Last Sunday May 24, 2009 we launched our new facebook page. Our goal is to assemble the largest aquatic army to fight against ocean abuse and educate people on what they can do to contribute to healthier aquatic ecosystems.
Our first week has been very successful but we still need you. Our goal is to reach 1000 members by June 01.
Here are some of the issues we are covering online:
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
- Shark fishing tournaments in Florida
- Coral bleaching
There is a growing mess of garbage swirling in the North Pacific Gyre. It’s a swath of ocean arguably the size of the continental U.S. where all the plastic refuse from Asia and the western coast of North America ends up when it’s washed out to sea. Turtles mistake bags for jellyfish and birds mistake floating chips for prey. Animals have been discovered starved to death because the entire contents of their stomachs were plastic fragments. Sail a boat out to the middle of the gyre and the problem is in plain sight. Unfortunately for us, the more severe problem is the one we can’t see.
Plastics don’t biodegrade like organic matter, which means they can’t be converted by living organisms into useful compounds for life. Instead, they photodegrade, a process by which photons from the sun’s rays pulverize the plastic polymers until they are broken into individual molecules. Even when they have been smashed into the tiniest bits physically possible, they are still plastics.
What’s worse, the plastics act as a kind of magnet for toxins in the water, accumulating chemicals on their surface. The worry now is those toxins will be transferred to the bodies of the animals eating the debris.
Already, British researchers have discovered that in a “typical sample of the sandy material gathered” along shorelines, one-quarter of the weight may be plastic particles.
The trouble for us comes when those polymers enter the food chain. Jellyfish are already mistaking the non-microscopic bits for zooplankton. Larger fish eat the jellyfish and so on up until you’re eating a tuna filled with plastic dust and toxins.
original story posted here:
Last week we heard about a shark fishing tournament in Fort Myers called the "Are You Man Enough Challenge"
Due to public outcry the organizers were forced to change the format of the tournament to 100% catch and release.
A BIG thank you goes to Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah of district 3 who was instrumental in spearheading this movement.
However the website for the tournament still promotes the fact that sharks can be landed and brought back to the docks.
The organizers of this event must now change their audio advertisement on their website and any other advetising materials that publicize or promote the landing and killing of sharks.
click here to listen to their ad.
Sarasota, Florida May 15-17, 2009
The despicable act of killing sharks for no reason came to the shores of Sarasota Florida in this annual ego stroke. The Sarasota Shark Tournament sees entrants fish and kill sharks for nothing more than a trophy and bragging rights.
In our opinion this is even LOWER than the shark fin trade because this sharks are completely wasted. 100% of their bodies are discarded once they are weighed.
Oceanic Defense will form a page on Facebook and create a petition to get the organizers of this barbaric tournament to cease the useless killing of a species in danger.
If you are interested in signing our petition please visit our page:
Join us on Face Book:
Photo by: Todd
It has come to our attention (thanks Marlene) that in the wake of an overwhelming vote by the EU to ban all Canadian Seal Products that federal officials continue to swing their political hakapiks suggesting that our Olympians wear seal products to support their country and its "heritage" during the 2010 winter games in Vancouver.
The image above is the results from a poll that is running on CKNW Vancouver. There is a resounding 85% vote against the proposed plan.
Cast your vote by going here: http://www.cknw.com/ and look on the right hand side of the homepage for the poll. You can vote once every 24 hours.
STRASBOURG (AFP) — The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to endorse an EU ban on products derived from seals in protest at hunting methods despite threats from Canada to complain to the World Trade Organization.
The move, backed by much of the European public and animal rights groups, was approved by 550 votes to 49 against at the parliament in Strasbourg. The ban will enter force for the next commercial seal hunt season in 2010.
The decision to ban products derived from seal hunting, especially pelts, comes on the eve of a visit to Prague by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to launch free trade talks with the European Union.
The Canadian government maintains that the 350-year-old hunt is crucial for some 6,000 North Atlantic fishermen who rely on it for up to 35 percent of their total annual income.
Ottawa authorized the slaughter of 338,000 seals this year, insisting the hunt does not threaten the species. But a slump in pelt prices has meant fewer hunters on ice floes off Canada's Atlantic coast.
Canada hopes that requiring training for sealers on how to humanely slaughter seals, legislating standards for seal products and taking measures to safeguard the species will silence critics of the hunt.
The EU is Canada's second-largest trading partner.
"After many years of campaigning by European citizens I welcome the regulation which bans seal products from entering or being traded in the European Union," EU Environment Stavros Dimas said in a statement.
"By upholding the highest standards the new legislation addresses EU citizens' concerns with regard to the cruel hunting methods of seals," he said.
The commission said the new measure, already endorsed by EU nations and the bloc's executive body, would eliminate disparate national rules and consolidate the fragmented European market in seal products.
But it underlined it would allow trade in seal products derived from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and which contribute to their subsistence.