August 29, 2005

8/30 - Reversing Ocean Conservation in North Carolina?

Aren't we supposed to be trying to reduce the number of sea turtles killed each year? NOAA Fisheries wants to grant permission to North Carolina fishermen to kill 100 turtles per year for the next six years in their normal fishing operations. Isn't that a little odd?

Why sea turtles don't want to visit North Carolina

Posted by Randy Olson at 03:20 PM | Comments (688)

August 25, 2005

8/25 - Record TOXIC Tuna in Delaware

Blah. Who wants 873 pounds of tuna when it contains double the maximum recommended allowable amount of mercury?

Lots o' tuna, lots o' mercury

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:17 PM | Comments (1279)

8/25 - BEST OCEAN CAMPAIGN IN HUMAN HISTORY: The wild turtle women of Wildcoast!

The jury is in. Wildcoast wins our all-time award, and is in the NY Times today. The award goes to wildwoman Fay Crevoshay (quoted in the article) and her sexy turtle model, Dorismar.

Last year when we produced our "No Seafood Grille 2050" comic film, two major conservation groups refused to show it to their boards because they were offended by the last line of the film, "You better eat that or it'll be the last pulsating thing you'll see for weeks."

Honestly, how in the world can a movement expect to connect with a general public that is busy playing Grand Theft Auto III when the boards of the major conservation groups are covering their eyes and ears at the thought of anything racy. Please do us a favor and forward the NY Times article to every prudish old (or young) person you know who is handicapping ocean conservation by choosing to ignore how our society communicates today.

And again, our humblest respect to Wildcoast for grasping how to communicate to the general public in this day and age.

turtle poster.jpg

I have a wealthy lawyer friend in NYC who, for the past three years, has looked at every film I've sent him and given me the same review, "Nice work, but needs more boobs." I think he would want me to do an internship with Wildcoast.

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:12 PM | Comments (1249)

August 22, 2005

8/23 - ATTENTION Timid Ocean Communicators: Wildcoast shows how it is done (take note)

Oh my goodness, Wildcoast has gone and offended Mexican women with a scantily clad woman on their poster about ending the consumption of turtle eggs. And now look what's happened, the newspapers are being forced to write articles about the controversy that lo and behold bring MORE attention to the issue.

This is what's called A SUCCESSFUL MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGN. And by the way, its one that several U.S. conservation groups snubbed because they felt it was too offensive. These would be organizations that let their fear of ruffled donors supercede their desire to communicate effectively.

Major, major kudos to Wildcoast for leading the way in how to reach the masses. Everyone please take note.


Wildcoast: An organization that understands how to communicate ocean conservation to the masses

Posted by Randy Olson at 06:14 PM | Comments (1809)

8/22 - Sponge Blob, Square Pants: The sea squirt that is eating the ocean!

Yes! Not only is a sea squirt making the news, but they say its of the same genus, Didemnum, that I studied for my Ph.D. Which I actually find hard to believe given what I know of that genus being bottom dwelling, but they say its covering 12 sq. km. of Canadian coastal waters, and they call it ... THE BLOB!

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:46 AM | Comments (996)

August 21, 2005

8/25 - Dolphin Encounters: the Disney-ifcation of the seas?

People are finally getting tired of "dolphin encounters" that pen up dolphins for the amusement of humans. Good. I hate those things. I don't care how many kids they supposedly inspire, it just doesn't seem right to incarcerate dolphins if they haven't committed a crime.


Free the Willies

Posted by Randy Olson at 09:14 AM | Comments (1576)

August 18, 2005

8/19 - Our "Jellyfish and Bacteria" singer is in THE FINAL SEVEN on "Rockstar INXS" on CBS!

Hokey smokes, my friend Ty Tyler, who sang half of the duet on "Jellyfish and Bacteria," is in the Final Seven contestants on Rockstar INXS on CBS. So far he's sung "No Woman, No Cry," "Kick," and "Everybody Hurts," but maybe, just maybe, when it comes down to the finals, he'll surprise everyone and say, "I'd like to sing a little tribute to the shifted baselines of our oceans," and then launch into, "Jellyfish and bacteria, that's what you get when the ocean is infer-ee-yah."

Go Ty! Yer a rockstar!

Ty Tyler: proof once again that good things happen to people who help call attention to shifted baselines

Posted by Randy Olson at 06:30 PM | Comments (1043)

August 16, 2005

10/16 - OPERATION PRISTINE: Scripps marine biologists visit Line Islands

We used it as the definition of a coral reef ecosystem as close to pristine as any you will find, now a group of marine biologists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography are visiting Palmyra Atoll in the Line Islands to verify its pristine-ishness. Check out the daily diary entries -- particularly August 13 which is titled, "Shifting our Baselines." Very nice.

Better Palmyra.jpg

Palmyra: A picture of pristine

Posted by Randy Olson at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2005

8/12 - Invasion of the Jellybags

This is fantastisch! Surfrider France is awesome.

The jellybag swarm

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)

August 11, 2005

8/12 - Putting your Zodiacs where your mouth is: Greenpeace disrupts menhaden harvest in Chesapeake Bay

Hey, it's good old fashioned OCEAN ACTIVISM! Remember when that term referred to something more than clicking on internet petitions and watching documentaries? Not that we're any better here at Shifting Baselines, but at least we know who to cheer for -- the folks at Greepeace who actually got wet on behalf of the Chesapeake menhaden stocks.

Low Res Greenpeace photo.jpg

Nothing like getting out of the office for a liesurely boat ride.

Posted by Randy Olson at 05:07 PM

August 10, 2005

8/10 - Are things "not right" on the Oregon coast?

CORVALLIS, Oregon - The Pacific Ocean off of Oregon has experienced a die-off of birds, declining fisheries and wildly fluctuating conditions in the past few months, and has set the stage for another hypoxic "dead zone" like those of 2002 and 2004, according to experts at Oregon State University.

More dead zones this summer?

Posted by Randy Olson at 01:06 AM

August 07, 2005

8/8 - Cod Collapse: 14% of "healthy"

The on-going downward spiral continues for Atlantic cod. Here the Martha's Vinyard Gazette reports on the collapse of cod on Georges Bank, with Priscilla Brooks of Conservation Law Foundation estimating the current stocks at 14% of what could be considered a healthy population.

Posted by Randy Olson at 10:49 PM

August 04, 2005

8/4 - "The worst I've ever seen" - Gulf snapper takes a dive

More of the same old story -- the Houston Chronicle reports another fish stock in decline.

Posted by Randy Olson at 12:53 AM

August 02, 2005

8/3 - A Great Shifting Baselines Article from the U.K.

A write up of a very nice study by Andrea Saenz-Arroyo and Callum Roberts which found that, "Fishermen over 55 named four times as many depleted sites and five times as many species lost as fishermen under 30."

Posted by Randy Olson at 10:56 PM

August 01, 2005

8/1 - Global Fishing S.O.S. (= same old story) from Worm and Myers

Myers and Worm, Worm and Myers. Either way, their news is bad. They said it in May of 2003 (Myers and Worm). Now they're saying it again (Worm and Myers). How much more data are needed. They've now shown, in simple terms, that predatory fish biomass AND diversity are severely reduced. Might actually be time to do something about it.

Here comes nothin'

Posted by Randy Olson at 10:37 AM