News from Dudley: Tuna

Hi Kids,
The other day I met an Atlantic Bluefin tuna. I know that some humans think tuna only comes in a can but they are a fascinating and beautiful fish. Tunas have sleek, powerful bodies made for speed. They have a torpedo shaped body which helps streamline their movement through the water.

Yellowfin Tuna (Photo courtesy NOAA)

Yellowfin Tuna (Photo courtesy NOAA)

Tunas are impressive. The Atlantic bluefin can reach ten feet in length and weigh as much as 1500 pounds. That’s as much as a cow! The body shape, fins and scales enable some species of tuna to swim as fast as 43 miles per hour. A tuna will also swim incredible distances as they migrate.

Tuna is an important part of the diet of millions of people. This makes tuna one of the most commercially valuable fish. Unfortunately,  conservation and management of tuna has not evolved very quickly. That’s why some are considered “species of concern” such as the Bluefin.

Like all animals, tuna are an important part of their habitats. How can you help tuna? If you eat tuna, know where it comes from. Is it caught by sustainable methods? If not, find a tuna supplier that does. If you don’t eat seafood, of course, it is always important to reduce, reuse and recycle. And, buy locally. The more products you buy grown or produced near where you live the smaller your carbon footprint. (Find out more at NOAA’s Fish Watch Page)

A fun fact of the Bluefin tuna is that they can keep their body temperature warmer then the surrounding water. Fish are cold blooded, so this is a very cool adaptation to keep muscles warmed up so the tuna is always ready to sprint.  Boy, do I wish I could do that.

See you later,

Ref: NOAA Fisheries

Learn more about Tuna at NOAA Fish Watch (


Don’t go near the water…until you know how to protect whales!

Stay safe on the water – and respect whales, too. Though we love whales and are often intrigued by them, the feeling is rarely mutual. Especially in the summer when so many people are out on boats, kayaks, and jet skis. If you love whales and want to protect them, enjoy them from a safe distance.

Watch Out for Spouts from Ocean Today / NOAA

Have a fantastic summer!

Jake, the SeaDog

A special thanks to OCEAN TODAY and NOAA for allowing us to share this video with you.

Posted in WhaleTimes Updates | Comments Off on Don’t go near the water…until you know how to protect whales!

Give a shout out for sharks

Happy Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates and Rays a Voice!

Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)  Courtesy NOAA

Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) Courtesy NOAA

Fintastic Friday celebrates sharks and encourages everyone to find ways to change public opinion about from hatred to love and fear to appreciation. Think of it as Earth Day for sharks!

Gray reef (Carcharinus amblyrhynchos) Courtesy NOAA Photo credit David Burdick

Gray reef (Carcharinus amblyrhynchos) Courtesy NOAA Photo credit David Burdick

Why a day for sharks? Shark, ray, and skate populations throughout the world are in peril, some threatened and others critically endangered. All of them need more people to care.

We know people and scientists can encourage governments to save sharks the same way they pushed for protection of whales so long ago. In fact, there are many countries stepping up to protect sharks by creating sanctuaries for sharks, but more need to be part of the solution.

To celebrate we want you to meet just a few scientists and organizations working to protect sharks, skates, and rays throughout the world. We suggest you send them all a big sharky thank you! (see the Big as Life Thank You idea on our Fintastic Friday page)

This year’s Fintastic Friday dedicated to Eugenie Clark, an inspiration to all of us to protect our oceans.  Thank you.

Fintastic Friday WhaleTimes Image Courtesy Paulo Maurin   NOAA wb lgGet the word out! Share or Like Fintastic Friday on the WhaleTimes Facebook page

Celebrate Fintastic Friday this week!

Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice, one of the best holidays ever, is this Friday!

Sharks, Skates, and Rays have roamed seas and rivers for…well…practically forever! Their elegant adaptations, from nose to tail, are extraordinary. Their dignified beauty often goes unrecognized or misunderstood. That’s why sharks, skates, and rays are in trouble. Overfishing, finning, habitat destruction, and pollution have put many species in peril, threatening them with extinction. They need people who care to raise their voices.

Fintastic Friday MANTA RAY Courtesy Monitor Expedition 2002 US Navy NOAA OER wbsmWhat can you do? Let people know the real shark, the tiny lanternshark deep in the sea glowing quietly. The quirky cookiecutter shark taking bites out of whales ten times its size. The gigantic basking shark slurping plankton at the surface.  What about the incredible manta ray gracefully dancing through the water? Who doesn’t love the toothy snouts of sawsharks and sawfish? All of them need our help.

Sharks have many fans, but many more people who do not appreciate or understand them. That’s the purpose of Fintastic Friday, to let people know the real animal.

Get Zoned signs. Print and post on your door, at your school, local store or where ever you can. We have two versions One with a yellow background, one without so you can print it on any color paper you want.

WhaleTimes Fintastic Friday Shark Conservation Zone Poster (no background)

WhaleTimes Fintastic Friday Shark Conservation Zone Poster (yellow background)

Kids in Oregon signing Big as Life Thank you for Dr. Dean Grubbs

Kids in Oregon signing Big as Life Thank you for Dr. Dean Grubbs

What else can you do? Create, write, and send a “Bigger as Life” thank to your favorite shark, skate, or ray expert.

Create some shark art, or even have a Sharks in the Park Rally. Find out more on our Fintastic Friday page

Let’s save sharks by celebrating them! Happy Fintastic Friday

Get the word out! Share or Like Fintastic Friday on the WhaleTimes Facebook page.


Join us at the DEEPEND!

DEEPENDwhtMediumJoins WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!

Our DEEPEND Science Team is at sea, right now!  Follow the ship (May 1 to 8th) on the DEEPEND Consortium website.

That means, WhaleTimes’ first set of Postcards from the DEEPEND will be arriving soon!

WhaleTimes is excited to be part of the DEEPEND Project…a consortium of amazing scientists and organizations studying the Gulf of Mexico deep sea.

WhaleTimes will share the DEEPEND science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)  with you through our


DEEPEND research, outreach, and education funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) award number GOMRI2014-IV-914

Video: Whale Behaviors

Hello Virtual Science Team Members!

The team at Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network has created an excellent video about whale behaviors for you. This installment of Oceanscape Network’s Science in Seconds provides footage of common whale behaviors you can observe from the water’s surface, whether you’re on a boat or watching whales from shore. Enjoy!

Thanks Oceanscape! And, Virtual Science Team Members, don’t forget to visit the Oceanscape Network at:

Jake, the SeaDog


Oceanscape Network blue smallcropped-Copyright-WhaleTimes-Inc-LOGO-All-Rights-Reserved-960-x-250.jpgNOAA_logo_color_fourinches wb sm

Baleen and Toothed Whales

Our Gray Whales: Celebration of Conservation Mission is under way!

A gray whale is a baleen whale. A killer whale is a toothed whale. What’s the difference? This installment of Oceanscape Network’s Science in Seconds provides footage and information about the differences between baleen and toothed whales. Enjoy!

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The gray whales are here!!!

Courtesy NOAA Email#3 Spyhopping calfsmGray Whales: Celebration of Conservation is here!

More than 500 kids splashed down at the Piedras Blancas Field Station today to become part of the gray whale research with the amazing Dave Weller, Wayne Perryman and the rest of the Science Team from Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA. The folks at the Oregon Coast Aquarium Oceanscape Network and the Rangers from the Depoe Bay Whale Center in Oregon are also joining us!

You can join us, too. Go to the Gray Whales: Celebration of Conservation tab at the top of this page and a drop down menu will appear. We’ll post the scientists and rangers blogs and also provide links to Oceanscape’s whale videos and other activities.

Click here to read the welcome letter.


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News from Dudley: Whale sharks

Whale Shark WhaleTimes Courtesy NOAA wbsmHi Kids,

This is one of my friends, a whale shark. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and, as you can see, also one of the most beautiful. Whale sharks grow to reach 40 feet or more! Maybe as big as 65 feet long! Their average weight is about 40,000 pounds. That’s about the weight of 10 cars!

Its white spots and pale vertical and horizontal stripes make it easy to identify. They have a flattened head with a blunt snout and a giant mouth. According to EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Kids, 2011) it’s mouth is almost as wide as a car! Wow!

Don’t worry, this gorgeous giant is only interested in eating plankton (tiny plants and animals).

Like many shark species, whale sharks need our help.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists whales sharks as vulnerable mostly due to overfishing.

See you later,


PS. Remember to join us for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice on May 8, 2015 to celebrate sharks!

Gray Whales…arriving soon!

Join WhaleTimes, Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA and the Oceanscape Network, for Gray Whales: Celebration of Conservation, a Virtual Research Mission that connects gray whale biologists with students, teachers, and the public. This event runs April 20 to May 1, 2015.

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