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White Shark off the coast of South Africa

Saturday, November 23, 2013


There has been a lot of buzz on social media in the last month regarding the documentary Blackfish, written by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. If you have not seen it, I thoroughly recommend it. To say this film is powerful does not do it justice.

Orcas are some of the most beautiful and intelligent animals on the planet. Blackfish discusses the issues of keeping such incredible animals in captivity. At the forefront of this film is Tilikum, a performing killer whale at Sea World in Orlando, Florida, who is responsible for the deaths of at least three people since the early 1990's.

I'll be honest, I'd never really thought much about animals in captivity. This could be due in large part to the fact that I've only ever been to aquariums, not to Sea World. When I saw this film for the first time, I was not only shocked, but also outraged and heartbroken. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt; not only because of the unnecessary loss of human life, but because of the animals' lives as well. Mostly because I know that even if Tilikum were freed, he'd still be alone. Orcas are family animals; the young stay with their mothers throughout their entire lives. He never had that luxury. He was stolen from his family at two years old. Sadly enough, the human capacity for cruelty no longer surprises me.

When discussing this issue I was asked the question,"why should I care about a fish?" (Ignoring the fact that an orca is not a fish) This, in my opinion, is what is wrong with this world. Why should you care about a shark, or an orca, or a grouper? You should care because all life is precious, not just human life. Animals were not just placed here for human amusement; they serve a purpose too. One cannot simply exploit the oceans without consequence. To quote Sylvia Earle, "No blue, no green."

I've included the trailer for Blackfish. Please watch, and encourage others to do the same. Thank you.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Greenland shark rescued in Newfoundland harbor

A Greenland shark became beached on November 16th in Newfoundland harbor, after choking on a large piece of moose hide. Two men, Derrick Chaulk and Jeremy Ball, worked together to save the shark and get it back out into the water before it was too late. 

According to Chaulk, Ball removed the hide from the shark's gullet while Chaulk tied a rope around its tail. The two men managed to move the shark into about a foot of water, where it lay motionless for several minutes before finally taking a breath. 

Greenland sharks are scavengers, feeding on food found in shallow waters. Their diet mostly consists of fish, but occasionally these animals have been known to feed on larger animals such as moose, polar bears, and reindeer. They are a rare sight for most people, especially around the northeast coast of Newfoundland. To hear that two people went out of their way to save such a spectacular animal is truly heartwarming; many thanks to both of them.

Shark rescue
(Above: Jeremy Ball) Photo courtesy of CBC news Canada

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who knew Al Gore had a sense of humor? I thoroughly enjoyed this TED talk. He makes some extremely good points about climate change and  things that we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint. There is an entire library of talks he's given and they're all fantastic. If you have a moment, please watch one or two of them.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

     Good morning, everyone! I hope your week and weekend have gone well. I wanted to let you all know that I am in the process of implementing a new format for this site, the goal of which is to provide you with as much information as possible on a regularly scheduled basis. I appreciate your patience while I get things rolling. Hopefully you will all enjoy it. Big things are coming, so stay tuned!