Whale Event in Kona Supports New Whale Sanctuary

May 30th, 2012

Intensive whaling over the past 20th century has caused whale populations to reach severely low numbers. Whales are not only beautiful and majestic, they are also a grand link in our ocean’s chain of life. If we allow destructive activities such as whaling to continue, our ocean and all marine life will surely perish.

We are happy to introduce to you Women for Whales- a wonderful organization dedicated to protecting whales through education and peaceful activism. This blog is decorated with beautiful ocean artwork created by some of their founders. Women for Whales is currently preparing for the June 2012 International Whale Conference (IWC).

The IWC meets every year to discuss and vote on all whale issues including quotas and conservation. Very few pro-whale protestors showed up to last year’s event which led to the formation of Women for Whales. The founders of the organization wanted to gain as much support as possible for the 2012 IWC.

“We also knew that we wanted to do something really peaceful and positive, that would encourage all kinds of people to find out more and be inspired to help protect cetaceans”

This year’s IWC will debate on the creation of a large-scale whale sanctuary in the Southern Atlantic ocean which makes this year’s event pivotal in determining the fate of all whale species.

Brazil, Argentina and 14 pro-whale countries in South America have jointly proposed the creation of a whale sanctuary stretching from the east coast of South America to the west coast of Africa. The sanctuary will connect the Indian Ocean Sanctuary and the Southern Whale Sanctuary creating the “largest whale sanctuary the world has ever seen”.

Its strategic location in the Southern Atlantic ocean makes the sanctuary crucial to the survival of all whale species! The Southern Atlantic ocean is home to 54 species of marine mammals, is breeding grounds to all large whale species, and feeding grounds for atleast two species (Brydes and Sperm whales). Unfortunately, the Southern Atlantic ocean is also the location of intensive commercial whaling.

The sanctuary needs 3/4 majority vote in order to pass at the 2012 IWC.

On July 5th, a special event is being held in Kona, Hawaii to help bring attention to the Women for Whales cause. Minds in the Water, a film by Dave Rastovich, will be screened at the Aloha Theater. The film follows Rastovich, a pro-surfer, on his journey to becoming a committed whale activist.

Here is the trailer for the film:
YouTube Preview Image

Please SHARE this and help spread the word about Women for Whales, the IWC, and whale freedom!

Places to Sea! Nice, France

May 11th, 2012

Nice is located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea (known as a sea because it is enclosed by bodies of land). Nearby locations include Italy, Corsica, and Africa (click on map to enlarge). Nice is believed to be one of the earliest human settlements in Europe, as supported by archaeological evidence of very early use of fire.

The Greeks arrived around 350 BC and named it Nikaia, after Nike the Greek goddess of victory. There after, Nice was inhabited by many different nations.  For years it was Italian territory and finally became a part of France in 1860.

Nice began to attract many upper class visitors from England in the late 18th century. Today, Nice is a perfect beach town complete with a great beach, warm Mediterranean weather, and restaurants and shops on every corner.

Nice is called Nice la Belle meaning Nice the beautiful. The region is bursting with color: modern and historical buildings are painted in pastels and the sea has turquoise and dark blue hues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flags from many nations wave near the beach. Nice has always welcomed visitors from around the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
7 Buddhas stand downtown. They light up in different colors every night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The metro runs through the downtown area and gives Nice a very futuristic look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submit a Weekly Cuteness.. Win a Free iPhone Case!!

May 8th, 2012

Do you LOVE our Weekly Cuteness?! Now is your chance to submit your own weekly cuteness and win a free iPhone case!

All you have to do is:
Look for a cute ocean-themed picture. It can be one of your own or something you find on the internet.

Ideas: a cute sea creature, cuddly marine mammals (like our otter friend pictured to the right), polar bears, kids dressed in cute sea costumes etc.

Please Send your picture along with your name to Team@Seathos.org
-Limit one picture per person 
-SHARE this blog with your friends to raise awareness about the contest
-Contest ends Friday, June 8th (World Oceans Day!)

 Winner will receive a new iPhone case specially crafted for Seathos by designer Heather Brown. Check it out!

Inspired by her love of the ocean, Heather Brown has designed three beautiful iPhone cases, each benefiting a different foundation.  The cases are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and packaged in recycled materials! To purchase an iPhone case, visit TruProtection.com. 15% of the purchase of each case will go to its associated foundation!  Click here to learn more about Heather and her beautiful art work.

Dolphin Stranded in Wetlands, Scared by Other Dolphins

May 4th, 2012

Last week, a 7-foot dolphin was discovered in the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach and appears to be lost and “very confused”.  

The dolphin, which spectators have nicknamed Fred, is said to have entered the wetlands with a pod of 5 to 6 other dolphins which were probably chasing a school of fish. While the rest of the pod swam back out to sea, Fred stayed behind. 

Peter Wallerstein, a marine biologist with the Marine Animal Rescue service and five State Department of Fish and Game officers managed to lure the dolphin closer to sea. But before reaching freedom, Fred swam back into the wetland after noticing a group of dolphins circling nearby, which were likely his own pod. 

Shortly after, the pod left the Bolsa Chica lagoon and swam back to sea, once again leaving Fred behind. Rescuers are surprised and unsure why Fred is afraid of his own pod.

Noting that Fred appears to be healthy and “capable of going many days without eating”, rescuers have decided to let Fred find his own way out to sea when he is ready. “He proved he can get out if he wants to. There are no red flags. I’m not concerned,” said Wallerstein. Rescuers say they will reattempt to help Fred to freedom if he is still in the wetland on Saturday.

Wallerstein as well as Fish and Game officials say that the crowd of spectators are likely causing stress for the dolphin. They have advised the crowd to keep away from the area so the dolphin can leave the wetland.

Although the crowd may be unintentionally causing harm, on looker David Gonzalez says the community’s concern is inspiring. “It shows community support and community service for the environment,” said Gonzalez.

We hope Fred will find his way to to freedom soon.

Click here for a picture slideshow from LA Times
Photo credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / April 27, 2012

Lifestyle: Plastic Water Bottles and Traveling Don’t Mix

May 3rd, 2012

As reported by BBC, plastic water bottle waste is a growing problem around the world and tourism is largely to blame. While traveling abroad, individuals tend to leave their reusable bottle at home and use as many five to six plastic water bottles a day.

Plastic bottles, made of petroleum-based plastic (a non-biodegradable material), are accumulating everywhere- our streets, parks, beaches, rivers, and oceans. This contributes to the existing problem of floating plastic debris in the pacific ocean known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

In effort to combat the plastic waste dilemma, some tourism destinations have “banned the bottle”. In 2010, Italy’s Cinque Terre national park, located along the beautiful Mediterranean coast, banned plastic water bottles. Early this year, the US National Park Service banned the sale of plastic water bottles at Grand Canyon National Park where bottles accounted for 20% of the park’s waste.

Franco Bonanini, president of Italy’s Cinque Terre national park, told London’s Telegraph newspaper 3 million annual tourists are responsible for the park’s waste. “With so many visitors, the footpaths and villages of the Cinque Terre are at risk of being transformed into a great big open-air dustbin,” he said.

 

Pictured is a water refilling station at Grand Canyon National Park

What you can do
Here are 5 easy steps to reduce your plastic footprint while abroad:

1. Carry your own reusable bottle. Fill it up with fresh water whenever you can.

2. Some eco-friendly hotels offer water-filling stations. If not, some hotels may be willing to boil water for you on request. Check to see what your hotel has to offer.

4. Buy big water containers to keep in your hotel room and refill your bottles. That way you’ll only use one water bottle rather than 5 to 6 a day.

5. You can even treat tap water with your own purification device. Lightweight devices, such as ultraviolet light purifiers, don’t leave an aftertaste.

Happy travels! : )

Sea Creature of the Week: Earth Day Edition

April 16th, 2012

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

Also known as the Northern Bluefin Tuna, the Giant Bluefin Tuna, or better yet, “tunny”, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna grows to enormous sizes, has incredible physical features, and is a highly-prized over-fished species. The Bluefin Tuna is endangered and needs your help to survive! Stay posted for our upcoming Earth Day campaign for information on how you can help prevent overfishing!

Scientific Name: Thunnus thynnus

Home: A warm blooded fish, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna enjoys the cold waters of Newfoundland and Iceland, as well as the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea. 

It is an avid migratory fish and has been tracked swimming from North America to Europe numerous times throughout the year. The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna has become extinct in the Black Sea.

Physical Characteristics: The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is highly evolved and resembles a robotic fish. It has a torpedo-shaped body and crescent-shaped tail enabling it to shoot through waters at speeds up to 43 miles per hour.

The Bluefin Tuna retracts its dorsal and pectoral fins into slots to reduce drag; The finlets on their tails are believed to reduce water turbulence! They are beautifully colored- shimmery blue on top and grey on bottom, which camouflages it from all sides. The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is enormous and can surpass the average size of 6.5 feet in length and 550 lbs!

Food: The Bluefin Tuna reaches its large size by constantly eating! Their diet includes smaller fish and invertebrates such as crustaceans, squid, eels, sardines, herrings, and mackerel. They filter-feed on small organisms such as zooplankton and also enjoy eating kelp.

Conservation Status: Despite their unique physical features, incredible speed and strength, the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is endangered. It has been a prized food fish since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Phoenicians. 

In the 1970′s, demand for Bluefin tuna soared world-wide, particularly in Japan where tuna is very popular in the raw fish market. High demand accompanied with unsustainable fishing practices has led to the dramatic decline in Bluefin Tuna populations.

In October of 2009, The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) stated that Atlantic Bluefin Tuna populations have declined by 72% in the Eastern Atlantic and 82% in the Western Atlantic over the past 40 years. In 2010, European officials increased pressure to ban international commercial fishing of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. Despite these efforts, illegal fishing in Europe has caused the Bluefin Tuna to reach near extinction in European waters.

Fun Facts:
The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is warm blooded, which is a rare trait for fish to have! They have the ability to thermoregulate, adjusting their body temperatures to warm or cold waters.

The largest tuna ever recorded was an Atlantic Bluefin Tuna caught in the waters of Nova Scotia that weighed 1,496 lbs!!!

The female Bluefin Tuna can lay up to 30 million eggs!!

In January 2012, a 593 lb Bluefin Tuna sold in the Japanese fish market for $736,000- a world record!!