OCEANS

GlobalAnimal.org's OCEAN section dives into ocean conservation, including activism to save whales, dolphins, turtles, and bluefin tuna. Find news about Sea Shepherd and efforts to stop the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Plus, learn how to help end keeping dolphins, whales, and other mammals captive in theme parks like SeaWorld.

Cape Cod Shark Surplus: Look Out For Circling Sharks

(SHARKS/OCEANS) What if it was Shark Week every week in your town? Cape Cod, Massachusetts has caught tourists’ attention due to a recent increase of great white sharks in the region. Marine Biologist Greg Skomal began tagging these sharks in 2009 when the shark population was still relatively small. In 2015, he identified 141 sharks in Chatham, Massachusetts, designating Cape Cod as the only great white shark hub on the Eastern seaboard. Can sharks and humans coexist and share the ocean peacefully? Read on to find out how this shark town rose to fame and how it's coping with summer tourism. -- Global Animal

Is Plastic Part Of The Food Chain? Fish Would Agree

(OCEANS/PLASTIC POLLUTION) “I'll have a side of zooplankton with my plastic, please.” Uppsala University in Sweden is conducting a study that shows fish prefer microplastics over their natural diet consisting of zooplankton. Along with nutrition concerns, this new diet choice has behavioral, reproductive, and mortality complications. Not to mention, this also affects humans on the food chain. Continue reading to find out how plastic alters sea life. -- Global Animal

The Last Marine Ecosystem? No Fishing Means NO FISHING!

(OCEANS/ARCTIC) The Ross Sea in Antarctica is considered by many to be "the last intact marine ecosystem on Earth." Scientists claim global warming is altering the Sea's ecosystem daily. Russia and China, two powerful countries propelled by fishing, are jeopardizing marine life by vetoing a proposal to turn the Ross Sea into a sanctuary. What will happen if we don't preserve this “living laboratory”? Read on to find out. -- Global Animal

How Tide Pools Became Teaching Tools

(OCEAN CONSERVATION) An often overlooked part of the ocean's ecology are shorelines and coasts, like the Southern coast of California. Laguna Beach, CA has an enormous variety of coastal habitats, including tons of tide pools. One organization, Laguna Ocean Foundation, has taken on the job of educating the public about tide pools, and why it's so important to protect them. — Global Animal 

Massive Manatee Meet-Up Floods Florida Wildlife Refuge

(MANATEES/ENDANGERED SPECIES) Hundreds of manatees from the Gulf of Mexico gathered in Three Sister Springs last week, prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue the temporary closure of the popular Florida wildlife refuge to swimmers and kayakers. The massive congregation is caused by low temperatures that drive the animals from the Gulf into the river system, which stays a constant 72 degrees year round, providing an ideal climate for the temperature-sensitive marine mammals. -- Global Animal

Whale Poop In Perfume?

(OCEANS/WHALES) What's the most expensive ingredient in perfume? Poop, of course! Sperm whale poop to be exact. Sperm whales create ambergris, a solid, waxy substance in their intestines to aid digestion. The fragrant ambergris can be worth $20 a gram, making these beauties quite the commodity. However, a question of morality remains. With sperm whales being an endangered species, is it wise to put such a high price tag on the animal's by-product? Should those who stand to illegally make a profit from ambergris be prosecuted? Read on to learn more about this "gold of the sea" and tell us what you think in our poll. — Global Animal

Orca Baby Boom: Hope For Endangered Whales?

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/ORCAS) The Pacific Northwest is experiencing an orca baby boom after four newborn orcas were born between last December and April of this year. The baby orcas were spotted off the coast of Washington and British Columbia, an area famous for its orca pods, and not a moment too soon. While four whales may not seem like a lot, the area's orca population hit a 40-year-low in December--dropping from a high of 98 whales in the mid-90s to just 77 whales in the summer of 2014. There are currently 81 whales swimming throughout the region, and they are officially listed as endangered or at risk, in both the U.S. and Canada. Although these signs are promising for killer whale numbers, approximately 35 to 45 percent of newborn orcas do not survive past their first year. If these four calves survive, they will be the first successful newborns in the region in nearly three years. Read on to learn more about this potential turning point for the species. -- Global Animal

How Your Poop Makes Fish Crazy

(OCEANS/FISH) After you flush have you ever wondered, "Where does it go?" The answer: down the toilet, through a sewage filtration system, into the ocean, and through the gills of unsuspecting fish. That's right. Fish are breathing in your excretions, which include the drugs you take. Drug residue is often detected downstream from sewage treatment plants. This pharmaceutical waste, which is not properly removed or deactivated from wastewater, often changes the behavior of the exposed fish. They begin to act a little crazy, by eating more and by leaving their schools to scavenge for food on their own. This behavior may seem diminutive, but it can have a domino effect that can lead to ecological disaster. Read more to learn about this environmental issue. — Global Animal

Jane Goodall: Shut Down SeaWorld!

(SEAWORLD/ORCAS/CELEBRITIES) Jane Goodall, famous for her extensive work with primates, is speaking out against SeaWorld, saying it needs to be shut down. After the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld has faced much criticism for its inhumane treatment and captivity of orca whales and other marine life. Although SeaWorld claims their facility is inspiring and educational, Goodall recognizes the trauma that whales and dolphins in captivity must endure. Given her animal expertise, it's only fitting that Goodall has emerged as one of the many activists speaking out against the horrors and tragedies associated with the park's questionable practices. Read on to learn more about Goodall's efforts to shut down SeaWorld and free animals from captivity. — Global Animal

TRÄTO Makes A Splash In Ocean Conversation

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) Tiffany Vandersloot, founder of the organization TRÄTO (To Rescue Animals of The Ocean), is a visionary in the movement of ocean conservation and marine life protection. Through TRÄTO, Vandersloot has created a distinct brand with a revolutionary mission, setting a precedent in making marine life protection more than just an ideal, but also a lifestyle. -- Global Animal

Holy Mackerel! Don’t Be Fooled By Fish Intelligence

(ANIMAL SCIENCE/FISH/OCEANS) A recent paper published in the Animal Cognition Journal titled, "Fish Intelligence, Sentience and Ethics," uncovers some new facts about fish intelligence. Fish, a species commonly disregarded as lesser than other mammals, may actually be more intelligent than once thought. Read on to uncover some surprising fish facts that will have you thinking about how smart fish truly are! — Global Animal

Wild Orca Outlives SeaWorld Whales & Titanic Crash

(ORCAS/OCEANS) After the release of Blackfish, more evidence against SeaWorld has the entertainment corporation floundering. A Pacific Ocean orca pod recently returned to the coast and its matriarch is estimated to have outlived, by nearly four times, SeaWorld's claim that orcas live only 25-35 years in the wild. Known by researchers as "J2," or more affectionately as "Granny," the estimated 103-year-old orca is identified by her unique physical characteristics. Just as humans can be identified by their fingerprints, "Granny" is recognized by the distinctive, crescent shape nick in her dorsal fin and her "saddle patch," the patch of white pigment that surrounds her dorsal fin. "Granny" has been followed since the late 1960s and researchers' estimates place the orca's birth in 1911, making her a year old when the famed Titanic sank. Continue reading below to learn more about Granny's history and experiences. — Global Animal

Australia’s Whale Of A Plan Proves Deadly

(WHALES/SHARKS) Adding insult to injury, authorities in Western Australia contemplated using dead whales to catch and kill great white sharks under their controversial shark culling policy. If the plan had been carried out, Western Australia would have essentially used a protected species to kill another protected species. While such a plan should not be a surprise to anyone who has kept up with Prime Minister Tony Abbott's environmental policy, it does raise eyebrows considering Australia brought Japan to court over its whaling operation. Read below to find out more about this whale of a plan. — Global Animal

Dolphins, ocean, new species, humpback, water

John Kerry Makes Waves With “Our Ocean” Conference

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/MARINE LIFE) WASHINGTON D.C. — In a video statement released by the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State John Kerry announced his plans to host a global "Our Ocean" conference focused on overfishing, marine pollution, and ocean acidification. The conference, which takes place June 16 and 17 in Washington D.C., will announce new funding initiatives and policy targets while bringing together 400 senior government officials, industry representatives, scientists, environmentalists, and foundations from more than 80 countries. — Global Animal

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