Photo of Enric Sala on board the National Geographic Endeavour by TED/James Duncan Davidson
Another morning walk on land to watch iguanas, frigatebirds, and sea lions. Female sea lions were milking their babies in the middle of our path, ignoring us completely. Needless to say, we walked around the path to not disturb, after the mandatory “how cute/how sweet” statements. Back on board, we were treated with fascinating talks and deep discussions.
Who said scientists can’t communicate? Well, most can’t, but on the National Geographic Endeavour we have some of the best science communicators out there. The following are some of the thoughts that stroke me the most.
We need a new operating system for our relationship with the ocean (Dee Boersma). We’ve been taking too much out of the ocean – the fish we like to eat – and thrown in what we don’t want – our sewage and garbage.
If the ocean ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy – Steve Palumbi, explaining that ocean health is essential for our health. Currently, many toxic chemicals that we use to make plastics make it to the sea and to our bodies alike. For instance, Inuit mothers in the Arctic cannot breast feed their babies because their milk is too loaded with pollutants.
If fish could scream, not many people would go fishing – Chevy Chase. Well, Chevy is not exactly a scientist, but he showed us very explicitly how horrible it would be to catch a fish that is screaming and complaining about the pain inflicted by a steel hook. As he said, torturing an animal just for “sport” does not sound very human.
In addition, we learned that blue whales can hear each other songs from as far away as 500 miles, and also that noise produced by humans – like ship noise – is disturbing so much the sound environment underwater that whales have to call louder to heard each other. We are probably making their life very difficult, and find a mate a struggle.
Finally, some signs of hope. Steve Palumbi said that the list of solutions outweighs the list of problems. And we know that some of them, like marine reserves, work when well implemented and enforced. The question is: how to scale them up at the global scale?
- ocean10 posted this