Losing Nemo – Empty Oceans by 2048?

Blackfish films gives us sometime to think about here:

You can see the video in fullscreen HD directly in vimeo here. I wanted to post this a couple of months ago, but I wanted to post it after all my red sea schooling fish images so you can see what we’ll be losing. Unfortunately, it somehow got left floating about in draft form!

Most people are aware that the oceans aren’t doing so well, but what is going on exactly? Overfishing is one of the biggest problems our planet currently faces and I for one am very glad to have given up seafood but you don’t have to go that far… if you want to get involved, The Black Fish has a page with volunteering opportunities.

Shark week 2013

As you probably know its been #SharkWeek this week. Shark week was started on the discovery channel in the late ‘80s as a way to educate people about sharks with a weeklong schedule dedicated to them. The only bit of shark week I caught was a blatant fear mongering piece called great white gauntlet, where abelone divers have to face the danger of diving with great whites without a cage. Well so? They are obviously greedy idiots! Abelone are edible sea snails which fetch a load of cash. Great white sharks are wild animals and need to be respected as such. I wouldn’t go sniffing around a hungry lion or a tiger and expect him not to want to eat me. Any wild animal would so why blame the sharks? Its very sad that the discovery channel isnt taken more oppertnity with shark week to raise awareness of for the plight of sharks rather than the “plight” of greedy idiots.

Sharks in the media are often only portrayed as killing machines and whilst I have a healthy respect for my safety whilst I’m in the water with them, mankind is the aggressor here, we kill millions of sharks per year with the barbaric practice of shark fining (hacking off the fins of sharks and tossing the rest back into the sea to slowly starve to death or drown). Sharks don’t produce many young and the demand for shark fin soup has driven many species to the brink of extinction (as an aside, the same folks who like to eat shark fin soup are usually the same folks who like Abelone). As a tribute to sharks worldwide I give you my list of sharky link. If you have any good ones please add them in the comments below.

http://www.sharkdefenders.com/
http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/
http://www.sharktrust.org/
http://www.sharkalliance.org/


I choose not the eat seafood but even if you don’t want to go that far why not spread the word and take the pledge?

While you’re at it check out my sustainable seafood guide at the bottom of my sidebar on the right ->

This is a whaleshark from Mexico – they only eat plankton:

This is a woebegone (carpet shark) in Indonesia.

this is the closest I’ve ever come to a hammerhead shark (its plastic :() I’d love to see them in the wild, hopefully I’ll still be able too one day.

World Ocean Day – Celebrate while we still can

So here’s a sobering thought – In 40 Years We Could Face An Ocean Without Fish.  Go check out that link and see if you still want to order fish for lunch today :( In fact I’ve seen this decline myself in the lessening aggregations of Snapper in the Red Sea each year.

The theme for this year’s world ocean day is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.
If we can get young people into preserving the ocean now then there might be some life left in it for their children to enjoy… otherwise there will only be the photos we can take today and the sour fishy aftertaste of extinction. Please take a moment today to check out these links and see how you can help – even if it’s only be spreading the word. World Ocean Day – “Wear Blue, Tell Two”. Hopefully this blog post will reach more than two :)

A while back I put together a list of sustainable seafood guides. They are displayed below in my sidebar but here again for convenience:

Here’s a few of my pictures to celebrate the beauty and life we still have for now:

Please keep help our oceans from turning into this:

Macro Monday – Pygmy Seahorse Safety

It’s been a while since my last Macro Monday so I thought I’d combine it with a nice large soapbox from which to make you aware of the danger that divers (and photographers especially) pose to pygmy seahorses. Pygmy seahorses don’t deal with stress very well (who does) and by not very well I mean it can be fatal to them. So when we say that bright flashlights and strobes stress them you can see how this would be a very bad thing.

Dr. Richard Smith has published a recommended code of conduct to be followed when interacting with Pygmy seahorses. Richard’s PhD thesis was all about them so his guidelines are based on hundreds of hours of observing them and also watching the interactions between seahorses and humans. The idea behind the code is that it will be something that can be: “printed, emailed and talked about as much as possible.”

So please head over to his site and download the pdf, take it with you when you dive and show your dive guides! He even has it in a few different languages. They are simply adorable little creatures and they need our protection so spread the word….

PhotoFriday – ‘Many’ (but not for long)

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Many’

Click image to go to see alternate sizes (looks better larger).

This weeks theme is “Many” which makes me think of schooling fish. It is truly awe inspiring to see a whole school of huge schooling fish especially when they swarm past you! One of the best places to see this natural spectacle is (or should I say was) Ras Mohammad National Park in Sinai, Egypt where every year in the summer all the fish get together in great schools for a mass sporning. You’ll have to be quick if you want to see it for youself though, you will not be able to see this for much longer. Foolish & irresponsible politicians in Sinai have once again allowed fishing in this amazing area. The fish will be wiped out in a small number of years, the tourist trade in that area will fall away and it will be all their own fault. Obviously anyone who has any moral or environmental sense is outraged.

EDIT: I’ve just found out that they overtuned this and fishing is now banned again in this area due to pressure from tourism companies and environmentalists! YAY – well done everyone.

As well as schools of snapper I’ve also seen schooling unicorn fish and batfish.

 

If you want to see more of my underwater photos from the Red sea, Egypt then check out other photos in my Red Sea 2009 Gallery and Red Sea 2010 Gallery..

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Many’ here.

Earth Day – Florida Manatees


To celebrate Earth Day today I’d like to introduce to to some Florida Manatees. The are an endangered species that die out in winter when it gets too cold.

Some sanctuaries have been set up in Crystal River where it is possible for you to go and interact with them (as long as you don’t harass or stress them). Once you see them in person its impossible not to love them! They vie with each other for your attention as long as you give them a good tickle. In fact I did more scratching of bellies than I did taking photographs which should tell you how compelling they are :)

You can find out some facts about Manatees here and how to get involved with saving them here.

I haven’t finished processing all my manatee photos from our trip yet be when I do I’ll do another log post with more photos so stay tuned and thanks for looking.