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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Compensation Instead of Confrontation

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Scubaverse’s Editor at Large, Jeff Goodman, talks to Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson about their recent controversial announcement offering the Faroe Islands £1,000,000 to stop killing whales.

What Jeff had to say: I first met and worked with Paul in 1988 while making a film for the BBC about the annual slaughter of Pilot Whales and Dolphins in the Faeroe Islands. I joined Paul and the crew of Sea Shepherd in Plymouth and sailed to the islands to try and stop, or at least publicise, the wholesale killing of these cetaceans.

In my sheer naivety I truly believed that if we could show the horrors of this hunt to the world then public opinion and pressure would be brought to bear to end the mass killing. How wrong I was. The resulting film angered a few people and distressed others, but in the end nothing changed. The killing went on and goes on to this day.

However, this does not mean that we should give up trying to end this senseless slaughter, for if we did then we may as well close our minds to all the horrors man inflicts on the world and live our lives in comfortable psychological isolation.

Recently I saw this headline:

Sea Shepherd Offers the Faroe Islands One Million Euros to Stop Killing Whales’.

At first I was shocked and then it became clear to me just how committed Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd are to saving our planet’s marine life. It was all at once wonderful and tragic. One of those windows on humanity, paying a rich country not to kill whales in an outdated and unnecessary blood bath.

Combined with all the other immense environmental pressures cetaceans are facing, what is one million Euros compared to the pain, suffering and possible extinction put upon these priceless animals? It seems the supporting membership of Sea Shepherd and the wider public would be willing to donate this amount to give pilot whales and dolphins safe passage past the wealthy Faroe Islands.

I asked Paul to tell me more.

Sea Shepherd

What Paul Watson had to say: After years of confrontations with people who kill seals, dolphins, whales and other wildlife species I have seen that in many cases, the revenues received from donations to oppose exploitation often exceed the revenues realized by those doing the exploitation.

In Mexico for example, Sea Shepherd recently hired fishermen to convert the lead weights we confiscate from the nets of poachers into dive weights. Offering employment is one way to compensate for the loss of fishing revenues due to regulations protecting the endangered Vaquita and Totoaba.

In the Faroe Islands the Grindadrap or slaughter of pilot whales and dolphins is a tradition but the argument from the islanders is that it is free meat and they need the meat despite the high toxicity of that flesh and blubber in the form of methyl-mercury, PCB.s and other heavy metals. We have long argued that there is no economic need to kill whales considering that the Faroe Islands have one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe.

However, some in the Faroes insist it is an economic necessity. If it is money they need, surely the conservation and the animal rights movement can supply the funds. There are far more people supporting the opposition to the killing of whales than people wanting to kill whales. The supporting membership of Sea Shepherd is three to four times the number of the entire population of the Faroe Islands. We could easily raise the required funds for compensation.

For this reason, Sea Shepherd has made an offer to the Faroes of one million Euros payable in yearly instalments of one hundred thousand pounds for each year that no pilot whales or dolphins are killed. The offer comes with a suggestion that the Faroese use the money to build a whale watching industry and/or to promote tourism to the Faroe Islands.

We have not had a reply to our offer but the offer stands should the Faroese decide that there is a greater economic benefit to protecting whales than from destroying them.

For more information about Sea Shepherd visit their website by clicking here.

 

 

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Marine Life & Conservation

White Shark Interest Group Podcast #007 – with ROB LAWRENCE

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Seventh in an exciting podcast series from Ricardo Lacombe of the White Shark Interest Group.

Episode 7 of the White Shark Interest Group Podcast, Facebook’s’ largest White Shark specific group, covering science, conservation, news, photography, video and debate.

This episode features Ricardo and Dirk speaking with the White Shark pioneer Rob Lawrence – the man who practically put False Bay, South Africa on the map for White Shark breaching behaviour.

If you have ever seen an image from South Africa of a white shark breaching from the water, be it on Airjaws, Nat Geo, BBC, Shark Week, or any photographs online and in books, you have Rob Lawrence to thank. He has worked behind the scenes with all those film crews and photographers to get them to where those sharks are, on a regular basis.

With his highly successful company African Shark Eco-Charters he has worked with hundreds of thousands of people to visit and dive with Great Whites and see the natural predation behaviour that False Bay is famous for. He has, without a doubt, been to Seal Island, False Bay, more than ANY other human being alive! He is here to share his experiences and knowledge – including the much talked about topic of where the White Sharks may have gone in the last couple of years.

This is a MUST LISTEN podcast and a rare chance to spend an hour in the company of a true pioneer and advocate in the shark world.

Click the links below to listen to the podcast series on the following audio channels:


Join the group: www.facebook.com/groups/whitesharkinterestgroup/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/whiteshark_interestgroup/

Website: www.whitesharkinterestgroup.com

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Dive Training Blogs

Reef Rescue Network launches new interactive map

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The Reef Rescue Network (RRN) was established in 2017 by the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) as a network of non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses committed to improving the condition of coral reefs by restoring populations of corals and other species that will build coral reef resilience. Since then the RRN has grown to include nearly 30 coral restoration sites in partnership with 25 local partners from 9 islands within The Bahamas as well as Aruba and St. Lucia. Through this partnership between coral reef scientist’s local conservation and education organizations and private businesses in the dive industry, the RRN is making significant advances in restoring coral and building reef resilience.

Visitors and locals can now immerse themselves in coral restoration activities at a partner location within the Reef Rescue Network. The network has coral nurseries that offer coral restoration experiences throughout The Bahamas, Aruba & St. Lucia. PIMS has developed a PADI Reef Rescue Diver Specialty Course that dive shops throughout the Reef Rescue Network are teaching. To participate, you must be a certified open water diver and at least 12 years old. The course takes one day and consists of knowledge development and two open water dives at a coral nursery.

You can learn how to assist with maintaining the nursery and get a hands-on experience or you can just scuba or snorkel the coral nursery as a fun dive to just observe and enjoy the nursery and marine life that it attracts. Another option is to scuba or snorkel one of the many restoration sites to view the corals that have been outplanted and witness for yourselves this habitat restoration and the marine life it has welcomed.

To find out more about the Reef Rescue Network, watch this video:

To visit the new Reef Rescue Network Interactive Map click here.

To learn more about the Reef Rescue Network visit their website by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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