Monthly Archives: May 2013

West Coast Artist Finds Symbolism in Form & Movement of Orca Whales

By Courtney Mattison Every city Claire Brandt lived in as a child overlooked the water. When you grow up in the Pacific Northwest as she did, you come to recognize orca whales as a daily presence in the collective imagination, from indigenous art to the mainstream media. When young Brandt looked out over the water, she says, “I always wondered if the whales were there. They represented mystery, possibility, and awe.” It’s no surprise, then, that after years of working as a professional artist in San Francisco and Seattle following her 2005 MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, Brandt has turned to the orca as a muse for her work. Until around 2010, most of Brandt’s inspiration came from land-based animal and human subject matter, including her own body.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Hairy Squat Lobster

This incredibly beautiful little creature is a Hairy Squat Lobster (Lauriea siagiani.) It lives on Giant Barrel Sponges and is remarkably colored, with an intense pink body, purple spots, and bright yellow hairs that protrude in all directions. There are always more surprises to be discovered in the ocean! by Anna and Ned Deloach www.BlennyWatcher.com…
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First-Ever National Ranking Shows Most Coastal States Failing to Protect Oceans

Seattle WA – Today two leading marine science and conservation organizations, the Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue, issued the 1st-ever quantitative, scientifically rigorous national ranking of states’ protection of their ocean waters.  SeaStates: How Well Does Your State Protect Your Coastal Waters? shows that most states and territories are failing to safeguard our nation’s marine life, seafood and coasts. Oceans are crucial to our health and economy.  Coastal counties include only 5.71% of the area in the lower 48 states but generate 35.54% of the Gross Domestic Product.  Indeed, coastal counties generate $7,992 more GDP per person than inland and Great Lakes counties. “Despite so many threats to their health, states are failing to protect our ocean waters,” said Dr.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Larval Flounder

A tiny larval Flounder. Who would ever expect it to be so exquisite? A translucent body disguises a larval flounder to keep it safe from predators. It will lose this defense mechanism later in life. Flounder undergo several striking physical transformations during their lifetimes. Very young flounder swim upright and have an eye on each side of their face. As they age the fish begin to swim on their sides and one eye slowly migrates until both are on the body’s “top side.” Courtesy of Reddit.…
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Blue Mind 3 rocks Block Island this week!

The latest from Mission Blue partner, Wallace J. Nichols – Blue Mind 3 will be held on Block Island in just a few days on May 30! ~ Ed. Summer unofficially begins with Memorial Day weekend, and thoughts turn to warmer weather, longer days, and water. Some of our favorite places to chill out, vacation, and connect with friends and loved ones involve water: lakes, rivers, pools and oceans. A group of neuroscientists, oceanographers, artists, film makers, educators, poets, and explorers will gather on Block Island this week to consider the science behind the poetic question, “why do we love water?” Celine Cousteau’s grandfather famously said “we protect what we love.” Ms. Cousteau will be joined by Harvard Medical School’s Dr.…
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KAI Expeditions ~ Oasis Project

We’re proud to welcome our partners at KAI Marine with their first feature article.  KAI’s mission is to deliver scientific, technical and communication solutions for a sustainable use of marine resources. ~ Ed. KAI Expedition’s research vessel, the Luis Ginillo,  has arrived in Mahón, where a unique team of international scientists will conduct experiments for Fundación Biodiversidad’s  OASIS Project. During the first three weeks of April a research team from KAI Marine Services, Alnitak, NOAA, Hopkins Marine Station, Groupe de Tortues Marines de France, HYDRA Institute and National Geographic have been working in the southwest Mediterranean where loggerhead turtles aggregate to feed during their transoceanic life cycles. Loggerhead turtles born on the nesting beaches of the east coast of the US enter the Mediterranean following the course of the Gulf Stream to find ideal conditions for their first phase of life.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Bering Sea Canyons Hope Spot Exploration

From the 2012 Greenpeace Expedition, an exciting description of his experience exploring the Zhemchug and Pribilof Deep Canyons, from John Hocevar ~ Ed. If you’re a SCUBA diver, you’ve probably got a favorite wall dive. It’s hard to beat the feeling of moving slowly up a steep reef, with dense marine life above and below. I’ll always remember my first deep wall dive, on a visit to Curacao as a teenager in the 80s. My new favorite, though, involves a submarine rather than SCUBA. After a few dozen dives in Pribilof and Zhemchug Canyons, on the Bering Sea shelf break, I thought I had some idea of what to expect: gradual slope, soft sediment bottom, with coral and sponge density somewhere around 1 per square meter.…
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A Reaffirmation of Hope at the Seattle Aquarium

In a fantastic event last night at the Seattle Aquarium, Sylvia Earle and Greenpeace’s Phil Radford announced the Bering Sea Canyons as the official 19th Hope Spot. The event attracted a large turnout and impassioned speeches in defense of the new Hope Spot. Moreover, a bonafide airship was in play to promote the event! The Bering Sea isn’t just chilly…it’s also super cool: these 770,000 square miles of tempestuous waters off the coast of Alaska and Siberia are home to immense populations of fish, seabirds, marine mammals and ancient corals, as well as the Bering Sea Canyons, the largest and deepest submarine canyons in the world — larger than the Grand Canyon. This rich ecosystem has supported indigenous tribes for thousands of years and currently provides over half the seafood caught in the United States.…
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Protect the Bering Sea Canyons — The 19th Hope Spot!

Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. The Bering Sea is one such area of immense ecological importance upon which the healthy ocean of tomorrow depends. Watch below to learn more… Tonight, Greenpeace and Mission Blue, represented by Dr. Sylvia Earle and Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, are meeting concerned citizens at the Seattle Aquarium to discover, explore and take action to protect the Bering Sea Canyons.  This important event is putting a 19th Hope Spot — the Bering Sea — on the map. To this end, ocean conservationists are putting pressure on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to do what’s right and protect this critical ocean ecosystem. The science is clear; we can no longer fish as if the sea is inexhaustible; common sense must prevail now to protect healthy ocean ecosystems for the future.…
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Photo of the Day ~ Bering Sea Hope Spot: Cold Water Corals

Bright red swiftia coral found during a Greenpeace Expedition to the Bering Sea’s Zhemchug Canyon, in Mission Blue’s new Hope Spot! Much of the expedition was focused on studying the abundance and diversity of deep-sea coral within the canyons. The expedition revealed “significant densities of coral, higher than most places in the world,” said Robert J. Miller, a biologist conducting research for the Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara. Photo: Todd Warshaw/Greenpeace…
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