Plastic Free Fish, Chainsaw Lobsters, and Artificial Horseshoe Crab Blood: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, May 17th 2018

Thursday Afternoon DredgingMay 17, 20180

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

Bone-eating Jabba worms, the world’s deepest plastic bag, new shipwrecks, climate change art, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 14, 2018.

Monday Morning SalvageMay 14, 20180

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

Osedax worms growing on the vertebrae of a dead whale.
Photo: 2006 MBARI

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Seafaring neanderthals and switchblade fish: A mega Thursday Afternoon Dredging, May 10th, 2018

Thursday Afternoon DredgingMay 10, 20180


After two weeks off, we’re back and bigger than ever!

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

Crab industry in crisis, world’s largest deep-sea mining vessel takes to sea, Bayou Women, ocean trash, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 7, 2018

Monday Morning SalvageMay 7, 20181

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

A second trap design from Gittings. Lionfish are attracted to the structures inside. (Steve Gittings/NOAA)

The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)

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Write to your newspaper, banning plastic in the Bahamas, vanishing atolls, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: April 30, 2018.

Monday Morning SalvageApril 30, 20180

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)

© RAFEED HUSSAIN

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I love Jargon: my three biggest peeves about how we think about science communication. #SciComm

#SciCommApril 27, 20180

I have a fundamentally tactical approach to science communication, which occasionally puts me at odds with more conventional practices. Some of the most common pieces of advice in scicomm tend to be the least effective for accurately and precisely communicating your message to a target audience.

Release the Kraken.

1. The J-Word.

Jargon. Jargon. Jargon. We’re all supposed to eradicate jargon from our outreach. Jargon should be avoided. We need to rehab our use of jargon. Hone your science writing by only using the ten hundred most common words (because ‘thousand’ isn’t among the top 1000 word). Sure, these are good exercises for thinking about how you communicate science, but as actual communication advice, it’s big animal that makes white drink back end drop.

Jargon is beautiful. Jargon is powerful. Not only are jargon words often more precise than their generic equivalent, but jargon acts as a form of shorthand. It tells your intended audience “hey, friend, this article/film/tweet/podcast is for you”. Outreach in all forms is always targeted towards a specific audience. Using jargon well helps define that audience and helps that audience connect to your piece. Smart use of jargon can make a good piece of outreach into a tactical piece of outreach.

Which is not to say that you shouldn’t think about jargon use at all. Understanding how different words are used in different contexts and how technical language can alienate non-specialist audiences is essential to producing high-quality outreach. But the general advice that we should all just avoid jargon the least effective approach possible.

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An octopus’s garden in the sea, the world’s densest island, dangers of deep-sea fishing, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: April 23, 2018

Monday Morning SalvageApril 23, 20180

Foghorn (A Call to Action!)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

  • Nuclear Legacy Voyage with Okeanos Marshall Islands.

The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)

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Ocean apps and beluga migrations: Thursday Afternoon Dredging, April 19th, 2018

Thursday Afternoon DredgingApril 19, 2018

Cuttings (short and sweet): 

Spoils (long reads and deep dives):

Please add your own cuttings and spoils in the comments!

If you appreciate my shark research and conservation outreach, please consider supporting me on Patreon! Any amount is appreciated, and supporters get exclusive rewards!

This month’s 3D printed reward is a horn shark and horn shark egg case!

marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksApril 18, 2018

I recently unveiled a new tier of Patreon rewards: 3D printed shark and ray models! For $17 per month, you will get a monthly 3D printed educational model of different shark or ray parts in the mail, and you’ll be supporting my efforts to provide these models to schools for free.

This month’s reward is a model of a horn shark (Heterodontus francisci) and a horn shark egg case!

It comes from Alex Warneke, the Science Education Coordinator of Cabrillo National Monument! “”Using 3D printing technology has not only changed the way we educate the public, but it has broadened our perspective on what is possible in National Parks,” Alex told me. “We have been able to connect students to nature from an entirely different angle and provide them the tools and context they will need to succeed as scientists of the next generation.” This individual horn shark comes from the ichthyology collection at Cabrillo, and has been used for public education as well as research. The egg case is one of many that wash up on California beaches.

The original horn shark specimen and the 3D model of it, courtesy Alex Warneke, Cabrillo National Monument

Learn more about horn sharks and their egg cases below!

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An open letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on revising land-based recreational shark fishing regulations

Conservation, Conservation policy, Environmentalism, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksApril 17, 2018

Note: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding a public meeting on April 25th which will include the issue of land-based recreational shark fishing. Part of my dissertation research focused on this topic, so I am submitting expert testimony, but since I no longer live in Florida I am submitting it remotely. I am sharing my testimony here. Anyone else who is interested in attending the meeting in person (Fort Lauderdale Marriott on April 25th), or submitting testimony remotely, is free to quote my talking points below if the appropriate references are cited. 

Dear Chair Rivard, Vice Chair Spottswood, Commissioner Kellam, Commissioner Lester, Commissioner Nicklaus, Commissioner Rood, and Commissioner Sole of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC),

My name is Dr. David Shiffman, and I studied land-based shark fishing in Florida as part of my Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. This research was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Fisheries Research (here’s a link to an open access copy) and covered in major media outlets including National Geographic, Nature, and the Miami Herald. Accordingly, I would like to provide expert testimony for your April 25th public hearing on this topic. Since I no longer reside in Florida I am submitting this testimony remotely. As a conservation biologist who spent years studying harmful practices among some elements of the land-based Florida shark fishing community, I am grateful to see FWC holding a public meeting that includes this important issue, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute.

Overall, the scientific evidence is clear and overwhelming that while many anglers are rule-following and conservation-minded, many common land-based shark fishing practices represent a significant conservation threat to threatened, protected shark species in Florida. Additionally, the evidence is clear and overwhelming that in many cases anglers are breaking existing laws and regulations, and that in some of those cases the anglers are aware that they are breaking the law and are explicitly stating that they don’t care. Finally, the evidence is clear and overwhelming that many of the arguments put forward by land-based anglers in support of the status quo are not argued in good faith, and are intentionally crafted to misrepresent the facts of the situation.

It is obvious to me, and to many expert colleagues with whom I have discussed this issue, that the FWC can and must do more to protect threatened sharks, building off of early successes that made Florida a leader in shark conservation. Specifically, the FWC can and must do more to regulate these harmful practices, enforce clear violations of existing regulations, and educate anglers about these issues. Below I will elaborate on each of these points and propose specific regulatory, enforcement, and public education changes that can be made to protect sharks without significantly infringing on anyone’s rights. I will also counter several common arguments that are put forth by bad actors in the recreational angling community.

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Staff: Andrew David Thaler (1217), David Shiffman (585), Amy Freitag (238), Guest Writer (81), Kersey Sturdivant (58), Chris Parsons (57), Chuck Bangley (21), Michelle Jewell (21), Administrator (2), Bucky Villagomez (1), Sarah Keartes (1), David Lang (1), Solomon David (1), Iris (1), Lyndell M. Bade (0), Michael Bok (0), Rachel Pendergrass (0)