The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered species in the U.S. and the rarest of all the large whales. Commercial whaling reduced their population to just a few hundred individuals, and the species is still struggling to recover. Their migration route along the East Coast and habit of feeding at the surface puts them at great risk of being struck and killed by ships. Now the government is planning to allow potentially deadly oil and gas exploration right along the whale’s migration route.
We’re excited to announce that The Economist World Oceans Summit will take place in late February – and our CEO Andy Sharpless will be there representing Oceana.
The Summit will take place in Singapore from February 22nd-24th, and Sharpless will be joined by more than 200 global leaders in business, government, academia and NGOs, including famed oceanographer Sylvia Earle, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, National Geographic explorer-in-residence Enric Sala, and many others.
We’re glad to see the The Economist devoting this summit to the oceans, and with such an extraordinary group of panelists and attendees, we hope the event will produce a constructive dialogue on solutions to the oceans’ biggest threats. You can learn more about the summit program and register your place at the summit at www.economist.com/worldoceanssummit.
You can also join in the ocean discussion on the Economist website prompted by Sharpless’ question: Is it inevitable that global fisheries will be depleted? Go ahead, weigh in!
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.