After a decade-long hunt almost as obsessive as Captain Ahabâ€™s search for Moby Dick, a team of researchers and journalists from Japanâ€™s National Science Museum, the Discovery Channel, and Japanese broadcaster NHK have captured video of the mysterious giant squid in its natural habitat, about 9 miles from ChiChi Island and 600 miles south of Tokyo.
This three meter long creature is actually on the small side; giant squids can grow to eight meters (twenty-six feet)!
These real-life underwater giants are believed to be the inspiration for the Kraken, a mythical Nordic sea monster known for attacking ships in the waters off of Scandinavia. Having inspired numerous artists and writers over the centuries, it is no surprise that this fantastical animal has captured the imaginations of scientists as well.
In this gorgeous new Oceana video Alexandra Cousteau delves into Monterey Bay to illuminate the diversity of life at the bottom of the ocean, a crucial habitat that is under the constant threat of obliteration from bottom trawling. Using an ROV the camera captures an otherworldly scene, as scallops flutter by and curlicued basket stars unfurl. Armies of shrimp and brittle stars scamper by, fed by the organic matter from above that drifts down the water column like snowfall, sustaining a remarkably rich community. In shallower waters, coral gardens that take hundreds of years to blossom shelter rockfish and ingeniously disguised crabs, and serve as a nursery for dozens of species of fish. Here octopuses go camouflage against the rocky shale, out of sight of the hungry sperm whales and sea lions from above. Anemone-covered spires upwell nutrient rich waters that feed shoals of krill, which in turn feed blue whales. It is an intricately connected ecosystem and it can be destroyed in an instant by bottom trawling. Thatâ€™s why Oceana has pushed for an end to bottom trawling in ecologically sensitive areas. And that work has paid off in concrete victories: in 2006 NOAA protected 140,000 square miles of Pacific seafloor from the destructive practice, but more needs to be done. For the most part this world goes unseen by human eyes and itâ€™s why Oceana is working laboriously to document these precious areas before they disappear.
Here's a song that will get stuck in your head and teach you something about the world's oceans at the same time. Our friends over at One World One Ocean put together this parody of Gotye's earworm "Someobody that I Used to Know" for World Oceans Day.
It follows Ferdie and Mitzi on an animated adevnture to some of the world's most famous ocean landmarks: the Mariana Trench, Great Barrier Reef, Sargasso Sea, and more. Check out the video's homepage to learn even more about the amazing places and animals featured in the video.
Do Mitzi and Ferdie remind you of somebody that you know? The nominations are still open for our 4th annual Ocean Heroes Award, and we're looking for juniors and adults that are protecting the oceans that we want to know. You have until June 20th to submit your own Ocean Heroes!
How do you like your oysters? Probably not with a side of fishing line or a plastic bag.
This video, created by Katrin Peters for SOS Plastic, shows a couple on a seemingly romantic date. Itâ€™s less appealing, though, when you see what accompanies their dinner:
Part of a global campaign to raise awareness and unite international groups against marine plastic pollution, SOS Plastic aims to show how plastics in the oceans affect the entire world.
Every year we use millions of tons of plastic in packaging, water bottles, single-use bags, fishing line and more. The qualities that are so useful to humans â€“ its durability, light weight, and lack of decomposition â€“ make plastic a dangerous material once it gets into the oceans. Polymers can last for decades, if not centuries, which leads to an enormous accumulation of plastic in the oceans.
In 1992, the EPA found that the majority of the worldâ€™s beaches showed some sort of plastic accumulation. You might have seen bottles, bags, or fishing nets washed up on the shore, but the real danger lies in what you canâ€™t see.
When exposed to the sun and water, plastics break apart into tiny pieces, called microplastics. These little bits of trash donâ€™t decompose in the water; instead, they get eaten by plankton then travel up through the food chain. Microplastics carry chemicals at extreme levels that can cause illness in both marine animals and humans when we eat seafood.
Many states and counties are starting to limit or ban plastic bags, like Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. You can help by reducing your plastic use â€“ bring reusable bags to the grocery store or farmerâ€™s market, carry a drink in a stainless steel water bottle, and make sure that when you do use plastics you recycle. Sign the Plastics Pledge today to prevent the ocean from getting trashed.
Drum roll, please: weâ€™re excited to unveil our latest video starring actress and ocean lover, Aimee Teegarden of â€śFriday Night Lights.â€ť
We traveled with Teegarden up the coast of Southern California, from La Jolla to Santa Barbara Island, filming a video about the need to protect the oceanâ€™s threatened habitats.
Teegarden showed off her surfing skills and also free dove with sea lion pups in a gorgeous kelp forest.
â€śItâ€™s amazing that hidden treasures like this exist all over the ocean â€“ you just have to look for them. Itâ€™s really upsetting to think about an awesome place like the sea lion rookery being destroyed by destructive fishing, pollution, or anything else harmful,â€ť said Teegarden. â€śThis experience made it clear that we need to identify these unique and important areas in the ocean and do whatever we can to save them. I love that Oceana finds the special places like this and then fights to protect them.â€ť
Did you know that protecting our oceans could be an answer to world hunger? A few weeks ago our CEO Andy Sharpless gave a talk at TedxSF about how saving the oceans can help feed the world.
We think itâ€™s a fantastic, thought-provoking presentation, please watch and pass it on:
Earlier this year, Oceana and National Geographic completed an expedition to Sala y GĂłmez 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 GĂłmez 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 GĂłmez, featuring Oceana campaigners as well as Dr. Enric Sala, marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, who has called Sala y GĂłmez â€śone 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 â€“ and thatâ€™s just in this three-minute clip! You can catch the full documentary on January 19th at 8 pm on NatGeo WILD.
At last yearâ€™s TEDxOilSpill conference in Washington, D.C., Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless tackled the 10 biggest myths he hears about offshore drilling. His presentation is especially poignant this week considering the government's decision on Friday to re-open the Western Gulf of Mexico for new oil and gas exploration for the first time since the spill.
Check it out and pass it on!
Earlier this year, Oceana Chile sailed to far-flung Alexander Selkirk Island, named for the Scottish sailor who spent four years as a castaway on the island, probably inspiring the story of Robinson Crusoe.
The island is one of three that comprise the Juan FernĂˇndez Archipelago, which sits more than 400 miles off the coast of Chile.
Check out the stunning footage they came back with:
As you can see, the expedition team found a surprising abundance and diversity of species around the island, including lobsters and many kinds of fish. While the archipelago has been compared to the GalĂˇpagos Islands for its rich biodiversity, it lacks conservation measures against destructive fishing. As a result, Oceana has been working for several years with the fishing communities of Juan FernĂˇndez to protect their exceptional marine resources.
Ted Danson was on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams this weekend, talking about his book, "Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them." Once again he does a fantastic job describing the state of the world's oceans - and why he's optimistic that they can be saved in our lifetimes. If you haven't picked up your copy of "Oceana" today, be sure to order one here!