~Earthwatch Institute (Europe) observes World Oceans Day and continues to fund critical marine research projects around the world~
June 8th was designated World Oceans Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to bring attention to conservation issues. Earthwatch Institute (Europe) celebrates World Oceans Day on June 8th and all year round with marine conservation research projects around the world.
Dr. William Megill, Chief Scientist on the Earthwatch project Grey Whale Migration, recently commented on the indirect impacts of human activity on marine life: "The oceans aren't infinite. We're learning that more and more as exploitation levels continue to rise and productivity continues to drop. The grey whales are one indicator that things are changing. We're now seeing them moving off on to other prey types. Productivity has dropped in the Bering Sea and they're feeding throughout the North Pacific now, in places and at times we aren't used to seeing them feed. That predation pressure has the potential to wreak havoc with ecosystems far removed from the original source of the problem. If we're going to save the oceans, we need to stop thinking of them piecemeal - we need to start thinking of them as finite resources which need to be considered as a whole."
Critical issues like this are the reasons why Earthwatch is continuing to fund long-term research on the protection of the marine environment. Progress is being made on many of the 30 ocean related scientific research projects worldwide.
Earthwatch research project Brazil's Marine Mammals has found the main cause of cetacean mortality to be accidental captures. From October 2004 on, 18 fishing boats from Cananeia Estuary in Sao Paulo State Brazil started a goodwill relationship with the projects Chief Researcher, Marco Santos. Boat owners receive a log book on fishing data and also on cetacean accidental capture reports. In the last 5 months 35 cetaceans were accidentally killed. From March on, after receiving the Brazilian government authorization, boat owners started to bring dead cetaceans in for scientific research. For the first time ever, biological data on many unknown cetacean species has been gathered.
"Our oceans are rapidly becoming overexploited through over-fishing and ever expanding coastal development, and pollution contributes to the depletion of their natural wealth. Although about 12% of the land surface is now under some form of conservation designation, much less that 1% of the sea is protected. Our hope is that Earthwatch funded research will help to justify the conservation of far more," said Roger Mitchell, Director of Research and Education and Chief Scientist for Earthwatch Institute (Europe).
Why not find out how you can support one of Earthwatch's marine based scientific research projects.
Photo Credits: © Ana Canadas