What an honor to host the ocean fest this month! It’s so inspiring to see all the different blogs touching our watery world in so many unique ways and reaching out to different audiences with one common message:
The ocean is full of cool stuff and let’s keep it that way!
To kick off this month’s festivities let’s go first to…drum roll…..Kevin Zelnio of Deep Sea News. Kevin claims his life as a deep-sea marine biologist is not as glamorous as it appears on TV, but on the other hand, he does get to discover previously unknown life forms –- so I’m guessing that makes up for the lack of black-tie opportunities?
Jacques Cousteau perhaps, was known for glamour, but as Emmett Duffy at Natural Patriot dives into Jacques Cousteau’s first novel Silent World, he discovers “an explorer in the classical mould of Columbus….”
Heating things up, we move to climate change and Carl Safina’s (Blue Ocean Institute) recent trip to the Arctic and a Climate Action Summit. As Carl notes,” We can take the measure of humanity and can understand just how much has been lost elsewhere and how much can be maintained or regained, if and when and where we decide to share the world.”
Rick MacPherson (Malaria, Bedbugs, Sealice & Sunsets), blogs from the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, where one of the “hot” topics was ocean acidification. Some interesting insights as we all struggle with how to talk to non-science audiences about the “big bad” as Rick calls it!
“No no no no no no” says James Hrynyshyn, Island of Doubt, to the notion of liming the ocean to help sequester carbon. This blog has my favorite comment: “You put the lime in the coconut!”
From living with climate change to sustainable living, Anthony Townsend at Blue Economy explores what it will mean when South Korea hosts the World Expo in 2012, with a theme of sustainable development in a country where (surprisingly) most of its citizens don’t live close to the coastline.
And speaking of sustainable living, Miriam Goldstein of The Oyster's Garter in the UK asks whether the development of clean energy from tidal power is worth the environmental cost, at least for one project in Great Britain.
On a distant coastline, Hugh Powell of Surf.Bird.Scribble offers a proxy blog this month, with a shout out to Cnido-site Discharge. Check out “Heartland Kid Takes Sabbeachical” the tale of a land lubber up to his knees in Belize!
Jarrett Byrnes of I’m a chordate, urochordata! (Wish I had come up with that one!) says of his submission: “In brief, I discuss an elegantly designed experiment teasing out the causes of zonation within subtidal temperate reefs.” Apparently, it’s all about light! “Silly algae,” (he adds).
Talking of silly…did you know that flatfish are not born with both eyes on one side of their heads? So, how did this evolve? Even Charles Darwin was baffled by this, apparently. Do we now have an answer? Grrl Scientist at Science Blogs does!
What if you just want to eat a flatfish and it’s red-listed by environmental groups like, say, Seafood Watch? Mark Powell at Blogfish asks, “Is it Sophie’s choice?”
What if the catch of the day is an invasive species, like a lionfish? Mark Hall at Daily Kos investigates why this Southeast Asian, venomous fish is showing up in New England. Find out why they’re here and what if feels like when you test out the sting!
Moving up the vertebrate chain, Mike Bergin at 10,000 Birds poses the question, “What is a tern?” If you thought an elegant tern was a dance move, then you need to update your larid knowledge here.
And here at SeaNotes, my colleague Ken Peterson, in tern told this story of Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a restored wetland that is hosting terns, elegant and otherwise.
In a much less happy story Caspar Henderson of Barely Imagined Beings offers melancholy manatee musings indeed: declining seagrass beds, and tangled bodies in nets, and the similarity between sirenia and their cousins on land.
Since we're pondering the imponderable, Angelo O'Connor Villagomez of The Saipan Blog asks whether the increased militarization of the seas will mean more incidents like the leak of radioactive water from the USS Houston during a recent visit to the island.
On a lighter note, Wallace J Nichol’s blog reviews Battle in Seattle which he believes deserves an Academy Award for "Best Sea Turtle Activist in a Major Motion Picture." If in doubt, check this out…
And finally, thanks to Zooillogix for these stunning images of migrating golden or cow-nosed rays. Images like this perhaps give us a window into what our oceans once must have looked like to our seafaring ancestors. Before they ate it all!
That's all for August. Enjoy the rest of your summer. And check The Saipan Blog in September for the Sweet 16 edition of Carnival of the Blue.
-- Alison Barratt