Sharks in Australia FINALLY get hip to Twitter  »


Hammerhead pic from SLSWA’s Twitter feed.

Sharks have never been on-trend, shall we say, but this is downright irresponsible. Only now getting on twitter? Get it together, sharks! You guys are apex predators! You should be early adopters, leading the way for society! 

But yeah, in an effort to avoid shark attacks, 338 sharks in Australia have been fitted with monitors that detect when they are close to the beach. When they get within half a mile of shore, their size, breed and approximate location is tweeted from the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter account.


Some are critical of the program because they think that if there is no Tweet, people will interpret that as no threat, even though not all sharks are tagged. Personally, it seems like another measure to help people avoid sharks, that works with other measures. It could even help sharks with their current, longstanding PR problem just by increased visibility when they aren’t killing people and are just being sharks.  I’m curious to see what happens. 


The ocean is totally screwed  »

If you haven’t been paying attention, listen up: the ocean is effed. The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) brought together a team of scientists from different disciplines to discuss the “multiple stresses” affecting marine life. Normally, scientists only look at the problems in their field of expertise; when examining all the problems facing the ocean in conjunction, the findings are “shocking.” The conclusion: we are way worse off than we thought. We are having all the problems we knew about—habitat loss, overfishing, climate change, acidification—but the rate of destruction is hella more accelerated than previously projected. A mass marine extinction is a real possibility.

Here’s an overview from one of the science bros:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]

Shit is scary! But, hey guys, don’t go hide under your bed just yet! There are ways to help! From CNN: “Dan Laffoley, senior advisor on Marine Science and Conservation for IUCN, and co-author of the report, said: ‘The challenges for the future of the ocean are vast, but unlike previous generations we know what now needs to happen. The time to protect the blue heart of our planet is now, today and urgent.’” That’s a rally call if I ever heard one!

As the video says, one of the main issues is overfishing. From IPSO: “Scientists at the IPSO meeting agreed that overfishing is exerting an intolerable pressure on ecosystems already under attack by the effects of acidification and warming, and other largely man-made ocean problems. A recent study showed that 63% of the assessed fish stocks worldwide are exploited or depleted and over half of them require further reduction of fishing, in order to recover.” Luckily, overfishing is one problem we can directly help alleviate—stop eating fish! It’s pretty simple: When trying to preserve a species, one thing you can do is not kill them. Science!

For more actions you can take, HuffPo put together a nice list of 10 things you can do to help the ocean (number two? Eat less fish. Check!).


A scary PSA about plastic and marine life courtesy of the Surfrider foundation as part of their Rise Above Plastics campaign. Warning: DOWNER.


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