The Huffington Post Posted: 06-14-11 12:24 PM
“Demon Fish: Travels Through The Hidden World Of Sharks” is a new book that explores the way humans and cultures around the world interact with the ocean’s top predator.
Written by Juliet Eilperin, national environment report for The Washington Post, the book gives an up-close look at understanding both the mystery and power behind these creatures and the large imprint they’ve cemented in the human mind long before “Jaws” came on the scene.
“This is the shark book for the person who wants to understand both what sharks are, and what sharks mean. Bite into it,” author and president of Blue Ocean Institute Carl Safina says.
Check out some photos from “Demon Fish” below, and pick up a copy of the book to learn more.
Coral Reef Fact:
New Partnerships Needed to Ensure Future of Marine Environments: UN
On World Oceans Day, UN Environment Programme Launches Guide to Ecosystem-based Management
Nairobi, 8 June 2011 – Declines in marine and coastal ecosystems due to human activities such as overfishing and pollution could be reversed if organisations, communities and other stakeholders adopt a more integrated approach to managing coastal environments. Closer partnerships between different marine users – such as fishing communities, the tourism industry and conservationists – can also help coastal communities become better prepared for natural disasters and the impacts of global warming, such ocean acidification and changes in sea levels. Read the full article
To download a copy of Taking Steps Toward Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management: An Introductory Guide,please visit: http://www.unep.org/pdf/EBM_Manual_r15_Final.pdf
UNEP Regional Seas Programme: http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/
For more information, please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson / Head of Media on Tel. + 254 733 632755 or +41 79 596 57 37, e-mail: email@example.com
WASHINGTON, D.C — Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Europe:
Brussels, Belgium – “It is deeply disturbing that McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich will soon carry the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) eco-label at the fast food chain’s European locations. Filet-O-Fish sandwiches are made from a controversial fish, the New Zealand hoki — a species that we and many experts believe should not have been certified by the MSC to begin with.” Read the full article
For more info on the New Zealand Hoki and the Filet-O-fish check out:
From Deep Pacific, Ugly and Tasty, With a Catch By WILLIAM J. BROAD. New York Times. Published: September 9, 2009
Last Updated: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 07:47:00 +1000
Environmental lobby group Greenpeace has raised concerns that deep-seabed mining in the Pacific ocean may cause irreparable damage to the region’s marine ecosystems.
Exploratory licences have been granted for waters off Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Solomon Islands.
Seni Nabou, from Greenpeace Australia-Pacific, has told Pacific Beat the region needs to be prudent in the way marine resources are used.
“The Pacific ocean is considered – in terms of fisheries – not 100 percent pristine, but still healthy,” she said. Read the full article
Visit http://reefrelief.org/blog/ocean-friendly-practices/ for suggestions on things you can to do to help our oceans today and into the future.
The world’s oceans—which account for about 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface—are facing diverse challenges ranging from depleted fishery resources to the impacts of climate change, the deterioration of the marine environment, to issues of maritime safety and security, labour conditions for seafarers and the increasingly important issue of migration by sea.
(Dive Travel Business News – June 8, 2011) — Today is World Oceans Day – a time to celebrate our earth’s most beautiful blue resource, and to take a moment to consider how we are taking care of it. World Oceans Day, which had been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.
Why should we care about the ocean?
Water is life! The ocean brought life to this planet making us inextricably linked to the sea. It is the earth’s great climate regulator; It generates most of the air we breath; It cleans the water we drink; It helps to feed us; The ocean offers us a pharmacopoeia of potential life saving and life enhancing medicines; It is a source of recreation, exploration and inspiration.
The oceans are in trouble.
The health of marine life is a key indicator of the health of the ocean. The health of the ocean is critical to the very existence of life on our planet. Climate change has already been linked to the killing of coral reefs. Coupled with destructive fishing practices, there is a dramatic decline in many types of fish and sea life we depend on. The ocean is at the lowest point on the planet: What we dump into our kitchen sink or storm drain will eventually end up in the sea. All the waste that is not properly disposed of will end up in coastal waters, creating “dead zones” where sea life cannot survive. A priority is ensuring the safe disposal of human and chemical waste. Even fertilizer used in midwestern farmland will end up in the ocean, contaminating it. How we protect our earth and fresh water ways will ultimately protect the oceans that give us life.
Consider your carbon footprint.
The energy we consume and the carbon we emit is ending up in the atmosphere. Climate change is an inevitable result. Seventy-two percent of our planet is made up of water and this water acts as a huge carbon sink that absorbs carbon emissions. But it’s beyond its capacity and can no longer regulate our planet’s temperature as it once did. The result: the oceans are warming up. Global warming is the result. The warming of the oceans results in melting glacial ice, rising sea levels, heavy rain in some areas, and drought in others. It is causing the destruction of coral reefs.
According to the website Environment 360, “Almost half of all the carbon dioxide emitted since industrialization has been absorbed by the ocean. When carbon dioxide reacts with water, it forms carbonic acid, and releases more hydrogen ions into the sea, lowering pH and causing “acidification” of the ocean. Further, these hydrogen ions quickly bind with carbonate ions. This deprives animals like hard corals and certain mollusks and plankton of the raw material for their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. This may ultimately cause the world’s oceans to become corrosive to such animals, and coral reefs to dissolve.”
Pressure on the ocean for food.
Increased demand and overfishing are pushing fish populations to the limit. At the current rate, scientists say that all wild fish species will be endangered before 2050. According to the U.N., “approximately two-thirds of ocean species are overfished, and many types of ocean fish farming are highly damaging to coastal environments.” When consuming seafood, we must be aware of the sustainability issue and whether the fish is safe to eat, i.e. doesn’t contain mercury or other toxic chemicals that we’ve dumped into the sea. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program for a downloadable wallet-sized card indicating which fish are okay to eat and to find seafood recipes.
Reduce consumption of plastics.
A particular issue for oceans is the over-use of plastics: Our world’s oceans are ringed by coastal communities, and the plastic garbage created by these large population aggregations often ends up in the sea. The massive quantity of plastic waste we generate has caused huge gyres of plastic waste to form in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These floating vortexes of plastic waste are miles wide and 6 feet deep in places. We have huge garbage dumps floating on the surface of the ocean and nobody is cleaning them up. They are just getting bigger. As it floats on the ocean surface and breaks down in the sun, the plastic releases highly toxic chemicals into our water and atmosphere, affecting marine life and our drinking water. Mistaking it for food, marine life eat the plastic and die a slow, agonizing death. Recycling is no longer enough: we must significantly reduce the overall consumption of plastics to protect our world.
What can you do?
This WOD, wear blue clothing to raise awareness for ocean conservation. Let those around you know why you’re wearing blue and share two facts about why it’s important to protect our world oceans; or ways they can take personal action and help. Here are some tips on how we can protect our oceans:
- Using natural pest control to avoid runoff of chemicals;
- Buy organic food – it forces farmers to reconsider use of chemicals;
- Buy only sustainable seafood and locally grown food whenever possible;
- Reducing meat and fish consumption;
- Turn out the lights when you leave a room, and change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs;
- Recycle plastic whenever possible and reduce the consumption of plastics in general;
- Reduce energy use at home, get a home energy audit, buy EnergyStar appliances, unplug appliances when you are not using them, lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer;
- Commute wisely; Try biking, take public transportation regularly, seek carpooling partners, or consider telecommuting;
- Ride share, and plan your car errands to conserve energy;
- Use ocean-friendly i.e. “green” household cleaning methods and products;
- Connect by volunteering with a local watershed or ocean group;
- Buy less stuff!
Celebrate World Oceans Day.
The World Oceans Day 2011 & 2012 theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change. For more information, visit the World Oceans Day website at http://www.worldoceansday.org/
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Carbon Footprint Calculator
American’s create a whopping 50,000 pounds of carbon a year, that includes emissions from the home, car, air travel and everyday living. At Carbon Fund you can help fight climate change by calculating your footprint, and offsetting it.
GoZero Carbon Calculator
Estimates are that as much as 50% of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the last 50 years may be due to the loss of millions of acres of forests, farmland and natural landscapes. The Conservation Fund allows you to calculate and reduce your footprint while helping TCF with reforestation and restoration of forestland.
This tool from World Resources Institute allows you to calculate and monitor your carbon emissions progress over time.
This carbon offset organization provide three calculators: DriveNeutral, FlyNeutral and HomeNeutral helping you to reduce your car’s carbon footprint. For dive travel clients, you can use their FlyNeutral offset – your clients will receive Fly Neutral luggage tags that show they have offset their trip. Come back to the site for every trip booked.
Sustainable Seafood Choices
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch offers guidelines for selecting sustainable seafood.
Super Green List
Also check out the latest guide: Monterey Aquarium’s Super Green List offers suggestions on seafood that is low in toxins (good for you) and sustainable (good for the ocean).
Seafood Selector/Sushi Guide
Environmental Defense Fund offers printable pocket guides you can take to the grocery store or dining establishment.
Fact about US Seafood to help you make better choices.
1. Mind Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Energy Consumption
Reduce the effects of climate change on the ocean by leaving the car at home when you can and being conscious of your energy use at home and work. A few things you can do to get started today: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, take the stairs, and bundle up or use a fan to avoid oversetting your thermostat.
2. Make Safe, Sustainable Seafood Choices
Global fish populations are rapidly being depleted due to demand, loss of habitat, and unsustainable fishing practices. When shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by choosing seafood that is both healthful and sustainable.
3. Use Fewer Plastic Products
Plastics that end up as ocean debris contribute to habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals each year. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, store food in nondisposable containers, bring your own cloth tote or other reusable bag when shopping, and recycle whenever possible.
4. Help Take Care of the Beach
Whether you enjoy diving, surfing, or relaxing on the beach, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks and coral. Go even further by encouraging others to respect the marine environment or by participating in local beach cleanups.
5. Don’t Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life
Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.
6. Be an Ocean-Friendly Pet Owner
Read pet food labels and consider seafood sustainability when choosing a diet for your pet. Never flush cat litter, which can contain pathogens harmful to marine life. Avoid stocking your aquarium with wild-caught saltwater fish, and never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water, a practice that can introduce non-native species harmful to the existing ecosystem.
7. Support Organizations Working to Protect the Ocean
Many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find a national organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, join up with a local branch or group and get involved in projects close to home.
8. Influence Change in Your Community
Research the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Consider patronizing restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood, and speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on the menu or at the seafood counter.
9. Travel the Ocean Responsibly
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you. If you’re set on taking a cruise for your next vacation, do some research to find the most eco-friendly option.
10. Educate Yourself About Oceans and Marine Life
All life on Earth is connected to the ocean and its inhabitants. The more you learn about the issues facing this vital system, the more you’ll want to help ensure its health—then share that knowledge to educate and inspire others.
by David McGuire • June 8th, 2011
In April, people across the USA and the world celebrated the beauty of nature, our rivers and mountains, and wildlife. The original Earth Day was inspired by founder Gaylord Nelson, former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. In that era of protests against war and social Injustice, millions rallied across the US to the first Earth Day to demand change. Rivers burning, mountains clear-cut and vanishing species enraged our citizens and they gathered en masse across the nation and demanded change. This public demonstration of love for nature led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Read the full article