Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the open ocean, migrating between foraging grounds and nesting grounds, sometimes travelling thousands of miles. A mother sea turtle will return to the beaches in the area she was born to lay her eggs, dragging herself up onto the sand with her powerful flippers. She disguises her nest so well that after she's done it is hard to tell she was ever there, except for the tracks she leaves behind on her way to and from the sea. After an incubation period of about two months, hatchlings crawl out of the sand at night and make their way towards the brightest horizon, moonlight reflecting on the ocean. Big cities and vacation resorts next to nesting beaches are hazardous for baby turtles who sometimes confuse glittering windows and vehicle headlights for the sea.
Photo by @PaulNicklen // Biodiversity is the reason we have animals as large as blue whales, as small as krill, and as colourful as these gooseneck barnacles. It is the variety and diversity of life on earth. It is also how we know if mother nature is healthy. Biodiversity Day (today) is a day for increasing understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. According to a recent assessment from @IPBES_ and @UNenvironment on the state of the climate crisis and biodiversity, 1 million plant and animal species face extinction within just a couple of decades. Diversity of life is threatened every day by climate change, by pollution, by deforestation and habitat loss. But there are things at home that you can do to make a difference every day - one of them is to remember that conservation work takes time and that we're all in this together. Is there somebody in your life who reminds you to recycle, say no to plastic straws and sign petitions? Shout out your eco-buddy, tag them in the comments below. 👇
Photo by @chrislinderphoto // A curious Adélie penguin stares into the lens of a remotely triggered camera on Ross Island, Antarctica. Adélie penguins are one of only two ice-obligate penguin species, meaning that they (like their larger cousin the Emperor) are dependent on sea ice for survival, just like songbirds need healthy forests. Adélies rest on ice while hunting, and their primary prey species (Antarctic silverfish and krill) use the ice as a nursery. The West Antarctic Peninsula south of South America has experienced the greatest average winter warming on Earth--six times greater than the global average. As the climate warms, sea ice is declining, and this ice-dependent species faces an uncertain future. Scientists estimate that up to 60 percent of current Adélie breeding habitat will be unfit for them by the end of the century.
Photo by @PaulNicklen // Where is this iceberg now? This photo was taken in 2012 during a trip to Antarctica. As these monumental palaces of floating ice drift away from the continent, they inevitably start to melt. The cold freshwater that drips off the iceberg and into the saltwater ocean influences currents and ocean circulation, even far away from the source. Every iceberg, every drop of water, every molecule...they all work together. We should too.
Photo by @simonagerphotography // Up to 100 million sharks are mercilessly killed every year bringing most species to the edge of extinction. Shark finning is a cruel practice that sees the fins of live sharks hacked off and the shark tossed back into the ocean, left to drown or bleed to death. While Canada has banned the practice since 1994, fins can still be imported and demand for them has been rising. In 2017, nearly 159,000 kilograms of fins were imported into this country, a 60-per-cent increase over the last five years. Most came from Hong Kong and China, and were likely from finning. Outside of East Asia, Canada is the largest importer of fins in the world. As of now, Bill S-238 that will ban the import and export of shark fins in Canada is being incorporated into Bill C-68. The clause by clause consideration of Bill C-68 began Tuesday May 14 in the House of Commons, it will also include regulations surrounding import and export of cetaceans. In addition to political support from across party lines, the bill has the backing of conservationists, marine scientists, animal welfare advocates and the family of Rob Stewart of Sharkwater fame. On campaign with @seashepherd.
Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // I have been a scuba diver since 1987, and in 2017, 30 years after my first dive, I got an opportunity to push my diving to a new level. While on assignment for @natgeoand @sealegacy to document the importance of creating a Marine Protected Area, I had my first dive in Antarctica. The subject was less than cheerful: I was asked to photograph a blue whale cemetery; a shallow harbor where the scattered bones of hundreds of blue whales, the world’s largest mammal, still lie silent and eerie, a hundred years after the whales were killed. Swimming in this whale cemetery was both saddening and surreal. Slaughtered for their oil, the population of blue whales in Antarctica has never recovered. Their bodies remain and continue to disintegrate as the frigid water temperature slows this process. In this extreme environment, the cold goes right into your bones - literally a chilling reminder of how far we've come in protecting these vulnerable whales and of the conservation challenges that lie ahead.
Adam Dean via @zerowasteasia, "DISCARDED: Communities on the Frontlines of the Global Plastic Crisis" // If you're heading into this weekend feeling like you need some good news, we have some. Last week, world leaders gathered in Geneva, Switzerland for the two-week Basel Convention to discuss how to address the mounting plastic waste crisis. Backed by the @UnitedNations, it resulted in a legally binding framework to make global trade in #plastic waste more transparent and better regulated. This meeting was critical as it addressed the massive influx of contaminated plastic waste being sent to developing countries, especially in southeast Asia, after China banned imports of most plastic waste in 2018. The mixed plastic wastes imported are often difficult or impossible to recycle. Norway’s proposed amendments to the Basel Convention provided countries the right to refuse unwanted or unmanageable plastic waste. In a major step towards #CleanSeas , the governments of 187 countries (not including the U.S.) agreed to this groundbreaking resolution that will require "prior informed consent" from importing countries before mixed plastic waste can be exported. Learn more from our allies who worked to support this critical step in addressing plastic pollution on a global scale, tap through to the link in our bio to read more. @LonelyWhale @BlueSphereFoundation
Photo by @daisygilardini // Following up after endangered species day yesterday, I want to pay tribute to "Lonesome George.” I was lucky enough to photograph George during a trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2005. At that time, scientists were trying hard to find a mate for him and save the species.Sadly, he passed away on June 24th, 2012. The Pinta giant tortoise, has gone extinct. He was the last of his kind.As the recent UN report on biodiversity warns us, one million specIes now face extinction. It is our duty to take action NOW.
Photo by @chrislinderphoto // A marine otter carries its catch to shore off the coast of Chiloé Island, Chile. This rare, secretive species, which is found only on the southwestern coast of South America, is the smallest marine mammal, weighing only 6-11 pounds. In the past they were hunted for their fur or simply killed because of a perceived threat to fisheries. They are currently classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species and one of the MILLION species at risk of extinction in the coming years, according to the recent UN Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
Photograph by @shawnheinrichs // Did you know that mako sharks are the fastest sharks on the planet, reaching speeds of up to 46mph? Like most top-level predators, these charismatic animals have proven especially vulnerable to human predation; they grow slowly, become sexually mature relatively late in life, and produce few offspring. In fact, a female mako shark has to be about 20 years old and 3 meters in length in order to reproduce- and then they reproduce very slowly, only having between 4-12 pups every 3 years. Sharks have ruled the world's oceans for some 400 million years, playing a critical role in regulating the systems that ensure healthy fish stocks that feed billions of people. They are extremely sensitive to overexploitation and studies estimate that upward of 100 million sharks are removed from the oceans every year to satisfy a market for their fins, meat, and liver oil. Just recently, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species updated the mako shark's status from Vulnerable to Endangered. Despite their populations declining by 60% in some areas due to the shark fin trade, along with excessive human fishing, hunting, and by-catch, makos remain one of the least protected sharks in the world. Their numbers are in a precipitous decline and we are seeing this kind of pattern repeated across all of our oceans and many shark species. Their slow reproductive rate makes it extremely hard for populations to recover from such a harsh exploitation. As top predators they are essential for the health of the ocean and must be protected from extinction. We must continue to push for international legal protection. You can help save sharks and other endangered species by never buying illegal or unsustainable wildlife products. When the buying stops, the killing can too. #TurningTheTide with @shawnheinrichs @bluespherefoundation @sealegacy @vulcaninc @wildaid #ABreakForMakos #WorthMoreAlive #EndangeredSpeciesDay
Photo by @PaulNicklen // I took this photograph the day after I finished my CCR cave diving training. The course was called Closed Circuit Rebreather Trimix Cave Diver. I was trained to conduct bubble-less diving deep in caves with a mixed gas containing helium which helps maintain a more logical brain while at depth. I wanted to capture the size, beauty and clarity of these caves near Tulum, Mexico. In order to get the shot, I had to maintain perfect steadiness so I could shoot handheld at 1/8th of a second and capture Matt (@chupacabramexico), my instructor, descending through the light rays.
We are excited to announce Chris Linder (@chrislinderphoto) as the newest member of The Collective — a trusted group of @SeaLegacy’s esteemed friends, who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Chris Linder specializes in photographing environmental science. Chris earned a master’s degree in oceanography from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and worked as a researcher before transitioning to science storytelling. Chris has now documented more than fifty scientific expeditions—most of them to the polar regions. His photographs appear in magazines, exhibits, and books, and he is the author of The Big Thaw and Science on Ice. His work has been recognized with awards from international photography competitions and a prestigious National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers grant. Chris is an Expedition Multimedia Specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (@woodshole_ocean), a Senior Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers (@ilcp_photographers), and a Fellow National in the Explorers Club (@the_explorers_club). We are proud to be #TurningTheTide with you, @chrislinderphoto! Photography by @chrislinderphoto and Brian Kantor. . . . #TurningTheTide #Arctic #Antarctica #ocean #oceanconservation