Captain Ken- Have enjoyed your varied postings on this site, particularly your personal and original writing as in the STAY SALTY story, and especially the many photographs. Here is one we snapped this past January on our way back from fishing in the waters around Bimini. We were in the dock and our mate spotted the crescent moon rising with the planet Venus and we all got our cameras and phones out. Thought this was the best of them. – A.B. Smith & Crew, Savannah, GA
Tag Archives: ocean environment
As most of you regular visitors to the Boat & Yacht Report are aware of, my sentiments on the overall environment and in particular, that which concerns what happens to our watery world are always in a heightened sense of awareness. I came across this posting by TTC News; an E-bulletin service that I subscribe to, delivering in three languages–English, Spanish, and Italian–nine times a week in a global distribution network and decided it’s a perfect fit for my GREEN DOCK. It’s a topic that deserves attention and after reading it, I hope you will pay it forward as well. It’s our world after all. -Capt. Ken
“The Caribbean coral reefs thread along thousands of kilometers of coastline, providing a source of food and livelihood for millions.” Achim Steiner, U.N Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, said in a press release. “Unfortunately, these valuable ecosystems are under mounting pressures from human activities which contribute to the degradation and damage of sediment and pollution to coastal waters. Coral bleaching caused by the rising sea temperature adds to the challenge …”
That’s the new warning not only on corals, but about global warming and the deterioration of nature threatening also the Caribbean tourist havens.
The report, titled “Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012,” was issued by International Union for Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Program and Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and analyzed research for over three years from over 90 experts. According to the report, since the 1970s Caribbean coral reef population has decreased over 50 percent.
Many concerned people in the world think that governments and international authorities are not doing enough to stop a process that in the end, can transform our beautiful green planet into a barren, lifeless world. There are many examples of such a process can be moving. In the Caribbean alternate disasters caused by heavy rains and drought more than ever before in recorded history.
The opinion of the report of the U.N Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director is that although global warming has been said to contribute to this decline, a decrease in the number of parrot fish and sea urchins is also to blame. The sea creatures eat seaweed, and without them, seaweed numbers have increased, suffocating coral reefs. Not only corals are affected but also the fauna. Fish not only beautify the waters of the Caribbean and around the world, but feed millions of people.
Some in the Caribbean are already taking action against those threats. The island of Barbuda is about to ban all catches of parrot fish and grazing sea urchins and set aside one-third of its coastal waters as marine reserves. Ayana Johnson of the Waitt Institute’s Blue Halo Initiative, which is working with Barbuda, said in a release that “this is the kind of aggressive management that needs to be replicated regionally if we are going to increase the resilience of Caribbean reefs.”
In addition to overfishing, Jackson named coastal degradation and diseases as reasons for dropping coral reef numbers.
Currently, the Caribbean has almost 8,000 square miles of coral reefs, AP reports. In addition to being valuable to the ecosystem, they are also valuable to economies as they create $3 billion from tourism and fishing every year. “Coral reef degradation and mortality will significantly impact the region’s economy through reduced habitat for fish and shellfish, diminished tourism and reduced capacity to protect the shoreline against rising sea levels,” Steiner continued. “We need strong collaboration at the local, national and regional levels to build resilience and reduce threats to coral reefs and the livelihoods of those who depend on them”, Johnson said.
There are terrible problems stalking the global environment. A study led by the Spanish council finds that all oceans have plastic pollution. Life on both Earth’s poles is increasingly threatened by high average temperatures that cause melting ice. Powerful droughts in Africa move step by step finishing with fertile land that is also the habitat of animals that could go extinct.
The report says there is still hope in saving the coral reefs if issues like global warming are addressed with “concrete steps.”
But the planetary environment requires much more, with real urgency.
TTC News firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN DOCK is dedicated to supplying a forum to discuss important issues, products, and trends that can better help all of us protect the environment. Your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and desire to make a change is most welcome. Please contact us by using the COMMENT tab at the lower right hand corner of this page.
Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen
If you are in any way concerned about the health of our oceans and what that means to the overall well-being of our planet, and you don’t know who Sylvia Earle is, then it is imperative you do so…and now.
By Ken Kreisler
Her resume and background reads like just what you would expect from this dynamic woman whose passion and very being is connected to protecting the world’s oceans. Known with genuine affection as Her Deepness or The Sturgeon General, Dr. Sylvia Alice Earle is an oceanographer, aquanaut, and lecturer.
She is the author of more than 125 publications concerning marine science and technology including the books Exploring the Deep Frontier, Sea Change (1995), Wild Ocean: America’s Parks Under the Sea (1999) and The Atlas of the Ocean (2001), she has participated in numerous television productions and given scientific, technical, and general interest lectures in more than 60 countries. Children’s books that she has written include Coral Reefs, Hello Fish, Sea Critters, and Dive!
In 1986, Earle tied the world solo dive depth record in a sub (and setting the record for a woman), going 1000m in Deep Ocean Engineering’s Deep Rover. She was a chief scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1990 to 1992. Since 1998 she has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence; was named by Time Magazine as the first Hero for the Planet; was leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions; sat on the council chair for the Harte Research Institute for the Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; was founder and chairman of the Deep Search Foundation; and finally, the chair of the Advisory Council for the Ocean in Google Earth. And in her spare time, Dr.Earle has founded three companies which includes Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER Marine Operations), a company now run by her daughter Elizabeth, which continues to design, build and operate equipment for deep ocean environments.
In 2009, Earle won a TED Prize. With TED’s support, she launched Mission Blue, which aims to establish marine protected areas (dubbed “hope spots”) around the globe. With Mission Blue and its partners, Earle led expeditions to prospective hope spots: Cuba in 2009,Belize in January 2010, the Galápagos Islands in April 2010, and the Mesoamerican Reef in July 2011. There is more but I think you get the picture of who we’re dealing with here.
Recently, Dr. Earle reached out to the owners, captains, and crews of superyachts during a meeting in Ft. Lauderdale for help in furthering not only existing research, but assisting in critical data collection for future studies.
“We are united in the common interest in the blue part,” Earle said, pointing to the oceans on a spaceshot of Earth. “I want to know how the power of megayachts might be used in a positive way. This is a community of people who already care. It must begin with awareness,” she said.
“Sure, the problems are what we put in the oceans and what we take out,” Earle remarked. “But the biggest problem is to recognize that the oceans are in trouble.”
Kevin Hardy of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography seeks yachts to help his group deploy instruments to measure data at the sea bottom. He showed video of one of the small robotic machines he invented that, when dropped overboard, fall to the sea floor, record data, and floats back to the surface.
“Practically every time we do this, we discover a new creature,” he said.
Hardy has traveled to the ocean’s major trenches on every type of superyacht, boat, fishing trawlers to research vessels. “The hard part is getting out to these areas.”
Fabian Cousteau, grandson of legendary marine explorer Jacques Cousteau, shared a sentiment from his grandfather, that people with interest and ability have an obligation to use them. “It’s time we stopped living on this planet and start living with it.”
The scientific panel was sponsored by SeaKeepers International, a non-profit organization that fits superyachts with an ocean and atmospheric monitoring system, to bring researchers and yachts closer to their similar goals.
“What are we waiting for?” Earle asked. “We’ve been to the moon. Let’s send people to the ocean’s depths. Yachts have helicopters, she said, so why not more submersibles? Explore what is underneath the boat,” she said.
She knows what’s underneath a yacht; Earle set a record for her dive in an atmospheric diving suit in 1979 (to 1,250′) and she holds the women’s record for a solo dive in a deep submersible (to 3,280′).
“Yachts can be especially valuable for the opportunity they provide others to appreciate the oceans,” she said, even by offering scuba diving. “And when people know the waters more intimately, they will appreciate and care for them.”
“Our ability to deplete resources is at an all-time high,” Earle opined. “But so is our ability to restore.”
While the title of this essay has biblical roots, for me, its literal interpretation rings with a far clearer and more resonant understanding of our place on this planet and what our stewardship has meant to it so far. Sylvia Earle is truly one of those people who displays a certain kind of quality in which humankind finds possibilities. Her lifelong commitment to rise above mediocrity and defend the planet is shared my many but so far, only a few have chosen to follow. How about you?
If you have any thoughts on this subject, please feel free to contact me by using the Leave A Comment feature at the bottom of the page. You can learn more about SeaKeepers International and Sylvia Earle by visiting their Websites: http://www.seakeepers.com http://www.sylviaearlealliance.org,
GREEN DOCK is dedicated to supplying a forum to discuss important issues, products, and trends that can better help all of us protect the environment. Your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and desire to make a change is most welcome.