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.

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! 

Why Should I Care For the Oceans?

We’ve all heard it:

“Why does it matter if we overfish tuna? It tastes so good!”

“If the oceans dried up tomorrow, why would I care? I live 500miles away from any body of water!”

The thing is, without the oceans, we would all be dead. Our planet would probably look like Mars. There would be no freshwater, no food for us to eat, no suitable climate for us to survive.

(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Whether you live by the coast, or only see the ocean once a year on holiday, the ocean has an impact on your life. Every breath you take, every food or drinks you have… is thanks to our oceans. Every single individual and living being on this planet is deeply connected, and extremely dependent upon our seas.

The oceans regulates climate, weather, and temperature. They act as carbon dioxide ‘sinks’ from the atmosphere. They hold 97% of the Earth’s water. They govern our Earth’s chemistry; all the microbes and microscopic organisms at the very bottom of the food chain support our own existence. The oceans are also crucial for our economies, health and security.

(Photo credit: Brian Skerry)

The past generations have been raised with the idea that the ocean is huge (and it is) and resilient, and that we could basically take from or put into the oceans as much as we wanted. Now, we found out that we cant go on this way. This mentality is part of our problem and it needs to change.

While we have made tremendous discoveries about the oceans over the last few decades, we have also caused more destruction to the sea than ever before. Many fisheries stocks are overfished, catastrophic fishing techniques are destroying the habitats and depleting populations, many marine species are on the verge of extinction, coral reefs are dying, pollution run-offs from agricultural farms are creating dead-zones where nothing can grow or live, millions of gallons of oil have devastated the Gulf of Mexico, bigger and faster container ships create noise pollution for marine mammals and endangers them…The list goes on, and on. We have had so much impact that we have actually changed the pH of the oceans! 

Pretty overwhelming, uh? 

So yes, you should care, because if the oceans crash, we as a species are crashing with them. The entire planet Earth will be gone. And if that’s not enough of a wake-up call for you, I don’t know what else could be!

While all the current marine conservation issues appear huge and insurmountable, there is still hope. Each individual can make a difference now. YOU can make better choices about which fish to consume (or not at all!) and ask about the way they were caught or raised, YOU can encourage sustainable fishing practices, YOU can decide not to use fertilizer or pesticides in your backyard, YOU can bring your own reusable bag to the grocery store and stop using plastics, YOU can stop using products with microbeads, YOU can participate in beach clean-ups, YOU can start your own research and discover even more awesome things about the oceans… YOU can spread the word to your skeptic friends! Have people follow in your footsteps; inspire your friends and family. Be the change :) !

(Photo source: Flickr)

“If you want to have an impact on history and help secure a better future for all that you care about, be alive now” - Sylvia Earle

theguardian.com
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?

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. 

Living life on the edge.

Or turning over a new leaf?

What an inspiring Nudi.

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!

Manta Ray.

I didn’t get the best shots, but it was amazing having these graceful flying saucers fly around us underwater.