Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘marine’

“Must Read” Indeed!

amazon-cover-with-mca-gold-seal-rsElizabeth’s Landing
By Katy Pye
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans

Let’s get straight to the point. This is one hell of a good story for adults of all ages (young and old). It deserves all the awards it has received and then some. Superior to many traditionally published works, Elizabeth’s Landing combines complex characters, believable families and community and global environmental issues, with a seamless and engaging flare.

Uprooted mid-school year to the Texas coast town of Port Winston, Elizabeth escapes from her cantankerous grandfather, missing her absent reporter mother, and her seemingly submissive father, to explore the county’s last wild haven, called Wayward Landing Beach. It is there that she discovers nesting sea turtles and is faced with some local teens bent on harming her and the turtles. While trying to save the turtles, she meets Maria and Tom from the Science Center and is drawn to their work and mission.

It is obvious from the get go that Ms. Pye has extensively researched her subjects: turtles, shrimping, habitat, The Gulf Coast, The Horizon Oil Spill, and local politics; and integrated them into the story without any trace of regurgitating news or sounding like a lecturer at a science museum. Elizabeth, her family, friends, and those she meets at the Marine Science Center, are imbued with realistic doses of sadness, anger, frustration, determination, secrets, fear and hope.

What’s not to like about Elizabeth? She’s shy, concerned about how she is perceived by others, lonely, and out of step with other kids at school. She doesn’t think her father understands her or stands up to her grandfather, who is always putting them down. She’d rather die, than tell anyone how she feels and when she does, she’s afraid she’s revealed too much. If she doesn’t sound like other people her age, or yourself when you were a teen, then you must be perfect. Reader’s will identify with and root for, Elizabeth, as if she is your friend, daughter or sister.

If it’s not been stated clearly or often enough, Elizabeth’s Landing is a fantastic novel. “Must Read” is often used to advertise stories and get people’s attention, but in this case Ms. Pye has written a story that is truly a must read.

Gabriel Constans is a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books, a novelist, screenwriter, journalist and non-fiction writer. His latest work of fiction is The Last Conception.

Indiscriminate Killing

dolphin_FOIA_bycatchOff the coast of California, giant mile-long fishing nets are left to “soak” overnight. In the morning, fisherman pull up their catch – and that catch often includes dead dolphins, with water in their lungs and netting dug into their skin.

These dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles and whales struggle to escape, but the nets are so massive and strong that it’s nearly impossible. Trapped, they struggle until they run out of air.

For the fishing industry using these walls of death, dead dolphins are just another part of doing business.

Enough is enough. Oceana’s new report has identified these drift gillnets as among the top offenders in the nation – and now it’s time to hold them accountable and change these devastating practices.

Our new report on the needless waste and death of marine wildlife revealed some truly horrifying numbers. Nine U.S. fisheries fish so indiscriminately that they have to throw out almost as much as they bring to shore, and much of this wasted catch dies before or after being tossed overboard.

These fishing practices irreversibly harm our precious ocean ecosystems, indiscriminately killing animals big and small, and leaving millions of edible fish like cod and halibut sinking dead to the bottom of the sea.

Simple changes—like switching from giant nets to selective harpoons—would make a huge difference, and we need the help of ocean-lovers like you to make them a reality. Your gift today will help Oceana push for stronger enforcement and better regulations to minimize wasted catch, put pressure on these fisheries to do the right thing, and protect the amazing animals who call our oceans home.

But stopping them won’t be easy. We will need to influence legislation, put people on the ground, and keep the story in the press to get these fisheries to clean up their act. Put simply, we won’t be able to do it without people like you standing behind us.

Please, help make the difference for dolphins and sea turtles. Chip in by midnight on Friday to join Oceana in the fight to protect ocean wildlife in the U.S. and around the world. »

These fisheries are driven by profits – not what’s right. Changing their ways is going to take time and money. Your help is critical to keep up the fight so that we can continue to put pressure on the worst offenders and the federal government to enforce stronger common-sense regulations.

I’m so glad we have you with us for these critical fights.

For the oceans,
Susan Murray
Deputy Vice President, Pacific
Oceana

Arms Around Antarctic

Dear Friends,

Antarctic waters are home to almost 10,000 species including many of the world’s great whales. But industrial fishing fleets, roaming ever further, threaten their survival. Amazingly we now have a chance to save them by getting governments to create the world’s largest network of marine protected areas there.

In days, 25 countries will meet behind closed doors to decide the fate of Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. Most of them want to save it, but Korea and Russia are leading an effort to scupper the deal for the sake of their own fishing interests. If enough of us raise our voices now, we can break open this meeting, isolate the wreckers, get behind the champions and help create a vital refuge before it’s too late.

The whales and penguins can’t speak for themselves, so the outcome is up to us. Once 750,000 people have signed, Avaaz will flood the talks with hard-hitting billboard ads to cause a stir and convey our message to key delegates. Sign the petition to save the Antarctic Ocean:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_southern_ocean_1/?bMPbqab&v=18723

An incredible myriad of animals live in these remote waters, many found nowhere else on Earth. Orcas, blue whales, leopard seals, Emperor and Adelie penguins, Antarctic petrels — they are threatened like never before by a cruel mix of rapidly advancing fishing technology and climate change. Massive protected zones in the Southern Ocean is the only way to guarantee their survival.

For the last 20 years mining and oil drilling have been banned in the Antarctic. And CCAMLR, the 25 member governing body that regulates the ocean in this region, has already committed in principle to creating these marine protected areas. But the two plans being negotiated — one to protect part of the fragile Ross Sea and one for East Antarctica — are at risk of dilution or delay. Let’s make sure that disagreement doesn’t destroy our dream of saving Antarctica’s ocean… and our planet.

A small group of negotiators now holds the future of this ocean in their hands. They won’t put the planet before profits – unless they know we’re paying attention! Let’s unleash a massive surge of global pressure right now. Click the link below to sign and then share the petition with everyone!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_southern_ocean_1/?bMPbqab&v=18723

We know we can win on oceans. Our community has already helped establish the two largest marine reserves in the world. Let’s throw our arms around the Antarctic Ocean now and save it before it’s too late.

With hope,

Alex, Luis, Lisa, Ricken, Laura, Emma, Jooyea and the whole Avaaz team

Our Oceans’ Health

Tell the State Department that you care about the health of our oceans and urge them to either take the lead on establishing a network of marine reserves or to get out of the way this summer.

Dear Gabriel,

There’s almost no protection at all for the world’s oceans. And it shows…

Companies like Chicken of the Sea are pushing some tuna and shark species to the brink of extinction in the Pacific Ocean with their destructive fishing practices.
Industrial fishing vessels are destroying the breathtaking coral habitats of the Bering Sea canyons and putting an entire ecosystem at risk.
Japanese, Icelandic and Norwegian whaling vessels continue to ignore international law and kill thousands of majestic whales from the Southern Ocean to the North Atlantic each year.
These challenges can be addressed together with a single solution — a network of fully protected marine reserves. So why is the State Department standing in the way?

It’s time they took action to protect our oceans. Urge them to take the lead in establishing a network of marine reserves before it’s too late.

Right now, less than one percent of the world’s oceans are set aside as marine reserves. That’s why we’re working on a global agreement which would allow the international community to establish a network of marine reserves on the high seas. Unfortunately, the US government seems to be standing in the way of these efforts by refusing to join along with other countries who are in favor of developing a new agreement to create a network of marine reserves.

The high seas are like the Wild West at the moment. It might be good for the companies that are making billions off the destruction, but it is killing our oceans. If we don’t start protecting and managing our oceans they aren’t going to survive. Marine reserves are a proven and cost effective tool for protecting biodiversity, rebuilding fish populations, and enhancing fisheries in surrounding areas.

The best chance we have to get the international community on the right path toward creating a network of protected areas is this summer in Brazil. The US delegation is developing their position right now. It’s the perfect time to let them know you are paying attention.

A global network of fully protected marine reserves would benefit sea turtles, whales, tuna, seals, narwhals and any other creature (including humans) that you can think of. We’ll be at the meetings this summer working hard for this outcome. Without your support, it won’t matter.

Send your letter to the State Department today and tell them that we need the US to join the G77, the European Union, and most of the rest of the world in standing up for marine reserves.

Thanks for your help.

John Hocevar
Greenpeace USA Ocean Campaign Director

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