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Vidar Oceanus's Front Page on RebelMouse

Vidar Oceanus's Front Page on RebelMouse | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Maybe one day, Humankind will learn that of all the animals in the World we were the destroyers of our one & only Planet! What Intelligence. Powered by RebelMouse
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Sea Shepherd Shop

Sea Shepherd Shop | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Buy certified organic cotton t-shirts and eco-friendly clothing - sweatshop free, ethical, all natural apparel (*XMAS Notice!* Deadline for online orders in the e-store is by close of business this Monday 16 December!

Via Marian Locksley
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VidarOceans

VidarOceans | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Vidar Oceanus @VidarOceans One day, Humankind will learn that of all the animals in the World we were the destroyers of our one & only Planet! What Intelligence.
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The deadliest sea creature is the #jellyfish

The deadliest sea creature is the #jellyfish | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

If most people where asked to name the deadliest creature in the ocean, they’d probably say that it was the shark. Indeed, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, there have been 464 recorded deaths from unprovoked shark attack dating from the year 1580 through July of 2009. That’s a little over one per year. Yet, there is another far more deadly creature swimming in the seas, the jellyfish. 

Jellyfish kill 15-30 times more people than sharks

If the 2-4 deaths from Jellyfish stings reported in Malaysia were all there were, the jellyfish would still be three times as deadly as the shark. When we add an estimated 20-40 box jellyfish sting deaths from the Philippines according to a report in The Medical Journal of Australia (Fenner, & Williams, 1996), the jellyfish becomes responsible for anywhere from 15-30 times more deaths each year than all unprovoked shark attacks worldwide.

Attack of the zombie jellyfish

Some species of stinging jellyfish are almost invisible in the water and the first warning anyone may get is large numbers of people leaving the water with painful, itching stings. Even after it is dead, the jellyfish can still continue stinging. The stingers activate upon touch and work whether the tentacle is still attached to a living jellyfish or not.

First aid for jellyfish stings

Despite this, very few jellyfish stings are fatal. Each year tens of thousands of people are stung by jellyfish with symptoms ranging from a minor itch to severe pain. Most do not even seek medical treatment. Traditional remedies involve applying some acid solution to the site of the sting to neutralize the pain-causing toxins. Household vinegar is recommended by Fenner and Williams.

Jellyfish populations increasing

Jellyfish are among the oldest of modern sea creatures dating back to 500 million years ago, compared to fish which can be dated back only 370 million years according to the Smithsonian. Yet the ancient jellyfish is doing well, in today’s oceans. Remarkably well, says the Smithsonian. In some areas they are proliferating so rapidly that they clog water intake pipes and disable power plants. They have been known to wipe out salmon farms and even sink a ten ton fishing boat that tried to haul in its nets which were filled with a species of jellyfish weighing 450 pounds each.

Although few of the estimated 1500 species of jellyfish in the oceans have a deadly sting, if the trend of increasing numbers of jellyfish worldwide continues, the number of annual human fatalities resulting from jellyfish stings may be on the rise as well.

Sources:
International Shark Attack File. July 7, 2009. Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Retrieved from http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/statistics/GAttack/World.htm on July 22, 2010.

Fenner, Peter J. and Williams, John A. Worldwide deaths and severe envenomations from jellyfish stings. 1996. The Australian Medical Journal. Retrieved from http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/dec2/fenner/fenner.html#suba0 on July 22, 2010.

Tucker, Abigail. The New King of the Sea. July/ August, 2010. Smithsonian magazine.

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What can you do to stop #shark finning?

What can you do to stop #shark finning? | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
What can you do to stop shark finning?

Sharks are being driven to the brink of extinction due to a huge increase in demand for their fins over the last 20 years or so. If you are concerned about this, there are many ways you can help to spread the message about the plight of sharks and encourage others not to consume shark fin soup (or any other shark products). Below are a few suggestions.

1. Most importantly, don’t eat shark fin soup! Talk to your friends about shark fin soup and remember: Friends don’t let friends eat shark fin soup! Don’t patronise restaurants that serve the dish. If you live near a restaurant that serves shark fin soup, talk to the owner about shark finning and politely ask them to consider removing shark fin soup from the menu. Very often people are unaware of the effect that their eating habits have on the environment. Sign up to the “no shark fin” pledge. Download these information cards from the Humane Society International to hand to the owner/manager.

2. There are many organisations fighting to save marine wildlife such as Sea Shepherd, the Humane Society International and Wild Aid. They all need as much support as they can get, especially financially. There are many more organisations listed in the links section.

3. Sign up to the mailing list and take part in the campaigns. Sometimes it feels like sending an email, writing a letter or making a phone call won’t change anything – but if several people do it, it does make an impact. The more of us there are, the harder our message hits home – so do your part – it only takes a few minutes.

4. Social networking – spread the message on the internet. Post the banner for StopSharkFinning.net on your social network site page or website. Start up your own website or facebook page (or LiveJournal, Twitter, posterous, whatever!). And make sure you join us on Twitter and facebook(currently over 45,000 likes).

5. If local communities realise that they can make more money by conserving sharks than by killing them, then we will ensure the survival of sharks. If you are considering a holiday in a location where there are sharks, you might want to go shark diving. This is a source of income for communities that encourages shark conservation.

6. If you enjoy speaking in public, why not give a talk about shark finning? This will not only enlighten others about the problem of shark finning, it will also make you an expert on the subject as you will probably need to do some research about it to properly inform others. Maybe you could give a talk in your school, church or community center.

7. If you have tried convincing restaurant managers to remove shark fin soup from their menu but they have refused, you could organise a protest at the restaurant. It would be best to do this with friends for a bit of moral support. Organise and prepare what you are going to do and remember to act within the law. There’s plenty you can do without getting yourself in trouble! If you are part of a group that is acting locally, please send us some contact details and information about protests that you may have planned. I would like StopSharkFinning.net to be a source of information for people looking for anti-shark finning groups near where they live.

8. If you see any of the typical “man bitten by shark” news items on TV or the internet, contact the website/TV station and ask them to produce a news item about shark finning. Remember – only about 10 people a year are killed by sharks, but 3 sharks are killed every second by humans.

9. If you come across a business or website that is promoting shark fin soup, send an email or post it on the stop shark finning facebook page so that we can complain about it and hopefully get it stopped.

10. Contact people of influence to inform about what is going on and to ask for their support in bringing an end to shark finning. This could be politicians, celebrities, non-profits such as Greenpeace, newspaper editors… basically anyone you think might be able to make a difference.

11. Spread the word on the street with a Stop Shark Finning T-shirt.

12. Use your imagination! These are just my ideas. You may have some much more original and interesting ideas of your own to help bring attention to shark finning. Please post your ideas on thefacebook page or email them.

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Incredible Animation on Overfishing

Not only is this animation incredible, it also offers a valuable lesson on the dangers of overfishing.
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#SHARKWATER "An eye-opening film...visually stunning... this movie will change the way you see our oceans. - Bonnie Laufer, Tribute Magazine.

#SHARKWATER "An eye-opening film...visually stunning... this movie will change the way you see our oceans. - Bonnie Laufer, Tribute Magazine. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth.

Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas.

Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

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Help put an end to #sharkfinning in New Zealand waters.

Help put an end to #sharkfinning in New Zealand waters. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Cutting fins off live sharks is already illegal in NZ but the senseless and wasteful practice of killing sharks just for their fins and then dumping their bodies back in the sea is not. 

New Zealand needs to join close to 100 countries and states around the world (including Australia, the EU and US) that have already banned shark finning. 

On the 10th November the NZ Government released a proposal that would see shark finning made illegal within three years. This is a step in the right direction and shows how public pressure is working - but at this stage it's just a proposal, and even if it's adopted sharks could still be finned and dumped in NZ until 2016. 

Use this form to make an official submission and tell the Government you support the ban on shark finning in NZ waters, that it must follow best international standards* and that you want it implemented right away. 

*The Convention on Migratory Species advises that legislation should require sharks be brought ashore whole, with their fins still naturally attached.The Shark Action Plan (PDF)MPI Factsheet (PDF)
All submissions must be received by MPI by Sunday 8 December 2013 

Email
NPOA-Sharks@mpi.govt.nz 

Post
Fisheries Management
Ministry for Primary Industries
P O Box 2526
Wellington 6140
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#Gazprom is the first company to install an oil drilling platform, called Prirazlomnaya, in the offshore ice covered Arctic Pechora Sea.

#Gazprom is the first company to install an oil drilling platform, called Prirazlomnaya, in the offshore ice covered Arctic Pechora Sea. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Gazprom is nominated for the Public Eye Awards for going ahead with their reckless and environmentally damaging drilling plans in the Arctic. Vote now! #PEAwards14

 

Gazprom’s plans to extract the first Arctic oil in December 2013 have been heavily criticized due to the serious risks to the environment. Gazprom has to date refused to make its oil spill mitigation plan public.

From the available summary, it is clear that Gazprom is not prepared for the high risks which drilling under Arctic conditions entails. Nevertheless, Gazprom claims the company is committed to upholding high environmental standards and is moving ahead with its plans.

 Consequences

Independent research on the potential impacts of an oil spill has revealed that Gazprom would not be able to respond to an oil spill. Such a spill would lead to serious, long-term pollution of this fragile region.

The US Geological Survey concluded that “there is no comprehensive method for cleanup of spilled oil in sea ice”. It is estimated that the total area at risk is over 140,000km2 of sea and 3,000km of coastline, and that nearby wildlife reserves and critical habitats for Arctic seabirds and walrus would be heavily threatened.

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Don't Let Dogma Destroy Our Oceans - The Petition Site.

Don't Let Dogma Destroy Our Oceans  - The Petition Site. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Once again oceans are being put at risk by anti-government dogma. Rep. Bill Flores of Waco, Texas (a non-coastal district) has attached a rider to the Water Resources Development Act that would prohibit the U.S. Army Corps Engineers from coordinating with coastal states on any ocean project. 

Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the challenges coastal states face in dealing with large storms, degraded coastal infrastructure and the ever-expanding development along our coastline. The increasing number and severity of storms will only make these challenges larger and more difficult to address. We need regional ocean planning and we need all federal agencies -- including the US Army Corps of Engineers – to be fully involved partners in regional ocean planning efforts. 

To translate President Obama's National Ocean Policy and the National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO) into on-the-ground actions to benefit the American people, Congress must pass the Water Resources Development Act without the Flores rider. Effective implementation of the National Ocean Policy is critical to enhancing our national security, supporting our coastal economies and the millions of American jobs that depend on them, while improving the health of our ocean resources and supporting local choices. 

Please join us in calling on Congress to reject the Flores rider and support the full implementation of the National Ocean Policy.

Via Ramy Jabbar رامي
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Penguins, sea lions, and birds found dead in Chile.

Penguins, sea lions, and birds found dead in Chile. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

 

Authorities say they suspect that fishermen using explosives may have killed the animals found at the town of Punta de Choros on Chile's north central coast.

The crime scene is in close proximity to the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve.

Eighty percent of the world’s endangered Humboldtpenguins, marine mammals, birds, blue whales and sea otters, among others species flock to this area.

Sernapesca, Chile’s National Fishing Service, determined that all the animals were killed during the same incident. Autopsies report animals with fractured skulls, missing rib cages and multiple abrasions.

Chile's National Fishing Service and the Navy are inspecting vessels around the area.

The Environmental group Oceana is urging officials to find and punish those responsible for the deaths.

Chile has more than 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) of coastline and fishing is among its top industries. Punta de Choros is a small fishing village of 320 people and is the home to the largest population of Humboldt penguins in the world. The site attracts thousands of tourists annually.

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Sea Shepherd Australia :: Japanese killing fleet sets sail for the Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd Australia :: Japanese killing fleet sets sail for the Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

The Japanese Whale Poaching Fleet has left Japan, setting sail for the Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. The factory vessel, the Nisshin Maru left Innoshima Port today and the refuelling vessel, the Sun Laurel, left just days prior. The harpoon ships no longer have their AIS  (Automatic Identification System) on and it appears that they are underway as well.

Japan is not waiting for the International Court Case result.

Their mission is to brutally kill 1,035 whales, comprising of 935 Protected Minke, 50 Endangered Fin and 50 Humpback Whales.

They plan to break Australian Federal law banning the slaughter of whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

Sea Shepherd's mission is to intercept the poachers from Japan before a single whale is killed and restore the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Australian scientists recently tracked a Minke Whale from the Great Barrier Reef deep into the Sub antarctic for the first time. A tracking program on Dwarf Minke Whales, the focus of growing reef tourism, followed a Minke nicknamed 'Spot' deep into the Southern Ocean before its tag expired.

"What is clear is that whales like 'Spot' that call Australia home, that Australians and tourists from all over the world have experienced and eyeballed in the Great Barrier Reef, face imminent threat from a grenade tipped harpoon from Japan. The only hope that whales like Spot have is the brave crews of Sea Shepherd." - Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia.

"The Japanese whaling fleet is likely to arrive in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary before the New Year. I expect to celebrate New Year's Eve on the slipway of the whaling factory ship, after completely shutting down their illegal whaling operations." - Peter Hammarstedt, Captain of The Bob Barker.

“December 7th is the day that the floating slaughter house - the Nisshin Maru chose to sail from its home port bound for the Australian EEZ and Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to conduct it's bloody business. The factory ship and its killing ships will have their phony mission of  "RESEARCH" painted on their sides. We will meet the illegal poachers ship for ship with our true mission of "ANTI-POACHING" proudly emblazoned on the Sam Simon's hull. We will not and can not fail in our mission to prevent this atrocity from happening; Australia, the world and most of all, the whales are counting on us, “ - Sam Simon Captain Adam Meyerson.

The world's only whale factory ship, the Nisshin Maru photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Tim Watters
"Once again the Japanese Whaling Fleet shows complete disregard for the international community, because despite the pending ruling at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Institute for Cetacean Research will once again attempt to kill over 1,000 whales. For the tenth year, Sea Shepherd will be the only form of defence for the whales." - Alex Cornelissen, Global Executive Officer, Sea Shepherd.

"The Japanese whaling fleet's departure for the Southern Ocean is once again in the face of international opposition, a pending International Court of Justice ruling and in violation of Australia's Federal Court order. The only thing that stands between their illegal slaughter and the whales are three Sea Shepherd ships. With legality, morality and public opinion on our side, we will soon depart from Australia to meet the whale poachers off the ice edge of Antarctica and we will not return until we drive the Nisshin Maru out of the Whale Sanctuary." - The Steve Irwin Captain, Siddharth Chakravarty.

Sea Shepherd Australia has informed the Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Greg Hunt, that the whale poachers are on their way.

We have 23 nationalities, from every continent, represented on board including: United Kingdom, Ireland, Bermuda, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, United States, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, India, Ghana, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Each year Japan has been escalating their violence not only against the whales, but also against Sea Shepherd’s international crew. With no repercussions from the Australian Government, Japan has effectively been given a green light to do what ever it wants with no respect for life.

Over 100 crew (37 are Australian) consisting of 23 nationalities are counting on the Abbott Government to live up to their pre-election promise and send a customs vessel to the Southern Ocean.

The time for the Australian Government to send a vessel is now!

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Warming Oceans Cause Major Ban On This Popular Seafood

Warming Oceans Cause Major Ban On This Popular Seafood | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Shrimp populations in northern New England have declined so quickly that a regulatory agency has banned all shrimp fishing for the 2014 season in order to allow the small crustaceans to replenish themselves.
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Let's defend the oceans, before it's too late - Fabius Maximus (blog)

Let's defend the oceans, before it's too late - Fabius Maximus (blog) | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

Summary:  The environmentalist community has put their resources into fighting anthropogenic global warming. For reasons discussed in other posts, that campaign has achieved few of the political gains sought. Meanwhile the prosaic forces of commerce destroy the oceans through pollution and and overfishing. We can do better.

From CNN, by David McNew/Getty Images

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The clock is running; we have been warned by articles such as this:

“Overfished and under-protected: Oceans on the brink of catastrophic collapse“, CNN, 27 March 2013

Opening:

The Census of Marine Life, a decade-long international survey of ocean life completed in 2010, estimated that 90% of the big fish had disappeared from the world’s oceans, victims primarily of overfishing.

Tens of thousands of bluefin tuna were caught every year in the North Sea in the 1930s and 1940s. Today, they have disappeared across the seas of Northern Europe. Halibut has suffered a similar fate, largely vanishing from the North Atlantic in the 19th century.

In some cases, the collapse has spread to entire fisheries. The remaining fishing trawlers in the Irish Sea, for example, bring back nothing more than prawns and scallops, says marine biologistCallum Roberts, from the UK’s York University. “Is a smear of protein the sort of marine environment we want or need? No, we need one with a variety of species, that is going to be more resistant to the conditions we can expect from climate change,” Roberts said.

The situation is even worse in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, people are now fishing for juvenile fish and protein that they can grind into fishmeal and use as feed for coastal prawn farms. “It’s heading towards an end game,” laments Roberts.

Trawling towards disaster

One particular type of fishing, bottom-trawling, is blamed for some of the worst and unnecessary damage. It involves dropping a large net, around 60 meters-wide in some cases, into the sea and dragging it along with heavy weights from a trawler.

 

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Marine conservationists compare it to a bulldozer, with the nets pulled for as far as 20km, picking up turtles, coral and anything else in their path. The bycatch, unwanted fish and other ocean life thrown back into the sea, can amount to as much as 90% of a trawl’s total catch.

Upwards of one million sea turtles were estimated to have been killed as by catch during the period 1990-2008, according to a report published in Conservation Letters in 2010, and many of the species are on the IUCN’s list of threatened species.

Campaigners, with the support of marine scientists, have repeatedly tried to persuade countries to agree to an international ban, arguing that the indiscriminate nature of bottom-trawling is causing irreversible damage to coral reefs and slow-growing fish species, which can take decades to reach maturity and are therefore slow to replenish their numbers.

“It’s akin to someone plowing up a wildflower meadow, just because they can,” says Roberts. Others have compared it to the deforestation of tropical rainforests.

Bottom-trawling’s knock-on impacts are best illustrated by the plight of the deep-sea fish, the orange roughly (also known as slimeheads) whose populations have been reduced by more than 90%, according to marine scientists. Orange roughys are found on, or around, mineral-rich seamounts that often form coral and act as feeding and spawning hubs for a variety of marine life.

“Anywhere you go and try to harvest fish with a trawl you are going to destroy any coral that lives there, and there is example after example of the damage that is done by trawlers,” says Ron O’Dor, a senior scientist on the Census of Marine Life. “If I ruled the world, they would be banned, they’re just such a destructive method of catching fish. Fishermen have other methods, such as long-line, that cause far less damage.

“The disturbing truth is that humans are having unrecognized impacts on every part of the ocean, and there is much we have not seen that will disappear before we ever get a chance,” says O’Dor, who is also a professor of marine biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

For more see “Net gains: Estimating the scale of the problem may allow us to arrest dangerous levels of overfishing“, Nature, 20 February 2013.

Why have activists focused so much on global warming over other issues? Perhaps because as a vehicle it offered more leverage to make political and social changes they seek. As David Hume learned at the Radical Emission Reduction Conference at the Royal Society.

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Right #Whale Speed Zone Made Permanent - Defenders Blog.

Right #Whale Speed Zone Made Permanent - Defenders Blog. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

The Fifth Annual Right Whale Festival took place in Jacksonville Beach, Florida on Saturday, November 23. Hosted by Sea-to-Shore Alliance and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the festival is a community event that celebrates the annual return of the North Atlantic right whales to their calving grounds in the waters of the Southeastern U.S.

Right whale mother & calf (© Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Research Permit # 594-1759)

An endangered species, only about 500 of these whales remain in the wild. They face serious threats to their survival from busy shipping lanes and fishing gear entanglement. The festival is aimed to help visitors learn more about right whales, their challenges, and their recovery.

The Florida Defenders of Wildlife team went down to participate, and we set up a booth and a special “make & take” arts and crafts table where children (and some adults!) decorated their own whale fluke cut-outs. Visitors learned about the many local and national efforts to protect these critically endangered whales from extinction and how we can lessen human impacts. Included at the event were educational displays, speaker presentations, children’s activities, live music, food, a 5K run and a beach clean-up.

This was my second year at the event. The weather, bright and sunny with a hint of a fall breeze in the air, couldn’t have been better. The location is beautiful, right on the beach, where right whales are often seen off the coast! Everyone I met at the event was a pleasure to talk to and interested in learning about the right whale and all of the other wildlife species we work hard to protect every day. I even met a few soon-to-be college graduates from the University of South Florida (my alma mater) who are interested in interning with our office next year. It’s great to meet students who are inspired by these events and who want to do more to help our endangered species. And as it turns out, the festival was just in time for some very good news for the right whale.

Just two weeks later, the National Marine Fisheries Service made a crucial decision: it finalized a rule to make speed zone protections for North Atlantic right whales permanent!

Right whales are critically endangered. (© Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock)

Speed zones are designated in seasonal management areas that right whales are known to frequent, and vessels over 65 feet in length are required by law to slow down while in these zones. Right whales are slow swimmers, and ship strikes are a leading cause of death for this species. Over the past five years, right whale ship strikes have been eliminated in slow speed zones! The rule is extremely cost-effective, and Defenders of Wildlife worked hard to ensure it not only stayed in place, but became a fixture of right whale conservation measures.

The old speed zone rule had an expiration date, but NMFS chose to make the new rule permanent; it will continue to be monitored for its effectiveness. Though more still needs to be done for right whales, this is a great step towards promoting their recovery.

December is a time when mother right whales and their newborn calves swim, feed and rest in the warm waters off the coast of Georgia and Florida. This year’s youngsters will soon swim north with their mothers on their very first migration through permanently protected waters. What a great way to end 2013!

 

 Shannon Miller, Florida Program Coordinator

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#Australian shark-cull plan draws scientists' ire.

#Australian shark-cull plan draws scientists' ire. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

 

Western Australia’s plan to start culling sharks in a “more aggressive” attempt to prevent attacks on humans could severely damage populations of threatened great whites, experts say. It is also based on an antiquated approach to the problem, shark researchers say, and seems to contradict the scientific advice given to the region’s government just last year.

“My immediate reaction is disgust”, says George Burgess, a noted shark researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. “This is an archaic response to this kind of a problem, and one most scientists thought had seen its day decades ago.”

The total number of shark attacks is extremely low. One 2011 study found an average of 1.1 fatalities per year in Australia over the past 20 years.1

But after a number of high-profile attacks in Western Australia — six of them fatal in the past two years — the government of the region said earlier this week that it would start deploying ‘drum lines’ 1 kilometre offshore of popular beaches in January. These lines consist of a baited hook hanging from a float that is anchored to the sea bed, with the aim of catching and killing sharks. In addition, ‘management zones’ will be set up around some beaches, and any large shark venturing into these zones will be killed.

 

Scientific objections to such a programme of culling sharks centre on the fact that in order to reduce attacks, a substantial number of animals will have to be removed, which will have a serious impact on the survival of already threatened species in the region. “If they take enough sharks out of the water, sure it’s going to reduce shark attacks,” says Burgess. “If you get all of them out of the water you’ll never have a shark attack again.”

Three species of shark are responsible for most attacks on humans: the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), which is rated as a species vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), which is rated as near-threatened, and the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), which is also rated as near-threatened.

A report prepared for the government of Western Australia last year by Daryl McPhee, a fisheries researcher at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia, warned that control programmes would have “potential implications for the populations of any currently threatened marine species” and could also pose a risk to dolphins. It concluded that: “Due to the environmental impacts of shark control activities, it is not recommended that either shark nets [or] drum-lines be introduced into Western Australia.”

Globally, only three major shark control programmes are currently in operation that use drum lines, nets or a combination of the two. Two of them are in Australia (in Queensland and New South Wales) and the other is in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. But the announcement of a new programme in Western Australia has again focused debate on the controversial practice, not least because the region is thought to be migration route for great whites.

Alison Kock, a shark-control researcher and a marine biologist with the Shark Spotters programme, which aims to spot and alert water users to sharks off the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, said in an e-mail to Nature that the KwaZulu-Natal programme has “undeniably reduced the risk” of shark attacks. But this has come at an environmental cost. Culling, she says, is not an appropriate response to shark attacks, and “the targeted culling of a threatened species, like the white shark, is especially environmentally irresponsible”.

Shark attacks often attract huge publicity, but the risk of death from these animals is low compared to other causes of death. For comparison, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1,522 people died in transport accidents in Australia in 2011, 1,845 died in falls and several died after being bitten by dogs (the exact number is concealed to protect individual confidentiality).

However, an increasing human population and an increase in the number of people taking to the water for recreation has pushed up the overall number of shark attacks in Australia from 6.5 per year in the 1990s to 15 per year in the 2000s.

“We need to consider that we’re visitors to that marine environment,” says Burgess. “The question it comes down to is more of a moral choice: are we willing to alter the natural system to the point of breakage, at least in terms of particular species, for the safety of a human who is invading that foreign world?”

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5 Things More Likely to Kill You than a #Shark Attack - Book Your Dive.

5 Things More Likely to Kill You than a #Shark Attack  - Book Your Dive. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Still, while a shark attack is undoubtedly a very scary thing, it is incredibly rare, and certainly shouldn't put you off diving. Sharks kill on average five people a year.

 

As an example, if a shark smells blood, it can go into a feeding frenzy, attacking everything around it to the point where it may even take a chunk out of its own tail.

Also, some sharks never sleep. If they stop moving, air stops passing over their gills and they suffocate, so they look like they are always awake, but they are in deep rest.

Still, while a shark attack is undoubtedly a very scary thing, it is incredibly rare, and certainly shouldn't put you off diving. Sharks kill on average five people a year. Here are five things that you should be far more worried about:

Vending Machines

While the thought of a Coke machine probably doesn't fill anyone normal with the same sense of dread as a Great White, vending machines are responsible for an average of 13 deaths a year. That's more than two and a half times as many as Jaws, though I wouldn't have thought a movie about killer vending machine related accidents would be very exciting.

Jellyfish

While sharks grab the headlines if they attack someone, jellyfish actually kill eight times as many people every year. While they look harmless, they can be highly poisonous, and are also often hard to see and avoid. As well as causing 40 deaths a year, jellyfish also cause a vastly larger number of injuries than sharks.

 

There's also that whole thing of having someone pee on your jellyfish stings. There is no scenario I can think of where an encounter with a shark could lead to you having to get your buddy to pee on you.

Deer

When it comes to terrifying animals, the shark may top many people's list, yet in terms of kills, they are far, far behind Bambi's mom, who kills 130 of us a year. Deer can attack people, and also cause road accidents, though as herbivores they will at least spare you the indignity of being eaten once you're dead.

Beds

Nowhere in the world could possibly be safer than your own bed, right? Well, actually, you're safer in open water risking the sharks, and even the jellyfish – 450 people every year die falling out of bed in the US alone. This isn't the number of people who die in their beds, that is much higher, this is the number of people who actually die because of their beds. Or their floors, depending on how you look at it.

Coconuts

If you're heading to tropical waters on your diving trip, it may or may not reassure you (probably not) to know that you are much more likely to be killed by one of the coconuts on those idyllic trees by the beach falling and dashing your brains out than by a shark biting your torso in half. Falling coconuts cause 150 human deaths every year on average, that's 30 times more than sharks.

 

There are very few things in fact, that are less statistically likely to be the cause of your death than a shark attack.

Whether this information should make you less scared of sharks or more scared of everything else in the world is hard to say. Other things that cause more annual human deaths than the sharks do include hotdogs, rollercoasters, dogs, lightning, hippos, wasps, airplanes, bathtubs, volcanoes and your hot water tap.

Sharks are our friends, and no man eaters. We have a responsibility to conserve this apex predator. A lot of shark species are on the brink of extinction due to human interference.

What would happen if this creature would not be roaming the seas any more? What would happen to the eco system as we know it? Do we realize we are depend on this same eco system?

Blog written by: Rutger Thole who founded bookyourdive early 2012 because he saw that there was no simple and easy to use platform where divers could go to, to read scuba blogs, browse dive centers within locations and where they could read reviews from other scuba divers. Now working full time with a small dedicated team to ensure the best user experience a scuba diver gets on the web.

 

 

- See more at: http://www.bookyourdive.com/blog/2012/4/5/things-more-likely-to-kill-you-than-a-shark#sthash.ccFy7JED.dpuf

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Kava Delfin 2.0: A Social Purpose Corporation Dedicated to Dolphin Conservation

Kava Delfin 2.0: A Social Purpose Corporation Dedicated to Dolphin Conservation | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
Help Kava Delfin give up to $150,000 of our profits annually to Dolphin Conservation! 10% of all Indiegogo funds will be donated. Check out our Perks!
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SEE #Dolphins | SEEtheWILD

SEE #Dolphins | SEEtheWILD | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
SEEtheWILD connects travelers with shark conservation sites who directly benefit from the visit, a unique wildlife experience. Choose from Costa Rica, Baja California Sur Mexico, or Trinidad & Tobago.

 

There are more species of dolphins than in any other cetacean group (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). This incredibly diverse group of animals, from coastal to oceanic to river species, span the globe in their distribution. With their streamlined, hydrodynamic bodies, and their ability to "see" their environment using echolocation these animals are perfectly suited for their aquatic world.

Unfortunately, dolphins are increasingly under pressure from threats such as habitat degradation, pollution, incidental capture in fisheries, climate change, commercial harvest, and depletion of prey species. For more about the threats that dolphins face click here.

 

Did You Know?

Dolphins use echolocation to navigate and locate prey. Sounds are produced and emitted from an area of the head and are reflected off an object. The sound echo is then received by the dolphin giving it a 'picture' of it's prey or surroundings.The 5 species of 'River Dolphins' have evolved to live in muddy, murky waters of rivers and estuaries and hence have poorly developed eyesight. These species rely on echolocation to 'see' their environment.Dolphins are highly intelligent, social animals living in groups called pods. The strongest bonds are between females and their offspring.All dolphin species exhibit countershading - meaning the ventral surface of their body, or belly is lighter than the dorsal (back) surface, which allows them to blend into their marine environment making them less visible to predators.There are 33-35 recognized species of dolphins and they are highly variable in size and coloration - with various markings, blazes, capes, spots, and color patterns in shades of grey, white, pink, and black.Dolphins and their closest relatives, porpoises, have some different physical characteristics that set them apart. Dolphins have conical teeth, while porpoise have spade-shaped teeth. Dolphins are also generally larger in size and have longer snouts.

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Via @OrcaAvengers @VidarOceans Infiltration Amphibian: #CaptivityFree #SavetheSharks #OrcaAvengers

Via @OrcaAvengers @VidarOceans Infiltration Amphibian: #CaptivityFree #SavetheSharks  #OrcaAvengers | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

Scooped by Vidar Oceanus Scoop.it! India Ministry Rejects Cruel Dolphin Parks. From www.peta.org - Today, 11:10 AM  Written by Michelle Kretzer | May 16, 2013 Dolphins don’t belong in tiny glass tanks.

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Protecting Mantas | #Manta Trust.

Protecting Mantas | #Manta Trust. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

Effective protection of an animal relies to a large extent upon how much we know about it. The recent separation of the genusManta into two distinct species allows scientists and governments to make more relevant management decisions based upon their differing lifestyle histories.

For example, whilst regional or national fishing bans might completely protect a population of resident reef manta rays, similar action in an area where the more transient oceanic mantas are seen might only provide a short-term refuge in one area of this species’ habitual range.

Effective protective measures for a species can therefore be applied at local, regional and/or international levels, and a number of laws, conventions and organisations exist to help facilitate such actions. This page details some of the legal measures already in place to help protect these rays throughout their range, as well as what more needs to be done…

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Setting baited drum lines to catch large #sharks one kilometre from shore, with vessels monitoring the drum lines.

Setting baited drum lines to catch large #sharks one kilometre from shore, with vessels monitoring the drum lines. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

New measures to combat WA shark risksTuesday, 10 December 2013 Government announces baiting and catching initiative for heavily used beachesFaster, more aggressive response after attacks with more vesselsLong-term coastal zones established with protection measures determined by local communities

Premier Colin Barnett and Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell today announced new measures to address public safety and help mitigate the risk sharks pose to water users.

 

These include: 

Setting baited drum lines to catch large sharks one kilometre from shore, with vessels monitoring the drum lines. These drum lines will be set along heavily used beaches in the metropolitan area and the South-West, and will be deployed 24 hours a day initially from January 2014 through until April 2014.
Boosting the response to shark attack by immediately setting drum lines, leaving them in place for longer and setting them in a wider area. More vessels will be available for faster response to an attack.
The long term establishment of specific Coastal Shark Management Zones along the coast, to be determined by geographical and environmental features and water use profiles (for example, swimming, surfing, diving).
Developing a ‘Tool Kit’ for communities in each zone in partnership with the State Government to mitigate the risks of a shark attack at local beaches. Measures could include education pamphlets, aerial and beach patrols, signage, providing beachside trauma packs and the deployment of drum lines.  Each plan will be reviewed annually. 
A community recovery policy to ensure support for communities affected by a shark attack. 

Mr Barnett said the new measures would improve public safety and build on the State Government’s strong approach to shark hazard management.

 

“These new initiatives come on top of a raft of measures the State Government already has in place to protect beachgoers, like increased aerial surveillance, beach patrols, shark tagging and a trial of a shark enclosure in the South-West,” the Premier said.

 

“We are aware of the risks sharks pose to our beach users and the Western Australian way of life and we are implementing strategies to reduce these risks.

 

“But whatever the State Government does to try to minimise the risk there are still no guarantees, it is very important for Western Australian ocean users to always be aware of the risks of entering the water and to take responsibility for themselves.”

 

Mr Buswell said the new strategy was a result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and should help Western Australian beachgoers make responsible decisions when using the water.

 

“Through our new response plan the State Government will become faster and more proactive in catching and removing sharks after an attack. Beachgoers should have more security when using the water,” he said.

 

“These measures are just another step in the State Government’s long term shark strategy which will include the establishment of Coastal Shark Management Zones.”

 

The State Government has consulted with the Federal Government about these measures.

 

“The preservation of human life is our number one priority and these measures are designed to do that, with minimum impact to the surrounding environment,” Mr Buswell said.

 

The Minister said the strategy would enable Western Australians to make responsible decisions about their water-use. 

 

      Fact File

Includes reduced response times to a fatal shark attack and monitored zonesWA waters will be divided into Coastal Management Zones and specific shark mitigation plan or ‘tool kits’ will be developed according to needsThe South-West and metropolitan regions will be priority regions for the initial risk assessmentThe WA Government has allocated more than $20million over four years to 2015-16 for shark hazard mitigation strategiesAny shark sightings should be reported to Water Police on 9442 8600Anyone wanting to receive alerts about shark sightings or detections can follow @SLSWA on Twitter or refer to the Surf Life Saving WA Facebook pageGeneral information on sharks is also available online via the Department of Fisheries’ shark information pages at the easy to remember web address of http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark

Premier’s office - 6552 5000

Fisheries Minister’s office - 6552 6400

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Waves of anger: Japan tsunami victim aid spent on whalers, officials and fighter pilots.

Waves of anger: Japan tsunami victim aid spent on whalers, officials and fighter pilots. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

A quarter of Japan’s tsunami relief fund has been spent on unrelated projects, including renovating a government office and subsiding whaling. The revelations have ignited outcry as more than 320,000 tsunami victims remain displaced.

The expenditure was identified after the publication of an independent government-backed audit into the allocation of the $150 billion relief fund, created after the earthquake and tsunami of March last year.

The fund intended not only to restore damaged cities, but to “reinvigorate Japan”, stimulating local economies into recover. Nevertheless, the relevance of some of the funded projects have been raising eyebrows.

Among the expenses listed are $30 million dollars to protect Japan’s yearly whale hunt from environmental activists, $380,000 to promote Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest free-standing broadcast tower, free training for fighter pilots and a subsidy for a contact-lens factory located nowhere near the site of the disaster-hit coast.

"Taxpayers accepted tax hikes because they thought the money would go to disaster victims and the disaster victims were grateful," said Kuniko Tanioka, who is a member of a group that studied the expenses in the Upper House of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

"But the funds have been used for projects they never imagined. It is a direct blow to the willpower of those who are trying to rebuild their lives.”

At first the report was largely ignored by the Japanese media, as clientelism – the allocation of budget money to those with close ties, often in exchange for political support, is not unusual in the country’s politics.

But anger rose, sparked by those most in need of help who feel like they’ve  been ignored.

“Exploiting the construction effort is treacherous to the first degree,” proclaimed a Tokyo Shimbun editorial.

 

Cities on the coastline remain disaster sites, with administrators and former inhabitants unsure they will ever be rebuilt. More than 200,000 are still living in temporary housing.

Victims were allocated around $40,000 per household to rebuild their homes. The money is not nearly sufficient to rebuild the houses, particularly as many victims also lost their jobs.

240 ports – often economic hubs for smaller Japanese towns – remain closed.

Across the disaster zone itself 60 percent of applications from businesses seeking help to re-open have been rejected by authorities due to insufficient funds and red tape. Businesses have to re-open first before they are given financial aid, and have to be judged as “essential” by a local administrative panel. 

Stunningly, not only has the money been misallocated, but half of the relief fund has not been given to anyone at all, due to a nominal lack of suitable applicants and procedural delays. On the one hand, the recovery is being blighted by the slowness of Tokyo’s bureaucrats to make centralized decisions to relieve troubled regions.  On the other, local authorities have little experience in managing such large-scale construction projects.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, whose DPJ party came to power in 2009 on promises of confronting long-standing corruption, was forced to defend the government in the Diet.

"We must listen sincerely to the voices calling for the utmost priority to be accorded to disaster area reconstruction,” said Noda, who was finance minister at the time of the disaster. He also promised to“narrow down” apparent unrelated spending, though he did not specify to what extent or on what criteria.

“The government has lost all public trust,” said Masako Mori, from the opposition Liberal Party.

"That's a fundamental characteristic of bureaucrats. It is the Diet that should check how money is used, but the Diet hasn't put any effort into it," Takayoshi Igarashi, a professor at Hosei University, told Japan Times.

Yoshimitsu Shiozaki, an academic specializing in urban planning at Kobe University, who has conducted his own survey of the spending, believes that little will be done to reverse the spending priorities.

"Legally speaking, there are no problems with these projects," Shiozaki told the Japan Times, noting that before signing off on huge subsidies, bureaucrats only had to prove that a company was in some way connected to the disaster area, even if it is through a single supplier.

He also pointed out that previous relief efforts in the country, such as the Kobe earthquake recovery in 1995, have also been marred by similar scandals.

"But this time the funds are being used in a more deceptive way," said Shiozaki.

In total Japan plans to spend $295 billion on disaster recovery over the next decade.

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Acid oceans harm more species | Climate News Network.

Acid oceans harm more species | Climate News Network. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it

The chemistry of the oceans is changing. And it isn’t just the corals and the baby oysters that are unhappy. It makes juvenile rockfish really anxious, and it upsets the digestion of sea urchins.

 

The pH (a measure of acidity – the lower the pH, the more acid the water) of the planet’s oceans is dropping rapidly, largely because the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are increasing. Since carbon dioxide dissolves in water to form carbonic acid, the seas are responding to global change.

 

The first and clearest victims are likely to be the corals, which are adapted to a specific value of pH in the oceans, but there have also been problems reported by oyster farmers.

 

Now Martin Tresguerres of the University of California, San Diego reports in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that at least one species of juvenile fish responds badly to the changes in ocean chemistry.

 

There is a natural aspect to ocean acidification – submarine volcanoes discharge carbon dioxide and turn the deep seas around them to a kind of fizzing champagne, and upwelling ocean currents can occasionally deliver a stressful level of lower pH sea water to blight fishing waters.

 

But Tresguerres reports that he and colleagues subjected young Californian rockfish to the kind of water chemistry predicted as atmospheric carbon levels rise, and then measured their behaviour in response to changes of light in the aquarium, and to an unfamiliar object in the tank.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Help put an end to #sharkfinning in New Zealand waters.

Help put an end to #sharkfinning in New Zealand waters. | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
On the 10th November the NZ Government released a proposal that would see shark finning made illegal within three years.
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Researchers discover massive freshwater reserves beneath the oceans

Researchers discover massive freshwater reserves beneath the oceans | Via @VidarOceans Protecting the Oceans | Scoop.it
The water has been found off Australia, China, North America and South Africa. (Massive freshwater reserves under oceans. We need a groundwater convention to protect them from corporate theft.
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