Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.Tweet
Monday, September 03, 2012
Check out this video about some fascinating low footprint fish farms in China, using integrated farming methods that date back more than one thousand years!
The video above is the 60 second promo, and below you'll find the full 8 minute video.
Fish, mulberry plants, and silkworms are grown together and the waste of one process feeds the next step.
BTW, in case you wondered what I've been doing lately, now you know, helping to turn over interesting stories and make some videos.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Welcome to the Anthropocene, the Age of Man. Our human actions have so much influence on the world that we might as well forget the idea of going back to some pristine environmental baseline.
So says Professor Ursula Heise, eco-critic in Stanford University’s English department, who is busy untangling the environmental stories we tell ourselves.
“We need to shift from thinking about what ecosystems used to be, and how we can get back to an [environmental] baseline,” she says. “The conversation needs to be about to what kind of world we want for the future and to work toward that.”
I think she's right. Even though I wish she was wrong. Tweet
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Scientists offered grim warnings at ReSource 2012, a recent conference. According to the Guardian:
"We are nowhere near realising the full impact of this yet. We have seen the first indications – rising food prices, pressure on water supplies, a land grab by some countries for mining rights and fertile agricultural land, and rising prices for energy and for key resources [such as] metals. But we need to do far more to deal with these problems before they become even more acute, and we are not doing enough yet."
Countries that are not prepared for this rapid change will soon – perhaps irrevocably – lose out, with serious damage to their economies and way of life, the conference was told.
Fighting over fish has happened before, and it could happen again. Cod wars, mackerel wars, what next? Tweet
We need to produce food more efficiently, and that has many aspects. More food production with a lower ecological footprint is key. Not just more food per area used, but more food per resources consumed.
And...as Jon Foley points out in Time, we need to alter our diets.
Much of the grain grown in developed nations goes to feed not human beings but domesticated animals, and inefficiently too — one filet mignon requires 32 lbs. of corn, and converts that grain into calories at just 3% efficiency. Globally we'll likely need to eat less meat — if only to give parts of the growing developing world space to eat a little meat — and, at least in much of the unhealthily overfed West, eat fewer calories overall. That might help reduce global food waste — one out of every three calories produced globally are never eaten, which isn't just a waste of food but of water, land and energy.
Eating meat and ocean predators like tuna is a resource-costly way to feed ourselves, and we need to get started in cutting back on resource use in eating. Tweet
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Now I know why, Time reports that 90% of the world's e-bike sales are in China.
Electric scooters look the same as gas scooters, except for no trail of smoke. They don't sound the same, they're silent. This would be hailed as a great green success if it were happening in London or New York. Tweet
Monday, July 16, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
This dam is in salmon country, where I'm from, in the Columbia River gorge in Washington. I've been there, I've seen it, and I argued for it's removal. What a reward. I only wish I had been there to see it in person.
Friday, June 15, 2012
That's right, if I grow Bt cotton and you, my neighbor, don't grow Bt cotton, you might get a spillover benefit of having more predatory insects in your fields, and you might need less pesticide on your cotton.
According to the New Scientist:
Environmentalists might one day run barefooted through insect-rich fields of genetically modified crops. At least, they might if the conclusions of a two-decade study in China hold up.
Kongming Wu of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing and colleagues looked at the impact on surrounding farms of Bt cotton, a GMhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif crop that protects itself against bollworm larvae by making its own pesticide.
As pesticide sprays were no longer needed, beneficial predator insects such as ladybirds, spiders and lacewings could thrive and spill over onto neighbouring farms, where they ate aphids. This reduced the amount of pesticides neighbouring farmers used.
"Transgenic Bt crops with less insecticide use can promote population increases of predators in the whole agricultural landscape," says Wu.
This study alone won't settle anything, and criticisms remain against Bt cotton. But this spillover effect deserves attention in the debate over the future of agriculture. Tweet
Monday, June 11, 2012
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Friday, May 04, 2012
Want to know what it feels like to be an open water swimmer? Watch the opening scenes of the video above.
Paul Lundgren is sharing his experience as he trains for the first-ever solo swim crossing of the Sea of Cortez, 76 miles of big water.
I can feel it, I've done a bit of swimming, and I know this water. One of my most memorable ocean experiences was near his planned finishing point, when I happened into an incredible feeding aggregation while sailing. Dolphin and tuna underwater and seabirds above, on, and in the water were converging on a massive swarm of small fish, and they were so excited they forgot to notice a small about drifting into their midst. We watch from mere inches away as many species of animals tried to eat and avoid being eaten. I can see it like it was yesterday, even though it was decades ago. Sigh.
Such is the value of watching Paul's video, I got lost and re-found myself minutes later sitting in a small room in front of a computer in landlocked Switzerland yet somehow feeling wet and salty.
Go Paul, and thanks for sharing! Tweet
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Think about it, YOUR WORDS from your computer projected in a live stream in front of the delegates to an international policy forum in the remote Pacific Island of Guam. I think someone is hearing these tweets as they fall!!
It helps that the twitter board has a "mesmerizing virtual aquarium" as the backdrop.
Reports are that the delegates are reading the tweets, as some emotions have been aroused.
It’s an absolute hit! It’s loved and hated, depending on whether you’re asking a tuna plunderer or a delegate who’s also fighting to save out tuna. And that’s the whole idea.Tweet
We’ve received thanks and praise from many here for giving you the chance to speak directly to them. There are encouraging countries and individuals and there are tweets chastising those who act as roadblocks to sensible reforms.
There are favourite tweets, and there are tweets that have made some delegates sweat – we’ve been asked to take some down, we’ve been asked to repeat some - usually the same tweet will draw opposite reactions depending which side of the sustainability fence you’re sitting on.
Maybe these dolphins are sick and beached themselves again later--who knows what happened--but for these few minutes people who saw a problem pitched in and helped.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The ostensibly large number of recent extreme weather events has triggered intensive discussions, both in- and outside the scientific community, on whether they are related to global warming. Here, we review the evidence and argue that for some types of extreme — notably heatwaves, but also precipitation extremes — there is now strong evidence linking specific events or an increase in their numbers to the human influence on climate. For other types of extreme, such as storms, the available evidence is less conclusive, but based on observed trends and basic physical concepts it is nevertheless plausible to expect an increase.Yes, it seems obvious, but now it's more than apparent. (photo: Lake Geneva ice storm this year near my home). Tweet
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I can imagine a bit of what this felt like, I once was privileged to dive 10,000 feet to a hydrothermal vent site off the Galapagos Islands. The Mariana Trench, hallowed water for oceanographers, is about 35,800 feet. I expect the National Geographic writeup will include an exact measurement using modern technology and stunning visuals. Stay tuned.
For now, cheers for a grand adventure and adventurer, proving that the age of heroic exploration is not over. Tweet
Saturday, March 24, 2012
without action to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions, the global average temperature could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century causing ocean acidification, sea level rise, marine pollution, species migration and more intense tropical cyclones. It would also threaten coral reefs, disrupt fisheries and deplete fish stocks.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
According to sproutinsights, a social media company:
"Thanks to creative marketing tactics like irreverent hashtags (see image above) and tweeting about hot topics like the nutritional value of oysters, the Effing Oyster Twitter handle became an instrumental tool in the development and awareness of the brand.
Before long, restaurant patrons, owners, and celebrity chefs with massive Twitter followings (like @steamykitchen below) began retweeting Tryon’s posts, uploading images of Effing Oysters, and inquiring where and how they could order these so called “effing oysters” for themselves.
“Now I’m getting inquiries from places as far flung as Tulsa, Oklahoma and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and all points in between, asking about my premium oysters,” says Tryon. Not bad for an oyster-farmer tweeting from one of the most remote places in North America!"
Sunday, March 04, 2012
A new salmon farm in China will grow fish in closed tanks on land, eliminating most environmental concerns about salmon farming. From a pay-only story on Intrafish.com:
"Production levels at AgriMarine Holdings' closed-containment salmon farms in China are not yet high enough to fill orders from China’s supermarket chains, but as the company sets its sites on big contracts, it is seeking further investment.
On Friday, AgriMarine doubled the size of its non-brokered private placement announced Feb. 15, from a maximum of 25 million units to a maximum of 50 million units. It is selling the units at $0.20 (€0.15) each, for total gross proceeds of up to $10 million (€7.4 million). So far, there has been strong interest from investors, AgriMarine Director Sean Wilton told *IntraFish*.
There are strong indicators that AgriMarine's salmon farming operation is poised for strong growth in China, he said."
But there's one problem. China is currently farming the right species, mostly carp, kelp and clams. These plants and herbivores have a very low ecological footprint, and switching to farming of top predators like salmon would dramatically increase the ecological foot print of China's seafood production. So growing a few salmon for Chinese consumers isn't a problem but replacing carp with salmon would be a problem.
Growing demand for salmon produced elsewhere, like Norway and Scotland, shows the value to China of farming salmon at home. Let's hope that China sticks with the traditional low-footprint seafood that currently tops the charts, and smartly produces just a few salmon for an occasional treat. Tweet
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
When I was a boy of about 10, I was in a car driven by my father and we hit a deer. Fortunately for us, he kept control of the car and stopped.
The deer was dead next to the road, and my father wrestled the deer into a trailer he was towing and we took the deer home. We were a hunting family, so butchering the deer was no big deal, and later we ate it. It wasn't the only time, and it was just a normal part of thrifty living in Oregon.
Now I see that it's the latest thing in sustainable meat. Rebranding thrift as sustainability, sounds good to me.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
San Diego is now using reclaimed wastewater (after treatment) in city water supplies. It took some time for people to get over the yuck factor, but the resistence has mostly subsided. Drought and rationing did a good job of letting people know why the idea was proposed.
And it's not really that new. Forever we've been drinking water from someone else's waste stream, we all live downstream from somebody. The new approach makes it a little more direct, but also a lot more carefully treated.
It won't be long before there's no such things as "waste" water.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
What does this mean? Anyone who wants to advance sustainable aquaculture needs to succeed in China. Next question, can outsiders matter in Chinese aquaculture, or will change only come from within?