Monthly Archives: September 2012

Securing the Future for Sawfishes

There was a time when so many sawfishes were caught in areas of Pakistan that people made fences with the rostrums, the saw-like beak of the sawfish. Today, however, some people in the region might catch a sawfish just once or twice a year. Earlier this month at the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group took the opportunity to promote sawfish conservation and use networking opportunities to connect and build awareness with people who may be able to help stop sawfishes disappearing from our waters forever. One person had not even realized that sawfishes were a species present in her country and that she could help to protect them – a new supporter for sawfish conservation!…
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Bob Ballard Virtually Explores in Google’s Liquid Galaxy

Iconic explorer and visionary oceanographer, Robert (Bob) Ballard, stepped inside Google’s liquid galaxy at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival to join a Google+ Hangout with others located across the globe.  In the liquid galaxy, Ballard took viewers on a virtual tour. In the galaxy, Ballard explored some of his most famed dive sites, zoomed-in on the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center, and even traveled to his own house. To hear Ballard talk about his discovery of the Titanic, meet his horse and more watch the hangout below.…
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Google Street View Goes Underwater

By Mera McGrew Today, Google Street View splashes into the world’s ocean allowing people to dive in and explore coral reefs from behind their computer screens, tablets and smartphones. In the same way you have long been able to virtually walk around a busy New York City block using Street View, you can now also splash underwater and “swim” through a coral reef off the coast of Australia. “With Street View in Google Maps we have gone to seven continents, including Antarctica where you can go into Scott’s Hut, you can go down the Amazon River and to the Arctic,” the manager of Google Ocean, Jenifer Foulkes, told Mission Blue.  “And now we are taking you underwater to 6 locations in the world with Caitlin Seaview Survey.” The Catlin Seaview Survey is a partnership between the global insurance company Catlin Group Limited and the nonprofit Underwater Earth.…
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Live Underwater Hangout at the Launch of Google’s Underwater Street View

By Mera McGrew Today, millions around the world were able to dive into the ocean and explore the Great Barrier Reef  without even getting wet. In a Google+ Hangout live from the launch of Google’s Underwater Street View, a packed room in Monterey California video chatted with James Cook University marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, was underwater on a reef off the coast of Australia. He swam through the darkened reef in the middle of the night, stopping to show viewers a giant clam and the feeding mechanisms of a starfish. As a juvenile green sea turtle swam by, the audience watching live in Monterey gasped and applauded loudly. Fitzpatrick talked about green turtle nesting sites located near where he was diving before signing off.…
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The Former Professional Rugby Player Behind the Cook Islands Marine Park

Earlier this month the Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna officially launched a marine park that will cover half of the islands exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recently, Kevin Iro, a former professional rugby player who first came up with the idea for this park sat down with Molly Bergen to discuss how the idea for the Marine Park came about, his own experience in sports, and his hopes for the park and the Cook Islands going forward. Q: How did your idea for the Cook Islands Marine Park come about? A: I first came up with the concept in 2009 while I was on the board for Cook Islands Tourism; I thought our massive EEZ was a resource that was seriously under-utilized.…
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Featured Underwater Comic Strip

Sherman’s Lagoon is a syndicated daily comic strip set underwater in a cartoon lagoon. It features a dimwitted great white shark named Sherman and his sea turtle sidekick named Fillmore. Related features: Featured Underwater Comic Strip (1) 5 Questions with Cartoonist Jim Toomey…
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Shell Agrees Not to Drill For Oil in the Arctic in 2012

By Andrew Hartsig This week, Shell admitted what we’ve known all along: the company is just not ready to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. This past weekend, a failed test of Shell’s oil spill containment system resulted in damage to the dome designed to contain oil in the event of a spill. In light of the damage to the containment dome, Shell announced that it was abandoning its plans to drill into oil-bearing layers in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The company said its drilling operations in the Arctic Ocean this summer would be limited to “top holes”—initial sections of wells that do not penetrate into known oil-bearing layers. According to one media report, trouble with the containment dome started when one of the dome’s winches failed to operate correctly.…
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What Is Shark Finning and Why Aren’t the Current EU Regulations Good Enough?

Tomorrow, September 19th, European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee meets in Belgium to vote on a measure that would close major loopholes in the European Union’s existing shark-finning ban. To find out what finning is, why the current regulation isn’t good enough and why scientists, conservationists and an increasing number of countries in the EU and beyond support a policy of ‘fins attached” watch the short video below.…
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Sharks: The True Coastguards of Our Planet

By Mera McGrew In a recently released four minute video, biologist Austin Gallagher takes viewers on a journey underwater to get up close and personal with sharks. With incredible images collected over three years from around the globe and through the evolution of his personal relationship with the ocean, Gallagher introduces the rest of us to the true coastguards of our planet — sharks. “When you are so moved by something and truly love it, you want to tell the world,” Gallagher explained when asked what inspired him to make the film. For many, sharks are associated with fear and Gallagher is on a mission to turn that fear into fascination. With local and global pressures threatening shark populations, Gallagher hopes to highlight the beauty, inquisitiveness and importance of sharks.…
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Two Minutes on Oceans: Marine Litter

Recently, famed cartoonist Jim Toomey teamed up with the United Nations Environment Program to create a series of six two-minute videos intended to raise awareness of the importance of the world’s ocean and the coastal environment. Today, the second video in the series was released (see below). The video highlights marine litter and discusses the hard facts about trash in our oceans. From discarded fishing gear to plastics bags to cigarette butts, a growing tide of marine litter is harming our oceans and beaches worldwide. Using animation and humor, the video provides information about the growing problem of marine litter and offers simple actions that everyone can take to help make a difference.   “As we strive to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans, it is vital that we find different and unique methods of communicating scientific information to the public in a fun and engaging manner,” said the Director of UNEP RONA, Amy Fraenkel.…
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