The puffin is rapidly moving towards extinction, in part due to trophy hunting. Tours, advertised primary to British hunters, boast that one hunter can kill up to 100 puffins at a time. Ban importation of these vulnerable birds as trophies.
August 13, 2019 11:44am
Scientists from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland filmed the rare Greenland shark recently in the Canadian Arctic. Slow swimmers and effectively blind, the Greenland shark is one of the Arctic’s top predators. Scientist Brynn Devine says: The observation and monitoring of marine species can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But sampling at extreme depths and in seasonally ice-covered waters is especially difficult. The videos were recorded during summer sessions in 2017, and the scientists published results of their study of the sharks in the journal Nature in January 2018. Credit: Brynn Devine/Marine Institute via Storyful
Scientists believe they may have discovered the world’s oldest living vertebrate.
A shark believed to be the oldest living vertebrate has been discovered — and it could be older than Shakespeare.
The massive Greenland shark was found in the North Atlantic Ocean by scientists who estimated it is up to 512 years old.
Greenland sharks, which only grow 1cm a year, have been known to live for hundreds of years.
The scientists used the shark’s size to suggest its year of birth as early as 1505.
This was the year the future British King Henry VIII ended his engagement to Catherine of Aragon.
Experts used the length — a staggering 5.5 metres — and radiocarbon dating to determine its age as somewhere between 272 and 512 years old, according to a study in journal Science.
It was the oldest of a group of 28 Greenland sharks analysed for the study.
The shark would have been alive during major world events like the founding of the United States, the Napoleonic Wars and the sinking of the Titanic.
Greenland sharks mostly eat fish but they have never been observed hunting. Surprisingly, they have been found to have remains of reindeer and even horses in their stomachs.
Their flesh is considered a delicacy in Iceland, but the meat is toxic if not correctly treated.
A separate study of the ancient shark’s bones and tissues by the Arctic University of Norway may also provide clues about the effects of climate change and pollution over a long time span.
Already the researchers have mapped out all the shark’s mitochondrial DNA — genetic material held in tiny battery-like bodies in cells that supply energy.An ‘ancient’ Greenland shark is caught by fishermen. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: InstagramThe 5.5 metre Greenland shark was estimated to be up to 512 years old. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram
Now they are working on DNA from the cell nucleus, which contains the bulk of the animal’s genes.
The “long life” genes could shed light on why most vertebrates have such a limited life span and what determines life expectancy in different species, including humans.
Professor Kim Praebel, who is leading the research, said the sharks were “living time capsules” that could help shed light on human impact on the oceans.
Many were so old they predated the industrial revolution and the introduction of large-scale commercial fishing.
“The longest living vertebrate species on the planet has formed several populations in the Atlantic Ocean,” said Prof Praebel, who was speaking at the University of Exeter at a symposium organised by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
“This is important to know, so we can develop appropriate conservation actions for this important species.”Greenland sharks are known for their longevity, living for hundreds of years. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram
ANCIENT BEASTS: SOME OF THE WORLD’S LONGEST-LIVING THINGS
• Aldabra giant tortoise — Species has been known to live to up to 255 years old, making it the oldest terrestrial animal in the world.
• Glass sponges — Found in the East China Sea and Southern Ocean, examples have been found that are more than 10,000 years old.
• Great Basin bristlecone pine — One tree is the oldest in North America at 5067 years old.
• Endolith — A microscopic organism that lives inside rock. In August 2013, researchers found evidence of endoliths on the ocean floor perhaps being millions of years old.
• Hydra — an ocean species that does not age, making it technically immortal.
• Creme Puff — The oldest known domestic cat, who died in Austin Texas in 2005 aged 38 years and three days.
• Jeanne Calment — French great grandmother who died at 122 years and 164 days in 1997. She outlived both her daughter and grandson by several decades.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
INTERNATIONAL SHARK WEEK? IT’S SO OVER… EXCEPT HERE
There’s never a day without a ‘Day’, nor a week without a ‘Week’. Almost all creatures under the sun are celebrated in some regular calendar-based time-frame. With the exception of No-see-ums: I’ve checked – there is no national or international Ceratopogonidae Day in any online calendar.
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Image Credit: Facebook
PETITION TARGET: Greek Minister of Justice Kostas Tsiaras
A crowd of tourists on a beach in Chalkida, Greece tormented and attacked a disoriented swordfish who had accidentally comes too close to shore, stoning the innocent creature to death.
A video on Facebook shows onlookers laughing heartlessly while the attackers strike the swordfish with rocks and other objects, trying to grab the fish as the animal swam around in a confused state, desperately trying to escape to safety.
The frightened swordfish finally managed to get away, but a small group of men then further hounded her, intent on continuing the attack. Officials later discovered the animal dead in the harbour.
Not only did onlookers stand by and allow this terrible attack to happen, but harbour officials reportedly failed to take measures to prevent the escalation of the brutality.
This shocking incident must be investigated thoroughly and the attackers punished. Greek authorities need to make it clear that the abuse of animals is completely unacceptable.
Sign this petition to urge the Greek Minister of Justice, Kostas Tsiaras, to ensure that this case is fully investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Devon P
Windo the “friendly seal” of Dartmouth, United Kingdom has become famous around the area. The portly pinniped is known for lounging on his favorite buoy near the coast. He’s even known to wave at tourists as they pass by.
That’s why, locals and tourists alike, were so enraged when they heard that Windo had been attacked by a jackass on a boat.
Local Andy Kyle said he witnessed the idiot, take aim at the dinghy where Windo usually rests and then speed towards it to knock him off. Windo went flying into the water, only to come back to his perch again.
The man continues to harass Windo and then goes on his way.
Whoever this jerk is, he should be found and charged with animal cruelty. Sailing his boat so recklessly and ramming it into Windo like that is not ok. He could have seriously injured Windo or worse! Windo is a living thing and deserves to be treated with respect. There’s no reason to harass and abuse an animal like that. Especially one that’s beloved by all.
Tell the Devon Police you want them to find Windo’s attacker and charge him with animal cruelty.
Published June 16, 2019By Alief Esmail
There is no more denying the fact that we are fully responsible for all the bad things happening to our animal friends. More and more animals are suffering as a direct result of our own ignorance. The war against plastic is happening at full force but we need to do even more before its too late.
Another sad reminder has surfaced recently, where the carcass of a stingray was found dead and after further investigation, its stomach was found to contain full of random objects which might have been thrown by irresponsible individuals. Here are some of the pictures shared by 5 Minutes Beach Clean Up on Instagram.
From the pictures shared, it can be clearly seen that the stingray died from swallowing a pack of cigarettes, a book, an empty bottle and lastly a digital camera!
Although the location of the incident happened cannot be determined, the book has what appears to be Mandarin hanzi printed on it. In any case, this is a grim reminder for all of us.
Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle. – WORLD OF BUZZ 5
We only have one Earth and every living creature on this planet has a vital role. What is the point of being the most powerful creatures on earth, if we only use that power to destroy everything we touch?
Most of us have already started to do something in order to save the environment but we need to step it up! Let’s do this for our future ok?!
Also read: 40kg of Plastic Waste Found in Stomach of Whale That Died From Starvation
Stingray Found Dead With Stomach Containing A Book, A Camera And A Bottle.
By Francis Rooney and Sheldon Whitehouse on Jun 7, 2019
Republican Francis Rooney is a member of Congress representing Florida’s 19th District. He is a co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus and is also a member of the Oceans Caucus.
Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse is a U.S. Senator serving Rhode Island. He is a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus.
Human beings have not always been good stewards of our oceans. We have overexploited their natural gifts, polluted their waves with garbage, acidified them with carbon dioxide, and threatened their shores with offshore drilling.
Thankfully, there is bipartisan support in Washington to take action. We come from different regions, backgrounds, and political parties. Yet we are united by our passion for keeping our coasts and oceans healthy.
In New England, our fishing heritage has long been tied to cod. When the cod fishery collapsed under the weight of foreign fleets, industrialized trawlers, and warming waters, fishermen struggled to sustain themselves. We still have lobster, squid, groundfish, and scallop fisheries, but changing ocean conditions threaten them as well. Warming waters already force lobster and other valuable species to move offshore and northward in search of cooler waters.
In the Gulf of Mexico, fishing supports businesses and recreation, but climate change and human activities threaten the sustainability of these ecosystems. Intensive fishing pressure on red snapper has led to short seasons, the need to rebuild the fishery, and competition between recreational and commercial fishermen. Red tides, likely exacerbated by warming waters and increased CO2, have displaced and killed adult and juvenile groupers, and have been damaging to fishermen and their businesses. Low catches of red grouper last year have concerned fishermen and spurred managers to put emergency reductions in place to protect populations in the Gulf for this fishing season.
Fishing supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic impact in Florida alone. Growth in our coastal communities thus aligns with conserving coastal ecosystems and habitats. Fishing management decisions need to keep better pace with the changes our fishermen are seeing on the water. Surveys, modeling, and other federal research should prioritize at-risk stocks and those that are experiencing rapid shifts as oceans warm.
Internationally, the World Trade Organization seeks a new agreement by the next ministerial conference on the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies. These subsidies too often support illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Pirate fishing operations harm critical ecosystems through damaging fishing practices, overfishing shared stocks, and overexploiting waters of foreign nations. Those operations also contribute to other serious problems, like human trafficking and forced labor. Ending these subsidies could help to reduce those harms.
While we’re taking fish from the sea, we’re unfortunately filling their bellies with plastic and other garbage from land. Each year, around 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans. Ten rivers serve as the pathway to the ocean for more than 90 percent of that trash. Most of these rivers run through rapidly developing economies in Asia, where growth and production have outpaced waste management. If we do nothing, by 2050 plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean.
Thankfully, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are coming together to do something about all this. Last October, we saw the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act signed into law. The bill brought together congressional cosponsors from across the political spectrum and supporters from the business and conservation communities. It is now boosting the federal government’s domestic and international response to the millions of tons of plastic waste and other garbage that litter our shores and pollute our oceans, endanger wildlife, and disrupt commerce.
While only a first step, the Save Our Seas Act set the stage for additional efforts on reducing plastic pollution in and around our oceans. We are now focusing on further strengthening the United States’ international efforts to combat marine debris and to improve domestic waste management and prevention.
Just as we don’t want our oceans and coasts littered with waste, we don’t want them soiled with oil, either. Last month, the Trump administration delayed plans to open new coastline to offshore drilling. However, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management continued to review applications for permits to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean — a precursor to oil and gas drilling. We are united in the fight against opening up more of our ocean to oil and gas drilling. The risks are just too great.
It is hard to ignore that we have serious challenges to overcome, but we don’t want to leave readers pessimistic about our oceans. We know that when you give nature the chance, it can recover and even bloom again. We are committed to working with our colleagues to ensure that our oceans and the communities that depend on them stay healthy.
And we are not alone. People around the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8. In the lead-up, hundreds of ocean and coastal researchers, advocates, and industry leaders, convened by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, converged in Washington, D.C., for Capitol Hill Oceans Week. We had the opportunity to join these leaders in confronting the challenges facing one of our most precious global resources.
We can find common ground — across political lines, between private industry and environmental NGOs, and from all over the country — to protect our marine resources. Together, we can protect our oceans for generations to come.
Tropical Western Pacific and Indian Oceans
Echosystem/ Habitat soft sediments associated with coral reefs
Feeding Habits Active Predator
Conservation Status Unknown
Subphylum Crustacea (Crabs, Shrimps, and Relatives), Order Stomatopoda (Mantis Shrimps)
The Peacock mantis shrimp is a brightly colored crustacean that lives on Indo-Pacific coral reefs and associated sand flats. Its common name reflects the brilliant greens and blues that adorn the male’s exoskeleton (shell).
Females are also brightly colored but are mostly red. Peacock mantis shrimp are powerful hunters, feeding on hard-shelled invertebrates of all kinds and even some fishes. They are well known for the extremely fast punching motion that they do with their front appendages to kill and break apart their prey. This punch is one of the fastest movements in the animal kingdom and is strong enough to break through an aquarium’s glass wall. Peacock mantis shrimp use this behavior to break open snails and other mollusks and to completely dismember crabs, shrimps, and other crustaceans.
Peacock mantis shrimp are known to have extremely complex eyes, and can see in more wavelengths of color than even mammals. Under special lights/cameras, scientists have demonstrated that the already colorful exoskeletons of this species are actually even more elaborate when viewed by each other. Peacock mantis shrimp dig U-shaped burrows in the sand near the reef’s edge from which they venture out to hunt and to attract mates. They reproduce via internal fertilization, and after laying the eggs, the females carry them around on their front appendages until they hatch, protecting them and keeping them clean. Some peacock mantis shrimp may form monogamous pair bonds.
Peacock mantis shrimp are one of the largest and most colorful species of mantis shrimp and are therefore desirable for the private aquarium industry. However, individuals will often eat many of the other fishes and invertebrates in a tank, so some aquarists actively avoid this species. There is also a small market for eating peacock mantis shrimp in some Asian countries. Scientists do not have sufficient data to determine this species’ population trends, but as residents on coral reefs, human induced changes to this vulnerable ecosystem may also threaten the peacock mantis shrimp and other species.
Urge Congress to Federally Ban Driftnets in Commercial Fishing – Let’s Ban “Death Nets” Once and For All!
The drift gillnet fishery catches myriad ocean animals in mile-long nets as incidental “bycatch,” killing and injuring dolphins, whales, sea turtles and sea lions in shocking numbers. Last fall, California passed a bill into law that will phase out the use of large-scale mesh driftnets in state waters over the next four years and transition to less harmful fishing gear.
Long overdue, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act legislation, including Federal Senate bill (S. 906) and its companion bill in House (H.R. 1979), were reintroduced in March 2019.
Please email your members of Congress today and urge them to vigorously support the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act. Once passed, this legislation will phase out the use of harmful large mesh driftnets off the coast of California, the only place the nets continue to be used in the United States. Tell Congress: Let’s ban “death nets” once and for all!
When you take this action, we will keep you updated on this campaign and our other work to protect wildlife and the oceans. You can unsubscribe at any time you would like.
Farah R. | Positive Outlooks
In the midst of the massive plastic problem that is being experienced globally, a craft beer company is trying to help fight it by encasing their products in non-plastic and eco-friendly packaging.
The Florida-based beer company Saltwater Brewery, in collaboration with the startup E6PR (Eco Six Pack Ring) – who produces the eco-friendly six-pack rings – has upped their products’ sustainability game by putting their beers in edible six-pack rings instead of the usual plastic ones.
The cardboard-like rings are created from beer by-products – such as barley and wheat – that are left during the brewing process. They are completely safe for fish and humans to eat.
But before you start munching on them in place of your greasy potato chips, know this: The rings are edible for humans too, but they might be contaminated on their way to the production process so it really isn’t recommended. Plus, it doesn’t taste very appealing, with one E6PR founder saying that its flavor is comparable to “a very, very stale cookie.”
There have been many cases of marine life death due to plastic ingestion. Other sea creatures also get stuck within the loops of these plastic rings, causing deformities. If they don’t end up as a meal for fish, the edible rings are also 100% biodegradable and compostable, so disposal problems are avoided as well.
According to the brand, their own design is as sturdy and efficient as the plastic variant. However, the only downside is that edible six-pack rings are much more costly to produce, so customers would have to pay more for them. But they hope that patrons would be willing to shell out more cash to help the environment, especially animal life.
Peter Agardy, head of brand at Saltwater Brewery, said:
“It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea.”
If more beer companies hop on the bandwagon, the company believes that prices will decrease. Also, if more companies invest in the technology of creating edible six-pack rings, then the production cost would go down as well and there is a chance that edible rings would become competitive with the plastic variant.
The brewery sells about 400,000 cans a month, and they hope that their target consumers – “surfers, fisherman, and people who love the sea” – will find the eco-friendly packaging worth spending for – all in the name of saving the environment.
Every day, approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find its way into the ocean, and it is killing our marine life. In fact, 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic pollution yearly.
These are horrifying figures, but we believe that it is not yet too late to reverse it. Initiatives like this one started by EP6R and Saltwater Brewery gives us hope that more and more people and businesses are becoming aware of this serious environmental issue, and that they are doing their best to combat it in ways that they can.
“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board,”
We hope so, too.
If these edible six-pack rings are embraced by the market, maybe they’ll eventually make their way into soda cans and other packaged drinks! It’s still a far cry from the progress that we currently have, but that future is certainly something to look forward to.
How about you? What steps are you taking to reduce your use of plastic?
The Trump administration has chosen David Bernhardt to lead the Department of the Interior—the federal agency that has control over huge swaths of our ocean and all of our country’s federal offshore oil and gas resources.
Bernhardt has made clear that he intends to charge forward with vastly expanding offshore drilling—despite overwhelming bipartisan opposition from Florida to Maine, the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Please tell your Senators to vote NO and oppose Bernhardt’s nomination when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote.
Bernhardt’s past as an oil and gas industry lobbyist is concerning, and his tenure as both Deputy and Acting Secretary of the Interior has demonstrated that these concerns are well-founded. While Deputy and Acting Secretary, Bernhardt led the core political team that repeatedly adopted a pro-industry, anti-science approach to policy that benefited industry at the expense of a healthy environment.
When it comes to protecting our ocean and the communities that depend on it, the oil and gas industry cannot be allowed to call the plays.
Take action today.
By WAN –
April 3, 2019
On behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, today Earthjustice filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays from being killed by longlines and huge nets used by U.S. fishermen in Atlantic fisheries.
Defenders petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to list the oceanic whitetip shark and giant manta ray under the Endangered Species Act in 2015. The agency listed the shark and ray as threatened last year, triggering the agency’s obligation to consider conservation measures to protect the species from federal actions when authorizing U.S. fisheries.
Today’s notice letter to the Fisheries Service says officials have not completed required consultations when authorizing fisheries managed under the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. The Endangered Species Act requires consultations to ensure that federal actions do not unduly harm protected species.
The agency has not completed these consultations on the pelagic longline (which targets tuna, swordfish and other species), shark drift gillnet or shark bottom longline fisheries — all of which harm oceanic whitetip sharks and giant manta rays and have contributed to the species’ declines.
“These sharks and rays won federal protection, but they’re still being slaughtered by reckless fishing practices,” said Catherine Kilduff, a Center attorney in a statement. “The Trump administration has to follow through by regulating the deadly Atlantic longline and gillnet fisheries. Giant manta rays and oceanic whitetip sharks will keep declining if our government doesn’t do its moral and legal duty to protect them.”
The giant manta ray, with a wingspan that can reach 29 feet, has suffered population declines of up to 95% in some places due to commercial fishing. Similarly, scientists have estimated substantial declines in oceanic whitetip sharks in the Atlantic Ocean, including an 88% decline in the Gulf of Mexico due to commercial fishing. Reducing the primary threat to these species, commercial fishing, is key to their survival and recovery.
Giant manta rays and oceanic whitetip sharks are intentionally hunted in other countries — the sharks for their large fins and the manta rays for their gills, both prized for Asian medicines and cuisine — and are often swept up as bycatch by U.S. fisheries. Gillnets have been called “walls of death” for the harm they do to a variety of marine species. Atlantic longlines can be up to 45 miles long, with hundreds of baited hooks.
“These horrific fishing practices are outdated,” Jane Davenport, a Defenders attorney, said. “We can’t keep fishing indiscriminately while sharks, manta rays and other accidental victims move toward extinction. As the agency charged with both conserving these imperiled species and managing U.S. fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service is under a double obligation to comply with the Endangered Species Act’s mandate to ensure the survival and recovery of the oceanic whitetip shark and giant manta ray.”
“The law requires these species to be given meaningful protections in the water, not just on paper,” said Earthjustice attorney Chris Eaton. “NMFS can’t allow these fisheries to continue harming the oceanic whitetip and giant manta ray unchecked. It needs to put some safeguards into place.”
A peer-reviewed study by Center scientists released in January found most marine species listed under the Endangered Species Act are recovering. Listed species with critical habitat protections and those listed for more than 20 years are most likely to be rebounding. In February 2019, Defenders and the Center also sent a detailed technical letter to the agency urging it to designate critical habitat for the giant manta ray in U.S. waters.
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This brown pelican had a torn pouch after eating at least one fish carcass. Rehabilitators at Key West Wildlife Center fixed its pouch, but its exposed trachea resulted in pneumonia. It died 1 month later. Photo credit : Key West Wildlife Center
March 25th, 2019. KEY WEST, Fla. – Wildlife officials in Florida and experts as far south as Key West are trying to push one message : Don’t feed pelicans.
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By Alex Larson
While plastics are most commonly seen in shallow ocean waters or discussion generally surrounds areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s important to not forget that plastic is literally in every part of our ocean, even the deepest depths.
A recent study published in Royal Society Open Science has found examples of microplastics in animals living in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the worlds oceans at 7 miles under the sea surface.
The team studied 90 deep-dwelling shrimp for microplastic contamination from six ocean trenches around the Pacific Rim. Unfortunately, even though these marine animals live miles under the surface from humans irresponsible habits of plastic usage, they still cannot escape.
“Half of me was expecting to find something but that is huge,” Alan Jamieson, from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, said in a statement. Jamieson also added that majority of man-made items found in the shrimp were clothes fabrics such as nylon.
The research revealed that 72 percent of the shrimp tested contained at least one plastic micro particle with some containing up to eight particles. Every trench investigated had marine animals with plastic inside of them but the results did vary depending on how frequent plastic was found in the shrimp. For example, in the Mariana Trench, 100 percent of shrimp examined contained plastics while the shrimp from the New Hebrides Trench came out at a 50 percent rate.
“We are piling all our crap into the place we know least about,” Jamieson said, adding that it is hard to know how exactly it was affecting the creatures it contaminated. These particles could just pass straight through the animal, but in the animals we looked at they must be blocking them,” he continued.
While humans addiction to using plastic and continuing to dispose of it irresponsibly continues, the planets oceans will feel it the most. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish while many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food
We need to bring this issue to the forefront of discussion and you can help do that by saying no to single-use plastics in your own life and secondly, petitioning your local businesses and governments to reduce plastic usage or promote laws that prohibit usage.
Given that I’ve just spent a year of my life studying wildlife television, and that I consider myself a connoisseur of wildlife films and TV, I’ve decided to start reviewing nature-based films and television programs. This first review concerns Sharkwater: Extinction by the late Rob Stewart.
iTunes describes Sharkwater: Extinction as, “A thrilling action adventure journey that follows filmmaker Rob Stewart as he exposes the billion dollar illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it…Stewart’s mission is to save the sharks before it’s too late.”
Here’s my take on the film:
Very General, Minimal Spoilers Synopsis
Sharkwater: Extinction picks up in Costa Rica, where the first Sharkwater left off. Accompanying Stewart is Regina Domingo and a team of filmmakers, and together they examine the political and economic structures that drive the slaughter of sharks. Things happen and the…
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The global shark and ray population is in serious trouble, but, thankfully, legislators in Hawaii are currently considering doing more to protect these creatures in state waters. Currently there’s a bill that would make it a misdemeanor (with up to a $10,000 fine) for killing, capturing or abusing sharks and rays.
Sign the petition if you want this important conservation bill to become law!
Sharks and rays need full protection under the law, for their benefit and for the health of our oceans. Rep. Nicole Lowen, who chairs the House Environmental Protection and Energy Committee said, “As apex predators, sharks and rays help to keep the ocean ecosystem in balance, and protecting them from unnecessary harm is essential to the health of our coral reefs.”Beyond being good for the ocean’s ecosystem, there is also just no excuse for people killing these animals. We don’t need to do it and we shouldn’t put up with needless animal killing.
Similar legislation has cleared the state Senate before, but now it’s up to the state House to keep House Bill 808 alive. State Rep. Chris Lee, head of the House Judiciary Committee must give the legislation a hearing by the end of the week in order to keep the ocean ecosystem thriving. That’s why he and other Hawaiian legislators need to hear from us now!
Let Hawaii be an example of conservation stewardship for the world to emulate. Sign on if you want this bill to pass to protect sharks and rays fully!
Take Action to Help Save the Sunflower Sea Star
A new study has documented that the sunflower star has been virtually eliminated along a 3,000 mile stretch of coast. A “zombie apocalypse” has been underway beneath the waves since 2013, with “sea star wasting disease” (SSWD) literally dissolving more than 20 species of sea stars into puddles of rotting flesh on the seafloor.
The publication documents how this most important of species, the sunflower star, has rapidly declined because of the combined effects of a devastating disease and climate-driven ocean heat waves. As we continue to burn fossil fuels, massive amounts of heat are being absorbed by the ocean, which is driving extreme temperature events that appear to increase the lethality of SSWD. This one-two punch is not only destroying the sunflower star—but also destroying the kelp forests that provide the foundational structure for an entire ecosystem of ocean species.
Saving what we love—including the sunflower star—will take all of us who do have a voice using it.
Congress must act on climate change. The science is clear, solutions are available here and now, and the ocean must be at the heart of climate action.
Congress must debate and move aggressive climate legislation that will ensure communities and ecosystems are spared the most devastating potential impacts from climate change, and are able to successfully adapt to those they can’t avoid.
That work must start now.
But in addition, Congress can and must take action immediately using the tools we already have. This spring Congress will take up appropriations legislation for the next fiscal year. Those bills must prioritize critical funding for the climate research, coastal resilience, and adaptation programs that are already working to tackle our climate challenges.
Take action today.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: China, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, and Chile
41,715 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL
In the Disney movie “Finding Dory,” audiences fell in love with the scene-stealing octopus named Hank who helped the main character escape from an aquarium. While octopus can’t talk or drive cars, they have been known to be incredible escape artists who often leave fisherman or aquarium workers scratching their heads, wondering where their catch has gone.
That’s because the cephalopod is extremely intelligent. They are capable of figuring out complex puzzles, planning attacks, memorizing landscapes and using tools to survive. This intelligence has convinced many who study the animal that it isn’t just smart, but possibly a conscious being.
This fact has brought many to the conclusion that octopus should no longer be eaten, since eating one would be similar to eating a dolphin, parrot or chimpanzees — all smart animals in their own right.
But others have not gotten the memo. In fact, at this moment scientists in several countries are looking for ways to make underwater octopus farming a reality. If successful, hundreds of thousands if not millions of octopus a year would likely be kept in featureless tanks, without stimuli only to be slaughtered for human consumption.
In order to make any sort of octopus farming profitable, farmers would either have to keep them in small individual tanks or in large enclosures which held multiple animals. But according to a new study that analyzes the costs of the proposed project: “Octopuses are solitary, carnivorous animals badly suited to captivity. Confined in tiny cages, they suffer and die; confined together, they kill each other.” Neither way would likely be up to the humane treatment standards most nations expect their food to be raised.
But it’s not just the idea of factory farming yet another animal — and a smart one at that — that is troubling. The side effects of factory farming octopuses could be our seas as a whole. Just as we exploit thousands of acres of land to produce feed for our cows, industrial farms would require tons of wild caught shellfish and other food for their animals. So quite opposite from relieving the stress on our oceans, it could actually increase it.
Right now, scientists are encouraging nations to stop this inhumane and ecological disaster before it starts by urging them to ban octopus farming now. Doing so would kill demand and stave off an industry that will likely have serious negative effects on our planet.
Please join them, sign the petition and tell the governments of China, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, and Chile to kill this industry before it starts. Ask them to ban octopus farming.
by: Care2 Team
32,750 SUPPORTERS – 35,000 GOAL
A man identified as commercial fisherman Billy Brislane has hooked himself a big problem. The Australian, who is a member of a Facebook group called Fried Fishing, earned the wrath of most decent minded people everywhere when he uploaded a disgusting video.
In the video, the cretin grabs a deceased baby shark with a pipe sticking out of its head and another pipe coming out of its back. In another hand, he’s got lighter. Then to the sound of the kids’ song “Baby Shark” playing in the background, he leans down towards the shark and lights one of the pipes. When he corrects himself a huge puff of smoke comes billowing out of his mouth.
You read right, Mr. Brislane had just desecrated the body of a dead shark by using it as a bong. All so he could get social media likes and laughs.
Social media, however, wasn’t having it. In quick order, he received several complaints and was even visited by the police. So furious was the response that he suggested that he might even take a break from social media. Hopefully, Billy has learned that using dead animals as toys is not OK.
However, Billy isn’t the only problem. The Fried Fishing Facebook group where he felt free enough to upload the horrible clip is a cesspool of disgusting images. The site seems to be a library of videos and pictures where “fishermen” use their catches in inhumane ways as long as it gets a laugh. In another video. Billy grabs a live fish he caught, brings it up to his bare chest and lets it take a bite at his nipple.
In another — now-deleted video — another person also films himself using a shark as a bong.
This group, whose motto is “Fried fishing, stupid s**t, banter about other fishermen,” isn’t a group for fishermen to share stories about the one that got away. It’s one where they can trade videos of themselves abusing animals. And that isn’t OK.
Please Sign the Care2 Petition!
Please sign the petition and ask Facebook to ban the Fried Fishing.
by: Kelsey B.
recipient: Point Reyes National Seashore rangers
70,527 SUPPORTERS – 75,000 GOAL
During the recent government shutdown, Drake’s Beach in Northern California remained closed to visitors. But what was bad news for beachgoers and nature lovers turned out to be great news for a group of elephant seals!
60 elephant seals decided to take advantage of the empty beach and make the spot their birthing place. During those 35 days of the shutdown, about 35 seal pups were born! The problem is that now that the shutdown is over, officials want to open that beach back up.
Sign the petition if you want the beach to stay closed for good so we can give the seals their natural habitat back!
The spate of births was really quick, magical and adorable, but also very fragile. Normally the seals would have given birth elsewhere but experts are speculating that recent storms have forced them to find new places to do it. It’s critical that we don’t scare, harm or overwhelm the animals. Most of the pups are still nursing with their moms so it’s really important they are given time and space to get their pups ready to venture back into the ocean.
And what better way to give them the space they need than to shut down the beach to humans permanently!
We had a good run, but these seals have reclaimed what is rightfully theirs. Please sign the petition to close the beach for good!
by Alex Larson →
When you think humanity can not get any worse, a shocking video has been posted on the Facebook page Fried Fishing Australia which shows a man using a dead shark as a bong.
As we do not want to promote the views gathered by the Facebook page which already has 21,000 followers, we have attached photos below that show the disturbing act.
The photos and video reveal the man on a fishing boat holding the shark which has two tubes sticking out from its head and rear with the inside of the shark hallowed out while the children song Babyshark eerily plays in the background.
The purposeful and irresponsible carelessness towards sharks is at the helm of driving worldwide numbers down. As fisherman know that the ocean depends on sharks as apex predators to sustain the health of the oceans, it would seem obvious they would be on the frontline of trying to protect sharks.
The fisherman in the video is Billy Brislane whom also made news last year after catching five large bull sharks in the Macleay River in Australia.
The amount of intentional animal abuse by anglers is frankly sick and we need all governments to start enforcing stricter laws on recreational fishing and increase marine animal protections.
by Alex Larson →
Roughly 600 dead Olive Ridley sea turtles and two dolphins have washed ashore in the last two days on beaches for Hukitola to Eakakula in the Garirmatha marine sanctuary areas in India.
The suspected death of the turtles were result of being hit by fishing trawlers or entangled in nets out at sea. Fishing is not allowed within 20 kilometers fof the Garirmatha marine sanctuary but according to Hemant Rout, an environmentalist and secretary of Gahirmatha Marine Turtles and Mangrove Conservation Society, fishing trawlers routinely do fish there without being interrupted.
Bycatch is one of the biggest concerns to marine animals across the world, particularly sharks, sea turtles and whales whose overall numbers are sharply declining world wide.
The Olive Ridley sea turtle, which are closely related to the severely endangered Kemp’s Ridley, is considered the most abundant of sea turtles but numbers are sharply declining due to people taking eggs out of nests, the female turtles being slaughtered when they come ashore to lay eggs, and due to bycatch.
Olive Ridley sea turtles come to the Gahirmatha, India in large numbers for annual nesting. As they make their way to the shorelines, they get swept up by fishing trawlers where they drown due to not being able to reach the surface. Once aboard the vessels, the trawlers toss any unwanted catch back into the sea, dead or alive. Most likely, the sea turtles washed ashore were caught this way and were dead as the current brought them to the coastline.
Speaking to The New India Express, Forest Range Officer of Gahirmatha Srirampada Arabinda Mishra said the State Government has imposed a ban order on fishing activities inside the marine sanctuary from November 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019 to protect the sea turtles.
Forest officials have already arrested around 380 fishermen and seized 83 fishing vessels on charges of illegally fishing in Gahirmatha.
Published by firepawinc View all posts by firepawinc
The disturbing results from a new study revealed plastic in every sea creature tested…
A Hundred Percent of Dolphins, Whales and Seals Tested had Microplastics in their Bodies.
A team analyzed a total of 50 animals across 10 species for their research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Microplastics were defined in the study as fragments measuring up to 5 millimeters (0.2 inches).
The samples used in the study were taken from 50 animals by members of the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) and the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme. Both projects are based in the U.K.
Of the plastics found in the sea creatures, 84 percent were synthetic fibres which generally originate from products such as clothing and fishing nets. The remainder of the contaminants were what the scientists described as fragments, likely to come from food and drink packaging.
A separate piece of research by scientists at the University of Plymouth, U.K., found billions of nanoparticles contaminated shellfish exposed after six hours. The research was published last year in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Journal Reference: Nelms, S.E., et al. (2019). Microplastics in marine mammals stranded around the British coast: ubiquitous but transitory? Scientific Reports, 9, Article number: 1075.
by Alex Larson →
For the first time, researchers have pinned down just how damaging plastic is to marine animals. In a new study conducted by researchers at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, they have discovered that a sea turtle that has ingested just one piece of plastic has more than a one in five chance of dying after consuming just one piece of plastic
The study was conducted by analyzing nearly 1,000 sea turtles that were found dead on beaches in Australia. What the researchers discovered was that the more plastic a turtle consumes, the great the likelihiod that it will die due to plastic. While this seems obvious, this is the first time scientists have been able to specifically say that the plastic leads to the death of turtles.
Of the 246 turtles examined, 58 contained debris. The count and mass of debris ranged from a single piece to 329 pieces, weighing between <0.01 g to 10.41 g.
“We knew that turtles were consuming a lot of plastic, but we didn’t know for certain whether that plastic actually caused the turtles’ deaths, or whether the turtles just happened to have plastic in them when they died,” said Dr Chris Wilcox, Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere.
The scientists found that once a turtle had 14 plastic items in its gut there was a 50% likelihood that it would cause death. However, that’s not to say that a turtle won’t die if they consume less than 14 pieces of plastic.
Sea turtles in all seven seas are impacted by the plastic and a recent study found that in 100% of turtles tested across three ocean, plastic was found in each one of them.
Currently there is an estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic already estimated to be in the ocean today, that number will only grow at a rapid pace in the future. By 2050, plastic pollution is estimated to outweigh all fish in the ocean.
“The model we’ve developed can be adapted to help us understand the impact of plastic ingestion not just on individuals, but whole populations of other endangered marine species as well.” Said Wilcox.
“The better we understand the issue, the better equipped we are to address the problem, and work towards viable, scalable solutions.”
by Alex Larson →
A newly proposed Florida state bill would ban the use of plastic bags and straws throughout the state. As a good majority of Florida’s borders are covered in ocean coastline, if passed this would be a huge win for marine conservationists and marine animals.
Currently there is an estimated 15-51 trillion pieces of plastic already estimated to be in the ocean today, that number will only grow at a rapid pace in the future. By 2050, plastic pollution is estimated to outweigh all fish in the ocean.
Marine life in turn eats that plastic as they believe it is a food source causing severe sickness or death for millions of animals each year. A recent study found that 100% of turtles tested across three oceans all contained microplastics inside of them.
Microplastics occur due to the salt and acidity of the oceans which breaks plastic down into small “microplastic” pieces, causing a real dilemma for the planets wildlife. While the plastic breaks into smaller pieces, it does not dissolve as it takes hundreds of years for plastic to decompose in the ocean.
The bill, Senate Bill 502, was proposed by Senator Kevin Rader and proposes to prohibit all stores and food services from using plastic bags and plastic straws.
The best thing thing Florida citizens can do right now is to call your representative and let them know that you want to see this bill passed. The more they hear from their citizens in support of the bill, the more likely they are to pass the bill.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: The Pebble Beach Company and other coastal and riverside golf coursesmore
Pebble Beach is world-renowned for being one of the most beautiful golf courses on Earth. The golf resort is dotted with million dollar mansions and frequented by some of the wealthiest people on the planet. It truly is a golfer’s paradise.
But right off the coast, where the links turn into the sea, that paradise has been lost.
Two years ago, a young 16-year-old freediver named Alex Weber was swimming off the coast in Carmel Bay. Weber says she had been diving since she was a young child, so the underwater world was nothing new to her. But this time she saw something she didn’t expect. Instead of sand covering the seafloor, she saw nothing but golf balls — thousands and thousands of them.
Weber knew this wasn’t good. Golf balls are covered in plastic, and like any plastic material that finds its way into the sea, they degrade over time, releasing microplastics and other toxins into the ocean that marine life ingest.
Weber knew just what she had to do — with help, she initiated her own golf ball clean up effort to rid Carmel Bay of its golf ball scourge. Over the following two years, she and her helpers removed around 50,000 balls — more than 2 tons of them.
Weber said that even as they made their regular diving trips out to remove more golf balls, they could hear the “plink, plink” of more balls hitting the ocean from golfers at nearby resorts.
The Pebble Beach Company (PBC) — owner of Pebble Beach and two other courses along the coast including The Links at Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill — charge big money by offering a chance to play at this stunning course. They can charge exorbitant green fees ($525) because the links are pristine and beautiful. But management has failed to keep the entire area in equally as tip-top shape. For PBC officials, out of sight means out of mind. Over the years they have allowed thousands of golf balls to pollute California’s shore. That is unacceptable.
The PBC must take responsibility for the golf ball pollution caused by their guests and rid the sea floor of them at once. Additionally, they should take extra steps to make sure more balls don’t make their way into the sea, perhaps by erecting a net to stop stray balls.
Sign the petition to tell PBC and other coastal and river golf courses to clean up their mess. Photo credit: The Plastic Pick-Up.
by Alex Larson →
The Veterinary Department of Primorsky Region has issued permits for the company ‘Primorksy Dolphinarium’ to export 50 seals to Chinese Tianjin for the purpose of “maintenance.”
As first reported by the non-profit organization Friends of the Ocean whom received information that the vetenarian service has agreed to export permits. The exporter is LLC Primorsky Dolphinarium.
According to current legislation of the Russian Federation, the extraction of living marine mammals is possible for only research, education, and cultural and education purposes.
The extraction of aquatic biological resources for the purpose of “maintenance, in zoos, aquariums and other cultural organizations is carried out only for cultural and educational purposes. However, the use of aquatic biological resources, obtained for cultural and educational purposes, has the right only to a person who has been granted the right to extract or catch such aquatic biological resources, and only using property located in the territory of the Russian Federation. The right to use aquatic bioresources obtained for cultural and educational purposes is not provided by law to other persons.
Environmentalist are set to apply to the supervisory authorities with a request to verify the legitimacy of the issuance of permits.
China has become infamous for the poor conditions, quality and care to animals leading to even more concern for the future of the mammals.
by Alex Larson →
If you had to eat 5,500 pounds of food every day , you would need to find ingenuitive ways to get food and that is exactly what millions of years of evolution has done for the humpback whale.
New footage of humpback whales off the northeaster coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island have been captured on video showing how to get food to come to them instead of wasting energy to go after the fish. The method, called trap-feeding”, is when a humpback whale suspends itself on the surface or just below the surface and opens its mouth allowing for water to pour inside. While birds above the sea circle the fish trying to catch them from the air, the fish try to escape the birds and end up in the whales mouth.
As first reported in Marine Mammal Science, the researchers first noticed this way of feeding by two whales in 2011. Now the researchers have seen 16 whales use this technique, leading to the belief that the others whales have learned from observation.
The authors note that the ability of individual whales to learn can depend on physiology, as well as their ability to respond to their external environment, like changing numbers, availability, distribution, or behavior of prey.
by Alex Larson
With the help of technology and social media, we are starting to see just how often endangered species are being caught as a result of bycatch and the increase in reportings is very disturbing. The latest to marine animal to be found entrapped by fishing gear tossed into the sea is the severely endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.
Reported on Facebook by Animal Rehabilitation Keep (http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/23/photos-endangered-kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-severely-entangled-by-fishing-nets/) at UT Marine Science Institute, the group found the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle severely entangled in fishing netting. In a statement on their Facebook page the stated, “Horrible case of entanglement today of a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle entangled in shark fishing gear. Unfortunately, we see entanglement cases way too often. Please help by removing and properly disposing of all fishing line debris. Together we can make a difference!”
Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles numbers are starting to slowly increase but yet are still the most endangered in the world. The turtle only lives in the Gulf of Mexico and part of the east coast of the US. With incidents such as this becoming more frequent due to pollution from humans, it is now more important than ever to do our best to keep our beaches and oceans clean. You can do your small part by picking up any trash that you may see, you never know the impact you may have on another creatures life.
by Alex Larson
In news that will greatly impact the fishing of the planets whales, Japan is set to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and continue commercial whaling next year.
The decisions has caused a mixed reaction by different environmental groups across the world.
According to reports, Japan will inform the IWC of its decision to leave after the agency rejected their bid to resume commercial fishing just a few months ago.
Kyodo News is reporting that unnamed government officials are sourced as saying Japan will discontinue their expensive and contreversial practice of sailing to Antarctic waters and instead permit whaling fleets to operate in the countries coastal waters and exclusive economic zone.
According to The Guardian, a fisheries agency official denied the report to them stating, “Japan’s official position, that we want to resume commercial whaling as soon as possible, has not changed,” the official told the Guardian. “But reports that we will leave the IWC are incorrect.”
The IWC is responsible for setting catch limits for commercial whaling and in 1982, they decided that a commercial whaling moratorium will take place going forward due to whale populations worldwide.
Greenpeace Japan urged the Japanese government to reconsider the decision that the non-governmental organization called a “grave mistake.”
“This snub to multilateralism is unacceptable,” Sam Annesley, executive director at Greenpeace Japan, said. “We hope that Japan will reverse its decision and take its place beside the nations trying to undo the damage human activities have done to whale populations.”
But while some are arguing in against the withdrawal, Captain Paul Watson, whom is famous for leading Sea Shepherd on the front lines in fighting Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean has explained why this is actually a good move for whale conservation
In the statement on his Facebook, he writes:
“Why is this a positive Development.
- Because Japan has never stopped commercial whaling. They have ‘hidden’ it behind the excuse of so called ‘scientific whaling’ since 1987. They have continued commercial whaling despite the International Court of Justice ruling that there is no legal justification for their so-called ‘scientific whaling.’ Now there can be no façade, Japan has joined Norway and Iceland in their open defiance of international conservation law. All three nations are pirate whaling nations.
- With Japan out of the International Whaling Commission, the IWC can now pass the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. The IWC can now focus on conservation instead of whaling. Japan has been the single greatest detriment to the IWC during its entire history.
- The Japanese puppet nations will no longer be obligated to vote against conservation and without Japanese bribes, many will simply quit the IWC. Mongolia for example has absolutely no connection to whaling historically or practically.
- The IWC can now vote to condemn industrial commercial whaling.
- Japan will not be able to kill whales in the Southern Ocean. It is an internationally established whale sanctuary and the only reason Japan has been able to flaunt the law is by invoking the excuse of ‘scientific research whaling.” Overt commercial whaling is strictly prohibited in the Southern Ocean and Japan has indicated it will quit the Southern Ocean while expanding whaling in the North Pacific. This would mean that the current whaling season in Antarctic waters will be the last.
- Japan will be able to withdraw from the Southern Ocean without losing face.
- Opposition to illegal Japanese commercial whaling will be easier. Basically, we will be dealing with poachers. Japan will no longer be able to pretend that their commercial whaling is research whaling.
- Sea Shepherd’s objective to end whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary will have been met.
The last time Sea Shepherd engaged with the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean was for the 2016/2017 whaling season. We sent the Ocean Warrior and the Steve Irwin. Japan countered with multi-million dollar military grade surveillance making it impossible for Sea Shepherd to close in on their operations. Sea Shepherd has been unable to compete with such a massive security investment on the part of Japan. On the positive side, Japan has been forced to expend a great deal of money on security each year to maintain this edge.
Sea Shepherd’s relentless opposition to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean since 2002 has been a major factor in undermining Japanese whaling activities. It has cost the whalers and the Japanese government tens of millions of dollars and saved the lives of over 6,000 whales.
A whaling free Southern Ocean has been our objective for two decades and if Japan moves forward with their threat to withdraw from the IWC and to resume overt commercial whaling, this objective will be realized.”
Japan joined the IWC in 1951. The entity was established in 1948 under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling to conserve whales and realize the “orderly development of the whaling industry.”