dolphin conservation

10 Reasons Why Orca Whales Should NOT be at Seaworld (Or Any Marine Park)

  1. In the wild, orcas swim up to 100 miles a day. They are confined into a small tank in captivity. 
  2. Their collapsed dorsal fins (pictured above) are a sign of an unhealthy whale. All male orcas in captivity have a collapsed dorsal fin. Less than 1% of orcas have this condition in the wild.
  3. Orcas do not live up to their nickname “killer whale”. There has not been one incident of an orca killing a human in the wild. However, in captivity, orcas have killed 3 humans and injured 151 reported injury incidences.
  4. On average, orcas live up to 50 years old in the wild. Some females have been reported to live 80-100 years old. Seaworld’s average orca life span is 13 years old.
  5. Family is important to orcas. In the wild, their pods include generations upon generations of their family. Marine parks do not keep their families together. In fact, babies are taken from their mothers. This is psychologically traumatizing to the whales. 
  6. Whale fights are common in the tanks because they are not in their pods and they are, literally, mentally ill. In a tank, whales can’t flee from fights like they can in the wild. These whales get brutally injured and sometimes killed by other whales in the tank.
  7. Pods have their own languages. In a tank with other whales who have different languages. Imagine living with somebody who speaks a different language with you and you cannot use hand motions. Frustrating right?
  8. Not only are the tanks in marine parks WAY too small for this wild animal, in the wild, marine mammals live in a habitat full of MANY other marine plants and animals. In captivity, they live in a cement, chlorinated tank.
  9. Since 1961, 141 whales have been captured. 125 of these whales have died.
  10. The brain of an orca is 4 times larger than the human brain. It has been confirmed their intelligence matches to ours, if not more.

Just imagine living in cement room with a few other people who don’t speak your language. Imagine not knowing if you will ever see your family again. Imagine being forced to do performances for others and being fed one thing for the rest of your life. Imagine being confined in a cement room when there is a whole world out there to explore.

So, how can you help? It’s easy! boycott sea world. Without the revenue, they are forced to shut down their business. Also, education is important. Remind the public of what is going on. 

In 200 years, people will look back on this particular period and say to themselves: “How did those people at that time just allow all of these amazing creatures to vanish?” But it would very little use in me or anybody else in exerting all this energy to save the wild places if people are not being educated into being better stewards than we’ve been. If we all lose hope, there is no hope. Without hope, people fall into apathy. There’s still a lot left that’s worth fighting for.
—  Jane Goodall, Racing Extinction

”What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.”

- Donald J. Trump

youtube

A short video about ocean acidification. Quite informative.

5

Eco-friendly whale watching: kayaking

Pros: No noise pollution, no oil consumption, no chemical pollution, humane alternative to captivity, more peaceful than a boat

Be sure to follow all whale watching regulations in the area strictly! Keep your distance, don’t feed or touch, and never pursue an animal leaving the area. Let them come to you if they want.

theguardian.com
Amazon’s pink river dolphins reveal the bizarre impacts of seafood fraud
In recent years numbers of South America’s freshwater dolpins have fallen. But they’re not being caught to eat, but as bait for a common catfish being fraudulently sold under a different name
By Emma Bryce

I hate posting more bad news rather than good news.

This is just a “WTF?” kind of article.

Maui’s dolphins live only off of the coast of New Zealand. They are the world’s smallest species of dolphin. With only 50 left in the wild, this species is very very near extinction. The threat to their survival stems from human and environmental  problems such as getting stuck in nets, pollution, getting hit by boats and boat propellors, and acoustic pollution from construction.

Sign this petition to help save Maui Dolphins!

http://www.change.org/p/save-maui-s-dolphins-from-extinction

The Do's and Don'ts of Scuba Diving

Whether you are just starting out as a new diver, or have logged thousands of dives already, scuba diving still brings the same sensations and star-struck feelings every time. However, it is important to remember a few good, ocean-friendly practices while you are diving to best protect our marine environment. 

  • Do not stand up on your fins, especially on corals. Practice good finning and buoyancy to avoid accidental contact with the reef or stirring up the sediment. Many coral species and smaller animals are very sensitive, and you will be killing them instantly if you stand on the reef. 

(Do not stand on the reef. You will cause physical damage to creatures that have taken years to get to that size. Photo source: Wikipedia.)

  • Do not touch anything. First of all, you never know what you may be touching, and it can sting you or be extremely poisonous. You might even come in contact with powerfully venomous fishes such as scorpionfishes, who blend in extremely well with their surroundings. Second of all, you touching corals can harm them, transmit bacteria or diseases, or stress them. You may transmit diseases or remove protective coatings on fish, mammals, invertebrates and other species.

  • On that same note, do not chase or harass marine life.  I have witnessed people chasing poor turtles and hanging on to them while the poor animals were trying to go up to take a breath. Keep clear of free-swimming animals (such as turtles, whales and sea snakes). In particular, do not chase, ride, grab or block the path of these animals. Even if you think it’s cool, do not ride a turtle (they also might bite you!). Do not cowboy a manatee. Do not hold on to the fin of a dolphin or a shark. Look but never touch and try not to get too close. 

(Source: Aquaviews)

  • Do not leave your diving gear dragging on the reef, such as pressure gauges or regulators. Keeping gear close to your body reduces drag and the chances of entanglement. Sea life is everywhere and can be harmed by the kick of a fin, bump of a tank, or knock of the hand.
  • Do not wear gloves. Or at least when the temperature allows you not to. Gloves only bring you a false sense of security which may lead you to holding on underwater. This can cause corals to break, or allow you to get too close to marine life by holding onto rocks and can lead to you harming yourself as gloves will not actually provide reliable protection against dangerous marine life.

(Refrain from wearing dive gloves, as they may give you a false sense of security and you will be more likely to hang on to the reef. Photo source: Greenpeace)

  • Do not bring anything up to the surface, other than recent trash. Similarly, don’t buy souvenirs of corals or marine life – this encourages people to remove tons of alive or dead marine life from marine ecosystems each year for selling to tourists. If we didn’t buy it then people wouldn’t collect it. Leave it where it belongs.
  • Do not feed the fishes. Feeding fish or any other species can lead to them becoming reliant upon that food source. It makes fish more aggressive towards divers and can lead to species interacting with others which they wouldn’t naturally come into contact with. 

(Pick up any recent trash you might encounter. Photo source: Project Aware).

  • Do pick up trash, plastic bags or any other recent littered items.

  • Do respect the marine environment, only observe the sensitive and fragile species that live within it. All divers should refrain from intrusive and damaging interactions such as handling marine life or manipulating it.
  • Do learn about the local ecosystem before your dive, and what animals you may be able to spot while diving. 

  • Do practice good buoyancy and refrain from touching the bottom with your fins and body. Practice buoyancy control over sand patches before approaching a reef - test buoyancy whenever you’re using new equipment such as new wetsuits, buoyancy control devices (BCDs) and cameras. Remember to always lift your feet up!

(This is the ideal diving position you would like to maintain throughout your dive. A streamlined horizontal position, keeping your feet up, and your hands to yourself will give you low water resistance! Photo source: Ilios Dive Club)

  • Do patronize reef-friendly dive shops, hotels and tourist operators that promote eco-friendly practices. 
  • Do lead by example. Remember that other divers may look up to you. If they see you touching or manipulating sea life, they will assume it is alright to do so. Similarly, if they see you pick up trash, they may start doing it in their future dives. Be an ambassador for good, eco-friendly diving practices.

  • Do stay humble. You are in their world for a limited amount of time. Enjoy the wonder and amazement that is our marine life, and do not act like you own the place and can do whatever pleases you.
  • Have fun!  Every dive is different and a chance to discover more natural wonders.

(Source: Splash Dive)

The always magnificent humpback whale. True songbirds, they produce some of the longest, most complex sound sequences of any animal, which each song lasting up to a half hour.

These are amazing creatures and I hope that humanity will protect them and their environment, because it would be an absolute tragedy to lose this member of the ocean ecosystem.

bbc.com
Health of oceans 'declining fast'
  • The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than had previously been thought, a report says.

  • They are being heated by climate change, turned slowly less alkaline by absorbing CO2, and suffering from overfishing and pollution.

  • “On ocean acidification, we are seeing effects that no-one predicted like the inability of fish to detect their environments properly.

We may not have much more time to save our oceans, and protect the wonderfully diverse marine life that shares this planet with us. 

What you can do (everyone can do something) :

  • Support sustainable fisheries- know where your fish comes from
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by: recycling, taking public transport, carpooling, or biking, investing in clean energy
  • Consider eating less beef (cows produce another greenhouse gas - methane). Eat poultry or go vegetarian! Quinoa, tofu, soy, and nuts make great protein alternatives
  • Vote for candidates who support clean energy and environment protection. 
  • Invest in solar & wind power
  • Call your local news and encourage them to stop making climate change a debate. Often you’ll see two people debating the existence of climate change, but climate change is a FACT, and therefore there should be no debate. The news should educate the public.
  • Shop smarter: research the stores that you shop at - take a look at what their corporate invests in. For example, Walmart corp invests in anti-climate change propaganda - which is NOT good
  • Encourage people you know, and people you don’t know, to do the same
  • Get involved in your local environment conservation, go to google and see what needs to be done in your area! 

“SeaWorld could be in trouble because of “Granny,” the world’s oldest known living orca. The 103-year-old whale (also known as J2) was recently spotted off Canada’s western coast with her pod — her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But while the Granny sighting is thrilling for us, it’s problematic for SeaWorld.

First of all, SeaWorld has claimed that “no one knows for sure how long killer whales live,” when simple figures or even living and thriving examples — like Granny — can give us a pretty good idea. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation project estimates that whales born in captivity only live to 4.5 years old, on average; many of SeaWorld’s orcas die before they reach their 20s.

Another key aspect of an orca’s life — which is missing in captivity — is the ability to swim up to 100 miles per day. When Granny was spotted earlier this week, she had just finished an 800-mile trek from northern California along with her pod.

According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas’ psychological health and well-being; SeaWorld, however, has gone on record claiming that orcas do not need to swim hundreds of miles regularly, ostensibly to defend the parks’ cruel practice of keeping massive, powerful orcas confined to cramped tanks.”—thedodo.com

Colisiones con ballenas son más comunes de lo que se piensa

PORTLAND, Maine, EEUU (AP) — Las colisiones entre buques y ballenas en la costa nororiental de Estados Unidos podrían ser más comunes de lo que se piensa, dice un estudio.

En la investigación, publicada por la revista Marine Mammal Science, se halló que casi el 15% de las ballenas en el sur del Golfo de Maine tenían heridas o cicatrices características del choque con una embarcación.

La ocurrencia de esas colisiones, concluyen los expertos, bien podría ser más común de lo pensado.

El autor principal del estudio pertenece al grupo Whale and Dolphin Conservation, basado en Plymouth, Massachusetts. La agrupación dice que los científicos examinaron más de 200.000 fotos de 624 ballenas en un lapso de nueve años, examinando sus cicatrices y heridas.

Recently Spotted 103-Year-Old Orca Is Bad News For SeaWorld

SeaWorld could be in trouble because of “Granny,” the world’s oldest known living orca. The 103-year-old whale (also known as J2) was recently spotted off Canada’s western coast with her pod – her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But while the Granny sighting is thrilling for us, it’s problematic for SeaWorld.

First of all, SeaWorld has claimed that “no one knows for sure how long killer whales live,” when simple figures or even living and thriving examples – like Granny – can give us a pretty good idea. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation project estimates that whales born in captivity only live to 4.5 years old, on average; many of SeaWorld’s orcas die before they reach their 20s. Perhaps because of their reduced lifespans, the whales are forced to breed continuously and at perilously young ages, which could also diminish their overall health.

Another key aspect of an orca’s life – which is missing in captivity – is the ability to swim up to 100 miles per day. When Granny was spotted earlier this week, she had just finished an 800-mile trek from northern California along with her pod. According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas’ psychological health and well-being; SeaWorld, however, has gone on record claiming that orcas do not need to swim hundreds of miles regularly, ostensibly to defend the parks’ cruel practice of keeping massive, powerful orcas confined to cramped tanks.

Since Granny was first spotted (as early as the 1930s), she’s believed to have mothered two calves, who in turn have had calves of their own. (One of her grandchildren, Canuck, reportedly died at the age of 4 after being captured and held at SeaWorld). As her pod has grown, Granny has kept up with them – without being separated through human intervention – and traveled astonishing distances with her pod annually. Orcas at SeaWorld are routinely separated from their pods, which has been known to cause huge mental and emotional strain and can prevent calves from developing normally.

Granny doesn’t simply represent an impressive feat of nature; she embodies what’s wrong with SeaWorld by being a living example of what’s right in the wild. While it’s true that most wild orcas don’t live as long as Granny has, their lifespans are still dramatically longer than those of SeaWorld’s whales (the NOAA estimates that wild female orcas, like Granny, live an average of 50 to 60 years). Their lives are also filled with much more swimming, exploration, variety and bonding with family – in other words, their lives are likely filled with much more joy.