G’day mate, my name’s Bruce. I’m a Great White Shark. While I am great, heh heh, I am white only on my belly! The rest of me is gray. In Finding Nemo, my and chums and I had the motto, “Fish are friends, not food.” In real life I eat only meat. It gets messy sometimes since there are no barbies (BBQ’s) out in the ocean, mate!
Dory once sang, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” That applies to most of us sharks as we have to swim all the time in order to breathe. Some great white sharks swim great distances, like from Baja California to the Hawaiian islands. Some great white sharks join me off of Oz (Australia) from South Africa, mate! There are so few of us in all of the oceans that us males gotta swim that far to find any Sheilas (females)!
I am 20 feet long and weigh 5,000 pounds. I am as long as a small RV (recreational vehicle), and weigh as much as much as a car!
Since I can’t brush my teeth, mate, I continuously grow new teeth. That way my teeth do not get cavities or get blunt.
I can detect electricity in the seawater around me. This helps me find my food, as your heart gives off electricity, mate.
Though I am widely feared, more sharks are killed a year by humans (73-100 million) than humans killed by sharks (average of 5/year). My fins are very valuable to me as they help me steer, but lately it seems that humans want them more than us sharks! We are close to becoming an endangered species because of shark finning. For more on shark finning, check out previous post by Domino the Whale Shark
You can help by not consuming shark fin soup, visiting Sea Stewards, and watching the documentary Sharkwater.
That picture is not me, thank goodness. My name is Alby the Albatross, and it is nice to meet you. That was an albatross chick who most likely died from eating too much plastic. Hundreds of thousands of dead albatross chicks have been found with at least a third of their stomach full of plastic. Why would an albatross eat plastic? Unfortunately plastic is everywhere in the ocean now, not just in garbage patches. Every type of garbage imaginable makes it to the ocean. Remember what Gill tells Nemo in Finding Nemo? “All drains lead to the ocean, kid,” he said. There is so much garbage in general that remote tropical islands whose sand has only been touched by scuttling crabs and wayward seabirds have garbage engulfing their shores. Plastic is a threat to all ocean life, but the most insidious are the tiny plastic particles that microscopic plankton consume. Small fish eat the plankton and then successively larger fish eat each other until a predator like a shark nabs them. The shark then bioaccumulates, that is stores, all those plastic pieces in its body over time. Even humans carry a few pounds of plastic around in their bodies without knowing it!
The single most important thing you can do to relieve me and my oceanic friends from plastic in the ocean is to: NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER! Use a reusable water bottle that you fill yourself with tap water, or filtered tap water. We thank you for helping us!
Hello, my name is Terry and I’m a pteropod. What exactly is a pteropod? Well, I’m also called a sea butterfly and I have been described as a “coffee bean with wings.” What I really am is a marine snail that is about the size of a lentil, which is less than half an inch long. My terrestrial snail cousins have a hard shell on the outside and a soft body inside, while my shell is on my inside and my gelatinous goo is on the outside.
Why am I important? Well if polar bears are the poster animals for the melting polar ice caps due to global warming, then I am the poster invertebrate for ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is also due to global warming as a rise in ocean temperatures can cause seawater pH to drop and become more acidic.
So how does the ocean become more acidic? Well the same carbon dioxide emissions that warm our atmosphere and cause global warming ultimately become absorbed by the oceans. The oceans cover more than 70% of the planet. Carbon dioxide dissolves in water and make it more acidic, like soda. While the seawater in the ocean is not turning into Coke, a sprinkle here and there of acidic water can have devastating effects on ocean life.
Ocean acidification will directly affect me, my descendents, and my planktonic peers as my inner shell will dissolve as the water around me becomes more acidic. I will die. While I have a fairly short lifespan of a few months (to years if I escape being eaten!) to begin with, it is the new gap in the bottom of the food chain that will be troubling. Fish won’t have anything to eat, and the larger animals that eat them will be hungry too. Imagine if on land all the grass and insects suddenly got wiped out. Then everything from birds, deer, and bears would be scrambling around for new food sources or face extinction.
So, what can you do to help? What you are hopefully already doing to curb global warming: driving less, carpooling, taking public transportation, and exploring the use of alternative energies. The 3 R’s help too: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Also support efforts to create Marine Protected Areas around the globe. Less than 1% of the oceans are protected versus 12% of land being protected. Don’t forget to spread the word, as we can all make a difference by being informed!
UPDATE DECEMBER 2012: Scientists have found that pteropods are being affected by ocean acidification now, as opposed to a previous prediction of 2038. Link to article here
Meet Ollie the Octopus and learn the ocean acidification definition
Hello, my name is Ollie, and I’m an Octopus. I will give the ocean acidification definition shortly! Welcome to my blog entry, told from the point-of-view of an octopus. I am ecstatic to have found myself a human translator (or is she an octopus translator??) named Cherilyn. I chose a blog to get my thoughts and feelings across as I will only live to be 2-3 years old at most and it is very urgent that I share the many changes happening to my watery world now!
Ocean Acidification is due to Global Warming
My human translator recently told me about a documentary she watched, “A Sea Change,” which is about ocean acidification due to global warming. All I could think was eek, my beak (mouth) and radula (teeth) will start to dissolve soon and they don’t make dentures for octopuses! Also within a few octopus generations (and definitely within your human lifetime), my coral reef may be dead. Yes, the corals that pre-date humans by thousands of years will be gone in a blink of geologic time. Sure the earth and her oceans over millions of years can deal with the rise of temperatures in both the atmosphere and ocean, but ocean acidification may be the straw that broke the camel shrimp’s back.
Ocean Acidification Definition
The ocean acidification definition is that all the little animals and plants that build up the massive coral reefs (which are visible from outer space!) will be gone if the saltwater they live in becomes more acidic and dissolves their calcium carbonate skeletons. My favorite foods, crabs and shrimps, will be gone if they can no longer make their exoskeletons. No longer will my worst nightmares consist of the “baby octopus bowls” served at Japanese restaurants. No, it will be that I have no food to eat, and to boot, no place to live!
Stop destroying my ocean!
One in four ocean creatures lives on a coral reef and I believe there isn’t a more beautiful and productive place on earth. In fact my human translator called coral reefs “heaven in the ocean” after a SCUBA dive in the South Pacific. From what I’ve heard, due to industrialization, humans have caused massive destruction to the beautiful land all across the earth by exploiting her once plentiful resources. I’m not looking forward to what humans can do to the oceans, nor can I ignore what they already have done.
No part of the once thought of massive, untouchable and exotic oceans are left unscathed by the reaches of man. There is no pristine anything anymore—from pollution caused by runoff from the land, to carbon dioxide and other chemicals spewed into the air that eventually make their way into the oceans (oceans cover more than 70% of the so called “earth”), to the overfishing of large predatory fish. But increasingly (and supposedly) efficient methods of fishing are wiping out entire schools of both small and large fish in a blink of an eye and leaving nothing but millions of fish scales to sink to the bottom of the ocean forever. Don’t get me started about the coral bleaching due to global warming, as seeing dead patches of coral really makes me want to really ink someone!
I’m glad I only live a few years at most. If I successfully reproduce, I hope my offspring will have a healthy coral reef to live on, and food to eat. I hope for your human offspring’s sake they don’t ask someday, “why are there no more coral reefs in the ocean? Or more importantly, “why didn’t you do anything to stop the destruction of the coral reefs?”
You Can Help!!
Fortunately there is still time, and there is still hope. Although only 1% of all the money donated to conservation causes is ocean related, you can make a difference one cent and one dollar at a time. It costs nothing to sign on-line petitions, e-mail your local Senators or Representatives or to just to stay informed (follow my human interpreter on twitter @protectoceans or visit protecttheoceans.org. Tell just one person what you’ve learned today and hopefully someday your grandchildren, after peeking underwater at a coral reef for the first time, or seeing a whale surface and spout in the ocean, will thank you for helping to protect the oceans and its inhabitants from destruction by mankind.