Last week Oceana launched a new bluefin tuna PSA campaign featuring â€śEntourageâ€ť star Adrian Grenier. In March, Grenier joined Oceana to swim with the endangered fish and help get the word out that they are â€śgoing fastâ€ť -- literally and figuratively.
Bluefin can grow to 15 feet in length, weigh up to 1500 pounds and can swim at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. They are on the verge of extinction as a result of overfishing, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico further threatens their survival.
The Gulf is the only place where the Western population of Atlantic bluefin tuna reproduces. After the spawning season (April to June), baby tuna continue to swim through the Gulf region where they can accumulate toxins in their gills from the oil itself and from the chemical dispersants.
â€śI hope that my involvement will bring attention to what is going on in the bluefin fishery,â€ť Grenier said. â€śI want these PSAs to encourage people to get involved and help Oceana save these amazing creatures.â€ť
Watch the PSA and get involved with Adrian and Oceana to protect bluefin!
From yesterdayâ€™s New York Times:
â€śThis is a much bigger problem than people are making out,â€ť said Barbara Block, a Stanford researcher who is among the worldâ€™s leading experts on the bluefin tuna. â€śThe concern for wildlife is not just along the coast; it is also at sea. Weâ€™re putting oil right into the bluewater environment.â€ť
While oil-covered birds have become an emblematic image of catastrophic oil spills, sea birds arenâ€™t the only ones affected. Oil is extremely toxic to all wildlife, and the toxic effects on marine life begins as soon as the oil hits the water.
Here are 10 examples of how marine life may be affected by the Gulf spill in the coming days, weeks and years
Happy Friday, everyone.
It's been a rough few weeks for the oceans at CITES, but now it's time to pick up the pieces. If CITES taught us anything, it's that the work of the ocean conservation community is more important than ever.
This week in ocean news,
....Rick at Malaria, Bed bugs, Sea Lice and Sunsets discussed one of the more shady aspects of CITES: the secret ballots, which were invoked for votes on bluefin tuna, sharks, polar bears, and deep water corals.
â€¦The Washington Post reported that Maryland is cracking down on watermen who catch oysters in protected sanctuaries or with banned equipment. Once a principal source of oysters, the Chesapeake now provides less than 5 percent of the annual U.S. harvest.
â€¦For the first time, scientists were able to use videos to observe octupusesâ€™ behavioral responses. The result? The octupuses had no consistent reaction to one film -- in other words, they had no â€śpersonality.â€ť Curiously, other cephalopods display consistent personalities for most of their lives.
â€¦The New York Times wondered if the 700,000 saltwater home aquariums in the United States and the associated trade in reef invertebrates are threatening real reef ecosystems.
This is the ninth in a series of dispatches from the CITES meeting in Doha, Qatar.
As Oceana marine scientist Elizabeth Griffin put it: â€śThis meeting was a flop.â€ť
CITES has been a complete failure for the oceans. The one success -- the listing of the porbeagle shark under Appendix II -- was overturned yesterday in the plenary session.
â€śIt appears that money can buy you anything, just ask Japan,â€ť said Dave Allison, senior campaign director. â€śUnder the crushing weight of the vast sums of money gained by unmanaged trade and exploitation of endangered marine species by Japan, China, other major trading countries and the fishing industry, the very foundation of CITES is threatened with collapse.â€ť
Maybe next time -- if these species are still around to be protected.
The failure of CITES means that Oceanaâ€™s work â€“ and your support and activism â€“ is more important than ever. You can start by supporting our campaign work to protect these creatures.
Here's Oceana's Gaia Angelini on the conclusion of CITES:
Happy Friday, ocean fans. It's almost spring, and a surfing alpaca exists in the world. Things are looking up.
Before we get to the week's best marine tidbits, an important announcement: Oceana board member Ted Danson will be answering questions live on CNN.com on April 1, so send your ocean queries in, stat!
Also, don't forget that today is the last day to take the Ocean IQ quiz for a chance to win prizes, including a trip with SEE Turtles.
This week in ocean news,
â€¦Yes, CITES failed to deliver on bluefin tuna yesterday, but as Monterey Bay Aquariumâ€™s Julie Packard pointed out, at least the conversation is changing. Bluefin is now in the same rhetorical realm as endangered land creatures such as tigers and elephants.
â€¦Deep Sea News wrote a requiem for a robot -- the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) that was lost at sea last week during a research expedition to the Chilean Subduction Zone. On a recent dive, ABE had detected evidence of hydrothermal vents. At the time of its loss, ABE had just begun a second dive to home into a vent site and photograph it.
While delegates from around the world voted against bluefin's future today, "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier was working to get the message out to protect them.
Grenier is traveling with Oceana to swim with the massive fish and record a PSA, and today GQ got a few images prior to the dive. Via GQ's twitter feed, here's a sneak peek photo.
Stay tuned for more in the days and weeks to come.
This is the fifth in a series of dispatches from CITES. You can read the other dispatches here.
Although there were repeated calls from delegates from the E.U., U.S. and Monaco to allow time for parties to meet and arrive at a compromise position, a Libya delegate forced a preemptory vote on the E.U. proposal, which resulted in a 43 to 72 vote, with 14 abstaining.
Campaign director Dave Allison called the defeat "a clear win by short-term economic interest over the long-term health of the ocean and the rebuilding of Atlantic bluefin tuna populations."
The decision could spell the beginning of the end for the tigers of the sea.
Here's Oceana's Maria Jose Cornax on the decision:
This is the third in a series of posts from CITES. Check out the rest of our dispatches here,
In today's dispatch from Doha, Oceana shark scientist Rebecca Greenberg gives us an insider's tour of CITES, from the main conference hall to one of the most important strategic lobbying areas: the coffee station.
You can also read updates from author Charles Clover on MarViva's Doha Diary blog.