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Ocean Currents

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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The Saddest ‘Emoji’ of All

Posted On February 3, 2017 by

Emoji – “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.”

But for veterinarians and staff at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida, Emoji was so much more.

Emoji was a two-week old orphaned Florida manatee that was found 15 pounds underweight when Zoo staff rescued him separated from his mother in October. Despite being underweight, Emoji was found with a full belly. Unfortunately, it was plastic bags and debris that filled its stomach, while other trash protruded out the back side of Emoji’s digestive system.

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How Technology is Helping Fishermen

Posted On February 3, 2017 by

Greetings from New Orleans, where I’m excited to bring you some great news about the recreational fishery! After years of careful analysis and deliberation, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council embraced change and voted unanimously to bring the charter for-hire fishery—which is made up of vessels operated by professional fishermen who take paying customers out fishing—into the Digital Age.

Yesterday’s decision directs the National Marine Fisheries Service to develop an electronic logbook reporting system for the charter boat fleet in the Gulf. Electronic logbooks are devices—some no bigger than a smartphone—that charter captains use to record their day’s catch and send it directly to managers.

As a result, accurate tracking and monitoring of fish caught by charter boats will be captured in a fast and reliable way—improving the management of our nation’s fisheries.

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Unintended Consequences of the “One In, Two Out” Executive Order: Will America’s Fishermen be the Victims?

Posted On January 31, 2017 by

Yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order that intends to reduce government regulations and associated costs to businesses and the federal government. The President claims this will help small businesses, but for the men and women making their living off the ocean, the order could pose some serious problems.

Known as “one in two out,” the order states that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.”

How does this relate to fisheries? America’s fishermen are constantly adapting—to new science, to changing conditions on the water and to fishing seasons. They rely on fishery managers to make decisions that weigh environmental conditions, the best available science and fishermen input. Armed with this information, managers develop solutions that not only protect our environment, but support commercial and recreational fishing and coastal communities across America. And the method for implementing these day-to-day management decisions? Regulations.

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Urgent: Trump Can’t Ignore the Ocean

Posted On January 31, 2017 by

I’m a scientist, and I’ve dedicated my life to finding solutions that help people and coastal communities. It may sound complicated, but really, it’s simple—if you add carbon emissions to seawater, the ocean turns more acidic. I’ve visited with shellfish growers and coastal businesses across the country, and I’ve seen firsthand the impacts of acidification.

So you can imagine my surprise, when Scott Pruitt—the nominee for the head of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)—was asked directly by Senators about ocean acidification, he wasn’t even willing to admit that ocean acidification is happening.

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Take the Oath

Posted On January 22, 2017 by

“We do solemnly swear that we will faithfully speak up for the ocean, and will to the best of our ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of our Ocean.”

It’s a big week.

Just a few days ago, the new President of the United States stood before a crowd in Washington, D.C. and took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

We’re taking an oath, too. We pledge to work harder than ever to fight for our ocean and the animals and communities who rely on it.

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5 Tough Questions for Rex Tillerson, the Ocean and YOU

Posted On January 11, 2017 by

It’s a new year, and I resolve to continue championing for ocean conservation in 2017—no matter how the tides may change in Washington, D.C. Will you help me?

This week, Rex Tillerson, nominee for Secretary of State, will begin Senate confirmation hearings. As Mr. Tillerson is questioned by senators about his qualifications for the job, we want to make sure he’s asked about the ocean.

For Mr. Tillerson’s entire career, he’s worked for a single company—ExxonMobil. As Exxon’s CEO, he was obligated to work for the interests of Exxon’s shareholders.

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