Transcript below.Read More
Transcript provided below.Read More
Cuttings (short and sweet):
- Follow everyone in this amazing thread of twitter wildlife biologists started by David Steen.
- Ancient Egyptians farmed fish thousands of years ago. By the New Arab. This is a neat story about a new archaeological study, which tells us about ancient humans’ relationship with the sea.
- Fun fish festivals around the world. By Dana Sackett, for the Fisheries Blog.
- Drug trafficking at sea is devastating island states, ministers say. By Karen McVeigh, for the Guardian.
Spoils (long reads and deep dives):
- What Happens When Humans Fall In Love With An Invasive Species? By Maggie Koerth-Baker, for 538. This is a really excellent long read about the cultural impacts of invasive species, and how they’re not always considered to be bad.
- Herschel, the Very Hungry Sea Lion. By Katharine Gammon, for Hakai. This great story is all about how humans wrongly blame marine predators for our own overfishing.
- Will Americans Embrace A Zeal For Eel? This Maine Entrepreneur Hopes So. By Fred Bever, for NPR.
- Finding home, magnetically. From ScienceFriday.
- Scientists map the impact of trawling using satellite vessel tracking. By John Cannon, for MongaBay
- Scientists catch rare glimpses of endangered vaquita. By Elisabeth Malkin, for the New York Times.
- The internet of animals that could help to save vanishing wildlife. By Andrew Curry, for Nature
- And don’t forget to check out my first-ever op ed, about shark fishing in Florida
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!
Foghorn (A Call to Action!)
- Sign up for Make for the Planet Borneo and help push forward the next generation of conservation technology!
- Announcing the Con X Tech Prize for Hacking Extinction! Apply for funding to create a working hardware prototype and win up to $20,000 in awards.
Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)
- This is a totally ordinary, not at all alarming, call for government bidders on a contract to build “new systems that employ natural or engineered marine organisms as sensor elements to amplify signals related to the presence, movement, and classification of manned or unmanned underwater vehicles.” They even adorably call these Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors PALS. Normal!
- Here’s a video of anglerfish mating, because anglerfish are beauty.
- This week in science and conservation slowly, awkwardly coming to terms with their racist history: For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It and Environmentalism’s Racist History.
- Scientists in Survival Mode: After a disastrous hurricane season, scientists in the storms’ pathways struggle to return to work.
The Levee (A featured project that emerged from Oceandotcomm)
Fog Horn (A Call to Action)
- Stop. Breathe. Take a step back. This can all be incredibly overwhelming. Pick the fight that matters most to you and take a few days deciding what success looks like, what strategies will work, and what tactics are available to you. And then hoist your flag and get to work.
- And when you meet someone fighting a different fight, remember to support them. There are already enough fronts to advance without taking friendly fire from our flanks.
Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)
- Maybe it’s time to seriously consider just giving control of the world to the cephalopods. A New Species of Giant Octopus Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight.
- The most depressing annual run-down on the environmental science web: The Animals That Went Extinct in 2017.
My middle school baseball team was bad. Really bad. Ball droppingly, bat throwingly, pitch ditchingly bad. It was a good inning if four of our batters made it to the plate. A great inning if the other team didn’t rotate through it’s entire line-up, twice. Our MVP was the kid who caught a ball. And if you think this is going to be one of those articles about how one tough player (me?) turned a bunch of scrappy underdogs into winners, it is not. I played right field, and not particularly well. We lost, often.
In peewee sports, at least in the US, there’s something called a “slaughter rule”. The slaughter rule ends the game if a team is losing by more than a certain number of points. In our case, it took something like a 20 run difference to trigger a slaughter. The slaughter rule exists so that outmatched teams don’t have to slog through 7 innings of a brutal losing streak, racking up demoralizing 112 to zero defeats. Once, we got slaughtered in the first inning.
Were it not for the slaughter rule, I would probably still be out somewhere in right field, wondering if maybe I should sign up for the Latin team next year.
On January 1, 2016, the Southern Fried Science central server began uploading blog posts apparently circa 2041. Due to a related corruption of the contemporary database, we are, at this time, unable to remove these Field Notes from the Future or prevent the uploading of additional posts. Please enjoy this glimpse into the ocean future while we attempt to rectify the situation.
“The sea is big. The sea is cruel. She takes more than she gives. That’s how it’s always been.”
This line from my long forgotten first science fiction novel still resonates with me. The ocean is a tough place. No matter how good we get at working at sea, the sea always finds new and creative ways to totally undermine our endeavors.
The last quarter century has seen a tremendous rise in our collective faith in technology’s power to save us. When hundreds of thousands were dying on the roads, we made car that drove themselves, reducing traffic fatalities by several orders of magnitude. After the last great recession, we created new digital currencies to protect our savings from market forces. When we could no longer afford to burn coal and oil, we finally built an alternative energy infrastructure.
When firearm deaths and mass shootings were out of control, we built “safe” guns with sophisticated biometric locks, and developed clothing and shields to reduce fatalities. These measures had almost no effect, but we continue to throw technology at the problem.
That is the problem with technocracy. Read More
Happy FSF Folks!
So this news has been making the rounds, and it is too amazing not to include for FSF. So if you missed it, you are in luck because we highlight it again here. A giant sperm whale was captured by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) piloted as part of Bob Ballard and the Corps of Exploration’s Nautilus cruise. The whale was captured by the ROV Hercules at 598 meter (1,962 ft) below the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana.
The world has changed. Coastal cities lie abandoned as the encroaching sea rises, drowning and reshaping the land. Violent plagues, impervious to antibiotics, sweep across the planet, erasing entire communities in a single outbreak. The last refugees take to the sea, fleeing from the chaos in increasingly decrepit ships.
To the people of the Fleet, this is ancient history. There is no room for nostalgia when every day is a fight for survival.
Finally, after five months, the Fleet saga is complete. Sail with the crews of Miss Amy, Melville, Gallant, Salty Dog, Knot Work, Pair-a-dice, Satyr, Crystal Coast Lady III, Seahorse, Eastward, Rosscarrie, Shellfish Lover, and NC-3502-WM as they fight for survival in a new and unyielding ocean. Currently available as an Amazon Kindle eBook, a paperback edition will be available shortly.