Friday, September 30, 2011

Infinite green fuel

Scientists make hydrogen using sunlight:
Two independent research teams report today in Science that they've taken key strides toward harnessing the energy in sunlight to synthesize chemical fuels. If the new work can be improved, scientists could utilize Earth's most abundant source of renewable energy to power everything from industrial plants to cars and trucks without generating additional greenhouse gases.
Let's dream the impossible dream of clean green fuel!

Thanks: Revkin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Elwha River (finally) defeats Elwha Dam!

The Elwha River in Washington is making an end run around the Elwha Dam, and you can watch it on this webcam. Here's today's view.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shark eats siblings in utero

Intrauterine cannabilism on camera, wow:

Thanks to Deep-Sea News

One green score for products

Here's a good idea...a single green score for products. US consumers want a single green score that says what products cost the environment and people.

More than 80 percent of U.S. shoppers want a single sustainability rating for all products that 75 percent say should be displayed as a numerical score and produced by an independent organization with no profit motive, according toOne Green Score for One Earth.
Nice idea, who's going to set the scores, using what criteria?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Squid sex: a shot in the dark

What do you do if you're a lonely male squid? Fire your sperm at the first potential partner you see, regardless if it's male or female.

That's life in the deep sea where sex partners can be hard to find. A new study shows that male Octopoteuthis deletron attempt to copulate at the first sign of another member of their species, without bothering to learn first whether it's a female.

They deposit spermatophores on the backside of other squid using a long penis-like organ, and the lucky deposits made on females are absorbed and used to fertilize her eggs.

Just one of many strange ways that deep sea creatures reproduce.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Serious dam removal-the Elwha River

I've been waiting for this; it seems like it's taken forever. But now the Elwha River dams are coming down. See the big chunk missing from Glines Canyon dam on the Elwha River.

If you're really interested, you can follow the 3 year restoration project with the webcams.

Why is this a big deal? Washington's Elwha River once hosted miraculous salmon runs, with fish up to 100 pounds. But two big dams blocked the river near it's mouth almost a century ago, so the salmon fizzled out despite pristine habitat. Ironically this is one place where salmon could still be thriving in the lower 48. Most of the Elwha River watershed is pristine and protected in Olympic National Park.

It's a good day for river restoration and fish conservation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Legal Seafoods fake 'save the animals' ads--funny?

Do enviros have a sense of humor? Maybe not, judging by some reactions to the Legal Sea Foods ads in the videos below. Comments from Greenpeace and the National Resources Defense Council seem a bit stiff.

I think the ads are funny. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fishermen vs. Wal-mart

Some recreational fishermen have decided they're going to make Wal-mart blink. Angered by the Walton Family Foundation's funding of ocean conservation (thanks WFF!), the Recreational Fishing Alliance is calling for a boycott of Wal-mart stores.

 Why would this fishing group oppose ocean conservation?  Seems nonsensical, doesn't it?  Conservation means more fish, but RFA thinks that's not OK if it means creating no-fishing areas. 

As if taking on Wal-mart isn't enough, the RFA is already supporting a boycott of Safeway, the 2nd largest retail grocery chain in the US. 

Spending by anglers does matter, but it's hard to believe that these Quixotic moves will have an impact. Will we really see the "nationwide protests" that RFA expects?  Or is the campaign more about driving traffic to the button on the RFA's website (top left)? 

A quick search of the news provided no evidence of boycotts or protests against Wal-mart by fishermen. In fact, it looks like anglers will have to wait in line to get attention for their boycott, behind other groups that are targeting Wal-mart for other reasons.

Here's a group calling itself "Boycott International," a group who's reason for being is to organize boycotts in "recognition of the power of individuals in situations where governments have chosen to, or are unable to, influence companies that exploit children and/or violate basic human rights of their workers."

Watch this space for news about retail giants crumbling (or not) under the pressure of anglers upset about ocean conservation harming their "right to fish." 

Monday, September 05, 2011

Gentle "save the ocean" persuasion with a music video

This meet's Randy's rules, it's not boring...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

A fish that lives on land

Who knew there was a fish that lives on land? Not just a walking catfish that can tolerate being out of the water, this is a fish that actually prefers to be out of the water.

It's the Pacific leaping blenny, and it's unusual lifestyle is described in a new study. These interesting fish engage in complex behaviors on dry (actually moist) land, and they can leap about from place to place with a tail-flicking motion, clinging to almost any firm surface with their modified fins.

Click the video below and watch them leap!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Buy shrimp right off the boat in Louisiana

New way to buy shrimp, call it a "fisherman's market" like the farmer's markets that are so popular.

The Port of Delcambre (Louisiana) has a new direct sale website that lets you check what local fishermen are catching and make phone orders that you can pick up at the dock. Fresh seafood.

Here's shrimper Jimmie Dupre to tell you a little bit about buying shrimp direct, and a few other things as well.

This is a great new way to connect seafood producers and customers, always a good thing.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Bluefin tuna crisis, again

Bluefin tuna are in trouble, again. This time it's the southern bluefin tuna, the more endangered cousin of the Atlantic bluefin tuna that was much in the news last year.

It's the same tired story, conservation advocates call for reduced fishing, and some fishing interests want to keep fishing. This time, however, Japan is skeptical of the wisdom of maintaining or increasing fishing levels. Maybe pressure to put Atlantic bluefin on the CITES list of endangered species has encouraged bluefin conservation.