Displaying items by tag: oceans

Talkin' Pets News

November 14, 2020

Host  - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jillyn Sidlo - Celestial Custom Dog Services

Producer - Matt Matera

Network Producer - Darian Sims

Social Media - Bob Page

Special Guests - Cindy -Lou Thompson author of A Masterclass in Needle Felting Dogs will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 11/14/20 at 5pm ET to discuss and give away her book

Tavor White, Chew Executive Officer of Chews Happiness will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 11/14/20 at 630pm ET to discuss and give away his delicious and healthy Barkaron dog treats

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TAMPA, Fla., Tuesday, April 2, 2019- Beginning tomorrow and for the next week, The Florida Aquarium’s biologists and divers, in partnership with the Coral Restoration Foundation and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the University of Florida, Nova Southeastern University, and others will embark on an unprecedented conservation mission designed to help the Florida Reef Tract combat a rapidly spreading disease that can potentially put this animal at risk of extinction.
Over 3,000 unique genotype corals will be introduced to the Florida Reef Tract. These corals were created from eggs and sperm from the corals in Coral Restoration Foundation Coral Tree nursery, and reared at The Florida Aquarium. They will be outplanted into various specific locations as part of an unprecedented conservation mission.
The health of the Florida Reef Tract, which spans nearly 150 miles, from Key Biscayne through the Florida Keys, is the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world, and critical for the animals and people who depend on it. The reefs of the Florida Keys provide food and recreational opportunities for residents and vacationers alike, and protects coastal communities as a buffer for hurricanes and other storms. The economic impact of tourism related to the Florida Reef Tract generates $8.5 billion in economic activity and supports over 70,400 jobs.
Recognizing these high stakes, The Florida Aquarium will be leading the largest genetically diverse coral outplanting in Florida’s history along the Florida Reef Tract with many entities helping in this critical conservation initiative.
“The Florida Aquarium is proud to be leading this mission. We believe that spawning, rearing and introducing genetically diverse coral is our best hope for saving the Florida Reef Tract,” said Roger Germann, President and CEO, “We could not conduct an outplanting of this scale without the partnership we have with the Coral Restoration Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and others. This is a prime example of how working together is the key to restoring our Blue Planet.”
“Given the challenges facing our reefs, we recognize both the importance and complexity of restoring them,” said FWC Chairman, Robert Spottswood.  “Working together through innovative partnerships such as this one is the first step of many that will bring enhanced genetic diversity and resilience to our reefs.”
“We are excited to see these corals, spawned here at Coral Restoration Foundation and reared at The Florida Aquarium returned to our nurseries,” Scott Graves, COO said. “This is the most successful spawning and rearing of staghorn coral to date, and we’re extremely excited to continue to partner with The Florida Aquarium on the project.  These sexual recruits embody a significant increase in the genetic diversity of this imperiled species, and represent a big leap forward for coral reef restoration.”

*All research activities occurred within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and under permit.*

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship of the natural environment, and a vision to protect and restore our blue planet.
Copyright © 2019. The Florida Aquarium. All rights reserved.

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Exciting news here at SeaWorld - - I wanted to share it with those of you who have partnered with me through the years, on our mission to care for this beautiful planet.  Your support is appreciated, as together we can inspire the next generation of ocean protectors.

Over the past 50 years, SeaWorld has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of marine animals and protect the health of our oceans. We have forged new partnerships, made strides in research to improve the health and habitats of wild animals, developed cutting edge animal rehabilitation programs and emerged as one of the leading animal rescue organizations in the United States.   We have also added amazing entertainment, attractions and experiences – all with the goal of ensuring every guest interaction with SeaWorld is both fun and meaningful.

This past weekend we launched SeaWorld’s new Park to Planet commercial spot on the world’s biggest stage, the NBC Winter Games.

Park to Planet is a way to give a voice to the great work SeaWorld and its partners are doing to make a difference for the planet.  Through Park to Planet, we want to inspire others to join our shared mission to save the animals and the oceans we all call home.  Every visit to our parks makes a difference and helps to support our wider animal rescue (over 31,000 rescued!) and conservation efforts.

We are proud to share a special message from our ambassadors, and in case you haven’t seen it, our new commercial spot.

Please also visit parktoplanet.com where we encourage you to learn more and share details on our mission and work.  

Thank you for your support!


Left: A species of branching stony coral colonies releasing egg bundles into the water in Horniman's lab. Credit: Horniman Museum & Gardens. Right: Keri O'Neil at The Florida Aquarium's Center for Conservation with coral that has grown in the lab from wild spawning. Credit: the Florida Aquarium.
The Florida Aquarium, based in Tampa, Florida, and the Horniman Museum and Gardens, based in London, have joined forces to save coral reefs by spawning (reproducing) corals in a lab – a major technique to aid coral restoration that has only been accomplished at the Horniman.
Corals in the wild reproduce by releasing their eggs and sperm into the water at the same time, which is an event that is increasingly more uncertain given the changing climate. This wild spawning event only happens once per year, which has meant opportunities for research have been limited – until now.
From Dec. 11 - 17, Keri O’Neil, The Florida Aquarium’s Coral Nursery Manager, will be visiting the Horniman to learn their techniques of growing corals in a lab setting and brainstorm ideas of how to transport future coral fragments to Florida for restoration purposes.
The Horniman Aquarium started Project Coral and in 2013 became the first organization globally to predictably induce coral spawning in a fully closed aquarium lab setting.  Now The Florida Aquarium is providing even more expertise to enhance this project with plans to plant the lab-grown coral fragments to coral reefs along the Florida Reef Tract.
The new partnership with The Florida Aquarium takes the research protocols developed in the Horniman’s lab in Forest Hill, south London, and applies them in The Florida Aquarium’s state-of-the-art coral conservation nursery in Apollo Beach, Florida.
“Project Coral is ‘game-changing,’ allowing us to spawn corals on site, create multiple spawning events across the year and drastically speed up restoration work to ensure the survival of Florida’s reef,” said Scott Graves, Director of The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation.
Project Coral is an innovative coral reproductive research project led by the Horniman Aquarium with international partners, working to predictably spawn corals in a lab setting in order to investigate, counter and repair the impact of climate change on coral reef health and reproduction. Since 2012, researchers at the Horniman Museum and Gardens Aquarium have been researching broadcast coral reproduction, developing protocols that replicate natural reef conditions – and the triggers for mass spawning events – in the lab, to predict and induce land-based spawning.
Corals bred at The Florida Aquarium using Project Coral techniques – all from species listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act – will be transplanted into the ocean to restore the Florida Reef off the state’s south eastern coast.
Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world and support about 25 percent of all marine life. In addition, they are important to the Florida economy as fisheries and a tourist attraction.
The reef has suffered dramatically from bleaching events that occur when ocean temperatures rise, as well as pollution and other human-related environmental causes. Some scientists believe staghorn coral can no longer successfully sexually reproduce in the wild at all with these environmental challenges emerging. Thus, scientific groups like the ones formed by the Horniman and The Florida Aquarium are changing the game by spawning corals in a lab setting, allowing the corals to spawn more than just once a year. The increase in spawning occurrences will give the team a better chance to make a substantial impact on the restoration of corals.
“Project Coral has made huge strides in creating the protocols to induce coral spawning in lab conditions, and the Horniman’s research will continue to refine the techniques and understand the effects of climate change on coral reproduction. But we need partners to be able to put our research into practice in the field. This partnership with The Florida Aquarium is Project Coral’s first opportunity to make a ‘real world’ change, and we look forward to seeing the positive effects our work together will have on Florida’s reefs” said Jamie Craggs, Aquarium Curator at the Horniman Museum and Gardens.
About The Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Horniman Museum and Gardens opened in 1901 as a gift to the people in perpetuity from tea trader and philanthropist Frederick John Horniman, to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’. Today the Horniman has a collection of 350,000 objects, specimens and artefacts from around the world. Its galleries include natural history, anthropology, music and an acclaimed aquarium. Indoor exhibits link to the award-winning display gardens – from food and dye gardens to an interactive sound garden – set among 16 acres of beautiful, green space offering spectacular views across London. horniman.ac.uk
About The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).

The Florida Aquarium to assist in recovery effort of Florida’s coral reef following hurricane damage

Top: A team during one of the first assessment trips to assess the damage of Florida's coral reefs after hurricane damage. From left to right: Laurie MacLaughlin (NOAA Florida Keys Sanctuary); Jessica Levy (Coral Restoration Foundation); Mark Riss; Deb Riss; Dave Grenda (The Florida Aquarium volunteers); Brenda Altmeier (NOAA Florida Keys Sanctuary); and Dave Rintoul (The Florida Aquarium Dive Safety Officer) Left: The Florida Aquarium's Dave Safety Officer, Dave Rintoul, attaches coral fragments to an existing coral tree in the Coral Restoration Foundation's nursery. These activities were conducted under permit FKNMS-2015-133-A1. Right: Coral Restoration Foundation staff member Jessica Levy surveying health of corals at Sombrero Key.
What: After assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s coral reefs, The Florida Aquarium is helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations repair the damage and help the reef recover. The Aquarium will be providing triage support including repositioning overturned, centuries old boulder corals; reattaching broken and fragmented pieces of coral; and removing debris.

When: The team will be traveling to the Florida Keys from Nov. 12-18,

Where: The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida.

For more information on the assessment and recovery initiative:

After assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s coral reefs, The Florida Aquarium is helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other organizations repair the damage and help the reef recover. The Aquarium will be by providing triage support including repositioning overturned, centuries old boulder corals; reattaching broken and fragmented pieces of coral; and removing debris.

Coral reefs cover two percent of the ocean floor but are home to 25 percent of marine life in the ocean. They provide critical habitat for other species such as sea turtles, dolphins and sharks, as well as help protect coastlines from storms.

“Healthy coral reefs are adapted to withstand hurricanes. In fact, they protect shorelines by dissipating wave energy, but the reef ecosystem in the Florida Keys has been heavily compromised and is found in small patches compared to what once existed. So when a huge hurricane like Irma hits, damage to corals can be devastating. They now need our help to recover. A healthy, living and thriving reef means a healthy, living and thriving ocean,” said Margo McKnight Senior VP of Conservation, Research and Husbandry at The Florida Aquarium.

Last month, assessments of the Florida coral reef tract following hurricane Irma showed significant impact on natural coral reefs and manmade ocean-based coral nurseries throughout the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, as well as the broader Caribbean.

Large hurricanes can cause extensive damage on land, as well as under the sea, especially for corals that cannot leave their home to flee for safety.

Initial assessments of more than 50 sites revealed extensive shifting of sand and heavy sediment accumulation on the corals and sponges, which can smother and prevent them from getting enough sunlight, as well as some structural damage to individual corals and the reef itself. A full report is expected later this fall.

To help assist in the recovery of corals on the continental United States’ only barrier coral reef, The Florida Aquarium is helping NOAA, federal and state governmental agencies, academic institutions and other nonprofit organizations perform emergency recovery/restoration and assist with the stabilization and recovery of corals that sustained damage following the hurricane.

“During the assessment trips, it was very eye-opening to see these hundred-year-old corals snapped in two, with broken pieces sprawled all throughout the ocean floor. The assessment process identified damaged areas of the coral reef tract that could benefit from triage and restoration, so this next trip is to visit some of those sites and help stabilize them,” said Keri O’Neil, Coral Nursery Manager at The Florida Aquarium.

The Florida reef tract, much of which lies within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Biscayne Bay National Park, contains seven coral species designated as threatened.

The Florida Aquarium staff will leave to travel to the Keys to help repair certain coral sites on Sunday, Nov. 12. Dive and repair days are Nov. 13 – 17, and the team will return home on Nov. 18. The Florida Aquarium will send updates with photos and videos during the assessment days, as possible.

This massive initiative involves several branches of NOAA, National Park Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Nova Southeastern University, Coral Restoration Foundation, The Nature Conservancy-Florida and The Florida Aquarium, with funding provided through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and administered through the Coral Restoration Foundation.

The Florida Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire stewardship about our natural environment. The Florida Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).
Copyright © 2017. The Florida Aquarium. All rights reserved.

The No. 2 Week of Sharks Returns!
We Have Ryan Lochte!
Weeklong Event Begins Sunday, July 23, at 8/7c on Nat Geo WILD
(WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 20, 2017) SharkFest, television’s second-best-known week of sharks, returns to Nat Geo WILD on Sunday, July 23 at 8 PM ET. In addition, decorated Olympian Ryan Lochte makes a splash to help spread the word about the most sharks per square inch on television. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, SharkFest presents factual shark stories incorporating innovative research technology to reveal compelling insight on some of the most unique shark species in the world. With the help of scientists and shark experts, SharkFest will deliver the facts and raise awareness about these “jawsome” animals in more than 131 countries and 38 languages.
Check out SharkFest 2017’s fantastic program schedule here:
Shark v Predator
Premieres Sunday, July 23 8/7c
SharkFest kicks off with a look at the animals that dare to take on sharks. Seals, crocodiles, octopi, bobcats and even birds have gone head to head with these elite killers, and we’ve uncovered the footage to prove it. Watch rare moments when a shark ends up on the receiving end of an attack. It’s time for nature’s ultimate underwater showdown.
Tiger Shark Terror
Premieres Monday, July 24 8/7c
Every diver has been warned that sharks feed at night, but is this a myth or does the truth lurk somewhere deep beneath the waves? Professional shark diver Eli Martinez and scientist Matthew Smukall plunge into the nighttime world of Tiger Beach to investigate whether shark behavior changes once the sun goes down.
Mission Critical: Sharks Under Attack
Special Encore Airs Monday, July 24 10/9c
National Geographic underwater photographer and Instagram star Brian Skerry is on a mission to change the perception of our oceans’ greatest predators – sharks. After three decades capturing the world’s oceans on camera, Skerry knows sharks as kings of the oceans that keep these fragile ecosystems functioning, not as violent “Jaws”-like man-eaters.
Shark Swarm
Premieres Tuesday, July 25 8/7c
Across the vast oceans are underwater oases where sharks congregate in huge numbers. What is the attraction at these mysterious waypoints? Join shark scientist Riley Elliott on a unique expedition as he investigates some of the largest and most mysterious shark gatherings on the planet.
World’s Deadliest: Shark Frenzy!
Premieres Wednesday, July 26, 8/7c
The deep blue sea is a majestic place explored by many, but it also holds some of the world’s deadliest apex predators … sharks! These savage killers have one thing in common: the need to feed. In their quest, they use sheer force, technique and genetics to achieve their ultimate goal.
Sunday July 23
8:00 P              Shark vs. Predator (P)
9:00 P              The Whale That Ate Jaws
10:00 P            Shark Kill Zone
Monday July 24
8:00 P              Tiger Shark Terror (P)
9:00 P              Mega Hammerhead
10:00 P            Mission Critical: Sharks Under Attack
Tuesday July 25
8:00 P              Shark Swarm (P)
9:00 P              Shark Alley
10:00 P            Shocking Sharks
Wednesday July 26
8:00 P              World's Deadliest: Shark Frenzy! (P)
9:00 P              Shark vs. Predator
10:00 P            Blitzkrieg Sharks
Thursday July 27
8:00 P              United Sharks of America
9:00 P              Sharkatraz
10:00 P            Tiger Shark Terror
Friday July 28
8:00 P              When Sharks Attack: Florida Frenzy
9:00 P              When Sharks Attack: Gulf Coast Killers
10:00 P            When Sharks Attack: Hawaiian Terror
For the first time ever, National Geographic is bringing audiences to new depths with shark experiences across the company’s many interactive platforms, including a National Geographic Museum SHARK exhibit, a shark-sighting app in partnership with Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, photojournalist Brian Skerry’s book of shark photos and a shark feature in National Geographic magazine.
National Geographic Channels
The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250 million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55 million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and www.natgeowild.com.


Tampa, Fla. – (April 4, 2017) After months of planning and six days in the field, an international team of 13 scientific divers from The Florida Aquarium and the National Aquarium of Cuba (NAC) has successfully constructed an underwater staghorn coral nursery in Cuba waters. This completes a second step in a long-term plan to protect and restore coral reefs in shared waters.
The nursery is in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula National Park, located just off the westernmost point of Cuba. In 1987, UNESCO designated it a Biosphere Reserve; it’s also is part of Cuba’s National System of Protected Areas (SNAP) representing 20 percent of Cuba, both on land and sea.
Because staghorn coral is a key fast-growing building block for reef ecosystems, The Florida Aquarium is studying sexual reproduction of this species as it is essential to expanding biodiversity. Enhancing genetic diversity and resiliency is needed throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  Thus, adding NAC as a partner has amplified the reach of The Florida Aquarium’s coral conservation efforts.
The Florida Aquarium Senior Vice President of Conservation, Science and Research Margo McKnight explains, “The National Aquarium of Cuba picked the site for its strategic and protected location. Ultimately, this nursery will provide them with a bank of corals to be used for restoring their reefs and maintaining genetic diversity which is essential to mitigate the increasing threats to coral reefs, specifically climate change.” 
Creating the coral nursery began by anchoring 20 “trees” to the ocean floor.  Each “tree” is a structure nearly 15 feet in length which can hold up to 60 coral fragments of a particular genotype.  The trees have a single anchor point on the bottom and a float at the top which holds them up in the water column and allows them to move with the waves and currents.  This process was developed over many years by the Coral Restoration Foundation’s Ken Nedimyer. Once the trees were installed, the branches of each tree were filled with a specific staghorn coral genotype. The tree design ensures corals, growing above the sea floor away from competition and many predators, will grow faster with greater survival rates.  Nedimyer’s design allows for resiliency during storm surges as the corals hang from the branches and resist breakage.
According to Director of The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation Scott Graves who managed the project, the marine operation was a huge success. “I have never worked in the field with a better team.  Our Cuban colleagues are highly skilled divers, knowledgeable biologists, tireless workers and a pleasure to be around,” he said.
The first coral conservation collaboration between both aquariums occurred in August of 2016, when the National Aquarium of Cuba’s marine biologists, along with other Association of Zoos and Aquarium institutions, participated in The Florida Aquarium’s staghorn coral spawn collection project in the Florida Keys. 
What comes next?  To further help crack the code of coral reproduction, land-based “Coral greenhouses (Arks)” are being constructed where differing genotypes of coral can be preserved and living labs are operated.  Two of eight arks — in total, representing 12,000 square feet — have already been constructed at The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach. The goal is to help build arks at the National Aquarium of Cuba, too.
Lastly, monitoring of reefs and sharing data are critical for both institutions. McKnight comments, “Cuba’s robust coral reefs can provide important clues to healthy reef function. Likewise, we, along with many partners, will continue to monitor the Florida Reef Tract and share the information with our colleagues in Cuba. The collaborative work and shared passion for the ocean by both our teams is turning our plans for reef conservation into reality.”


Law is first of its kind in the nation; prohibits breeding and capture of orcas

Washington, D.C., September 14, 2016 -- Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, commends California governor Jerry Brown for signing S.B. 839 yesterday: a budget bill that includes the California Orca Protection Act. Authored by Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-50), this law bans the possession, capture, export, and breeding of orcas in California, with an exemption for orcas currently held in captivity.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, “California is setting a momentous precedent by becoming the first state in the nation to outlaw breeding and future possession of orcas. This legislative remedy remains urgently necessary, even after SeaWorld’s major announcement on March 17 that it would immediately end the breeding program for its orcas globally and phase out its theatrical orca shows by 2019. The California Orca Protection Act is an essential next step to legally codify SeaWorld’s business decision, and also prevent other corporations from filling this newly vacant entertainment space. It ensures that the 11 orcas in San Diego are the last generation of captive orcas displayed in the state.”

Orcas are unsuited to captivity and suffer enormously in marine parks. These remarkably intelligent animals swim 100 miles per day in the wild and have profound relationships with their family pods. In the wild, the average lifespan is 30 years for males and 46 years for females, although they have been known to live 90 years. Captive orcas are susceptible to a range of ailments and issues that cause misery and drastically shorten their lives. Mental anguish takes a severe toll and orcas have been known to self-mutilate out of boredom and desperation. Most die before they reach age 25 in tanks that are only 1/10,000th of one percent the size of their natural home ranges.

Roberts adds, “The needs of these smart and social animals cannot be met at all in captivity. Great progress has been made for orcas this year, and California’s new law is another groundbreaking step toward ending orca captivity entirely. Born Free USA hopes other states will follow California and pass similar compassionate legislation to empty the tanks.”

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, the organization leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free USA’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

Review written by Jon Patch with 3 paws out of 4

The Light Between Oceans

Heyday Films, LBO Productions, DreamWorks SKG, Participant Media, Amblin Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures present a PG-13, 131 minute, Romance, Drama, novel by M.L. Stedman, directed and written for the screen by Derek Cianfrance with a theater release date of September 2, 2016.


Chelonian Conservation and Biology – Four decades of research on Hawaiian green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are consolidated in this comprehensive review article, offering new and updated demographic information. The data collected show how the green turtle has rebounded from near extinction in the 1970s to a population of about 4,000 breeding females today.

The scope of research conducted during these years is detailed in the journal Chelonian Conservation and Biology. The Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began studying the green turtle in 1973 by monitoring and tagging nesting turtles. In 1982, a marine turtle research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) started studying sea turtle strandings and necropsying dead turtles. A companion program launched in 1990 sought to rescue, rehabilitate, and conduct clinical research on stranded turtles.

Early research showed that unregulated commercial hunting of Hawaiian green turtles, primarily for the restaurant trade, was unsustainable. Preliminary data from that period convinced the state of Hawaii to legally ban all commercial taking of turtles. This was followed by adding the green turtle to the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

These green turtles primarily inhabit the northwestern Hawaiian Islands that extend from Nihoa to Kure. As remnants of extinct volcanoes, these islands are geologically older than the southeastern Hawaiian Islands, where the eight large islands are home to most of Hawaii’s human population and still-active volcanoes.

Seven long-term data sets and associated sample arrays now exist and are catalogued at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, HI. Samples were collected annually over periods of 24 to 41 years. The seven data streams include nesting female monitoring and tagging; ocean capture/basking turtle tagging; strandings; necropsies, including pelagic turtles by catch; rehabilitation and release; euthanasia; and satellite tracking.

“I am extremely encouraged and confident that the resiliency and durability of the Hawaiian green turtle population can overcome any reasonable challenges it may face, so long as human take is sustainable,” said George H. Balazs, a researcher with NOAA and lead author of the review.

The research on green turtles in the Hawaiian Islands offers a model for understanding recovering sea turtle populations. Conservation and management practices in Hawaii founded on this research serve as a learning tool for other Pacific islands trying to sustain important sea turtle resources.

Full text of the article, “A Review of the Demographic Features of Hawaiian Green Turtles (Cheloniamydas),” Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2015, is now available online.


About Chelonian Conservation and Biology
Chelonian Conservation and Biology is a scientific international journal of turtle and tortoise research. Its objective is to share any aspects of research on turtles and tortoises. Of special interest are articles dealing with conservation biology, systematic relationships, chelonian diversity, geographic distribution, natural history, ecology, reproduction, morphology and natural variation, population status, husbandry, community conservation initiatives, and human exploitation or conservation management issues. For more information about this journal, see http://www.chelonian.org/ccb/.

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