WORLD OCEANS DAY!

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Yesterday, June 8th, marked the 20th anniversary of World Oceans Day! Unfortunately I was super busy with work all week, so I wasn’t able to write a blog post yesterday- but now I have all the time in the world this morning so here  we go:

World Oceans Day was created in 1992- it’s meant to call attention to ocean pollution and combating global warming so our oceans and its creatures will be around for many decades to come. Currently, 16% of U.S. fish populations have been overfished (AND THE NUMBER KEEPS GROWING). There are so many more statistics I could post about how we are horribly and irresponsibly treating our oceans…I’ll refrain for the time being for another blog post rant 😉 But- here are some of my favorite ocean protection organizations which have plenty of statistics that will blow your mind:

If you couldn’t tell already from my blog thus far, I’m in love with the ocean. A piece of my heart will always belong to the marine environment ever since I went to Sea World when I was 4/5 years old:

Little Me!

My love for the oceans has lead me to some great accomplishments! I’ve swam with almost every creature at Sea World, researched on the Great Barrier Reef, swam with a Whale Shark in Baja, seen more whales than I can count, got Advanced and Rescue SCUBA Certified, and hopefully this list will continue until the day I die.

I am hoping that next year I can fulfill the marine science void that I’ve been experiencing working 40 mins from the ocean in a working in a totally different field than marine biology. But, life deals us the cards it does and all we can do is make the most out of them- and right now I’m going with the flow and providing a great life for myself. I’m just itching to move to a tropical island for 6 months or so 🙂 I’ll keep you updated!

LOVE THE OCEAN, LOVE YOURSELF

We will never stop discovering new species in our oceans.

Photography, Science, Thoughts

NEW SPECIES – NEW SPECIES – ALERT!

It’s only the 4th day of the year and I’m all giddy because a new type of octopus was discovered- my favorite animal!! The “pale octopus” was found living 1.5 miles below the surface in the Southern Ocean. These new species were found near volcanic hydrothermal vents- which have changed the way scientists theorize how life developed in the deep ocean.

Credit: mirror.co.uk

Another animal discovery was a new type of “yeti crab.” I wrote about the discovery of one before actually on one post- so it’s exciting to report another one! The first yeti crab discovered in the South Pacific- was named because it had very hairy limbs and claws. The newly discovered crab had not only hairy limbs and claws- but a hairy chest TOO! The scientists really wanted to name it the “Hasselhoff crab”- so right now their nickname is “The Hoff”..oh silly scientists. These ghostly yeti crabs were about 15-16 cm, and formed in large dense groups on the hydrothermal vents.

There were new species of seastars, anemones, and barnacles to name a few.

The oceans are so vast and massive…we have only scratched the surface of what is out there. I’m excited to see what the next new species discovery will be. Humans aren’t meant to know EVERYTHING. Let there be some mystery on our planet still 🙂 That’s the fun of it!

An Octopus Stole My Camera.

Science

credit: wallpapervortex.com

This is one of my favorite octopus videos out there on Youtube.

I would probably have freaked out if an octopus stole my camera and vigorously swam away with it haha. But it definitely does make for some awesome footage in the end!

Happy Monday- I would much rather be scuba diving today but shhh don’t tell my boss 😉

 

California Legislation PASSES Banning Shark Fin Trade!

Thoughts

Thank goodness I live in California- this week the CA Legislature sent Gov. Brown a bill banning the sale, trade or possession of shark fins. The legislation passed 25-9 in the CA State Senate! Two senators had the audacity to say that bill was “racist” because shark fins were used in some Asian cultures as a delicacy…I’m sorry I don’t care if you consider it a delicacy- capturing sharks, cutting their fins off, and dropping them back into the water is cruel, and horrid. An estimated 25-73 million innocent sharks are killed each year for their fins…so sad.

Associated Press/LA Times

The bill was introduced by Assembly member Paul Fong- and it was supported by my very own Senator from PASADENA Carol Liu!!! She stated that this bill was needed to protect endangered shark species. I live in Pasadena, and I’m so happy to see that she was behind this bill- go Carol!

Shark fins can be sold for $600/lb and even $80 for a bowl of SOUP! Ridiculous I say.

Jay Directo/Getty Images

San Diego based Sentaor, Christine Kehoe, carried the bill through Senate. She mentions that California has the second highest demand for shark fins outside of Asia. Kehoe estimates that 85% of dried shark fin imports to the US come through California- making this legislation of uttermost importance with the restriction of shark fin trade throughout the US and abroad.

Celebrities like Bo Derek, Yao Ming, and organizations such as Oceana, Humane Society of the US and the Humane Society International, rejoiced with this victory.

Co-sponsoring the bill was the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of the Oceans. I used to volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium– they have such an amazing impact on the world with their efforts in protecting our oceans and ocean creatures.

Another co-sponsor of the bill was the Asian Pacific American Ocean Harmony Alliance. Although, some Chinese-American Senators felt different about the legislation. But Chris Chin, an executive director of San Fran-based Center of Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, wrote in an email mentioning that policymakers were targeting a major CAUSE of shark mortality rather than a specific ETHNIC group. I concur Chris.

Let’s hope Gov. Jerry Brown does the right thing.

What Does 4/20/2011 Mean to You?

Photography, Science, Thoughts

The majority of us (younger generation folk) know what 4/20 means…the “national pot smoking day.” Yes ladies and gentlemen, people will be high on marijuana today-all over the globe. Although, to me this day symbolizes so much more.

Today marks the 1 year Anniversary of the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Honestly, I can’t believe that much time has passed since that horrible disaster. It was huge in everyone’s minds for a couple weeks, and now people rarely ever think about the reciprocations that are still resulting for the animals and people near the Gulf.

I only wish I could have been able to go down and volunteer to help clean the animals…I know one day I will get the chance to do that. Somewhere, somehow. Keeping the ocean clean is a very large priority, and keeping the animals ALIVE.

I found this awesome video- Oceana put on a mock oil spill to clearly (in a chocolate syrup, black tarp kind of sense) visualize to people how oil affects ocean animals.

Mock oil spill on Folly Beach for one year anniversary of Gulf Coast spill | WCBD-TV 2.

Here is a photograph from the California Academny of Sciences that shows the oilspill from space..pretty amazing (in a sad way).

Gulf Spill From Space

I found this great quote from Tierra Curry-a biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 “The clean-up won’t be complete and we won’t know the full environmental consequences for at least 40 years.”

 Yup. 40 years.  The California Academy of Sciences has compiled multiple news articles from the past year about the oil spill and links to photographs.  Click here if you want to take a look

First and foremost, we as a country need to ban off-shore drilling. Period. It has more negative connotations attached to it than positive. We’ll soon run out of oil in 40-50 years as expected from scientists- then what? I kind of don’t want to be here or dependant on oil when that happens :/ We are walking along a very thin tightrope here people- you’re voice can be heard by sending letters via organizations like Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, The Ocean Conservancy to your local Congress person. Be heard. Do it for yourself, the ocean, the animals, and future generations!

Happy 4/20/2011 everyone!