1997 international bestseller Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World is a seminal work of non-fiction about overfishing.

I spoke to him about his new book, The World Without Fish: How Kids Can Help Save the Oceans, which explains the current crisis in the oceans in easy-to-digest language and graphics, and outlines how kids can help.

What inspired you to write The World Without Fish?

MK: I’ve been writing about fish for many years. I talk to kids about it a lot and I noticed a few things. They are tremendously interested, partly because kids just really like fish. We’re raising a generation with a great sense of environmental urgency; they want to know about these things. It’s a very complicated thing, much more complicated than it’s often presented. Consequently, kids are perplexed about what’s going on. So I thought I would explain it.

Has your daughter read the book? Is she interested in ocean issues?

MK: Yes, she has. It’s a very ambitious book for kids, and I wanted to know about anything she found difficult or hard to understand. She’s really into it. She’s my fishing buddy. We spend our summers in Gloucester fishing for striper.

What do you hope kids (and adults) take from your book?

I’d like them to appreciate the complexity of the issue to understand that it’s not that people aren’t doing anything -- a lot’s being done, but they’re still struggling to figure out what works. I wouldn’t mind them coming away with a little respect for fishermen and their struggles with the issue. This all can be turned around and if it isn’t, it will be a huge disaster.


Continue reading...

Fish Fraud on ABC World News

ABC World News spotlighted Oceana’s new seafood fraud report “Bait and Switch”, including a cameo by Dr. Mike Hirshfield, Oceana’s senior vice president and chief scientist:


Continue reading...

Oceana’s Seafood Fraud Report in the NYT

Today’s New York Times features a great story about seafood fraud -- and guess whose report is front and center?

That’s right, Oceana’s new report, “Bait and Switch” forms the core of the article, and our chief scientist Mike Hirshfield has several excellent quotes, including the following, which was the “Quote of the Day” in the NYT’s e-mail news digest:

“If you’re ordering steak, you would never be served horse meat,” said Dr. Hirshfield of Oceana. “But you can easily be ordering snapper and get tilapia or Vietnamese catfish.”

It’s great to see that seafood fraud is getting so much attention, and we’re hopeful that it means there’s change on the horizon -- you can take action right now by telling the FDA that our seafood needs to be safe, legal, and honestly labeled. 

Read the full article in the Times and please pass it on! 


Continue reading...

Ocean Hero Finalists: Andrew Hayford

Andrew teaches kids about ocean pollution.

This is the twelfth and final in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

We’re rounding out our series on the Ocean Hero finalists today with Andrew Hayford, a high school junior who has been an ocean conservation stand-out in his hometown of York, Maine.

Andrew first got involved when he was learning to surf at age 12 and noticed trash in the water and on the beaches. He’s been working to clean up the coast of southern Maine ever since. Since 2006, he has been involved in almost 30 beach cleanups and has hosted more than 10 of his own.

In 2010, Andrew won a Planet Connect grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation to educate 150 kindergarten and second grade students about ocean pollution and how they could help. He conducted an art contest with these students, which became the centerpiece of his “Keep Our Beaches Clean” campaign.


Continue reading...

Introducing Oceana’s New Seafood Fraud Campaign

Do you eat seafood? If not, do your friends and loved ones? We think almost everyone out there will answer yes to this, which is why we are launching a campaign today to tackle the problem of seafood fraud

Last week we gave you a preview of our new seafood fraud campaign, but today, with the launch of a new report, our campaign is officially kicking off. 

Oceana’s new report, titled “Bait and Switch: How Seafood Fraud Hurts Our Oceans, Our Wallets and Our Health,” explains how consumers are being misled about the seafood they buy, with negative impacts on their wallets, marine conservation efforts and human health.

Inside the report you’ll find information about the following:

And you can also take action right now by telling the FDA that our seafood needs to be safe, legal, and honestly labeled. 

Check out the full report, and please share with your friends and family! And as always, let us know what you think.


Continue reading...

Ocean Hero Finalists: Dylan Vecchione

Dylan explores a coral reef.

This is the eleventh in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured junior ocean hero finalist is 12-year-old Dylan Vecchione, who was nominated for his commitment to coral reef conservation.


Continue reading...

Ocean Hero Finalists: Sophi Bromenshenkel

Sophi with a hammerhead shark confection.

This is the tenth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

Today’s featured junior Ocean Hero finalist is shy eight-year-old Sophi Bromenshenkel, who has been working from her hometown of Richfield, Minnesota to protect sharks.

Sophi’s interest in the oceans started on a fishing trip with her uncle in the Florida Keys four years ago. Last year, when she saw a pregnant bull shark left for dead on a beach near her uncle’s home, she decided she had to take action.

By selling lemonade and hot chocolate, shark cookies and wristbands, and through email campaigns and local fliers, Sophi has raised more than $3,500 for sharks. She has partnered with the University of Miami’s RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, where her funds pay for satellite tags on sharks.


Continue reading...