Friday, March 30, 2012

Innovative use of twitter in a policy forum

Tweets can seem silly, like the proverbial tree falling with no one listening. So Greenpeace projected tweets with a hashtag for a tuna managment meeting on the wall near the coffee the tuna management meeting.

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.

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.

People rescuing stranded dolphins

I don't know anything about this video, but it's good to see people making an effort to do a good thing, reportedly on a beach in Brazil. When it's personal, people usually rise to the occasion.

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

Weather extremes linked to human-caused climate change

From Nature Climate Change, a real bona fide scientific journal:
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).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Voyage to the bottom of the sea

Explorer and film-maker James Cameron just completed the first-ever solo dive to the deepest point in the ocean in the Mariana Trench.

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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rock and roll aboard a ship in heavy seas

This video captures well the feeling of being on board a ship rolling strongly from side to side in big waves.

Climate change damage to ocean 2 trillion per year in 2100

A new study on valuing the ocean says that climate change of 4 degrees C will result in $2 trillion per year in damage:
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

Fish swims up the butt of a sea cucumber

Talk about getting your strange on. Adult pearlfish live in a place where it's hard to hide. So these vulnerable fish hide where they can--up the butt of a handy sea cucumber. Don't believe me? Watch the video. Now you tell me there's a stranger fish in the sea.

Cross-dressing male cuttlefish sneaks past guarding male for sex

Here's an idea. In this video, a small cuttelfish mimics a female to sneak past the guard of a big male and mate with the female he's "guarding."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fishing for small fish

Fish small, not big to take pressure off threatened big reef fish like groupers and snappers. The trick is trying a new fishing technology, a bagan or fishing platform. It has lights and a net and it's designed to lure and catch smaller fish like sardines and anchovies.

Why not? It's a good way to keep eating when traditional reef fish are harder and harder to find.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Shark swallows another shark in one bite

Here's a crazy photo of a strange Wobbegong shark that swalled another shark whole. Only the tail was left hanging out of the wobbegong's mouth.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Effing oyster finds a Twitter gold mine

Effingham Inlet Oyster Farm was a typical oyster farm with good oysters and limited success. Until they lauched a cheeky Twitter account (@effingoyster) and tweeted their way to major business growth.

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.

Connecting with Celebrity Chefs

“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

Sustainable salmon farming in China

Great news from China, the Holy Grail of salmon farming is becomming real. Good news so long as it doesn't replace carp as a Chinese staple.

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

"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.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sailfish catching sardines in slow motion

Amazing video of a group of sailfish as they dart through a school of sardines and eat them one by one until the sardines are all gone. Super slow motion shows how the sailfish hit the sardines with their bill to separate them from the school before eating them.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Dolphin gets a little too friendly

Are you sure you want to swim with dolphins? Watch out if you see an aroused male dolphin while underwater! In this video the dolphin makes some unwanted advances to first the woman and then the man.