Pacific ocean animals’ migrations, new study

This 2012 video says about itself:

An educational video by SEE Turtles about sea turtle migrations including leatherbacks and loggerheads. Learn how these amazing animals swim thousands of miles to find food and nesting beaches.

From the University of California – Santa Cruz in the USA:

Tracking marine migrations across geopolitical boundaries aids conservation

September 3, 2018

The leatherback sea turtle is the largest living turtle and a critically endangered species. Saving leatherback turtles from extinction in the Pacific Ocean will require a lot of international cooperation, however, because the massive turtles may visit more than 30 different countries during their migrations.

A new study uses tracking data for 14 species of migratory marine predators, from leatherback turtles to blue whales and white sharks, to show how their movements relate to the geopolitical boundaries of the Pacific Ocean. The results provide critical information for designing international cooperative agreements needed to manage these species.

“If a species spends most of its time in the jurisdiction of one or two countries, conservation and management is a much easier issue than it is for species that migrate through many different countries,” said Daniel Costa, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz and a coauthor of the study, published September 3 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

“For these highly migratory species, we wanted to know how many jurisdictional regions they go through and how much time they spend in the open ocean beyond the jurisdiction of any one country,” Costa said.

Under international law, every coastal nation can establish an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending up to 200 nautical miles from shore, giving it exclusive rights to exploit resources and regulate fisheries within that zone. The high seas beyond the EEZs are a global commons and are among the least protected areas on Earth. Discussions have been under way at the United Nations since 2016 to negotiate a global treaty for conservation and management of the high seas.

First author Autumn-Lynn Harrison, now at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., began the study as a graduate student in Costa’s lab at UC Santa Cruz. Costa is a cofounder, with coauthor Barbara Block of Stanford University, of the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, which began tracking the movements of top ocean predators throughout the Pacific Ocean in 2000. Harrison wanted to use the TOPP data to address conservation issues, and as she looked at the data she began wondering how many countries the animals migrate through.

“I wanted to see if we could predict when during the year a species would be in the waters of a particular country,” Harrison said. “Some of these animals are mostly hidden beneath the sea, so being able to show with tracking data which countries they are in can help us understand who should be cooperating to manage these species.”

Harrison also began attending meetings on issues related to the high seas, which focused her attention on the time migratory species spend in these relatively unregulated waters. “Figuring out how much time these animals spend in the high seas was directly motivated by questions I was being asked by policy makers who are interested in high seas conservation,” she said.

The TOPP data set, part of the global Census of Marine Life, is one of the most extensive data sets available on the movements of large marine animals. Many of the top predators in the oceans are declining or threatened, partly because their mobility exposes them to a wide array of threats in different parts of the ocean.

Leatherback turtle populations in the Pacific could face a 96 percent decline by 2040, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and leatherbacks are a priority species for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Laysan and black-footed albatrosses, both listed as near threatened on the IUCN Red List, spend most of their time on the high seas, where they are vulnerable to being inadvertently caught on long lines during commercial fishing operations.

White sharks are protected in U.S. and Mexican waters, but the TOPP data show that they spend about 60 percent of their time in the high seas. Pacific bluefin tuna, leatherback turtles, Laysan albatross, and sooty shearwaters all travel across the Pacific Ocean during their migrations.

“Bluefin tuna breed in the western North Pacific, then cross the Pacific Ocean to feed in the California Current off the United States and Mexico,” Costa said. “Sooty shearwaters not only cross the open ocean, they use the entire Pacific Ocean from north to south and go through the jurisdictions of more than 30 different countries.”

International cooperation has led to agreements for managing some of these migratory species, in some cases through regional fisheries management organizations. The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), for example, oversees conservation and management of tunas and other marine resources in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

The first session of a U.N. Intergovernmental Conference to negotiate an international agreement on the conservation of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction will be held in September. Harrison said she has already been asked to provide preprints and figures from the paper for this session.

“These migratory species are a shared heritage, and this paper shows their international travels better than ever before,” Harrison said. “The first step to protect them is knowing where they are over their annual cycle and promoting international agreements to manage the threats they may face across several countries.”


Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations, my fourteen nominees!

Real Neat Blog Award

Late in 2014, I made this new award: the Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I will try to do something about that 🙂

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty 🙂

The ‘rules’ of the Real Neat Blog Award are: (feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.):

1. Put the award logo on your blog.

2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

3. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.

4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)

My seven questions are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2018?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?

My nominees are:

1. Paul Paddington

2. Fantasylife


4. Human Rights Sanrakshan Sansthaa

5. Avial

6. Amazon Warrior Blog

7. Being MJ Every Day

8. my quest blog

9. Lovable Literature

10. Anasa

11. TriniMemes

12. postconsumerist


14. Late Night Girl

Kenyans from lion hunters to lion conservationists

This 3 September 2018 video says about itself:

These Warriors Once Hunted Lions—Now They Protect Them | National Geographic

In Kenya, the Samburu warriors are taking the knowledge they used in the past to hunt lions and working today to save them. Through a program called Warrior Watch, launched by the Ewaso Lions conservation group, the Samburu are working within their local communities to protect livestock and promote coexistence between people and lions.

Rooks clean up humans’ thrash

This 3 September 2018 video says about itself:

Crows Trained to Pick Up Trash Teach Humans A Lesson| National Geographic

These birds are trained for a job. These six rooks pick up trash at a theme park in Les Epesses, France. They bring the trash to a container that dispenses a food reward. This gives a new, positive spin to the expression “bird brain”.

Ornithologist Robert Mulvihill said that parrots and some songbirds, like rooks and crows, have “really high neuronal densities for their size.” These creatures may be small, but they have an outsized intellect. The whole process is still fundamentally a foraging behavior but a bit more complex.

Read more here.

Facebook censors non-terrorists as ‘terrorists’

This 4 October 2017 video says about itself:

France: “The normalization of emergency powers has grave consequences for human rights”

Fionnuala NÍ AOLÁIN, UN Human rights rapporteur, is joining us to comment the anti-terror Bill in France.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

United Nations expert: Facebook‘s broad terrorism definition leads to abuse

The definition that Facebook uses for terrorism is too broad. As a result, governments can arbitrarily block opposition movements and silence opponents whose statements they do not like. That says a United Nations human rights expert, Irish Fionnuala Ní Aoláin.

Ní Aoláin wrote a letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg stating that almost all groups that use violence for whatever reason are treated as terrorist. In her eyes that goes too far and it worries her.

“The use of the broad definition is particularly worrying because some governments now label opposition movements as terrorists, even if they are peaceful“, she writes. …

Facebook does not censor governments, almost all of them using violence, as ‘terrorist’. According to, eg, the governments of the United Kingdom, Bahrain and Turkey, journalism is ‘terrorism’. According to the Saudi Arabian absolute monarchy, activism for the right of women to drive cars is ‘terrorism’, to be punished by beheading.


Facebook plays an important role in the earmarking of online terrorist activities, but that should not go against the human rights of its users, says Ní Aoláin. She warns about “over-censoring” and arbitrarily denying access to Facebook.

According to her, it is unclear how Facebook works when assessing accounts and how it determines whether someone belongs to a certain group. Facebook and other social media are increasingly involved in regulations that were previously made by the governments of countries and are under pressure from governments to control content.

The NOS asked Facebook to respond to the criticism by Ní Aoláin.

Sea cucumber poop helps ecosystems

This 3 September 2018 video says about itself:

Sea Cucumber Poop Is Surprisingly Good For the Ecosystem | Nat Geo Wild

There are about 1,250 different species of sea cucumber across the world’s oceans. This is Thelenota anax. And yes, it’s doing what you think it’s doing. Sea cucumber poop is surprisingly important for the ecosystem.