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Marine Life & Conservation

Saving Leatherback Turtles



Last summer I was sat on the cliffs at Pendeen in Cornwall watching the sea swell gently rise and fall over the rocks below. It was a still and bright sunny day with Fulmars circling along the cliff face and the occasional seal checking out the shallows for food. Just as I was thinking how it couldn’t get any better, nature did its thing and sent a giant Leatherback Turtle cruising 100meters out from the shore. It really was a giant too. Hard to guess its real size but it had to be at least 5-6ft long.

The leatherback is the largest of the marine turtles and gets its name from the black, leathery skin that covers its carapace.  Leatherback turtles are considered to be critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Nesting females are often killed for their meat and their eggs are harvested. At sea leatherbacks seem to be particularly vulnerable to entanglement in fishing gear, especially long lines and gill nets.

It’s hard to describe how I felt watching this fantastic animal swimming to some unknown part of the ocean. I know I was smiling. It is hard to accept that one day soon, that turtle, along with its entire species, may be gone from this planet forever, never to return.

Larry McKenna is the founding director of S.O.L.O. (Save Our Leatherbacks Operation). I first heard of his work through and their Sea-Gram News Letter. The following is taken from the April edition of the Sea-Gram news letter.

Larry McKenna’s work takes him to the remote land of Papua, Indonesia, home to the Aboriginal Papauans, and site of the largest leatherback sea turtle nesting beach, about 18 kilometers long and up to 100 meters wide.

Larry describes the scene on the beach:

“The only illumination is a reflection of moon light on the white foam of a breaking wave. All is quiet, except the gentle lapping of the surf while we wait for a living dinosaur to exit the sea and laboriously climb the slope of the beach.

She will locate where she was hatched 12 or more years ago, repeating the 150-million-year drive to reproduce so the species may survive. Left alone, this ancient hatching process would continue unimpeded, but humans have introduced the spectre of extinction of this most valuable creature of the seas.”


The Eye of a Leatherback Turtle During Nesting Trance

When the leatherback selects her nesting spot and begins to dig a four-foot-deep nest, she goes into a trance and does not recognize any activity. Enlightened humans can approach and marvel at the amazing beauty nature provides.


However, while she is in this egg-laying trance, the nesting female is in danger from other humans; those who would slit her throat and use her skin for handbags and fashion items, in addition to senseless killings, egg poaching, and trophy collecting.

Global warming poses another threat, as high tides drown nests and heat cooks the eggs in their shells.

Leatherback hatchlings are about four inches long and cannot crawl over a twig. Yet they must face a host of jungle predators at nesting beaches, such as wild pigs, dogs, salt water crocodiles, crabs, and pythons.


Larry’s activities include relocating eggs from tidal nests into bamboo pens, and excavating the nests that hatched in the night to examine the remains and determine what happened to unhatched eggs.

In almost every nest he finds several comatose hatchlings, which ran out of air climbing upward to freedom. He places an unconscious hatchling in the palm of a guest’s hand and encourage him/her to give it “leatherback CPR” by softly blowing into its face and nose. Soon it begins to wiggle and wants to be set on the sand. All the volunteers have tears in their eyes because they have just given life to a leatherback baby which would have become crab food later in the day.

How you can help:

1. Should you wish to experience this truly exciting and memorable visit to the leatherbacks, along with some of the best diving in the world, please contact P.J. Campagna, a very dedicated foundation volunteer, for the details:

2. Watch this short youtube video (which includes donation information), placing you right there on the nesting beach, but which also shows some of the ATROCITIES humans inflict on these gentle giants:

[youtube id=”ufD8jJgK2p4″ width=”100%” height=”400px”]

The above text, information, and photos are used with permission, from Larry’s article: To Touch A Dinosaur.


The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch



the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos



Shark Guardian has just unveiled their largest and most exciting expedition yet: a seven-night, eight-day adventure in August 2026 aboard the Galaxy Diver II, a state-of-the-art
vessel specifically designed for divers exploring the enchanting waters of the Galapagos
Islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage deeply with marine
conservation in one of the world’s most revered diving destinations.

Shark Guardian is a UK registered charity dedicated to protecting sharks and marine
ecosystems worldwide. Founded by marine biologists and conservationists, Brendon
Sing and Liz Ward-Sing, Shark Guardian leads educational programs, research projects,
campaigns and expeditions aimed at fostering a better understanding and respect for
marine life. Their work spans several continents and focuses on direct action,
education, and advocacy.

Shark Guardian’s ethos revolves around the concept of “diving with a purpose.” This
philosophy underscores the importance of not just experiencing the wonders of the
underwater world but actively learning and contributing to its preservation. Participants
in Shark Guardian expeditions engage in citizen science projects, which involve
collecting data that supports ongoing research and conservation efforts. These
activities empower divers to make a tangible difference, turning each dive into an act of

One of the newer additions to the Galapagos diving scene, the Galaxy Diver II, is
specifically tailored for divers. Its design prioritises comfort, safety, and environmental
responsibility. The vessel boasts modern amenities, spacious dive decks, and the latest
navigational technology, ensuring that every dive is not only memorable but also has
minimal environmental impact.

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to dive at Wolf and Darwin islands,
renowned for their vibrant, untouched marine ecosystems and as a haven for large
pelagic species. These islands are famous for their schools of hammerhead sharks,
whale sharks, and manta rays, offering spectacular diving that attracts enthusiasts from
around the globe.

Shark Guardian have developed this trip to ensure a hassle-free experience. The
expedition package also includes internal flights from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galapagos,
plus accommodation in Quito before and after the trip. This allows divers to relax and
enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics.

Participants will join a diverse group of passionate divers and conservationists. This trip
offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are eager to
learn about and contribute to marine conservation. It’s a chance to share experiences,
knowledge, and a commitment to protecting the marine world.


Shark Guardian is offering an early bird price available until May 31st 2024. This special
rate provides a fantastic opportunity to secure a spot on this exclusive expedition at a
reduced cost. Availability is limited, so interested divers are encouraged to act quickly
to ensure they don’t miss out. All the details can be found on their WeTravel page, where
bookings can be made easily and payment instalments are available.

Expedition Galapagos, aboard the Galaxy Diver II offers more than just a diving
holiday—it is an investment in both personal and planetary well-being. By participating,
divers not only witness the majesty of one of the world’s premier diving locales but also
contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Find out more about Shark Guardian at

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: or call 01483 411590 More Less

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