save our sea

Big Lessons From Finding Dory

So I saw Finding Dory tonight and let me just highlight a few things that are very important that were shown in the movie but may have gone over other’s heads (none of these are spoilers, really but im tagging them anyways):

1. Not all marine life institutions are like SeaWorld. This film demonstrates there are a lot of really helpful marine life institutions out there who are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals. It takes place in California and although they never directly call it the Monterey Bay Aquarium you can tell that is what it is based off of. Many aquariums like the one in Monterey and a local aquarium by me are completely dedicated to the rehabilitation of marine life/mammals and yes, they tag some animals, but it is just to track their migration patterns and conduct research. SeaWorld has given such a bad name to other marine life centers out there and to be honest, these centers are the kind of organizations we need to preserve our marine life. Most operate on a vast network of volunteers and they could really use your donations–especially when it is apparent that our government does not care about our waters to make any laws protecting it.

2. PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE FINAL SCENE. (The one where Dory says the view before her is “unforgettable”). If you’ve seen the movie, you might have noticed something….well missing. In fact, a lot was missing. Much of the coral reef in this scene as they pan out has become discolored and is dead. Pixar clearly wanted to draw your eye to this scene. Our coral reefs are dramatically dying and if we don’t stop to care for them now, they can be gone easily in a lifetime–as little as 15 years. Those beautiful views will become forgettable if we do not do something about them now. Back when Finding Nemo came out 12 years ago, scientists were just starting to notice the dramatic changes in iur coral reefs. Now if you see recent pictures of the Sydney Harbor, the same one featured in FN, most of those beautiful colorful corl reefs are dead and gone. Although Finding Dory is supposed to take place one year after Finding Nemo, Pixar was really trying to bring that important message out.

So please, keep in mind as you spend money towards a movie ticket, maybe next time use that money and donate to ocean conservation funds. We really do only get one world, and she takes care of us so we should take care of her.

You know what this blog needs? More Manta Rays!

I was wondering the other day what the reproduction and life cycle was of the manta, and then I watched a great documentary called “Project Manta”. Basically it is about identifying individuals to see how far the travel to better protect them if they are migrating between manta fisheries (Yes, in Southeast Asia there is a fishery for Manta Ray Gills, another Chinese medicine with no scientific backing). That aside, the documentary filmed some amazing feeding and breeding events around the world.

If you love Mantas, try to find it and check it out!

This large male Green sea turtle came into the reef for a much needed clean. I took a couple photos and then just sat with it for ten minutes as it got cleaned. It must have been at sea for a long time to be this dirty, or maybe it keeps getting creeped out by people staring at him every time he tries to get cleaned. It was such an old turtle, I cried I was so happy to share a moment with such an amazing creature. Currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red list. 

It was only until relatively recent that two different species of manta exist. The reef manta and the larger oceanic manta.

As you can tell by the name, the oceanic manta is more of a traveller, having been tagged crossing up to 2000 km, that is the distance from one side of Spain to Portugal… Twice! While reef mantas are more of the ‘homebody’ type, they still can travel 200-400 km to get from place to place.

This is a reef manta in Indonesia, although I dream about seeing the oceanic mantas of the west coast of Mexico. And maybe putting my hand out to see if it will give me a high five… I dream big!
World's oceans warming at increasingly faster rate, new study finds
Ocean water has absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat and nearly 30% of the carbon dioxide generated by human consumption of fossil fuels
By Oliver Milman

With ocean temperatures rising we are not only seeing shifts in temperatures and interesting weather events on land, but this will change the future of marine biology and ecology. 

Creatures will have two options: 

1. Die out.
2. Adapt.

If animals cannot adapt to new temperature ranges, or their food sources can’t, we are going to see a complete shift in the composition of animals in our home ranges. Which in turn will change the future of how we use our ocean resources.

So what are we going to do? Let them die out, change, or are WE going to adapt?

Remember the black juvenile ribbon eel?

This is what an adult male looks like. More vibrant now to attract a potential mate, but still just as feisty for the camera!

Another endangered, but beautiful species, the Napoleon or Humphead Wrasse. This long lived and large species preys on a number of smaller reef species.

What causes this species endangerment? A number of factors directly related to humans (of course), from fishing and taking individuals for aquarium trade.

Because everyone loves sea turtles. Majestic reptiles of the sea.

Living life on the edge.

Or turning over a new leaf?

What an inspiring Nudi.

This type of snail is neat not only because it looks like it has cute little rosey buttcheeks, but as well the spot pattern isn’t its shell! It is the colour of its mantel which comes out when it is moving or feels comfortable. Once it gets scared, the whole mantel retreats back into the shell leaving it safe, but quite dull looking.