Monday, June 02, 2008

Carnival of the blue 13

Who knew there was this much blue to blog?

Carnival of the blue is 1 year old. Learning to walk, prone to throw food, and otherwise out of control. That's seems appropriate for our wild, wet, and wonderful world of oceans, and it's nice that the birthday comes on (almost) World Oceans Day. Go here for the carnival archive.

Does World Oceans Day matter? Does ocean blogging matter? Rick MacPherson over at Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets ponders these questions and more. Will blue blogging emerge out of it's toddler stage and find a way to matter? We'll see.

Something new is happening with the launching of Junk, a raft made entirely of plastic bottles. As J. Nichols explains at his self-named blog, it's a new issue that's helping connect people with oceans, and see how their actions do matter. Junk is cruising from California to Hawaii to raise awareness of the problem of junk outta the trunk and in the ocean. Go here to follow their exploits and learn more about plastic junk in the ocean.

Since World Ocean Day is this week I hope everyone will do something oceany, like go for a swim, look at a fish, or at least eat one. That advice ought to get Jennifer and a few others riled up, but I must say my wild Gulf shrimp dinner this week was a great way for me to live Blue. Swing by and give it a try.

Craig McLean of Deep Sea News offers thoughful insights on deciding what seafood to eat, and the best part is that his answer isn't designed to guilt you. The Deep-Sea News troika of Craig, Peter and Kevin is sooooo good, this wasn't even their submission, but I like it so it's in.

What they really want you to read is this post that makes it look pretty clear that orcas don't thrive where crude oil has been spilled, whattya know? Also a story about giant squid and colossal squid and their truly massive body parts, like eyes.

My personal favorite from this month is Justin Van Kleeck's series on sensory flashbacks, sacred places, and what makes people into environmentalists. Here's an important reminder to notice nature in the here and now, and remember that it's not just the great pristine far away that deserves our respect.

Here's my blogfishy answer asking is wilderness a place or a feeling, wherein I muddy the waters in an attempt to explore how people get connected and begin to care about wild places like our oceans.

To make matters clear, a fine example of finding the wild is this Long Island shorebirding adventure reported by Mike Bergin of 10,000 birds that involved dodging airplanes and barricades to find a fine time with some worthy birds.

If you live in New York city and want to catch a fish, you may be surprised to learn that the fishin' is pretty good in the shadows of the skyscrapers, according to Clare Leschin-Hoar the new co-blogger on Chews Wise. Her fearless leader and author of Organic, Inc., Sam Fromartz is forging a broad view of seafood sustainability from his unique perspective, and he got some nice new food for thought at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions event.

The Cooking for Solutions event always has a lot to offer, and Ken Peterson of Sea Notes summarizes the action and links to a veritable who's-who of food and ocean writers and their thoughts on the event.

Speaking of seafood, if you like lobster, you'll love this story of making the Maine lobster fishery more sustainable by reducing the risk of catching whales in lobster gear, from Hugh Powell at surf.bird.scribble. Hugh's been off on some intersting adventures lately, and has some great stories to tell.

Now for those of you who like a sharper edge on your knife, hear the words of Greenpeace's John Hocevar about their plans to rock the US seafood world as only Greenpeace can, since he has more hope for Tibet than our ocean fish, brought to you by the happy pessimest Jennifer Jacquet of Shifting Baselines. She also offers a story about feeding bugmeal to farmed fish so they don't need to eat all those lovely little fish and krill.

Miriam Goldstein, the sharp-elbowed blogger from Oyster's Garter, reports on ultimate fighting between corals and colonial tunicates in the "thrilla from Curacao" and the similarity to a short person's battle for space on a New York subway.

Making doubt a lifestyle, or at least a blog title, James Hrynyshyn worries about a decline in minke whales and what it means for our oceans, and also helps explain away some of the fake doubt about climate change in clarifying the great blip of 1945 when the earth seemed to get (briefly) cooler.

As if warming wasn't enough, Eric Heupel scares us with stories of brittle stars on acid that we can expect in our acidified ocean future, thanks to excess CO2. But he settles us down with a nice story of progress in farming the critically endangered and truly tasty queen conch, so we can all feel a little less guitly when we eat them in secret.

Giving new meaning to the term "happy as a clam," Chris Patil of ouroboros reports on the "imperceptible senescence" and extreme longevity of the ocean quahog, and possible lessons on the biology of (not) aging.

Quahogs aren't the only nifty bivalves, Mark Hall regales with tales of the Steve McQueen-like blue-eyed scallop, which "has succeeded by breaking or bending the rules of bivalvery at almost every turn."

Natural Patriot Emmet Duffy reports on a new report on The Disappearing Chesapeake, let us hope that we change course before it's too late.

I really like this next one where Megan Smith of Blue Ocean Institute politely reams a new orifice in Land Rover for daring to mess with that venerable ocean beast, the loggerhead turtle. You mess with our oceans and you're messing with Megan Smith, and after seeing her put Land Rover in it's place, I won't make that mistake.

And for more on ocean people making things happen, Eric Eckl of Water Words that Work tells us about The Shark Group, a Google Group that gave Discovery Channel a very hard time about using inflammatory language like "mindless killing machines" to talk about sharks.

Ever wonder which cruise lines are "overweight?" Anthony Townsend of Blue Economy has some investing smarts to share about those love 'em or leave 'em ocean users with the really beeeeeg ships.

Marine mammals are in the news, and Buck Denton reports on the first-ever observation of the birth of a right whale calf, improved species IDs, and more over at The Conservation Report.

Loss of really big fish is sad, but Walruses are really cool, as Caspar Henderson reports on the beautifully named blog The Book of Barely Imagined Beings (shifting baselines from a poet's perspective?).

And speaking of barely imagined beings, how about President Bush, environmental hero? Sheril Kirshembaum tells you the surprising story at Intersection.

For the wooly-er side of blue blogging, you've got to swing by Stichin' Fish from the Ecology Action Center, where Sadie Beaton has "hooked up" a fantastic wolf fish with her crochet hook, as part of their effort to connect people to oceans and tell the amazing stories of ocean life off Halifax.

If you're looking for answers in how to save our oceans, look no further than Pepijn Koster and his querulous cat over at He's now started a whole new wave of ocean fun, launching the LOL oceans virus (at least this is the first time I've gotten infected).

Finally, let's all send a cheer out to our blue friend Jarrett Byrnes who is busy turning in his dissertation instead of doing blue blogging at I'm a chordata, urochordata. Here's an undated link and a classic (salty poetry) since he's been a bit busy lately.

Next month, drop by The Blue Economy for Carnival of the Blue 14


Ian Wilker said...

Massive and entertaining round-up. Thanks Mark. It's been fun to watch the "blue" bloggers grow into such a vibrant community.

We'll miss Kate over at Switchboard, but she's surely landed in a fine spot partnering with you. Good luck to you both!

-- Ian

Kevin Zelnio said...

Wow Mark! Is the biggest one yet?? So much good news in this issue too.

BTW, New spineless coblogger Eric Heupel wrote those 2 articles I submitted. Sorry for the confusion. Still getting used to this coblogger thing myself ;)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the one year anniversary of the Carnival of the Blue, Mark. COB cleared a big hurdle, and we've got you to thank you for it. Keep up the good work!

Miriam Goldstein said...

Lovely roundup! I detect a certain prejudice against urochordates? No tunicate love for the Oyster's Garter entry? *weeps gently*

Anonymous said...

"Carnival of the blue is 1 year old. Learning to walk, prone to throw food, and otherwise out of control."

Glad you didn't take the analogy any further Mark. One year olds are also prone to babble nonsense.

Anonymous said...

PS :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks so much for the kind words. And, indeed, it's in! For the full bit, see here But, yeah... I'm now a Doctor. HA!

Chrissy said...

This is a fascinating blog. Congrats on your one yr anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations from the North, yep it's me. Keep fighting the good fight, that we all know is right.