A cool week with sharks

Cool kids. Cool speakers. Cool sharks. We may be having a heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s been a cool week for our Sharks vs People program. Trista and Sage, shark experts from the Oregon Coast Aquarium  shared their expertise with summer camp students at two cool science centers — the St Louis Science Center and the Science Center of Iowa.

Sage, Trista, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Thank you!

 

 

Vaquita: Landmark Fisheries Management Accord Reached in Hermosillo!

Since it is Save the Vaquita Month, we thought we’d share this news with you.


Press Release from The Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) “Healthy Ecosystems AND Vibrant Communities”

On February 27, 2018, in Hermosillo, Sonora, MX, the Intercultural Center for Desert and Ocean Studies (CEDO) and fisheries authorities from the Mexican National Commission of Agriculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) and National Institution for Fisheries and Aquaculture (INAPESCA) met with Sonoran fishermen to seal their commitment to fishing sustainably in a region known as the “Puerto Peñasco to Puerto Lobos Biological and Fisheries Corridor.” This is a leap forward for the conservation of natural resources and ecosystem services in the upper Gulf of California, which has been infamous for the inter-sector challenges and conflicts associated with preventing the extinction of the vaquita marina (Phocoena sinus) and lucrative, illegal fishery for the endangered totoaba, of which the vaquita is collateral damage. Without ignoring this difficult situation, CEDO has moved its focus towards an area that years ago reached out for help in order to establish an ordered, equitable and sustainable artisanal fishing industry.

 Participants at the meeting included municipal, state, and federal government officials, environmental and academic organizations, and artisanal fishermen representing six fishing communities including Puerto Penasco, Bahia San Jorge, Santo Tomas, Desemboque, and Puerto Lobos. All parties agreed to formalize the Corridor as a special area for the integrated management of coastal fisheries and the habitats that sustain them.

 Tens of thousands of artisanal fishermen depend on the highly productive waters of the Corridor ecosystem, which sustains more than 50 commercial species, including crab, snail, elasmobranchs, and scale fish. For the past three years these communities have been compiling, analyzing and building consensus for establishing a network of Fisheries Refuge Zones, community-based management areas, catch-quotas, and permits that strengthen fishing rights and keep extraction at sustainable levels. It is now clearer than ever to the fishermen of the Corridor that sustainable and resilient fisheries require a healthy and productive environment.

 CEDO, a Tucson and Puerto Peñasco based environmental non-profit organization, working in the region for the past 38 years, has succeeded in engaging small scale fishermen with scientists and decision-makers in order to find reasonable solutions to the complex problems that surround this chaotic industry. In contrast to the top-down approach taken in the upper northern Gulf to prevent vaquita mortality, the Corridor Program focuses on buffering the primary economic activity currently sustaining local communities: Fishing.

 The Corridor Program builds on fishermen’s experiential knowledge, fine-scale ecosystem and species-specific data that fishermen have helped to collect, and good relationships among different sectors, to facilitate a transparent and participatory process known as Coastal-Marine Spatial Planning. In the near future, CEDO hopes to bring other stakeholders into this framework to reduce future conflicts and maintain high standards of environmental and community well-being. CEDO also aims to create clear market incentives that reward fishermen who work according to best management practices, bringing sustainable seafood to communities like Tucson where it is in high demand.

 For more information, visit CEDO at cedointercultural.org


Saving vaquita and other ocean animals is also up to you. Be vocal about protecting these animals, raise awareness of the horrible effects of black market/illegal fisheries, and where you can have the biggest impact is to demand sustainable seafood when you buy or eat seafood.  To learn more, check out our What is Sustainability fact sheet.

March is SAVE THE VAQUITA Month

SAVE THE VAQUITA Month (and last year’s Year of the Vaquita 2017) are a collaborative effort of Oregon Coast Aquarium and WhaleTimes, Inc. with technical assistance courtesy of Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries.

  • Join TEAM VAQUITA and help us save vaquita, sea turtles, sharks, and other ocean animals. DEMAND sustainable, traceable seafood.

March 2018: Save the Vaquita Month

Helps us save vaquita by raising awareness of the critically endangered vaquita and totoaba, remind everyone to only eat sustainably caught seafood, and celebrate all the ways people are helping to save the vaquita and totoaba.

Ocean Sciences Here We Come!

Happy New Year!

2018 will be another exciting year for WhaleTimes.

First up on our agenda is the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland in February.  WhaleTimes Director, Ruth A. Musgrave is presenting a poster.

Other events we already have planed include:

  • a new vaquita research mini-book from WhaleTimes and an update video newsletter (created by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network) as part of our Save the Vaquita efforts and curriculum
  • Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice (May)
  • following researchers into the deep to study animal vision in hydrothermal vents
  • October 17 is the 10th anniversary of Hagfish Day! Hard to believe this exciting holiday created by WhaleTimes  is still going strong. (October  17)

and so much more!

We hope you can join us all year and help us save ocean animals by promoting the importance of Sustainable Seafood.

Join us to make 2018 the Year of SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD

Happy 2018 from all of us at WhaleTimes. Help us protect and save ocean animals. Whether you live at the beach or a thousand miles from the beach everything you do reaches the ocean. Many people are unaware of the importance of only eating sustainably caught seafood when they order or purchase seafood.

When you purchase sustainably caught seafood, you vote with your dollars and clearly tell suppliers, fishers, and others you care about dolphins, penguins, sea turtles, sharks, manta rays and want them protected.

Here’s more information:

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE Save the Vaquita k5 Booklet 1 Fact Sheets

Are you doing everything you can to help animals and their homes? Take our 30 Day Challenge and find out: Activity 30 Days to a Sustainable You Save the Vaquita k5 Booklet 2 051017

 

 

Thank you to all our summer camps and Science Teams!

Wow, it has been the fastest summer yet! Kindergarten to 8th grade kids from across the country participated in two WhaleTimes’ virtual research missions. They danced to DNA, made vaquita wind socks, and created elephant seal tags. The kids also dazzled the Science Team members with their knowledge and challenged them with thought-provoking questions during the 30+ Skype™ sessions.

Our Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camp program took kids to the deep sea in the Gulf of Mexico with the DEEPEND Science Team. They met cool animals and even cooler research and researchers while discovering  DEEPEND Consortium’s important deep-sea research.

Kids joined Patrick W. Robinson,  Dave Weller, Barbara Taylor,  Daniel Costa and their Science Teams from the UC-Santa Cruz, Costa Lab, UC Año Nuevo Island Reserve and Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA (vaquita and gray whale research) as part of our Celebration of Conservation: Gray Whales, Elephant Seals, and Vaquita. Summer camp kids learned about the beautiful gray whale, the amazing elephant seal, and the shy vaquita. The kids heard the successful conservation stories of the elephant seal and gray whale. Conservation efforts that saved both species from extinction. Summer campers also learned that the vaquita’s conservation story is still being written. With less than 30 vaquita left, we don’t know if it’ll have a happy ending or not.

Through both WhaleTimes’ programs our summer camp kids learned two important lessons. 1) Everybody makes a difference when it comes to conservation; 2) Everyone can help save ocean animals by only buying and/or eating sustainably caught seafood (when you are hankering for seafood).

Thank you to our Science Team Members, volunteers, and the museums and science centers for making it another amazing summer!

  • DEEPEND Research and Creep into the DEEPEND program funded by funded by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) award number GOMRI2014-IV-914
  • The Celebration of Conservation Elephant Seal Team’s research funded in part by: The Office of Naval Research, Joint Industry Program, Año Nuevo Reserve; gray whale and vaquita research supported by Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries. The education program portion funded by WhaleTimes and supported by volunteer time and effort from the Science Teams themselves and WhaleTimes’ volunteers.

Thank you to our museum and science centers for letting us make a splash at your summer camps!

If you missed your chance to join us at a summer camp near you, the program will be back next year.

   

Vaquita Update June 2017: Next Step

Fifty vaquitas left, no, thirty, wait…seven more found dead in the last few months. The news is bleak for vaquitas as the population continues to decline.

A vaquita is a porpoise and the most endangered whale  in the world. Less than 30 survive.

Efforts to stop illegal fishing of the (critically endangered) totoaba and use of gillnets has been at the forefront of scientists and the Mexican Government. Unfortunately, vaquitas (and totoabas) continue to die. With the latest CIRVA report, scientists now believe the only way to save vaquita from extinction is to try to capture the porpoises and put them in safety away from gillnets. “The Mexican government and its conservation partners have organized a live capture effort to try to save the vaquita from extinction….” Read more in this Vaquita Update (courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

When you eat seafood, and only eat or buy sustainable seafood.  Find out how: What is Sustainable?

Are you doing everything you can to protect the ocean? Take the 30 Days to a Sustainable You Survey and find out.

The power to protect ocean animals like the vaquita is in your hands.

 

Vaquita video

Year of the Vaquita 2017

This 60 second video created by Oregon Coast Aquarium, part of TEAM VAQUITA, will quickly introduce you to the vaquita and the challenges being addressed by the Year of the Vaquita.

6-12th grade teachers, looking for vaquita-related activities and fact sheets for older students? Visit Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network.

K-5 Teachers, check out our Save the Vaquita K-5 fact sheets and activities. Better yet, enroll in our Celebration of Conservation program to learn more about vaquita, elephant seals, and gray whales.

Video courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network

See 60 Minutes segment on Vaquitas

This 60 Minutes segment about vaquitas is a must watch!

Join WhaleTimes, Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network, and Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries as we celebrate 2017 Year of the Vaquita and Save the Vaquita Month every March. Don’t just join us, make a difference. DEMAND sustainable, traceable seafood.

Year of the VaquitaWhaleTimesCopyrightBTaylor

savethevaquita {at} this website