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July 2021
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Discovery's Shark Week is their biggest rating week of the year and is quite the spectacle. The shows aim to inspire people to learn about sharks and understand how they work; however, is the program effective at communicating the right information? 

A new scientific paper has been published to provide evidence that Shark Week has contained a lot of misinformation over the decades that they have been on TV. They also showed the lack of diversity in the hosts and the lack of experts in many of their programming. 

Check out all of our episodes on www.speakupforblue.com

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Direct download: SUFB_S1190_IsSharkWeekHelpfulToSharkConservation.mp3
Category:Sharks -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Salmon populations can't stand the heat so they may be removed from many of the waterways that they normally occupy for spawning. 

Salmon are cold-water species that do not do well in warm water; therefore, freshwater rivers where the salmon spawn are not ideal habitats when they heat up due to climate change. Add human barriers such as culverts, dams, and eroding habitats which impede access to spawning habitats and you get a recipe for disaster. 

I also should not forget to mention that changes in ocean prey due to ocean temperature rising result in less healthy salmon. 

Habitat restoration can help cool hot spot areas in rivers and allow more water to be held cooling river water further. Canadian and US governments are working hard to get restoration actions implemented to help wild stocks. 

Closing salmon fisheries are also in place in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to provide all of the chances possible for bigger and fitter salmon to spawn. 

Link to article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/salmon-climate-change-1.6114328

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Direct download: SUFB_S1189_SalmonPopulationsInPacificAndAtlanticAffectedByClimateChange.mp3
Category:Salmon -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Florida is in a Red Tide event two years after its last red tide event. Hundreds of ocean species are washing up along the shore dead and rotting causing health problems for people with respiratory issues and killing the tourism industry.

Red tide events happen when nutrients feed a species of phytoplankton in combination with the right sea temperatures (high temps) and lack of wind. The proliferation of the plankton population is toxic to anything that ingests it including sharks and other fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. 

There are two things that need to fix this situation: 1) work to reduce climate change (long term); and, 2) reduce the number of nutrients from industry (short term). 

Link to article: https://au.news.yahoo.com/insane-world-famous-tourist-hotspot-decimated-by-toxic-crisis-054312592.html

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Direct download: SUFB_S1188_MoreNewsOfFloridaRedTideEvent.mp3
Category:Water Quality -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

There were 841 manatee deaths since January 1st of 2021, which is the largest mass mortality event since 2013 (830 deaths). The deaths were due to a lack of seagrass in their favourite eating spot, Indian Lagoon. 

Seagrass is a crucial part of the manatee diet and without the presence of the ocean plant, manatees end up starving to death. It's important to maintain good water quality for optimal seagrass health. 

Unfortunately, water quality along the Florida coastline has been awful over the past decade due to sewage overflow runoff with high nitrogen and phosphorus levels. The higher nutrients create algal blooms that block the sun from getting to the seagrass. When the algal blooms die off, they land on the seagrass resulting in a major die-off of the plants.  

Government policy on water quality and restoration of seagrasses will help re-establish the important coastal habitat; however, that will require a lot of time and money. 

Link to article: https://www.livescience.com/manatees-florida-die-off-record.html

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Direct download: SUFB_S1187_MassDieOffOfManateesDueToSeagrassLoss.mp3
Category:Manatee -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This episode is a bit of a rant that I have been thinking about for a while. Over the past few months, I've noticed that media companies (video, audio, and written forms) have been putting out content that either ignores science or drives a wedge between science and the public. 

The film Seaspiracy told the audience and non-profit organizations that worked to conserve the ocean were actually working to support overfishing. Obviously a false statement; however, much of the audience still quote the movie four months later. 

The New York Times published an article, where the author conducted their own "study" to determine whether Subway (the sandwich company) used real tuna in their tuna sandwiches. The study was not scientific and the results were inconclusive (stated in the article); however, the headline read "Subway does not use real tuna in their sandwiches." 

Discovery is releasing a new program during Shark Week this summer (2021): a reality show that is searching for the next shark expert. An expert can be defined in many ways, but this "expert" search is not based on the scientific knowledge each contestant has. It is based on whether or not they can swim with sharks without getting bitten. Now, there are shark diving experts who are amazing and advocate for sharks, but many of them are thought to be scientists who conduct experiments, which can lead to misinformation. 

Finally, during the 2021 Shark Week, there was an episode that aired with the people for the Jackass franchise. During the show, one of the members were doing a stunt into a body of water where sharks had aggregated. The man fell and got bitten. The rest of the episode was about how traumatized the man was for being bitten; even though, the stunt was not necessary and led to him being bitten. 

Many media companies are sacrificing science for clicks and views while misleading their audience. I am very concerned as to where Science Communication is directed on large platforms. 

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Direct download: SUFB_S1186_IsTheMediaDisconnectingUsFromScienceOcean.mp3
Category:SciComm -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

A new report written by researchers at the University of British Columbia and supported by Oceana reveals the foreign fisheries subsidies are contributing to overfishing in foreign countries. 

Countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, the USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Spain, Indonesia, and Norway will pay up to 35% of their total subsidies to their distant fleets to fish within the jurisdiction of other countries. In some countries, the foreign vessels outfish the domestic fleet two to one. The foreign fleet is often not allowed to fish and contribute to the illegal, unregulated, and unreported fisheries. 

The best way to find out if your tax dollars are contributing to distant fleet fishing is to speak to your federal elected representative. 

Link to article: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/07/billions-in-fishing-subsidies-finance-social-ecological-harm-report-finds/

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Fishers have had to adapt to many changes over generations. Some of those changes are natural, but most are human-induced. 

For one fisher in Alaska, adapting has been part of his entire life. Dune Lankard is an indigenous fisher in Alaska who has had to endure tsunamis, oil spills, the commoditization of the Indigenous way of fishing and life, and now climate change. 

Dune's latest adaptation to regenerative ocean farming provides a sustainable fishing model that is good for the ocean and his income. 

Link to article: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/facing-warming-waters-fishermen-are-taking-up-ocean-farming-180978091/

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Direct download: SUFB_S1184_ApplyingTheRegenerativeOceanFarming.mp3
Category:Fishing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dr. David Ebert joins me on the podcast today to discuss four publications that went out in the last 5 weeks that name and describe a new shark species. These new shark species bring Dave's total described species to 50. 

Dave talks about the process of naming and describing species and describes the four new shark species. 

A couple of things that Dave is promoting today:
1) A new book: Sharks of the World - A complete guide
https://www.amazon.com/Sharks-World-Complete-Guide-Nature/dp/069120599X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3SQ7LPP1WBTVB&dchild=1&keywords=sharks+of+the+world&qid=1626233963&sprefix=Sharks+of+the+world%2Caps%2C165&sr=8-1

2) A new Shark podcast: Beyond Jaws
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-jaws/id1576456233

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Direct download: SUFB_S1183_4NewSharkSpeciesDiscoveredAndDescribed.mp3
Category:Sharks -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The last episode on Climate Change might have been a bit pessimistic so I decided to share a great resource on how you can fight climate change. 

The David Suzuki Foundation has been working within Canada for decades to help Canadians understand and take action on Climate Change.

I read out their tips on how you can fight climate change and added some of my comments. 

Link to article: https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/top-10-ways-can-stop-climate-change/

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Last week was a crazy week for the environment, to say the least. The ocean was set on fire due to a busted pipeline, a town in British Columbia ignited into flames due to a heatwave, and the Arctic ice is melting at a phenomenal rate. 

All of these events are related as they either contribute to Climate Change or are one of the many consequences of climate change. 

We need to act fast to reduce Climate Change and eventually eliminate it, but we won't get there by electing politicians that don't act on policies that will help reduce/slow down Climate Change. 

Your voting power is huge during elections in that it helps decide who will act on policies on Climate Change. Participate in all levels of government elections and then strike up a regular dialogue with your representatives. 

Let me know what you are doing to work with your government officials by leaving me a message here: https://www.speakupforblue.com/show/speak-up-for-the-ocean-blue/

Link to article: 
1) https://uproxx.com/viral/ocean-on-fire-video/
2) Our Climate: https://ourclimate.us/


 

Direct download: SUFB_S1180_TheOceanWasOnFireWeNeedToDoSomethingAboutIt.mp3
Category:Climate Action -- posted at: 11:11am EDT

Two experience Canadian Fisheries and Oceans scientists have revealed that data points to multiple factors that are causing the recovery of Northern Cod to move at a snail's pace and seals are not the driving force.

Many fishers along the North Atlantic coast in Canada and the US think that the large population of harp seals (7.6 million) is to blame for the slow recovery. However, the blame lies on other major factors such as climate change and competition for the cod's prey by whales, seabirds, and people. 

Warming waters due to climate change are influencing the change in dominant fish in places like the Gulf of Maine. Hake is becoming more dominant as the cold water-loving fish move north to cooler waters. 

Capelin is a favourite prey food for cod, but it is also prey for whales, seabirds, and people. The low number of cod may not be able to dominate the food chain with their smaller numbers.

A number of studies have shown that seals are not affecting the recovery of Northern Cod. The study of seal scat (poo) showed that cod is not a major portion of their diet. Other studies showed an increase in the numbers of seals in a population along with an increase in the number of cod in the same area. If seals were eating cod, then the cod stocks would not be growing in the presence of a growing population of seals.

Link to Article: https://www.saltwire.com/atlantic-canada/business/dont-blame-the-seals-dfo-scientists-say-fixation-on-pinnipods-ignores-other-ecological-factors-100606033/

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Direct download: SUFB_S1180_SealsAreNotToBlameForTheSlowRecoveryOfNorthernCod.mp3
Category:Fisheries -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The US Navy conducts drills in the ocean on a regular basis whether it uses sonar or detonates bombs. Unfortunately, many marine species including marine mammals, suffer from these exercises. 

Sonar exercises can affect the hearing of marine mammals and disrupt their communication within a pod that is used to hunting and looking after young individuals. 

Explosives are a different beast. Small to large explosions can be tested that will result in the killing of nearby ocean animals and affect the hearing of marine mammals in the distance. 

Two more "shock" tests, where a large explosive will be detonated will cause more marine species deaths in a time where we are trying to protect every individual. 

Link to Article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/23/us-navy-shock-exercises-marine-life

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Direct download: SUFB_S1179_USNavyBlowsUpMarineWildlifeToShowOffThatTheyCanBlowStuffUp.mp3
Category:Navy -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Does Subway use real Tuna in their Tuna sandwiches? That is the question that many headlines read throughout social media sites recently as people were sharing variations of a New York Times article along the same lines. 

The purpose of the article was to test whether a lawsuit filed by some people in California about what was in the Tuna sandwich at Subway; however, the experimental design was weak at best. 

The "experiment" came back inconclusive so the result was that they didn't know the answer based on the results. Unfortunately, the headlines looked damning to Subway without any evidence that the restaurant chain doesn't use real Tuna in their sandwiches. 

Link to article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/19/style/subway-tuna-sandwich-lawsuit.html

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Direct download: SUFB_S1178_NoEvidenceThatSubwayDoesntUseRealTunaInTheirTunaSandwich.mp3
Category:Seafood -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

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