I particularly like that they go into enough detail to lay out options for incorporating predation into fisheries. Personally, I’m a big fan of the “second fleet” option, in which predators are counted as another source of fishing mortality (and some of my favorite papers are cited in support of it). It does require the most effort, but provides the most accurate estimations of predation mortality (and justifies funding for diet studies? Please?). Multi-species models are ideal, and really the only way to conclusively prove that trophic cascades are actually happening. Precautionary buffers, in my opinion, should really follow thorough diet studies, but are certainly another important aspect of ecosystem-based management.
It’s neat to finally see this subject getting some attention. Here’s hoping the word continues to get out about the importance of shark puke.
As 16th Conference of the Parties of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES COP16, pronounced sight-eze) comes to a close, I’d like to reflect on something that made this meeting unlike almost any other wildlife conservation and management meeting in history. Yes, history was made as delegates voted to list commercially exploited shark species for the first time, and history was made when manta rays became the first shark or ray species to be listed under CITES the first time they were proposed, and that’s all fantastic news. However, what I believe made CITES COP16 a game-changer for wildlife conservation and management was the large-scale inclusion of online outreach by both attendees and organizers. For the first time ever, interested members of the public from all over the world could follow along (and to some degree, participate) in real time.
The Beneath The Waves Film Festival is accepting submissions for the 2013 event. Now in it’s fourth year, Beneath the Waves encourages dialogue and networking between documentary filmmakers, conservationists, and scientists. As in past years, the film festival is associated with the Benthic Ecology conference, which is taking place March 20th-23rd in Savannah, Georgia. There will also be a series of mini-festivals touring around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and all over the United States.
Beneath The Waves accepts submissions from filmmakers of any skill level, and both amateurs and students are encouraged to apply. Though underwater footage is not explicitly required, films must be about an ocean issue, and must be less than 15 minutes (under 10 minutes is preferable). Films can be submitted electronically or by mail, and are due February 1st. For more information about guidelines for submissions, click here.
Beneath the Waves director Austin Gallagher introduces the 2012 festival in Norfolk, VA.
I’ve been proud to be a part of the growing Beneath the Waves family since the beginning, first as a student filmmaker, and now as festival staff. I hope you’ll consider joining us! For more information about the festival, please visit BeneathTheWavesFilmFest.org.
We have successfully achieved intensive filmmaking workshop in this summer, and going to have film and photography exhibition in UNC Chapel Hill on November 29th and 30th.
There are two ways to join our Festival. First, you can submit your works in film, photography and audio to our Exhibition (Duke and UNC students only). Please see our website today and contact to Rachel Gittman, one of our student leaders to tell that you are submitting. Second this event is open to public, please visit UNC’s Fedex Center for Global Education. We have keynote speakers, film screening in addition to our exhibition. Details in below.
While my illustrious co-blogger has taken over running the Donor’s Choose challenge for Southern Fried Science this year, I decided to take up a single, worthy project to focus on. One of the challenges with Donor’s Choose is that it’s hard to fund the most expensive projects. People like to see the results of their donations, and funding a project to completion is extremely gratifying. From our experience over the last few years, most donations coming from our readership are small, so the project in the $200 to $500 range reap the bulk of the donations. This is great, but there are some big budget proposals on Donor’s Choose that are worthy of funding, too.
Which brings me to the title of this post: What if you’ve never seen the ocean?
Sometimes it’s not enough to set up aquaria, provide books, or design in-class experiments. In addition to all of that, students need to actually experience the ocean, which is exactly what In Search of Marine Diversity plans to do. From the project page:
Our students have great difficulty understanding ocean concepts because they have never visited an ocean beach.
This project will provide opportunities for them to get answers to their questions when they visit the Center for Marine and Education Research in Gulfport, Mississippi, to participate in relevant, hands-on learning at a three-day Sea Camp conducted by the University of Mississippi in coordination with CMERS.
Our school is a small rural public school in Arkansas. Much of the school district lies in a remote mountain range far from cities or major bodies of water (ocean). Students who ride the bus to school from this remote area are on the bus over three hours every school day (90 minutes each way). Our school had approximately 78 percent of the students receiving free or reduced lunches during 2011-12, so this year all students receive meals at no charge. Many families receive income from farming (cattle, chickens or timber) or from farming-related occupations. According to the 2010 census, the per capita income was $14,710 with only 52.3 percent of the population employed. This project is needed to provide opportunities for student learning that cannot be met in the classroom. The Gulf Coast studies includes snorkeling underwater adventures, a fossil dig, and hands-on exploration of freshwater turtles, horseshoe crabs, sea stars, sting rays, blue crabs, sea urchins, dolphins, etc.
This is an expensive trip. In order to send 20 students to University of Mississippi Sea Camp, the teacher is asking for almost $14,000, half of which is being met by the Walt Disney Company. Although this project launched almost a month ago, they have yet to receive a donation.
Last time I paid the hapless mariner a visit, many readers interpreted my incisive criticism of the science behind Aquaman as evidence that I had it out for our scale-clad hero. Since you all know that I’m going to take the misguided marine science in this volume to task, let’s start with all of the good stuff in this reimagination of DC’s oft-mocked champion.
The central conceit of New 52 Aquaman is that the comic book world has the same perception of Arthur Curry that we do–a hero with oddly specific and mostly useless powers that talks to fish. In addition, the citizens of the DC Universe believe that Atlantis is a fairy tale, so Aquaman’s kingly status is meaningless to the surface dwellers. The hybrid of a human father and Atlantean mother, Aquaman feels out of place in Atlantis and chooses to return to the surface with his wife, Mera. Comparing himself to his lighthouse-keeper father, he explains that even though he loves the sea, someone must protect the shore.
A change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
And still climate change denial continues to persist.
In the last decade, we have passed a threshold where the reality of climate change is no longer a hypothesis buried in bar graphs or something to be assessed by minute changes in careful measurements, but an observable phenomenon. Rather than anticipating the effects of human impacts on the climate, we must now live them. Thanks to a well-organized and well-funded climate denial industry, we missed our chance to change course. If the last decade was the hurricane warning, than this decade is landfall.
A few of my colleagues recently came to me looking for advice on how to get started on twitter. Even for seasoned marine scientists who grew up during the internet revolution, establishing a twitter presence can be a daunting task. When used well, it provides a steady stream of news, commentary, and discussion that can provide broad insight into the current state of marine science and conservation. When used poorly, twitter can become a continuous, unrelenting torrent of irrelevant nonsense, punditry, and manufactured controversy. I put this guide together to provide a foundation for those interested in using twitter to engage with the Ocean Community.
There are several great basic guides on how to get started on twitter, so, rather than reinventing the wheel, here are a few of my favorite resources:
All of these guides have some good advice, but really, the best thing you can to get a feel for twitter is to create a personal account and play around for a week or two. Always start with a personal account. You’re going to make mistakes, faux pas, or perhaps accidentally tweet something that you’d wish you hadn’t. You don’t learn to ride a bike on a Pinarello Dogma 60.1 and you shouldn’t learn to use a new social media tool on an account that will be permenently linked to your online reputation.
If you’ve been following me on twitter, checking out some of my YouTube videos, or reading this blog, you probably have a good sense about how enthusiastic I am about ROV’s and how excited I am about the current wave of cheap, easy to build and maintain, functional ROV’s for outreach, teaching, and recreational exploration. Inexpensive, high quality ROV’s can provide us with previously unheard of access to the ocean.
So I’m really excited that OpenROV, an open source project to develop a robotic submarine that anyone can build and use, has launched their kickstarter page to develop and distribute the OpenROV kit. From the project page:
“Our oceans help feed our Nation, fuel our economic engine, give mobility to our Armed Forces, and provide a place for rest and recreation. Healthy oceans, coasts, and waterways are among our most valuable resources — driving growth, creating jobs, and supporting businesses across America. During National Oceans Month, we reaffirm our commitment to the oceans and celebrate the myriad benefits they bring to all Americans.”
Obama also reminds us of our maritime heritage:
“President John F. Kennedy once told us, “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.” During National Oceans Month, let us celebrate our heritage as a seafaring Nation by instilling an ethic of good ocean stewardship in all Americans.”
So find your spirit of nationalism, heritage, nature’s romanticism, or whatever inspires you most about the rolling sea – go forth and celebrate and bring the spirit of stewardship to others!