Call To End Use of FADs! Tuna Whistleblower Shows All!

Greenpeace provides this video footage from a commercial tuna operation’s helicopter pilot, calling it

“The Video the Global Tuna Industry Doesn’t Want You To See.” (WARNING: The video shows violence!)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than the Faroe Islands, Pacific tuna hunt companies up the stakes.

image of a FAD (Fish Aggregation Device)

This pinger gathers all manner of marine life to it, not just adult tuna.


Using Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs,) which are floating sonic beacons, in conjunction with purse nets, the boats are netting all manner of marine life other than the tuna they’re supposed to be taking. According to the whistle-blower chopper pilot, before they started using FADs, the catch was adult tuna. Since, the catch is greater, but includes immature tuna as well as dolphins, manta rays, whales, marlins, sharks, turtles… all manner of creatures, which are then brutally slaughtered. The immature tuna are even wasted as they’re too small to be taken legally, but already dead.

Purse “seine” nets being used in conjunction with FADs is akin to baiting an area and then firing a thousand automatic SHOTGUNS at the area after all manner of creatures have arrived at the bait site. Baiting is illegal for hunting as it interferes with the regular activities of wildlife, and it should be illegal for fishing as well. Our oceans cannot afford, cannot sustain, the by-kill of this device. Whales, dolphins, sharks, rays… all being viciously slaughtered because they came up in the nets, too? The video shows a manta ray on its back, still alive when these hunters slice long lines down its body time after time after time. Can there possibly be any excuse for that?

Cetacean By-kill of a purse net using a FAD

Cetaceans are amongst those killed by FADs & purse nets.

Whale on deck, dead, caught in a purse net that was using a FAD.

This whale lost its life to a FAD and purse netting.

We join Greenpeace in demanding that the use of FADs be prohibited and discontinued. There are links to action at the end of the video. Please, use them.

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Dr. Sylvia Earle, Louie Psihoyos & Many More at Colorado Ocean Coalition Symposium

If you’re anywhere near Denver or Boulder, Colorado, this is one you won’t want to miss!  The Colorado Ocean Coalition is celebrating their first anniversary with an unparalleled ocean symposium.

Colorado Ocean Coalition logoTomorrow, November 13, 2011, beginning shortly after noon at the Boulder Public Library, the Colorado Ocean Coalition is sponsoring an amazing list of guest speakers for an ocean symposium.  The daytime events will be open to the public, and evening sessions are part of a fundraiser.   Dr. Sylvia Earle is a life-long champion of the ocean and Explorer-In-Residence with National Geographic.  Louie Psihoyos has been a National Geographic photographer and won an Academy Award for his documentary, “The Cove.”  These  two giants are amongst several great speakers scheduled to provide very enlightening presentations.  Jim Toomey, the cartoonist of Sherman’s Lagoon, David Helvarg (“50 Ways To Save The Ocean”,) Dan Basta (Director of NOAA’s Marine Sanctuary program, and representatives from the Plastic Pollution Coalition and the 5 Gyres Institute are also amongst guest speakers.  Check out the afternoon schedule!

According to the Colorado Ocean Coalition press release, presentation subjects include  “a variety of climate/ocean topics, marine protected areas, plastics and environmental impacts, sustainable seafood, and agricultural and watershed connections.”

Dr. Sylvia Earle, Ocean Champion and National Geographic Explorer In Residence

Dr. Sylvia Earle

Special guests include Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer inResidence, Jim Toomey, cartoonist of Sherman’s Lagoon, David Helvarg, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Dan Basta, Director of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5 Gyres Institute, Margo Pellegrino, famous paddler and rower, and others.   The press release goes on to share that  “Teens4Oceans and Keep it Clean will be offering programs for youth of all ages throughout the event. Teacher workshops by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and Explore The Ocean by Google will be held. Organizations will be disseminating information throughout the library on subjects ranging from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to what Coloradans can do to protect our oceans.”

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the other 3/4 of the planet, this is an extraordinary opportunity to get the straight story right from the seahorse’s mouth!   We thank Vicki Goldstein and all the others who have worked to bring this symposium to fruition.  Happy birthday, Colorado Ocean Coalition!

Directions to the Boulder Public Library can be gotten from this link.




MTS Ocean Pollution Workshop

The use of marine technology to mitigate ocean pollution is the focus of a two-day workshop, “Ocean Pollution: From Technology to Management and Policy,” slated for April 13–14, 2011, in Sarasota, Florida.

One of the Marine Technology Society’s TechSurge Workshops, this event will feature speakers from well-known laboratories and research institutes, as well as universities and private businesses. The workshop will focus on bridging the gap between technology and policy and management, and will include cutting-edge tool demonstrations. Topics for the workshop include Florida coastal ecology, water quality, storm water run-off policy, report card on reduced coastal and ocean pollution, and marine debris, among others.

A half-day session will be devoted to oil spill technology with topics featuring policy/management, restoration, lessons learned, and mitigation and detection. Attendees will identify the needs and gaps among various forms of pollution that affect our oceans and coasts, and help to develop an ocean pollution scorecard that highlights the top technology gaps in each topic presented.

A preliminary program, list of speakers, registration information, and information on sponsor and exhibit opportunities is at www.mtsociety.com.