It's Friday, the weather's beautiful here at Oceana HQ in DC, and we have two positive developments in ocean news to report:
1.) The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced new rules that will require federal shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to land sharks with their fins still naturally attached.
I heard a truly remarkable story yesterday evening on NPR, the kind that made me stop my idle puttering to listen. Hilary Lister is attempting a solo sail around the British Isles, which she expects will take three to four months. The twist: She's quadriplegic -- able to move only her head, eyes, and mouth. She uses straws to sail the boat.
Get this: the AP reports that federal researchers are canceling and cutting back on voyages aimed at studying climate change and ocean ecosystems so they can save money on boat fuel.
If you've seen the film Grizzly Man, then you're familiar with filmmaker Werner Herzog's obsession with the beauty and extremity of nature. His latest, Encounters at the End of the World, is set in Antarctica, and promises to be as haunting as ever, as Herzog's team explores the places above and beneath the endless ice.
Herzog's work is a great example of art that has the potential to inspire environmental action; it's hard not to be affected by those vast landscapes and that warm, distinctive voice.
Part 1 : Sharpless discusses the importance of World Ocean Day.
Part 2 : Sharpless explains Oceana's five major campaigns.
Part 3 : Freedivers Martin Stepanek and Niki Roderick talk about their personal connection to the ocean.
Part 4 : Ted Danson discusses his longtime commitment to ocean conservation.
Part 5 : Danson elaborates on the importance of sea conservation.
Another un-sexy but vital marine species needs protecting: Atlantic herring. The fish, a keystone species, are caught by huge nets that can catch sometimes close to a million pounds in one haul. Despite the successes that Oceana and our allies have achieved in recent years to rein in this fishery, herring trawling continues to operate without effective regulation or monitoring. The New England Fishery Management Council is developing a new set of regulations for herring fishing, and they are taking your comments through the end of June.
Krill may not be the most charismatic of sea creatures, but they are among the most important — and they need protecting. Krill and other forage species like herring and sardines form the very foundation of the Pacific food web, and everything from blue whales to pink salmon need enough krill to eat. When krill stocks are in jeopardy, their effects can be seen throughout the Pacific marine food web. We need your help to convince the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to ban all fishing for krill in the Pacific.
BBC Two has sent a team of scientists and film-makers aboard a Norwegian research vessel exploring the fjords near Svalbard.
Hillary Rosner at Slate points out a great advertising irony today: A face exfoliant ad shows a peaceful underwater scene -- while promoting a product that contributes to ocean pollution. Big-brand skin exfoliants are composed of tiny particles of polyethylene (plastic) that make your face soft and touchable, then end up in the sea, where marine life potentially mistake them for plankton.
I'm a little tardy on this one, apologies, I just noticed it: the New York Times published a fascinating piece this week about the suspected crash of horseshoe crab populations as a result of being harvested for use as fishing bait.