Category Archives: Aquatic life

World Oceans Day 2015 ~ Must See Videos

ocean dayThe following article, “4 Must-See Videos on World Oceans Day” was posted yesterday on EcoWatch 
The PEW Charitable Trusts | June 8, 2015

The ocean covers nearly three-fourths of the globe and is home to nearly half of the world’s known species—with countless yet to be discovered. It helps support more than 250 million people who depend directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihoods. Still, human activities increasingly threaten its health. Although 72 percent of the world is covered by the ocean, less than 2 percent of these waters are fully protected.

Global Ocean Legacy, a project of Pew and its partners, works with local communities, governments, and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments. These efforts have helped double the amount of protected marine habitat worldwide over the last nine years. That includes two recent achievements: expansion of the U.S. Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in September 2014 and the British government’s announcement in March 2015 that it will create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

Research shows that large, fully protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and protecting overall ocean health. To commemorate World Oceans Day on June 8, we invite you to watch four videos that highlight why fully protected marine reserves are critical to safeguarding these waters and the broader environment.


Caring for the environment has long been an important element of Palau’s culture. For centuries, chiefs have acted to protect these Pacific waters through the traditional “bul,” a moratorium on catching key species or fishing on reefs that provide critical habitat. Commonly referred to as “one of the seven underwater wonders of the world,” Palau’s ecosystems contain remarkable biodiversity, including more than 1,300 species of fish, more than 700 species of hard and soft coral, seven of the world’s nine types of giant clam, and non-stinging jellyfish. Pew was invited by Palau’s president to help create a large fully protected marine reserve in the island nation’s exclusive economic zone.


Located in the southeastern Pacific nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) from mainland Chile, Easter Island has a rich cultural and environmental heritage. The island’s monumental sculpted heads have stood sentinel over this natural wonder, known as Rapa Nui in local Polynesian language, for centuries. Ancient Polynesians traveled through Easter Island’s waters for thousands of years using only the stars and the ocean for navigation. While largely unexplored, these seas are known to contain geological hot spots and areas of rare biodiversity that sustain highly migratory fish species. They also are known for ancient seamounts, 8.4 million to 13.1 million years old. Pew is working with the Rapa Nui community and the Chilean government to protect these ecologically important waters.


In March 2015, the British government announced its commitment to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands. A small U.K. overseas territory in the South Pacific, Pitcairn has one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world. Within these waters lies one of the best-preserved ecosystems, a complex community of hard and soft corals that is home to hundreds of species of fish, including two found nowhere else on Earth. Pew, on behalf of the Global Ocean Legacy campaign partners, is working with the British government and the Pitcairn Island community to implement the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve to safeguard this important habitat for future generations.


The Kermadec region, a remote area between New Zealand’s North Island and Tonga, includes some of the most geologically active and biologically unusual features on Earth. Extending in places to a depth of more than 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), the Kermadec-Tonga Trench is the deepest in the Southern Hemisphere, five times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The waters are teeming with birds, whales, dolphins, fish, turtles, and many unique sea creatures, some that exist only there. The area provides important habitat for deep-diving mammals such as sperm whales. Half of the known beaked whales—at least 10 species—are thought to inhabit these waters, perhaps the world’s richest habitat for these rare and elusive animals.

http://ecowatch.com/2015/06/08/videos-world-oceans-day/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=bbecb54128-Top_News_6_8_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-bbecb54128-85936497

Tragic! Ocean choking on 8 million metric tons plastic per year

 

Episode 6 Ocean Requiem, uploaded on Jun 30, 2009.  This is a rather slow moving video but the end is very touching. This is a good relaxing video with a message so enjoy and visit seashephard.org to see how you can help. 

February 13, 2015
Plastic in oceanPromo image Lindsay Robinson/University of Georgia
As Maggie recently wrote about, there’s a lot of plastic crap in Earth’s oceans; The latest estimate was that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our seas, weighing over 250,000 tons. That’s about 700 pieces of plastic for every human on earth.

Image result for Jenna Jambeck university of GeorgiaBut a new study paints an even more alarming picture of the situation. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues at the University of Georgia found that an incredibly large amount of plastic waste is mismanaged by the populations living in coastal area, and that even a conservative estimate of how much ends up in the sea puts adds up to between 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic. Per year. (8 million is the mid-point of the estimate).

Part of the problem is that some of the countries with the largest coastal populations – mostly in Asia – are also developing nations with inadequate infrastructure to deal with all the waste that they generate.

Here one of the authors of the study explains the methodology behind the numbers and also gives a warning about the future if we don’t clean up our act on waste management:

Image result for From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plasticOur methods for this estimate were to look at per person waste generation rates in 2010 from 192 countries with a coastline in the world. Because people’s activities nearest the coast are responsible for most of the plastic going into the water, we limited our analysis to a 50km strip of the coastline. From there, we looked at what percent of that waste is plastic, and what percentage of THAT is mismanaged waste (which means litter or when waste is not captured and dumped on the land). From there we had three scenarios of input into the ocean: low, mid and high. Our 8 million metric ton estimate is that mid-range scenario. 8 million metric tons of plastic is equal to 5 bags filled with plastic going into the ocean along every foot of coastline in the world. That… is HUGE.

And it can get worse. If we assume a business as usual projection with growing populations, increasing plastic consumption and increased waste generation, by 2025, this number doubles – we may be adding 17.5 million metric tons of plastic per year. If that happens, then our cumulative input over time from 2010 to 2025 is projected to be 155 million metric tons.

The solutions to this plastic pollution problem are known, we just need to actually do it. We need to cut back on plastic production in the first place, so there’s less of it in the system. Then whatever is left needs to all be captured and managed properly. This requires not only better infrastructure (especially in poorer areas of the world), but also social and cultural changes. People need to be educated on what needs to be done with their trash in general, and plastic specifically.

 

Friday’s ‘Aw… and Wow’ Factor ~ Amazing!

PENGUIN NURSERIES

The following article, “Hey, I think that’s our kid, 3,233rd from the left: Stunning pictures of island where penguins have created the world’s largest crèche” by Emily Allen, was updated 2 June 2011, on http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

I thought you might also enjoy this great Youtube video, “King penguins – Attenborough: LIfe in the Freezer” – BBC, uploaded Mar. 7, 2012. In a fantastic clip from Attenborough’s 1993 series ‘Life in the Freezer’, Sir David demonstrates how inquistive baby penguins are. A great glimpse into the life of king penguins and their parental instincts.

These stunning aerial images of a King Penguin colony in South Georgia show just how extraordinary penguin parenting really is.
In what looks to be the world’s largest crèche, thousands of King Penguins instinctively herd their recently born young into giant huddles to stop them freezing to death.
Parental instinct takes over in the inhospitable climate of the South Atlantic and the chicks with their long, brown, downy coats are made to crowd together to retain their body warmth in the equivalent of bird crèches – visible as brown swathes on our photo.
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Birds of a feather: Thanks to these stunning aerial images we can see penguin parenting in action. The brown swathes are the young penguins herded together.

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P-p-p-peckish? A King Penguin feeds its baby in the colony in South Georgia.

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The young brown penguins are clearly visible in their huddles.

IMAGE4Meanwhile their extraordinary parents waddle down to the shore to bring back dinner for their offspring. The chicks, which take between 10 to 13 months to raise – cannot regulate their body temperature and the parents care for them round the clock for the first three weeks.

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Extraordinary patterns emerge as the brown baby penguins are herded into crèches.

The penguins look after their young around the clock for the first three weeks. They then put the chicks in one of the crèches, returning every two or three days with food. 

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A King Penguin protects a female from another male as the sun sets.

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South Georgia is a British territory close to the Falkland Islands and is one of the main breeding colonies for the birds.

IMAGE9The King Penguin is the second largest species of penguin, weighing up to 35 lbs. The Emperor penguins are the largest. They eat small fish – mainly lantern fish, and squid and repeatedly dive to more than 100 metres to find lunch. A full penguin breeding cycle lasts more than a year and pairs generally breed twice every three years.
There are an estimated 2.23 million pairs of King Penguins with numbers increasing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1393379/King-Penguin-colony-South-Georgia-Stunning-pictures-worlds-largest-cr-che.html#ixzz2qaj35Ki1

Devastating effect on Canada’s lakes caused by acid rain

BLAME IT ON THE RAINThe following article, “Blame it on the Rain” appeared in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Watercanada magazine, written by Rebecca Taggart.

Acid rain leaves its mark in Canada’s freshwater lakes:

Calcium deficiency is commonly  considered an ailment of the elderly. However, many of Canada’s freshwater lakes are now being diagnosed with a similar condition.
Calcium levels in many of Canada’s freshwater lakes are dropping. Just as it’s necessary for a healthy human body, calcium is also essential for supporting life in aquatic ecosystems. Environment Canada scientists are involved in collaborative research that sheds light on a pattern of calcium loss in our small lakes and wetlands. For almost 30 years, samples were collected from lakes across southeastern Canada to monitor chemical levels in ecosystems sensitive to acid rain. In an assessment of chemical changes from 770 Ontario lakes, researchers noticed a troubling pattern of declining calcium.

MAKING A RECOVERY:  When rain falls on the land or drainage basin surrounding a lake, it washes a small amount of calcium from the soil and drains it into the lake. This natural process has occurred over thousands of years, and accounts for most of the calcium found in lakes.
Acid rain speeds up this process by washing calcium from the soil and into lakes at a much faster rate than regular rain.
BLAME IT ON THE RAIN
Acid rain also increases the acidity of lake waters, which can negatively affect the aquatic species that rely on the lake to survive. Acid rain peaked during the 1970s and 1980s because of increased urban and industrial development throughout eastern North America. Since then, aggressive environmental policies have reduced the harmful emissions that cause acid rain, and have succeeded in reducing its occurrence.

However, those decades of faster calcium leaching due to acid rain have depleted the natural stock of calcium found in the soil of land in lake drainage basins. Now that we are seeing less acid rain, calcium concentrations in some lakes are declining, perhaps to levels that are lower than those before acid rain became a problem.
This means that there may not be enough calcium available for some aquatic species to survive in these lakes. Low calcium levels may also slow the biological recovery of lakes from the higher acidity levels that were also caused by acid rain.
GETTING TO THE CORE OF OUR LAKES: To demonstrate the effects of this problem, research scientists studied Daphnia, a crustacean that lab studies have shown is strongly dependent on sufficient calcium concentrations in lakes.
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Researchers conducted a paleolimnological survey, which involves using a coring device to remove a sample of the lake’s sediment floor. Lying within these sediments are remains of plants and animals that have been preserved over time.

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Based on an analysis of lake sediment cores, scientists found that Daphnia began to decline in the 1970s, showing a strong link with measured declines in lake calcium levels.
Declines in Daphnia and other calcium rich foods have the potential to threaten many other species. Daphnia graze on algae, which regulates their presence in a lake. This affects other animals in the food chain such as fish and birds.

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The results of this research teach an important lesson about the role that each creature plays in an ecosystem. Small lakes and wetlands provide important habitat for many species. The individual roles these species play in our ecosystems demonstrate the interconnectedness of all life forms and illustrate the potential for habitat pollution and other impacts to have complex consequences for ecosystems. WC Rebecca Taggart is with Environment Canada.

Here’s a link to a related and more in-depth article, “Acid rain legacy hurting lakes”
ONTARIO'S PLASTIC LAKE
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2008/11/28/acid_rain_legacy_hurting_lakes.html

Tall Tales in Curacao ~ love dolphins!!!

CURACAO DOLPHINS

The Youtube video, “Curacao Sea Aquarium Park”, published on May 18, 2012 is described as follows: ‘Plan a Curacao Sea Aquarium Park vacation for the entire family. Come and enjoy the daily tours at the aquarium with the sea lion show, get a chance to feed the sharks or just enjoy the exciting dolphin show. For the thrill seekers we have the submarine, Curasub, going to 1,000ft deep or interact with a dolphin up close at Dolphin Academy. And the end of the day you can stay in one of the rooms of the boutique hotel, the Dolphin Suites hotel, which is completely adapted to guests with special needs.’

With many thanks and much admiration, the following is a ‘reblog’ , dated July 22, 2013, from my very favorite blogger, Lesley Carter, of Bucket List Publications.

Tall Tales in Curacao.

I would love to be able to swim with dolphins ~ a lifelong dream of mine, so this trip has to go to the top of my bucket list ~ especially if it can be in this Curacao paradise.

JELLYFISH LAKE ~ PAPUA ~ DELIGHTFUL PARADISE!

JELLYFISH LAKE, PALAU
An enchanting and mesmerizing paradise exists in Palau – judged to be the #1 underwater wonder of the world.

CORAL FISHPalau’s waters host as many as 600 types of coral and 1500 species of  fish.

The following excerpt is from MNN – ‘Where the jellies roam’ (link at end of blog).
JELLYFISH LAKE
Photo: Helen Pippard/IUCNWeb/Flickr
Nestled within a lush forest on the Micronesian island of Eil Malk is one of the world’s most remarkable snorkeling destinations: Jellyfish Lake. The freshwater diving spot, located in Palau’s Rock Islands, is named quite literally for the millions of jellyfish that spend their days bobbing back and forth across the lake’s length.
JELLYFISH STINGSWhile many cnidarians are known for their lethal stings, the two species that live in this lake — MOON JELLYFISHthe moon jellyfish and the golden jellyfish — are harmless, making them perfect swimming companions. Protective stingers were rendered pointless after the gelatinous, glass-like creatures evolved in a closed environment lacking in predators …

‘Diving in Jellyfish Lake’, published on Apr 18, 2013,  Welcome to Jellyfish Lake!  Population: millions!  It’s about as unique as a dive location can get … and our crew can safely swim amongst its cnidarian residents since their stings are harmless to humans.  Time for a little dive in jellyfish soup!

‘Jellyfish Lake’, uploaded on May 8, 2006 – Trip to visit a million stingerless Jelly fish at Jelly fish Lake Palau

link to mnn.com article

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/blogs/jellyfish-lake-will-stun-you-no-stingers-involved

LISTEN TO YOUR (PENGUIN) HEART ~ HOW PRECIOUS!!!

EMPEROR PENGUINSPHOTOPAD

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART ~ Mike Rowland, Film by Ruedi & Priska Abbühl Uploaded on Jan 29, 2011

Credit for this beautiful Emperor Penguin film goes to Ruedi & Priska Abbühl… And the Music … All glory goes to composer Mike Rowland from the album “My Elfin Friends,” who is currently compiling a book about the power of healing through music…I have the impression that to penguins, man is a different kind of penguin, unpredictable, occasionally violent, but tolerable company when he sits still and admires Nature and leaves it as he found it. ~Aetopus/AC

ANTARCTICA GLOBE FUZZY BORDER WHERE PENGUINS LIVE: Penguins do not live in the Arctic. They live on the shores of Antarctica and they also live in the south of Australia, New Zealand, America & Africa. The most northerly place that penguins live is on the Galapagos Islands which is near Ecuador in South America. Even though there is ice in Canada and the Arctic, penguins don’t live there or in the northern half of the world.

PENGUIN LIFE CYCLE LARGE IMAGENo other animal other than penguins can draw attention to the environmental damaged caused by oil and gas drilling (fracking and mountaintop removal), my reason for ending this video with the message “NO TO ARCTIC DRILLING!” ~Aetopus/AC
Please see my previous blog, “Fracking Hell ~ A Catastrophe!”                    

Here is a great YouTube video, “Birth and March of Emperor Penguins“, from Nature’s Great Events – In the coldest part of the planet, Emperor Penguins breed and give birth to their young, only to begin a great march toward the coast.

Links:
– PlanetSave: http://www.planetsave.com/
GreenpeaceUSA: http://www.youtube.com/greenpeaceusa

– Mike Rowland website: http://www.mikerowland.co.uk/
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mik…
Ambient Classical Mike and Jana Rowland: http://www.ambientclassical.com/

VIDEO ICONCROPPED

FATHOMS DEEP!!! ~ THE COUSTEAU LEGACY LIVES ON

FATHOMS DEEP ~ Protecting the Seafloor

OCEAN MYSTERIES

The future is in the hands of those who explore… and from all the beauty they discover while crossing perpetually receding frontiers, they develop for nature and humankind an infinite love.” ~ Jacques Cousteau

We have a great opportunity to watch an incredible video created by Alexandra CousteauYouTube Sep 13, 2012. I hope you  find this to be as educational and entertaining as I did.

In 2010 and 2011 Oceana partnered with SeaLife Conservation and their eco-research sailboat, the Derek M. Baylis, and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary to explore and document Monterey Bay and other incredible West Coast ocean habitats with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and camera  ~ “FATHOMS DEEP – Protecting the Seafloor”, narrated by Alexandra Cousteau.

“Mankind has had an affinity for the ocean since our earliest beginnings. Near or far, the ocean draws us in. The longer you stare at the ocean, the more you take in its wonder. The deeper you go, the more you appreciate its complexity.  Landing on the soft substrata of the sea floor is like arriving on another planet. It appears flat and barren, but in fact, it is teeming with life.”

ALEXANDRA COUSTEAUWikipedia web site has a lengthy bio on Alexandra Phillipe  Cousteau, the granddaughter of world famous French explorer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau: “A member of the third generation of the Cousteau family to devote their lives to exploring and explaining the natural world, Cousteau first went on expedition with her father, Philippe Cousteau, when she was four months old, and learned to scuba dive with her grandfather, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, when she was seven. She grew up traveling the globe, developed a passion for adventure and learned firsthand the value of conserving the natural world. Of her father and grandfather, Cousteau says, “The best example they gave me was the importance of living a life of consequence, value, and meaning. I honor their memories by creating a legacy of my own in speaking out for the preservation of our blue planet and all its waters.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Cousteau

Learn more about the expedition and adventure @ oceana.org

HOW AWESOME IS THIS?! SEADRAGONS PART 1

Part 1 of this blog is about the Weedy Seadragons ~
“Life – Weedy seadragons dance into the night” – BBC One

Uploaded by BBC on Nov 3, 2009

About the programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/life
These two could teach Strictly Come Dancing a thing or two. Named for their uncanny resemblance to the plant life around them, a male weedy seadragon seduces a female with some very fancy fin work. Two months later, however, the male is the one whos left carrying the eggs.

Living off the coast of south Australia, weedy seadragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) are the only known species along with sea horses and pipefish – where the male carries the eggs. Although the eggs start out in the female, she lays about 120 of them onto the tail of the male where they are then fertilized and develop until they hatch.

Feeding on plankton, larval fishes and small shrimp-like crustaceans, seadragons resemble swaying seaweed making them difficult to find in their natural habitats, even though they can grow to about 46 cm in length.

YouTube video, “Weedy Sea Dragons, uploaded by on Feb 3, 2007 ~ Weedy sea dragons near Hobart, Tasmania, filmed mostly on a single dive in January 2007.

YouTube video, “Botany Bay Watch – Weedy Seadragon Project Aware Survey Trip”, uploaded by on Aug 29, 2009 ~  Training Dive Botany Bay – The Steps August 29th 2009 Volunteer Training Course, www.botanybaywatch.com.au,


In this YouTube video, “Weedy Sea Dragon,  Uploaded by on Dec 23, 2008, you can get an up close and personal perspective of these exotic creatures.The weird and wonderful weedy seadragon. Filmed at Jervis bay, NSW, Australia 1986. You can see at the end of the video how well camouflaged the weedy seadragon is, which makes it difficult to find them.

MALE WEEDY SEADRAGON HAS BABIES! ~ Published on Aug 3, 2012 by MontereyBayAquarium ~ In a first at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a male weedy seadragon has had a brood of more than 80 babies. Like their seahorse cousins, it’s the male sea dragons that carry and hatch the babies. We’re only the fifth aquarium in the U.S. to breed “weedies.”

My next blog will feature the “LEAFY” Seadragons
~ just as awesome!!!
 

INCREDIBLE!!! ~ LIVE BIRTH OF THREE STINGRAYS

STING RAYS

AWESOME LIVE BIRTH VIDEO !!!

N.B. ~ This is a follow-up to my blog, “Magical Place ~ Stingray City in Grand Cayman“, posted December 13, 2012. 

I’m reposting the 2nd half of my blog because I feel that some may have missed this amazing event because:  1) it wasn’t mentioned in the title and; 2)it wasn’t the foremost part of the blog.  I hope you find this as amazing as I did.

If you’re interested in seeing a stingray give birth on a dock, watch the following YouTube video, “Stingray Gives Birth On Land After Being Caught By Fishman posted by 718DJNOBODY

One comment posted about this video – ” People! Watch the whole video. He does put them back in the water. I am so glad my kids could see a stingray give birth and then watch as the guy carefully helped them get back in the water. Thank you for video taping this, but also for responsibly putting them back in the water.”