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Marine Life & Conservation

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Scubaverse talks with Brendan Kelly of Sea Shepherd about their campaign to stop the continued whale and dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands




Are you thinking of a holiday in the Faroe Islands this year? If you’re passionate about Marine Life and Conservation, you might want to think again, says Jeff Goodman…

They call it tradition; they call it a gift from god. But it’s not. It’s archaic, it’s barbaric, it’s sickening and it’s totally unnecessary. The Faroese call it the ‘Grind’. I call it shameful. Each year thousands of Whales and Dolphins are herded onto the shores of the Faroe Islands and butchered in the most stressful and painful way imaginable. Whole pods and family groups are terrorised by people looking for a bit of entertainment.

GRINDSTOP 2014 3The Faroe Islands lie north of Scotland, half way between Norway and Iceland. The hunt was believed to have begun in the 15th century. Maybe it had purpose then. Food and oil to help mans survival. Today there is no need for either. In fact Whale meat, along with that from other marine species is positively not good for consumption as it holds high levels of PCB chemicals and Mercury – a legacy from our continual dumping of toxic waste at sea.

Today the Faroes is one of the wealthiest countries per capita in Europe. They have high standards of living and an almost zero crime rate. The Faroes tourist board boast of a beautiful destination – a great place for the family holiday. Funnily enough you will not see pictures of the Grind on the welcome brochures.

The Grind is not just a macho event for arrogant men, it is for the whole family to enjoy and take part in. Mum, dad, children, grandparents. It’s a real family day out. Creating terror and pain to another sentient species. Taking pleasure in driving heavy pulling hooks into blow holes. Proud of their skills at being able to saw through heads and spines with kitchen knives.


The conservation group Sea Shepherd along with other conservation organisations have tried many times to bring a stop to this senseless slaughter, but it never the less prevails. Now in 2014 Sea Shepherd is going all out to publicise this cruelty and bring the Grind to a halt. They cannot do this on their own. I ask you to support them. Social media has become a powerful tool for bringing people together and highlighting global problems. Share the facts of this crime against nature with all your friends. Be part of a culture that holds its head up high and says ‘we have had enough’.  Sea Shepherd is not full of highly paid activists, but made up of volunteers, people like you and me. People who care about the planet on which we all live.

On the 18th of Feb 2014 I attended a brief presentation on the Grind given by Brenda Kelly, a volunteer supporter of Sea Shepherd. After the talk I ask him about the campaign ahead.


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Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for 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

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance



Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”

Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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Marine Life & Conservation

CCMI announces launch of two key projects, supported by RESEMBID



Building Resilient Reefs

Project title: Increasing Coral Reef Resilience with Assisted Evolution via Selective Restoration

Via this recently awarded RESEMBID grant, funded by the European Union, CCMI aims to rebuild coral reef ecosystem resilience through cutting-edge restoration techniques. The project will develop assisted evolution methods via selective restoration with stress (heat and disease) tolerant corals, to promote and sustain biodiversity of these threatened ecosystems.

This project will build on CCMI’s past research, incorporating our understanding of coral restoration disease resistance and outplanting methodology, while conducting state of the art experimentation to assess thermal tolerance, all of which will be used to increase the resilience of coral reefs through advanced restoration practices. Visiting collaborator Dr. John Bruno (Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), will be joining the team in the field in April 2022 and will also be present for the press conference. Outcomes from the work will include improved restoration strategies that will be shared regionally – seeking to ultimately increase coral resilience throughout the Caribbean. A short project overview will be given, including the opportunity for Q&As. The press conference will then be followed by a Reef Lecture by Dr John Bruno on the wider threats to global coral reef health.

Adapting to COVID-19

Project Title: Urgent technical assistance to support CCMI’s capacity to be a regional leader in protecting marine biodiversity and improving resilience.

This project is supported by a RESEMBID grant, funded by the European Union, which will enable CCMI to manage the impacts of COVID-19 by improving health and safety features of the facilities infrastructure and adapting emergency management processes. The grant will support enhanced operational resilience, thereby supporting CCMI’s continued work on improving and protecting marine biodiversity in the Cayman Islands and wider Overseas Territories.

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