Despite their plant-like appearance, corals are animals and very basic components of our ocean ecosystems. Tiny colonies of coral 'polyps' capture nutrients from the sun and help build the beautiful structures coral reefs are known for.
In this short video clip, we present the diversity and resilence of the Coral reefs of the Pacific island of Niue. Three years ago, the latter was devastated by a cyclone that destroyed many of the inner reef lagoons and coral growth. However, on our 2011 expedition to Niue, we witnessed bright new signs of re-growth and healthy corals regenerating all over the reef. Marine life was once again using the corals for shelter and food, and the diversity of wildlife on the reef was slowly creating a reef ecosystem.
"Coral reefs of Niue" offers a glimpse into a reef community starting to recover and thrive in the beautiful tropical waters of the pacific!
Eco-Odyssey recently hosted an ocean awareness event in British Columbia, Canada. We wanted to introduce our foundation's mission and bring awareness to the current plight of shark species worldwide. Whether your like or dislike these toothy predators, sharks are vital to our marine ecosystems and are key to keeping food chains in the ocean in check.
Sharks have been roaming the planet for over 400 million years, and yet in the last two decades humans have managed to push many species near extinction due to the ever-increasing demand for their fins.
Shark fin soup is a Chinese delicacy, a dish fit for an emperor and symbolic of wealth and prestige. Traditionally reserved for weddings and business banquets, shark fin soup is now affordable, due in large part to China's booming economy, to a growing middle class society. Unfortunately, the demand of shark fins is rising with the popularity of the soup, and fisheries around the world are hunting sharks and profiting from selling and exporting fins back to China.
We wanted to share Rob Stewart's groudbreaking documentary Sharkwater with local communities in Canada in hopes of changing their perceptions of sharks and enlightening people to the fact that we need sharks in order for our oceans to survive.
Check out our clip and be inspired to bring shark awareness to your local community!
☛ For more on how to help sharks, head to http://unitedconservationists.org/
During our recent trip to the pacific island of Niue, our team had a chance to dive in with some fish aggregating devices crafted by the island's native fishermen. Although simple in design, the effect of the FAD's were clear, with schools of juvenile fish flocking to floating palm leaves tied together and held at the surface with floats. Sailfish, Barracuda and sharks were common visitors, and the main targets of fishermen, although this time of day was quite calm with one lone Barra hanging down on the mooring line.
For more information on FAD's, check out the full article in our Fisheries section.
This collection of priceless moments were captured during our last expedition to Antarctica over a decade ago. "Antarctica Revisited" is a journey back to one of the most volatile and powerful places on earth, where whales, seals, and penguins call this frozen playground home. Monstrous icebergs add drama and sheer beauty to this unique land and seascape, and the colors of Antarctica are sure to warm the heart.
Whether on land or in the surrounding seas, we hope to highlight the diversity of life in this isolated, virtually untouched part of our planet & entice you to want to safeguard it!
Please visit the last ocean website for more on how you can help protect the last virtually untouced living ecosystem on earth: The Ross sea! http://www.lastocean.co.nz/
Paulo Adario, a passionate crusader for the Amazon environment, was acknowledged by the United Nations for his courageous work defending rainforest and its shrinking resources. Adario leads the Greenpeace Amazon campaign and has worked for over a decade tackling deforestation, Illegal logging, and habitat destruction.
On February 9th, Paulo Adario was deemed 'forest hero' by the UN, and here is a short clip from the hero himself.
☛ Read more on Paul Adario's work and life in Today's Hot Topics 27.02 post.
After bringing together some of the footage from our travels and expeditions over the past few years, we wanted to share some striking images from Vietnam's local fish markets as well as the wildly rich waters of Tahiti.
Ocean on the Edge showcases some real threats to our global marine environment, while taking a glimpse into local cultures and fishing around the world. Global overfishing is collapsing entire populations of species everywhere, and large predators like sharks and manta rays are being targeted and fished out so rampantly their number are plummeting.
There are many issues surrounding our oceans, but there is also a lot of hope and potential for change. We can restore health to the waters of our world, but the time is now!
A 'clean' regatta, this year's America's cup racing event may be the first ever to truly engage not only sports-lovers and sailing enthusiasts, but also a greater demographic of people who care for our global marine environment.
The 34th America's Cup is shaping up to be an exemplary sailing event, with the Healthy Ocean Project launching a movement to reach out to the world and inspire us all to engage in the quest to improve our ocean's health today, and for future generations.
On October 5th, 2011, the cargo ship 'Rena' ran aground on New-Zealand north-east Astrolabe reef, causing fatal damage to the ship and having dangerous consequences for the surrounding marine environment. The cargo vessel, managed by the Greek 'Costamare Inc', was carrying over 2000 tons of heavy fuel oil, of which nearly a quarter has since spilled into the ocean.
Astrolabe reef's proximity to land, it is situated only 20 kilometres from the north island's Tauranga region, has meant that the Rena's toxic substances have not only polluted the waters, but quickly reached the mainland and nearby islands. Local Blue Penguin and multiple bird species have been the worst affected by oil contamination, while huge clumps of toxins washed up on Tauranga's beaches for weeks following the Rena's fatal collision.
Despite the current count of 2000 perished birds, including Shags, Fluttering Shearwaters, Petrels, Gannets, and Terns, the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery Team have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of animals.
On November 22nd, 2011 the first 49 little blue penguins were re-released into the wild at a Mount Maunganui beach following treatments to remove oil from their feathers. The total 339 penguins affected from oil contamination will be tagged with a microchip and set free on Tauranga's local beaches. Monitoring signals from the birds will allow researchers to track their success in the wild over the next few months as well on a long term basis.
Below is a short clip from the first penguin release, and the National Oiled Wildlife Recovery Team coordinator Kerri Morgan (coordinated by Maritime New Zealand) explains the wildlife rescue effort following the worst environmental disaster the country has seen.Video © World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Sourced information: "Tauranga oil spill response: Bay of Plenty oil spill", World Wildlife Fund New Zealand. http://www.wwf.org.nz/take_action/oil_spill/
This recent video compiled by Arkive (arkive.org) features footage of terrestrial and marine species that have recently been updated to the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.
It is pivotal our global society be aware of the environmental impacts of man's exploitative habits which are destroying not only natural habitats around the world, but thousands of species that depend on them. Commercial industries profit from hunting, poaching, fishing, and culling countless of our planet's wildlife, and some animals such as sharks, rhinoceros, marine turtles, and tigers are struggling to survive under the constant threat of humans.
To find out the latest news on endangered species and resources on which wildlife are most vulnerable today, please link to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's website. http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Come out of the dark, and learn why YOU have a role in saving our global environment.
Without it, OUR survival is also at stake.
▲ On December 5th, ten years ago, Sir Peter Blake was killed by Amazon river pirates while exploring the region aboard "Seamaster" with Blakexpeditions.
A man who ventured to the Amazon to create awareness and highlight this vital part of our planet was taken by the very people he sought to protect, in the very surroundings he cherished. His understanding and respect for the earth's environment and precarious nature was strong while he lived, and still today sheds positive energy over Amazonas. Despite the negative circumstances of his death, Sir Peter's last adventure was bright, genuine, and heartfelt..and still continues today.
▲ Sir Peter Blake, Blakexpeditions, November 25th, 2001
A decade after Sir Peter Blake ventured to remote Amazonas with his Blakexpeditions team, the ancient and majestic Kapok tree still stands proud, overlooking its river jungle world.
The roots reach deep into the land, laying the foundation for the richness of Amazon living.
Eco-Odyssey's team returns to the symbolic Kapok tree where Blake had stood, and where his energy still breathes life into the forest..
The Eco-Odyssey Foundation would like to celebrate the Amazon with you this month. Given this special South American treasure is very close to our hearts, we have created a short musical film so that we may all travel to the Amazon, and feel its magic.
Our foundation is currently participating in an Amazonian expedition in conjunction with 'WorldWise Expeditions', with two of our team members adventuring along the region over the next four weeks.
We are working to bring you the latest on their adventures and discoveries, and will continue to follow team Amazon as they journey deeper into the rainforest.
Whales and Dolphins are prominent ocean mammals fascinating and enchanting humans all over the globe. However they are also two of the most targeted mammals suffering under the impact of an unfaltering Whaling industry. Japan, Norway, and Iceland still hunt multiple species of cetacean, and these creatures are killed by the thousands every year as whaling nations refuse to end their attack on many of these endangered species.
During a recent expedition to Niue, Eco-Odyssey had the pleasure of swimming, interacting and learning from a resident population of Spinner dolphins. Here in a compilation of our underwater time with these curious and brilliant mammals, we present a short clip for all to enjoy. We also suggest linking to our 'Threatened Species' section where you can read up why Dolphins are in danger. http://www.eco-odyssey.com/main/hot-topics/endangered-species.html
In previous expeditions, Eco-Odyssey ventured to the Kingdom of Tonga where seasonal mammal visitors draw in a growing number of tourist wishing to have an experience of a lifetime. Between the months of July and October, Humpback whales will migrate to Tonga to rest, nurse young calves, and prepare for the arduous journey to Antarctica to feed over the summer months.
Very few places in the world allow in-water interactions with mammals, and Tonga remains an isolated location offering this incredible yet fragile human and whale encounter to occur. This following video clip was filmed in the hopes of raising awareness to the sensitive and volatile nature of whales in our oceans. The same humpback whales featured here have traveled to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary where they could have been targets of the illegal Japanese whaling fleet. Please consider the intelligence and worth of these animals to our oceans and make the choice to support us in spreading the word about this atrocity. Stand up against it, Every effort counts ❤
Ocean pollution is now so dense that swirling currents are causing marine debris to return to land, and collect on our world's beaches. Consequently, we are faced with a never ending re-cycling of rubbish around our planet, and this is having disastrous effects on our environment and its wildlife. This video form the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) shows us the truth of where our garbage is ending up and how important it is to take responsibility for our global pollution problem.
☞ Please think about your 'one time', 'disposable' plastic use and how quickly it will become a part of the growing pile of garbage to sit on earth forever. Every conscious effort is a step in the direction of change.
After launching the Fish Fight campaign, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has generated some much needed attention to the practice of 'discarding' occuring within our Global Fisheries industry. The wasting of fish at sea is happening everywhere in the world, as various fishing methods cause unwanted and untargeted species to be caught, only to be thrown back to the ocean as rubbish.
In the European Union, fishing nations are wasting 1/2 of what they catch annually because of regulations imposed by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) banning fishermen from returning to land with untargeted species or more fish than the 'Total Allowable Catch' permits.
Here is the cativating Fish Fight Clip...
For more on this topic, visit our 'Fisheries' page for an article from August 21st, and a link to the Fish Fight campaign's informative website:http://www.eco-odyssey.com/main/hot-topics/Fisheries.html
The Republic of Palau is one of the richest and most bountiful ocean treasures in the world. With crystal clear waters teeming with underwater species, big and small, Palau is one of those enchanting islands hidden away in the pacific blue where ocean wildlife flourishes within a healthy ecosystem.
Luckily for Palau, their president Johnson Toribiong shares a love and respect for the ecosystems that surround his country and recognizes the importance of conserving our blue planet. It is well worth hearing Mr. Toribiong speak about making Palau the 1st Shark Sanctuary in the world, and the responsibility we all have today to teach children about the gift of the ocean. ♥
Please use Eco-Odyssey and all other links on our webiste to find our how you can help protects sharks in your area, and support the vital conservation of our world oceans!
Simply stunning, this video is a must-see!
In the Sea of Cortez, a group of researchers from "The Great Whale Conservancy" performed the lengthy, delicate, and challenging rescue of a humpback whale severely entangled in thick nylon fishing line.
The humpback whale, a highly intelligent cetacean, allowed for humans to perform the hands-on work of cutting fishing line from her pectoral fins, body and tail.
After working on releasing the whale and cutting the line, rescuers successfully freed the gentle mammal and were subsequently graced with a show of thanks!
This gripping and touching video strongly suggests that this whale understood she was being helped and in turn showed her appreciation and elated spirit by breaching next to the research boat for an hour following her new-found freedom.
Please visit "The Great Whale Conservancy" to learn more about how this group is working to protect, conserve and cherish the wonderful whales of our world.
The Southern Ocean's most treasured ocean paradise, the Ross Sea, is the last living "intact" marine ecosystem in the world.
The global fishing industry, having fully exploited about 80% of our planet's waters, is pushing to develop a lucrative business targeting the Antarctic Toothfish, sold on the global market as "Chilian Sea Bass".
Since it was discovered in 1841, The Ross Sea has been the richest example of an ecosystem living free of human impact. Until today.
Watch this short but highly informative video, and learn why its imperative we protect this unique Antarctic treasure.
Please feel free to link to Eco-Odyssey's Blog page and read our June 14th post "Living Legend", in which the Ross Sea is the topic of discussion.
Australia and New-Zealand are lucky to have some of the richest and most bountiful seas in world. Some of the ocean's ancient species and gentle giants call our waters home, and depend on the health of their environment to survive.
This video, released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, explains the governmental proposal from Australia's environmental minister Tony Burke to establish Marine Sanctuaries in the country's South-West.
These waters are home to 1/3 of the planet's whales and Dolphin species, and although the minister is proposing 2 sanctuaries in the area, Sea Shepherd is urging us to push for the establishment of 10 Marine Sanctuaries to adequately safeguard these important grounds.
By protecting and securing the home's of our cherished ocean wildlife, we allow them a safer existence, and this is paramount.
Watch this short video from Sea Shepherd, and visit the adjoining link to sign a petition heading to Tony Burke himself!
Sign the petition here:http://www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/sea-shepherd
This video is a snap-shot of acclaimed shark photographer and conservationist Leslie Rochat's documentary, "Sharks in Deep Trouble". Well-worth the watch, this enticing clip takes us on Leslie's journey on some of South Africa's long-lining and shark fishing vessels, where her footage of inhumane shark slaughters evokes some troublesome reflections.
Responsible for the deaths of over 73 million sharks a year, shark finning is a serious and unregulated act that could, if allowed to continue, cost us the health of our planet.
The global conservation organization "Wild Aid" has released a Public Service Announcement helping to raise awareness to the destructive practice of shark finning.
It is short and effective, so feel free to forward it to others! Eco-Odyssey does not condone shark finning for we value the vital role sharks play in our ocean's ecosystems...And hopefully you do too!!
Following the recent World Heritage Listing of the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, the Department of Environment released a short video clip acknowledging this great accomplishment and celebrating the unmatched ocean wonders of Ningaloo. Check out the fantastic footage by a local videographer, and enjoy the natural beauty that is Ningaloo!
The creative force behind the hugely successful documentary "Sharkwater" Rob Stewart has released a short video clip of a class of sixth grade students in Saipan (The Marianna Islands) who are making history. After "Sharkwater" brought the massively destructive practice of shark finning to the world stage, a positive chain reaction began stretching to every corner of the earth. People began to take notice of the plight of sharks, the inhumane way in which they are being exploited, and how vital their lives are to our own survival.
"Sharkwater Saipan" highlights how the genuine curiosity and empathy of a group of children, combined with a belief in protecting sharks, created a movement shaping their country into one that has united to put a national ban on shark finning.
Click here to view the full video clip of Rob Stewart's "Sharkwater Saipan":
In light of continually rising concerns over global warming ant its effects on the world environment, we are also witnessing changes in wildlife and their living grounds. Here is a video catching the curious and fascinating behaviours of thousands of Walruses off the coast of Alaska. This massive aggregation is leading to suspicions over causation relating to global warming.
Click here to see for yourself!
This video exposing the journey of plastic drinking bottles after being bought, consumed and discarded is a real eye-opener. If humans are to continue consuming non-biodegradable materials, we must know and understand the implications of our actions..
This first video deals with plastic water bottles...watch and be astounded...!
The world's underwater sea beds have engrained resources such as oil hidden deep beneath the ocean floor. Drilling for this oil has become a widespread and incredibly profitable business for industries seeking to utilize this natural resource. A multitude of products humans use have been sourced from the crude oil found deep in our sea beds.
On April 20th, 2010, an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig caused the largest ocean oil spill in history in the Gulf of Mexico. An estimated 50,000 barrels of oil escaped into the ocean every day for a total of 87 days until the leak was finally stopped.
The environmental damage for this type of incident is immeasurable and will continue to escalate for years to come. Wildlife and fishing communities depending on the Gulf of Mexico's nutrient rich waters have been heavily affected by the inundation of oil since the disastrous spill.
There are numerous offshore drilling rigs around the globe extracting oil from as deep as 1 mile beneath the ocean floor. The environmental consequences of incidental oil spills are monumental and bring into question the sustainability of this type of industry.