The Coral Triangle & sea nomads

February 6, 2011

Coral_triangle_largeChanging times for the world’s center of marine biodiversity and the communities who depend on and harvest the sea’s resources.

“Photojournalist James Morgan is working with WWF, and spent eight months getting to know the Bajau Laut community – who for centuries have lived at sea, but are now being encouraged to settle on land and join the monetary economy. Hear from him – and see how the Bajau are having to adapt.”

An interesting short story in pictures with audio on how the sea-harvesting techniques of the Bajau Laut community are changing from traditional diving to the use of improvised explosives and potassium cyanide – devastating vast areas of coral reefs in *the* most pristine marine ecosystem on the planet…

Full report from BBC News HERE.

Photojournalism by James Morgan

The Coral Triangle

Spanning eastern Indonesia, parts of Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands (see the map), the Coral Triangle is the global center of marine biodiversity and one of the world’s top priorities for marine conservation.

coral_triangle_mapThis extraordinary expanse of ocean covers an area of 2.3 million square miles (5.7 million km2), the equivalent to half of the entire United States. It is home to over 600 reef-building coral species, or 75% of all species known to science, and more than 3,000 species of reef fish. Over 150 million people live within the Coral Triangle, of which an estimated 2.25 million fishers are dependant on marine resources for their livelihoods. Applying the latest science, The Nature Conservancy is working with a range of partners to protect the coastal and marine ecosystems of this vast area by addressing key threats, such as over-fishing, destructive fishing, and mass coral bleaching.

Source: Coral Triangle Center

Hawaii bans shark fin soup – thank you Governor Linda Lingle

September 10, 2010

shark_finningFrom time to time a glimmer of hope appears as some honorable, committed individuals stand up for what is right, demand a change to human behaviour that, although it may be ‘traditional’, is just downright barbaric and damaging to the environment we live in – thank you Governer Linda Lingle of Hawaii!

Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, has signed into law a ban on shark-fin soup, according to Reuters. The soup is currently served in a number of Chinese restaurants in Hawaii, but the trade has decimated certain shark species due to overfishing.

Between 26 and 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins to produce the high-end delicacy in Asia. Sharks are brought aboard ships where their fins are cut off then they are thrown back into the water—often still alive—where they succumb to their injuries.

The trade is seen as the primary driver behind drastic declines in many shark species. The scalloped hammered population has dropped by 98 percent in some regions, while the oceanic whitetip shark has declined by 90 percent in the central Pacific Ocean and 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico. The IUCN Red List has found that 32 percent of open ocean sharks and rays are currently threatened with extinction, a much higher percentage than mammals or birds.

Earlier in the year eight shark species failed to gain international protection at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Pressured by Japan, votes to protect sharks and other marine species failed time and again.

Read full article at

If you’re interested you can contact Linda HERE to show your appreciation.

BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill effects

August 25, 2010

BP_oil_gulf_mexico_largeNow that the media hype surrounding the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill has largely died down, we think it would be of interest to track news & findings about the effects of this environmental disaster that might not make it into mainstream consciousness.

The lasting impression we had from the last batch of news released was that, as big as the disaster was (some 5 million barrels of crude oil leaked), there remained hope, even some considerable confidence, that naturally occurring microbes were busy seeing-off much of the oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico.

It would now appear that previous US government reports on which this “news” was based have to be reconsidered in light of a 22-mile (35-kilometer) long oil-plume that has been discovered:

from National Geographic:

A giant plume from BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been confirmed deep in the ocean—and there are signs that it may stick around, a new study says.

Many scientists had predicted that oil-eating bacteria—already common in the Gulf due to natural oil seeps—would process much of the crude leaked from BP’s Deepwater Horizon wellhead, which was capped July 15.

But new evidence shows that a 22-mile-long (35-kilometer-long), 650-foot-high (200-meter-high) pocket of oil has persisted for months at depths of 3,600 feet (1,100 meters), according to a team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts.

Read full article HERE

38cm baby Whale Shark rescued in Philippines

March 12, 2009

small_whale_sharkA 38cm-long whale shark, the size of a forearm, was rescued and released last week by activists in the waters off Pilar in eastern Philippines. The World Wide Fund for Nature called it “arguably the smallest living whale shark in recorded history.” The group said the tiny whale shark was tied to a small rope on a beach and said the discovery is the first indication that the Philippines coastline may be their birthing ground. In this photo, biologist Embet holds the baby whale shark.

Click HERE for ABC News Baby Animals photograph library.

Coral Trout recover after Australian Fishing ban

June 25, 2008

BB-Films: “Is it just us? or is there odd about ‘scientists’ being surprised that fishing bans lead to recovery of fish stocks.???”

Australia’s coral trout have thrived under a fishing ban on the Great Barrier Reef, showing that no-take reserves can spur dramatic comebacks in overfished ocean habitats, new research suggests.

Coral trout is the common name of about a half-dozen fish species from the grouper and cod family targeted by commercial and recreational hook-and-line fisheries in Australia.

Scientists behind the new study found that the fish bounced back within two years after no-take reserves were established.

From National Geographic: Read more

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