Friday, August 31, 2007

Using sex to sell conservation

Is it ok to use sexy images to promote conservation? Wildcoast has an ad campaign designed to save turtles by going where most groups are afraid to go.

Check out the sexy pitch person in this ad, noting that her man doesn't need turtle eggs. Turtle eggs are eaten as an aphrodisiac, and the campaing hopes to reduce poaching, such as this large arrest in Mexico of poachers with 57,000 turtle eggs.

Feminists are not happy with the campaign because they believe it disrespects women.

Does it work? The ads are certainly getting publicity for turtle conservation. But is that kind of publicity helpful? Or does it do more harm than good, even if it saves turtles? Now about that ad promoting marine protected areas...

Blog Day - new blogs for you to consider?

Today is the 3rd annual Blog Day. It's a day for suggesting new blogs to readers, in hopes of exposing people to new ideas, new people, new news, and new Gnus.

Here are 5 blogs for you to consider, don't know if they're new to you...all have a subject as a starting point for doing more...

Biomes blog - biology and more

Cephalopod centerfold - cephalopods and more

Effect Measure - human health and more

Hope for Pandora - science and more

The Other 95% - invertebrates and more

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Framing science, atheism, and the world's oldest profesion

No, not that, the OTHER oldest profession: fishing.

Ever try to talk to a fisherman about scientific studies that show how fishing is harmful? It’s about as easy as talking to religious people about atheism.

So maybe I’ll offer a fish story to all those people arguing about evolution, intelligent design, atheism, global warming, and the larger topic of how to inject some science into severely inflamed public debates that could use a dose.

It ain’t easy to catch fish that are worth catching, and people who are good at fishing are smart. Most of them place a high value on fishing. So they listen with skepticism when some whippersnapper with a lab coat starts lecturing them about how fishing is harmful.

Enter me, whippersnapper. I have a set of facts about harm caused by fishing. I offer my facts to fishermen and hear a lot about the uncertainty of the data (true) and a few words that I will print here as @#$($(#$

Is this effective science communication? Is it useful to “let the facts speak for themselves?” Is anyone hearing the facts?

Now let’s try again with a different approach.

Let’s suppose we start by bonding over the magnificence of whales, which we both like, and how important it is to conserve small fish for big fish too eat. We get a read on each other’s values and see that, in fact, we both want to conserve fish. After an introduction like this, we can talk for real about scientific studies on how to conserve fish.

Is this spin? Is it somehow wrong? Is anyone lying? No. What’s happening is that we’re anchoring ourselves in shared values, trying to sniff out biases, which is necessary before we can communicate with each other (since we don’t know each other and might look different).

Scientists do this too. The level of professional skepticism over new research reports varies with the identity of the authors. The work of trusted allies is welcomed, but the work of archrivals is received with skepticism. People with reputations for careful work get less scrutiny. It’s not just the printed data and analysis that matter, because there’s always the opportunity for subtle bias or shortcuts in methods to undermine the value of printed results and conclusions, in ways that are hard to detect in the published paper.

It’s a simple truth that trust is important in communication, even communication about facts.

Framing science can be as simple as building some trust prior to talking about facts, so that the facts get a fair hearing. Why is that hard for some to swallow? Maybe because they don’t want to be bothered with the messy business of building trust among the great unwashed.

Of course, framing isn't magic. Some people won't listen to facts no matter what, and shared values won't help. There's a time and a place for simply firing away with science and letting the chips fall where they may.

Any movement worth it's salt needs diversity, and that includes fact throwers and careful trust builders, and lawyers who litigate over facts, etc. The really hard part is the judgement of knowing where and when to use which approach.

Ocean bubble bath in Australia

You won't believe it unless you see the pictures. Foam in the ocean and on beaches in Australia covered mile after mile and piled up into mountains. It was enough to cover beaches and partially cover some buildings.

Thanks to Deep-Sea News for the story. Yamba in New South Wales was, for a while, the Cappuccino Coast. According to the Daily Mail:

Scientists explain that the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed.

All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles.

These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.

As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam.

The foam "surfs" towards shore until the wave "crashes", tossing the foam into the air.

"It's the same effect you get when you whip up a milk shake in a blender," explains a marine expert.

"The more powerful the swirl, the more foam you create on the surface and the lighter it becomes."

Something similar happened 30 years ago, so this is not unique.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dog surfing contest in California

Pooch surfing hits the bigtime with a contest in California. Check out Bandit as he gets radical in the surf.

This event drew 47 canine entrants, and over 1000 2-legged spectators. Ever the favorite of canids everywhere, Fox brings you the news.

We've had surfing rats here on blogfish, now surfing dogs. Time for the real contest, who can find the most improbably surfing animal photo? Send your entries to me (see profile above right). First prize is outstanding publicity on this and perhaps other fine web media.

Come on people, dont' be shy. Let's see your photos of surfing cockroaches and banana slugs.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New England fishermen are victims of their own success

My last grouchy words about New England fishing touched a few nerves with readers. Now that I'm out of Boston (after only 19 hours), and safely ensconced at an undisclosed location in Washington DC, I daresay more.

I know passions run high on cod in New England. My good friends, if we can't speak frankly with each other, how will we ever move forward? In that spirit let us go on, with the immortal words of Clint Eastwood as a benediction: "for what we are about to recieve, may we be truly grateful."

What is the essential truth of fishing in New England? Grizzled men in sou'westers gritting their teeth while tub trawling in a gale? Or a subsidy-bloated fleet dependent on overfishing and reliant on it's ability to bully government scientists and managers into allowing more overfishing?

Fishermen in New England are victims of their own success. They won generous government subsidies in the 1970s and 1980s, and had a spending spree at the boatyard and gear supply shops. Then they caught all of the cod while maintaining an official fishery goal of minimizing government interference in fishing until 1994. Overfishing all the while. How did they do it? Charisma, political muscle, and crocodile tears.

The result? Twenty-five years in a row of cod overfishing in New England, severely depleted fish, a collapsing industry, crumbling infrastructure, troubled fishing communities, and a persistent plea not to restrict fishing any further. One year (1994), fishermen caught over 70% of the cod that were in the water off New England. You don't need to be a fishery scientist to smell a rat in killing that many fish.

We're several years into the latest cod rebuilding plan, WE'RE STILL OVERFISHING COD, and there's no recovery in sight. Cod remain flatlined near record lows that were viewed as catastrophic in 1994. Now, the baseline has shifted and that depletion looks normal.

Is there a plan to rebuild? Yes, there is, but it's the fourth rebuilding plan. Amendment 5 was the first in 1994, then Amendment 7 in 1996, then Amendment 9 in 1999, then Amendment 13 in 2004. That's four strikes. Three strikes and you're out, unless you're doing fishery management in New England. Note the graph below, which dates from 2004, just before New England missed badly on the fourth big swing.

Ugh. I don't usually inflict graphs on you, but this one is important. The stars in the graph are the promised "rebuilding" goals for each of the first 3 rebuilding plans. They promised success after five years. Can you spell "pie in the sky?" Note that there is another star waiting to be put on this graph. Somehow I just can't bring myself to update this tragic tale of fishing gone sour.

This story looks as bad as the proverbial communist "five year plans" for economic miracles that we learned to laugh at as schoolchildren. Every kid in New England should be learning this story.

Blogfish has been consistent in pointing out these problems, witness:

Cod overfishing spawns cod nursery ideas

Massachusetts fishery disaster: too much of a good thing

Requiem for the Grand Banks

The tragedy of overfishing in New England

Do we have the courage to write a new chapter for cod in New England? I have a feeling that step one is admitting that we have a problem.

On the positive side, I had a beautiful view of the moon rising over NY city as I flew from Boston to DC. And I had a window/aisle seat on a nice little American Eagle jet so I experienced no bycatch or habitat damage from neighbors.

My apologies to the rest of the Best Practices Working Group still plugging away in Boston. Hope it's going well, and sorry for ducking out early.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to Boston, land of worst practices in US fishing

New England, land of the overfishing entitlement. Ironic place to have round 2 of the Best Practices workshop.

I'm re-reading The Political Brain by Drew Westen, good stuff on how to persuade. He talks mostly about elections, but it's applicable to any kind of persuasion. Leads me into a few thoughts on the New Atheists who are looking to smack around the religious right. Hmmmm...probably suicidal to go into the middle of that fight.

For those who think ENGOs do it for the money, try this on. I got crammed into a middle seat on American flight 818 from Chicago to Boston, 24 E between a man so fat he couldn't put the armrest down and had his own personal seat belt extender. On the other side was a LARGE woman with 3 times too much luggage, most under her (our) feet and seats. Yeah, I do it for the bling. Is this how Frank Dulcich rides around the country?

But speaking of New England and the overfishing entitlement, Drew Westen recommends calling immoral policies by their real name. And, to quote:

When you find yourself afraid to move for fear of being branded, you know you've bought into the other side's frame and you'd better sell your shares.

So the "rebuilding plan" for New England cod doesn't even end overfishing? And we conservation ENGOs are afraid to come out guns blazing for fear that we'll be called anti-fishing? What's wrong with this picture? I believe in seeking shared goals, but if they can't even be bothered to end overfishing, then where's morality and common sense?

And that's before we even start in on right whales... Deeply endangered, on 350 left on earth, but killed by lobstermen, who are putting 10 times too much gear in the water just to mark out their turf? And you thought we "saved the whales" in the 60s, right?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Do dolphins have rights to endangered salmon?

Some Scottish fishermen would like more salmon, and they blame seals and dolphins for their lack of fish.

Now let me get this straight...people catch lots of salmon, destroy habitat, pollute the water, and then get mad about ocean animals eating the few salmon that are left? What's wrong with this picture?

Sure Atlantic salmon are in trouble, but there were once lots of dolphins, lots of seals, and lots of salmon.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Released eels, frogs and turtles create environmental risks

The road to environmental harm can be paved with good intentions.

A buddhist group practicing a sacred ceremony may have unwittingly created harm. The group bought and released hundreds of eels, frogs, and turtles that were for sale in fish markets. Their goal was a spiritual one, freeing the souls of people reincarnated as animals.

The animals were released into the Passaic River in New Jersy, the freshwater body nearest to New York where the animals were purchased.

The problems begin with possible introductions of non-native species, and the likelihood that the animals were infected with bacterial or fungal pathogens during captivity and storage under very dense conditions. If non-natives or diseases become established, native ecosystems can suffer catastrophic harm.

A sad story of good intentions gone awry.

Ocean swarm threatens human life on earth

News is just beginning to trickle in...artesanal fishers gone missing...strange worms undermining oil rigs in the North Sea...a toxic plague carried by seafood...

Oh wait, it's fiction. It's "The Swarm" by Frank Schatzing, and it owned German bestseller lists for a year. One friend said the book stole 3 days of her life.

If you're into oceans, then pick up a copy of this 800+ page book. It's a techno-thriller with reasonably accurate ocean science and biology. And the plot...ocean animals start to revolt against human destruction of their habitat, and the oceans are winning...

Learn about methane hydrates along with the people who find themselves threatened. Consider how an intelligent unicellular swarm might use Pfisteria and polychaete worms to punish humanity for wanton and callous disregard of ocean ecosystems. Ride ocean-going research vessels with cowboy oceanographers trying to prevent catastrophe after catastrophe.

It's good clean fun, and if you're an ocean geek like me you'll enjoy it when everyone else starts to realize how important oceans are.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fish spa not for the squeamish

Have you ever jumped when your foot touched something wiggly while swimming in a lake? If so, you may not want to try a new "fish spa" where hundreds of tiny cleaner fish nibble the dead skin off clients.

Fish are the hot new exfoliant, and fish spas are springing up in China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. The claim is that cleaner fish nibble off dead skin and produce a "pleasant tingling" feeling. They leave people feeling rejuvenated, and even help treat psoriasis. The fish work well in hot water so you get a hot soak out of it too.

Hey, it beats using chemicals or abrasives, and it sounds like fun to this fish guy.

hat tip: mental floss

Salmon win road-crossing lawsuit

Why did the salmon cross the road? Because the road was in the way.

But now salmon have new hope for a better way to get upstream. A federal judge ruled yesterday that salmon-blocking roads are illegal and need to be fixed. The lawsuit was filed by tribes upset over a lack of salmon, and it focused on harm to salmon caused by roads that block streams.

Blockage comes in many forms, but the bottom line is that many roads were built without regard for the ability of salmon to swim upstream. In many cases culvert pipes under roads end high above streams, so high that salmon could never make the jump. It's not subtle.

This salmon victory is a major step forward in learning how to live with salmon. Now the state of Washington must get serious about fixing this well-known problem. Without the lawsuit it might have taken decades to a century to get the roads fixed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Seabirds decline in Pacific Northwest

More bad news for ocean birds. Recent counts show major declines for some important species compared to 30 years ago.

It was perfectly normal to go out to the bay and see several thousand Western grebes on the shores," scientist John Bower said. But the recent study found a one-day average of 10 Western grebes on Padilla Bay and 436 on Bellingham Bay, Bower said. Now "they just aren't around," he said.

The study seems to confirm earlier results from bird counts by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, but this time the birds were counted from the ground, not in the air.

David Nysewander, a Fish and Wildlife project leader who assesses marine birds on Puget Sound, said he wasn't surprised by the study results, but he says a lack of money prevents his department from doing much about it.

Birds dying here, birds dying there, ocean troubles everywhere?!

You can't escape drug testing

A teaspoon of sewage is all that's needed to test an entire city for drug use.

Imagine how this could be we need Constitutional protection for the sanctity of our excretions? Will overzealous prosecutors "tap" your sewage line?

And...what does this mean for the animals on the receiving end of our sewage, since most of the drugs survive sewage treatment? Perhaps this explains poor performance of fish on most standardized achievement tests, and the lackadaisical attitude to authority figures that seems to prevail among sea lions?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ode to a big old fat female

It's got to be a first. Recording artist Mark Holmes sings the praises of a "Big, Old, Fat Female." Finally, praise for longevity, and the badges that can only come with time:

"I was out on the reef eating some slime
Sucking it down, enjoying it fine
When that beautiful girl swam into the light
She was really big, built like a boat
But it was easy to see why she didn’t float
Hook, line and sinker, it was love at first sight

She was a big, old, fat
A big, old, fat,
A big, old, fat, female"

There's more, but you'll have to go hear it yourself. It's easily worth the few seconds of download time.

Oh, and that big, old, fat female in the song...who is she? See if you can guess.

New islands emerge as Arctic ice melts

Retreating ice is revealing new Arctic islands never before seen off the coast of Norway. These uncharted islands are dramatic evidence that climate change is having big effects NOW.

Norway is worried, and notes that the islands are currently unclaimed. Other new islands are appearing off Canada and Greenland.

Get naked for conservation 2

Video clips of the nude global warming protest. Hat tip: Pepijn

Monday, August 20, 2007

Orca attacks seals on beach

Amazing video of an orca coming onto a beach to catch a seal.

Get naked for conservation

Hundreds of people took off their clothes to raise awareness of global warming. It was a chilly nude, since they posed on a shrinking Swiss glacier.

Few other than blogfish have the courage to bring you the frontal shot, Other, more demure types chose the rear view, and even then they only linked to the photo rather than showing it.

Artist Spencer Tunick got everyone to take off their tunics for one of his photos of nude gatherings in public places. It's an interesting and fun way to try to save the world. But it remains to be seen whether it works. Is it really the glaciers that everyone's thinking about?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cleaner shrimp farms thanks to Wal-mart

Pressure from Wal-mart is leading to cleaner shrimp farming in Thailand. To keep selling shrimp to Wal-mart, shrimp farmers are actually reducing the harm caused by their farms.

I like the approach. It's more valuable to fix bad farms than drop bad shirmp and switch to better sources. Wal-mart's commitment to sustainable seafood includes a pledge that they'll work with suppliers to reduce impacts and here's some evidence that it's working.

Not everyone is happy. Some shrimp farmers say that the process favors big operations with lots of capital, and environmentalists believe that the new cleaner farms still have environmental impacts. Some people support wild-caught shrimp, claiming that it's better than farming, but shrimp trawling is not exactly an ocean-friendly activity.

Yeah, I wish there was more progress too. But here's an important question..who is doing more than Wal-mart to clean up shrimp farms on such a large scale?

Freshwater fun

Another short vacation turned out to be unvirtual. Lolling about a mountain cabin, gazing at the creek, and eating. With no internet connection, so no temptation to spend time at blogfish.

Now that my vacation season is over, it's nose to the grindstone, back to the salt mines, and all that.

But just for fun, I'll leave you with a vision of freshwater fun, the very grand granite falls. Who knows where this is?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ocean vacuum cleaner saves corals from algae

If there's something strange
in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call?

If there's something weird
and it don't look good
Who ya gonna call?

And in this case the algaebusters come equipped with a giant algae vac that sucks smothering algae mats off of coral reefs.

It's one of those sounds good ideas that might come from an 8 year old, but it actually works. It's being used in Hawaii to remove a nasty invasive algae called "gorilla ogo" from coral reefs. Compare before the super sucker vacuum hits the algae (lower picture) and after vacuuming the reef (upper picture).

There is an overfishing connection, algae-eating fish used to keep corals clean but overfishing has ended this free algae-busting service.

Open ocean surfing on BIG waves

Check out big wave surfing over a seamount 100 miles offshore, with the biggest wave measured at 66 feet.

The action takes place at Cortes Bank off Southern California, where the mythical 100 foot surfable wave might someday be found.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More good fishing

One of my hopes in starting blogfish was to help build a community in support of conservation of fish and protecting our oceans. And finding like-minded fisherman was front and center.

Here's a link to another fisherman who, like Carl Safina, encourages fishermen to do right by fish. John McLean, writes on about the benefits, harm and obligations that come from conservation change like the Florida net fishing ban. I hope the good word spreads to everyone who wets a line.

John found blogfish and wrote a note about his new blog at I've subscribed and I'll be reading. He's even got fish cartoons (top right). John, I hope you don't mind me borrowing one here.

Great fishing and bad fishing, the hows and whys

Ever wonder why fishing is great for some fish and lousy for other fish? Beyond the usual short-term problems like the (#*&$#($_+$# things just won't bite.

Carl Safina cuts through the crap and gives real answers about the hows and whys of good and bad fishing. In this great blog post, he describes two very different fishing trips, looks at them through the lens of a lifetime spent fishing, and states the plain and obvious truth.

Once again, everything we ever needed to know we learned in kindergarten. From "Fishing Without Limits" on Carl Safina's blog:

When we are stingy, something ironic happens: greed prevents us from getting what we need. If we would let nature recover, if we would leave some for another day, we would have enough.

As I often say, it’s OK to use nature; It’s not OK to use it up. As Robert Frost wrote:

“May something go always unharvested!

May much stay out of our stated plan.”

To take what one needs, rather than all one can take, means an end of neediness and the fulfillment of future desires.

This is a real fisherman talking about fishing right. Where have we gone so wrong that this sounds like a voice in the wilderness?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cure for the plastic bag plague

Plastic grocery bags suck if you're a sea turtle. It's not hard to understand why, they look a lot like a yummy jellyfish.

With this in mind, I was enthused to swing by my local grocery store and learn the results of their recent re-usable bag campaign. Town & Country Market has been giving away resusable bags with purchases, and tracking the number of times those bags come back into the store.

I'll spare you the numbers except one. They've already avoided using 10,000 plastic grocery bags. Wow, that's a lot more than I would have expected. And they're still giving away more re-usable bags! Since plastic bags are forever, this is a real accomplishment. All thanks to one grocery store.

The world isn't saved yet, but I thank Town & Country Market for stepping up to do this one good thing. I guess this is one vote for behavior change as a solution to the ocean plastic plague.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Seafood safety net has holes

Who will keep our seafood supply safe? Don't count on the US government, because our seafood safety net has holes in it.

Remember that Chinese seafood scandal? The one where some dangerous Chinese seafood was banned? Do you have confidence that the US government has fixed our seafood safety problem? Wanna buy a bridge?

According to the Associated Press, at least 1 million pounds of suspect frozen shrimp, catfish and eel from China arrived at U.S. ports under an "import alert," which meant the FDA was supposed to hold every shipment until it had passed a laboratory test. But that was not what happened. One of every four shipments the AP reviewed got through without being stopped and tested. The seafood, valued at $2.5 million, was equal to the amount 66,000 Americans eat in a year.

That's a lot of risky seafood, and some pretty large holes in our seafood safety net.

Just exactly who is being protected here? Seafood consumers, or the people that want to sell you lousy seafood?

When will the seafood industry wake up and smell the problem? There are inklings of concern, but the dominant response seems to be to circle the wagons and say everything is fine. That's a scary thought, and it's bad for the business.

Ocean wildlife refuges: a good idea

The fishing/anti-fishing smackdown is over in California's Channel Islands. Fishing is now prohibited in about 20% of the waters around the islands. Since 80% of the waters still allow fishing, why did this turn into such a fight? Most hunters and fishermen support refuges on land and in freshwater. Much ado about nothing?

Or...was it really a battle over the death of fishery management?

Almost everywhere, ocean fishing is managed by appointed panels that represent the interests of fishermen. Fishing restrictions are viewed with great skepticism. Limits are usually halfway solutions imposed after problems become severe. Fishery management specializes in closing the barn door after the horsefish is gone, and even then they only close the door halfway.

Oooops, everyone says when the fish and fishing are gone.

To be fair, there are some success stories, but they usually only come after a crisis has put religion into fishermen. Like the striped bass "success story" that came only after the severe striped bass collapse. And...oh yeah..we're already facing the next striped bass concern.

Enter, stage left, a new approach. Fish wildlife refuges in the ocean. No fishing in some areas, to ensure that some fish can live and reproduce unmolested. Yes, fish move, so no fish is totally protected, but that's a good thing because fishermen can benefit from the spillover from refuges. It works for migratory animals on land and migratory freshwater fish, so it'll work in the ocean. We already have ocean refuge success stories to prove it.

California is leading the US in creating ocean wildlife refuges. Now the federal government has expanded California's lead and closed federal waters adjacent to state fish refuges.

The fishing world is up in arms and raging. Fishery scientist Ray Hilborn accuses refuge supporters of using "faith-based science."

I guess the smackdown is just beginning.

Fishing interests have only themselves to blame. They had their way with fish for decades, and if they had done a good job this wouldn't be happening.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The death of toxicology

We buried it at Donner summit last week, in a wine-drenched consensus. In its place we're ready to build green chemistry.

My toxicologist wife started it, and was joined by our friend the cell biologist. I offered the environmentalist view and one thing lead to another until we buried toxicology.

It's too late to follow the path of testing chemicals for harm, identifying the mechanism of toxicity, and then entering the regulatory dance to limit harm from the offending molecule. There are simply too many chemicals used, too little testing, and toxicity pathways are too complex. Doing toxicology these days is like scratching fleas bites on an elephant with a toothpick.

We need a new approach, focused on eliminating the use of toxic chemicals rather than cleaning up messes.

Now this leads to other thoughts, like the death of fishery management...but that's another story.

Lamprey, the other salmon

Most people think eels are icky. Maybe that's why the eel-like lamprey are the Rodney Dangerfield of fish, and don't get no respect. Maybe they'd win some sympathy if they dropped that alternative lifestyle thing (blood-sucking parasites).

While most people know about the sad decline of salmon, the even-worse decline of lamprey has escaped notice. Lamprey are in trouble in because almost nobody cares about them. Lamprey are killed by the same things that harm salmon, but nobody builds hatcheries or fish ladders to save the lamprey.

But there may be hope for these non-sexy fish. First nations hold lamprey in high esteem and are beginning to call attention to their sad plight. Maybe it's not too late.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sea Stories

Here is the ocean in all its terror and its glory, refracted through an array of creative responses by poets, essayists, and photographers who are, I believe, profoundly intimate with the sea, having embodied the great watery bodies of the Earth in their work.

Where is that "here?" Sea Stories, a quarterly online journal of international ocean writing and art.

Brought to you by the good people of Blue Ocean Institute

Carnival of the blue 3

Now up on Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets.

Rick MacPherson blogs oceans and more, and now leads the blue carnival into it's 3rd month. Who knew it would live that long?

Swing by and browse beyond the carnival. Maybe you can figure out what that scarlet letter "A" stands for?!

Blogfish returns

Hey all, I'm just back from a place called Serene Lakes (really) and a totally unplugged vacation. I thought I'd have at least poooor access to the virtual world, but I didn't. So I focused on the real world and it was...Serene.

Although I felt like the Donner Party that was stranded nearby a few years back. Them without food or hope, and me without wireless access.

Now back to work. Much oceans since I left, I'll try to catch up in the next few days.