Friday, October 26, 2007

Get Your Freaky Fish On

Halloween is fast approaching, and we couldn't think of a better time to pay homage to this ghoulishly delightful day than to celebrate the creepy, crawly critters of the deep - the ones that are too bizarre to live on land.

You helped us track down some of the freakiest fish of the deep, now we need your help deciding which one will take top honors in our 2007 contest. Last year's winner, the blobfish, may look like Ziggy's ugly cousin, but this year's finalists are equally freaky - if not more so. Take the tubeworm: it has no mouth, gut or anus and actually feeds using a bacteria that lives symbiotically within the worm. If that doesn't make your stomach churn just a bit, consider the Atlantic Hagfish, known by its alias, the slime eel. These guys are able to twist their serpentine bodies into myriad pretzel shapes, which help them wriggle into the open cavities of their prey so they can eat dinner from the inside out. Not impressed? Consider casting a vote for the Alien-like deep sea dragonfish, the goblin shark or the devil scorpionfish. You'll enjoy reading about each of these fish and others, when you make your selection for the Freakiest Fish 2007. Go vote now! We'll announce the winner on Halloween.

AAU National Surfing Championships / Surfet's Halloween Wahine Pro/Am Cocoa Beach This Weekend

Surfrider will have a tent on the beach at the AAU National Surfing Championships / Surfet's Halloween Wahine Pro/Am in front of Coconuts in Cocoa Beach on Saturday October 27 and Sunday October 28. Everyone is invited to come out and spread the vibe about Surfrider, or to find out more about how you can help in being a Keeper of the Coast.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beach Cleanup Reminder on 10/20

On Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Surfrider, Catalyst Surf Shop, Lost Energy Drinks, Longdoggers. and local surf clubs will be joining together to clean the beaches around Spanish House - the beautiful coast one mile north of Sebastian Inlet. We'll meet at the parking lot on the west side of A1A - look for it 1/2 mile past Whitey's Bait Shop.
The plan is to split up and have one group clean to the south, and the second head north on the beach and on A1A. We'll be done by 11 a.m.
We'll have snacks and drinks before the event, and prizes for participants afterwards, donated by Catalyst and Daniel Narlock Financial Services.
What a great reason to come out and do a dawn patrol before the event!!

Tell Florida Senators: Help Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are in danger of extinction. A new federal review shows loggerhead sea turtles that nest in Florida are dwindling. The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a five-year status report on Atlantic loggerhead sea turtle populations and found the most drastic decreases were in the nesting populations along the Florida panhandle and along the coast of south Florida.
>>Take Action: Tell Florida Sens Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez about sea turtle extinction today!

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Florida has one of the two largest loggerhead nesting areas in the world, yet nesting in this region has decreased by 39.5 percent since 1998. Incidental capture, known as bycatch, is the most significant man-made factor affecting conservation and recovery of loggerheads, according to the report.Tens of thousands of loggerhead sea turtles are killed by commercial fisheries each year in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, with bottom trawls, longlines, dredges and gillnets being responsible for the majority of these deaths.Loggerhead sea turtles are threatened as listed under the Endangered Species Act. Therefore the National Marine Fisheries Service is required to protect them in water, and the Fish and Wildlife Service must protect them on land. It's time for the federal government to better regulate and enforce sea turtle bycatch in commercial fisheries before loggerheads become merely a memory.For loggerhead sea turtle populations to recover, the federal government must provide better protection, which includes closing important habitat areas to fishing and monitoring of commercial fishing fleets more closely.Please take a moment to contact Senators Nelson and Martinez today and ask them to help save sea turtles. We need political support to help make sure Florida continues to have sea turtles.
For the oceans,Elizabeth Griffin Marine Wildlife ScientistOceana

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Help restore Gulf Greater Amberjack

Greater amberjack plays an important role in the Gulf’s ecosystem and fishing economy. But, that popularity has had its price. Decades of poor management and unsustainable fishing practices have resulted in greater amberjack being removed from the Gulf’s waters faster than the population can reproduce. Right now, our fishery managers have the opportunity to reverse this trend and restore the health of this valued fish. Please take action by urging the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to end the overfishing of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf fishery managers are currently considering changes in the management plan for greater amberjack. They have the opportunity to ensure the long-term health of this fish by applying scientific advice into on-the-water regulations. Annual catch levels based on science are the cornerstone of sustainable management and the best way to ensure fish for the future.
Your voice needs to be heard by the Council. They need to hear that we care about the Gulf's health and future of our communities. Please, take action today.

For more information and background, click here to read our fact sheet on greater amberjack.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blogging for the Environment

Blogging for the Environment
Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
October 15, a week from today, is Blog Action Day, and the theme this year is the environment. If you have a blog and want to join in, all you have to do is use that day to post something related to the environment, in whatever way, shape, or form you prefer. You can pick an environmental issue that has meaning for you and let us know why it's important. Organize a beach or neighborhood cleanup and tell us about it. If you're into fiction writing, give us a story with an environmental theme. Have a podcast, videoblog, or photoblog? Join the fun! The idea here is to have a mass effect on public awareness by sharing as many ideas in as many ways as possible.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Sharkwater the Movie Now Playing in Brevard County

"Sharkwater" is playing at Merritt Island Cobb 16 Theater in the mall only through this Thursday Oct 4. This movie shows how sharks as the apex predator are so important to the health of the Oceans and the Earth in general. It is the opposite of "Jaws" and tells the true story of what is happening on the high seas away from the general public.

Did you know humans kill more than 100 million sharks globally each year? It's true. Current management methods leave many shark populations at risk. The National Marine Fisheries Service has cooked up a package of proposals which could provide vital protection for sharks, but we need your help to ensure some of the most critical proposals are adopted.

>>Take Action: Send your comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service today!

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One key component of this package is ending overfishing and rebuilding overfished populations of sandbar, dusky, and porbeagle sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, where their numbers have fallen drastically due largely to commercial fishing activity.

A second key proposal would require that sharks be landed with their fins intact. Shark fins are a highly priced commodity so to maximize their profits, fishing fleets in most countries sever the fins and cast the defenseless and dying sharks back into the ocean to make room for more fins. Currently in the U.S., shark fins and bodies must be landed in a specified ratio to prevent dumping bodies at sea but using this sort of a finning ban causes enforcement and data collection problems.

Sharks are at the top of the ocean food chain. They help control other marine species populations and maintain order in the underwater realm. It's time to conserve and protect shark species, before we cause any further damage to the ocean ecosystem.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is accepting comments on their shark proposal until October 10, 2007 so spend a minute and send in your comments today. Let's take a stand for sharks now -- before it's too late.

Tell the Senate: A LOTS at Stake

When it comes to our oceans, there's lots at stake. More than ever we need to ensure adequate measures are in place to protect the world's most valuable asset, which is why it's so imperative that the United States accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOTS).

>>Take Action: Ask the Senate to pledge LOTS of support for the Law of the Sea treaty.

The Law of the Sea is a set of rules and guidelines for the use of the world's oceans, including protecting the environment and preserving the freedom of navigation. The Law of Sea came into force in 1994, and to date, 152 countries have ratified the treaty, yet the United States has not.

The Law of the Sea sets a global standard requiring countries to conserve the marine environment, protect fish stocks, and prevent pollution. In order to remain a leader in ocean conservation and have a seat at the table in future discussions, the United States must accede to the Law of the Sea treaty.

The Foreign Relations Committee will be holding a hearing on the treaty this Thursday. Make a difference for the ocean by contacting your senators and letting them know you support the U.S. accession to this treaty.