“A deaf whale is a dead whale”
– Lindy Weilgart, Los Angeles Times, March 22nd 1994
I had the pleasure of sitting down with the founder and director of Ocean Conservation Research (OCR), Michael Stocker recently. OCR is a non-profit based in San Rafael addressing noise in the oceans by changing policy and communicating noise pollution issues to the public. Noisy oceans have major implications for cetaceans that communicate, forage and navigate using sound. OCR has been working for ten years to tackle this issue and I was intrigued to discover how complex and dynamic ocean noise is and the major implications of ocean sound.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bay Model Visitor Center
$5 Donation Requested for Student Research Grants
California has incredible biodiversity including nature’s largest and magnificent animals—whales. Learn how Oceanic Society (and YOU through citizen science) contribute to whale research (population monitoring), whale conservation and rescue (through entanglement responses), and whale education (international trips). Additionally, Kathi will share information about whale entanglement—2016 statistics, responses, and prevention efforts.
Last month the vaquita received a lot of attention. NOAA announced plans to corral the last 30 or so of this severely endangered species and place them in sea pens. They will use specially trained navy dolphins to assist in capturing the most endangered porpoise in the world and transport its members to San Filipe where the species will hopefully recover to the point they can be released back into their natural habitat. This multi-million dollar plan to save a species from human-caused extinction illustrates how complex extinction can be. Not just because we have the ability to engineer recovery of species on the brink but because when it comes to studying illusive cetaceans, a lot of time and money is needed simply to assess numbers in populations and perform genetic analysis, all research essential in order to determine stock size and vulnerability. The vaquita is not the first cetacean to reach this level of human-caused vulnerability. The Baiji river dolphin’s story was remarkably similar, a spices that is now extinct.
Baleen first evolved in whales to take advantage of an underutilized prey resource, namely small shoaling fish and krill. A transformation occurred from rudimentary teeth to an intermediate state with both teeth and baleen, until eventually rudimentary teeth were absorbed before birth to make way for baleen plates.
If you were to look out at a sandy beach your first inclination might be to get the sunglasses out and let your stress melt away however beaches cam sometimes become the end-point for cetaceans when they either wash up dead or live strand. This was evidenced by one of the worst live stranding events in New Zealand’s history last month.
Kip Evans: Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
Bay Model Visitor Center, Sausalito, CA
Mission Blue is an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA) to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots—special places that are vital to the health of the ocean, the blue heart of our planet. From the seamounts of the high seas to the shallow sunlit reefs, Mission Blue seeks to bring about a significant increase in ocean protection from less than four percent today to 20% by the year 2020.
The American Cetacean Society hosted their 15th international cetacean conference in Monterey last month. The conference included a host of well-known names and a ton of interesting current research. I want to share with you some of the topics that relate to the bay area as well as some of the interesting advances in the field of cetacean science.
View full Cetacean Gallery
Being part of ACS puts you in good company – conservation practitioners, marine scientists, local chapter teams, and concerned citizens who take personal action, reach out to educate and give you a clear path for information and involvement in the protection of cetaceans and their habitats. Your membership contribution and any additional support you designate go a long way to help ACS fulfill its mission. As the world’s first whale conservation organization, ACS has long been dedicated to developing public education initiatives, funding research projects, and implementing conservation actions aimed at protecting cetaceans in their natural environments.
As a member, you will have access to ALL ACS events, learn about cetaceans and conservation efforts, meet like-minded people, and help ACS fulfill its mission.
We have different levels of membership, but you can join for as little as $35 a year!
Join By Mail: Download Membership Form
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