Science Diary: Healthy Ocean- Recovery

Ambience: Ocean
Music

They’re called the last frontier on Planet Earth, but much of what we hear about the world’s oceans makes it sound like they’re on their last legs. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Today we join Carl Safina, President of the Blue Ocean Institute, on a research vessel off the coast of Central America. Carl is talking with marine ecologist Bob Pitman about the impact that conservation efforts have had on the health of the ocean. Bob Pitman-

Bob Pitman: “The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act started in 1972, and we started protecting marine mammals in earnest after that, and this has brought about some major changes that are visible to us out here. Olive Ridley sea turtles, during the late seventies, there was hundreds of thousands killed on nesting beaches off Mexico and Central America. And they were fairly uncommon out here. I mean, I’d see a couple a day, and that would be it. They’ve been protected now for 20 years, and we have days when we see 400, 500 Olive Ridleys in a single day, so here’s another example of if you just leave the animals alone, they can come back. Doesn’t take a lot of conservation dollars to do this. Just let them lay their eggs, and let them hatch, and they can bounce right back.”

Carl Safina: “It seems to me that there are some really important lessons. 20 years ago most people ashore never heard that there was any problem with the ocean, and there was the old expression, “There’s plenty of fish in the sea,” and I think now people have been hammered with such bad news about how the oceans are dying that the impression is almost that they’re gone beyond repair. For me, the message is the ocean is not dying. It is sick, but, with care and intervention, it can recover, and we see that those populations that have been protected do start recovering.”

You can check out Carl Safina’s blog on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.

Science Diary: Healthy Ocean- Recovery

Some good news from the world of ocean conservation.
Air Date:04/03/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:

Ambience: Ocean
Music

They're called the last frontier on Planet Earth, but much of what we hear about the world's oceans makes it sound like they're on their last legs. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Today we join Carl Safina, President of the Blue Ocean Institute, on a research vessel off the coast of Central America. Carl is talking with marine ecologist Bob Pitman about the impact that conservation efforts have had on the health of the ocean. Bob Pitman-

Bob Pitman: "The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act started in 1972, and we started protecting marine mammals in earnest after that, and this has brought about some major changes that are visible to us out here. Olive Ridley sea turtles, during the late seventies, there was hundreds of thousands killed on nesting beaches off Mexico and Central America. And they were fairly uncommon out here. I mean, I'd see a couple a day, and that would be it. They've been protected now for 20 years, and we have days when we see 400, 500 Olive Ridleys in a single day, so here's another example of if you just leave the animals alone, they can come back. Doesn't take a lot of conservation dollars to do this. Just let them lay their eggs, and let them hatch, and they can bounce right back."

Carl Safina: "It seems to me that there are some really important lessons. 20 years ago most people ashore never heard that there was any problem with the ocean, and there was the old expression, "There's plenty of fish in the sea," and I think now people have been hammered with such bad news about how the oceans are dying that the impression is almost that they're gone beyond repair. For me, the message is the ocean is not dying. It is sick, but, with care and intervention, it can recover, and we see that those populations that have been protected do start recovering."

You can check out Carl Safina's blog on pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.