The Beacon: Emily Fisher's blog
On Sunday "60 Minutes" aired a great piece by Anderson Cooper on one of the most pristine coral reefs in the world, the Gardens of the Queen (or Jardines de la Reina) in Cuba.
Diving in, Cooper is not disappointed – he is surrounded by colorful corals, large sharks and a 200-lb critically endangered goliath grouper.
Oceana’s research vessel, the Ranger, sailed to the Gardens of the Queen in 2008, and documented a wide variety of marine life including sharks and sea turtles.
Check it out:
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!
A group of hook-and-line fishermen in Nova Scotia are helping change the face of fishing, and we think you should know about them.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the CSA model, or Community Supported Agriculture, in which subscribers pay for weekly shares of a farm’s produce. Off the Hook is a Community Supported Fishery using this model with fish, connecting a co-operative of small-scale fishermen from the Bay of Fundy to subscribers in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia. Customers receive weekly shares of the co-op’s catch of fresh whole haddock and hake.
The benefits? Community Supported Fisheries like Off the Hook provide more family income, more market choices, and increased ownership and control. Subscribers get better access to the freshest local, sustainable fish along with a better connection to local fishing communities and the ocean. It’s a win-win.
Off the Hook has been named a finalist in a global competition being held by National Geographic called "Turning the Tide on Coastal Fisheries". The contest aims to find community supported projects that provide innovative solutions to overfishing. Off the Hook was the only project in North America to make it to the top 10 out of more than 100 entries from 48 countries.
The last phase of the contest is an online vote that ends Dec 24. If Off the Hook makes it to the top three, they will be flown down to DC to meet with key stakeholders in international fisheries management and marine conservation. The winner receives a $20,000 grant, and National Geographic will produce a video that features their project.
Vote for Off the Hook and spread the word about Community Supported Fisheries!
On Sunday CBS aired a great piece on the always lovable Ted Danson, of “Cheers” and Oceana Board of Directors fame.
In addition to conducting part of the interview dressed as Don Quixote for an episode of “Bored to Death” , Ted talks about his passion for ocean conservation and the need to view ocean issues through the lens of food security and jobs.
Check it out and get his book , “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What You Can Do to Save Them,” if you haven’t yet – it would make a great gift for anyone on your list, and a portion of the proceeds go towards our work to protect the oceans.
- Shrimp’s Dirty Little Secret: Our new report reveals that shrimp nets are illegally killing scores of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Q&A with Diane Lane: The actress talks about her love for the oceans – and the smell of the East River.
- A Precious Resource at Risk: What’s at stake if oil companies have their way with Belize’s crystal waters.
- Exploring the Pacific: A report from our recent West Coast expedition, including octopuses, orcas and more.
- Recipe from Jamie Oliver: The world-famous chef says you’d be mad not to try his coley korma recipe.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
In addition to our adorable ocean animal adoptions, here’s one more gift idea that is sure to please anyone on your list this holiday season.
When you purchase the new Come Together Tee from Nautica (Modeled here by Cheyne Oglesby, guest blogger, ocean lover and surfer!), 100% of your purchase will be donated by Nautica to Oceana*. Plus, it’s super soft and 100% organic cotton. Who wouldn't want one?
Get your tees today and thanks for your support!
*Purchases from the following states will not benefit Oceana: AL, MA and ME
As we gear up for the holiday season, we are excited to announce that there is now one more way to support our work to protect the oceans: through a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), the world's largest annual workplace giving collective.
The mission of the CFC is "to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all."
If you’re a federal employee, you can designate Oceana as your charity of choice through CFC #10051.
It has been a banner year for shark conservation – and the good news just keeps rolling in, this time out of Europe.
Today the EU's executive arm proposed a complete ban on shark finning, the practice of cutting off the fins of sharks, often while they are still alive, and then throwing the wounded animals back into the sea.
We’re proud to report that Oceana played a big part in securing this victory; our colleagues in Europe have been campaigning for a shark finning ban in the EU for years.
If the proposal is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, all vessels fishing in EU waters and all EU vessels fishing anywhere in the world will have to land sharks with the fins still attached – a boon for vulnerable shark populations around the world.
The EU includes some of the world’s major shark fishing nations – Spain, France, Portugal, and the UK. The largest EU shark fisheries occur on the high seas, where Spanish and Portuguese pelagic longliners that historically targeted mainly tuna and swordfish now increasingly catch sharks, particularly oceanic species such as blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks. More than half of large oceanic shark species are currently considered threatened.
Globally, up to 73 million sharks are killed each year to satisfy the demand of the international shark fin market. EU nations combined catch the second-largest share of sharks – 14% of the world’s reported shark catches.
Today's proposal strengthens the existing EU legislation banning shark finning, which allows shark finning in certain situations. Currently the fins and bodies can be separated on board vessels with special permits, and then landed at different ports. The EU tries to ensure that no bodies have been discarded by making sure the weight of the fins does not exceed 5 percent of the entire weight of the fish landed. The new rule would close this loophole.
"A stronger ban on shark finning will bring significant benefits for shark fisheries management and conservation, not only in Europe, but in all of the oceans where European vessels are catching sharks," said Dr. Allison Perry, marine wildlife scientist with Oceana in Europe.
Congrats to everyone who helped score this huge win for sharks, and fingers crossed for approval by the EU Council and Parliament!
Outside Magazine’s December issue is out, and they have a feature on “The Year of Giving Adventurously” – guess who’s included?
The editors selected the 30 best organizations to give to this holiday season —“smartly managed groups with transparent financials, efficient spending, and track records of on-the-ground success.”
Earlier this year, Oceana and National Geographic completed an expedition to Sala y Gómez Island, an uninhabited Chilean island near Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean.
It was a follow-up to our first journey in October 2010, which was instrumental in the creation of a no-take marine reserve of 150,000 square kilometers around the island. Sala y Gómez is part of a chain of seamounts that are vulnerable to fishing activity.
And after months of patiently waiting, we now get to see some of the biodiversity that our colleagues discovered on their expeditions. NatGeo is releasing a documentary about Sala y Gómez, featuring Oceana campaigners as well as Dr. Enric Sala, marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, who has called Sala y Gómez “one of the last undisturbed and relatively pristine places left in the ocean.
Check out the trailer:
The dive team glimpses 15 Galapagos sharks and scads of slipper lobsters – and that’s just in this three-minute clip! You can catch the full documentary on January 19th at 8 pm on NatGeo WILD.
- Gulf Dolphins Are Still Sick After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Posted Wed, December 18, 2013
- Andrew Sharpless Speaks at the New England Aquarium Posted Thu, December 19, 2013
- Hitting the Panic Button: 25 Senators Call For an Extension of Vital Clean Energy Tax Incentives Posted Fri, December 20, 2013