Monday, 18 August 2014
Enjoying the tiny slice of Glaswegian sun!! #imcc3 ☀️☀️⛅️
Enjoying the tiny slice of Glaswegian sun!! #imcc3 ☀️☀️⛅️
Great turnout to our (LAMAVE) first talk at this years International Marine Conservation Congress #imcc3
Dr Alessandro Ponzo presenting to a jam packed room of scientists, conservationists and activists about our whale shark work in the Philippines!
For live updates from the conference follow us on twitter @sallyjsnow and @lamaveproject
Did you know a 1/3 of the worlds marine fish don’t feed humans, but are made into fish oil and fishmeal for animals. Fishmeal is fed to farmed fish to make them tasty, yet farmed fish are lower in nutritional value than forage fish such as sardines, anchovies, which ironically are the fish making Fishmeal!?! Want better nutrition then eat forage fish - sardines and anchovies rather than farmed salmon! Thanks #imcc3 and Patricia Majluf Director of the centre of environment sustainability, Peru for opening our eyes
Coral Reef superwoman Emily Darling tells #imcc3 her top 5 tips on building your global network
1. Take risks. Ask unpopular questions. Find your community.
2. Collaborate - link to NGOs
3. Be a great communicator - get your elevator speech down - 2 minutes to impress!
4. Build your network. Make genuine connections.
5. Persevere! In the slide above there is a photograph of Emily with fins too large for her small feet- the answer - duct tape! Persevere !
#imcc3 #imcc14#marine conservation #imcc3
Opening talks at the international marine conservation congress #imcc3 have started.
For live updates on some academic marine love follow me on twitter @sallyjsnow
If you’ve ever uttered these words you’ve definitely been supporting the wrong kind of marine wildlife tourism. In which case you may also be familiar with other popular phrases such as:
"that seal just bit me!?"
“I was told not to touch the shark, but I did anyway”
“it was crazy there were boats everywhere, my husband nearly got cut by the propeller”
“we could feed the animals anything we wanted”
Shame on you.
As for those individuals hugging the dolphin/insert exploited species, there are no (public) words to describe your wrong doing. However if karma is in order then hopefully you will have contracted TB, Leptospirosis or any other of the 20+ diseases associated with dolphins. Oh, you didn’t know that? Another case of being inadequately informed.
And there lies just one of the problems that we ‘the humans’, and they ‘the animals’ are facing, with the rapid development of marine wildlife tourism.
And that’s just the beginning.
During yesterdays workshop on Marine Mega Fauna Tourism at the third International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) researchers, professors and operators from around the world came together to talk marine tourism: the good, the bad and the ugly, and how we can improve future prospects. Unsurprisingly we realised that it mainly comes down to the tourist - you, me, your mother, brother, sister, bob down the road…and so, this little little article is addressed to you, the tourist.
Since the first official water based whale watching trip in California in 1955, marine wildlife tourism has exploded into many forms all over the world, some good, many bad. But how can you make sure you only support the good ones?
Many of the best marine wildlife tourism initiatives are supported by scientific bodies where the management of the tourism practices takes into consideration information and knowledge acquired from scientific research based on the animal and its habitat.
And why exactly is this important?
Manly because of a few big problems that are facing wildlife tourism:
1) an absence of baseline data on the species involved (we don’t know what the animals were doing in the specific location before)
2) tourism development is more rapid than tourism management (too many people, not enough control)
3) Sub-lethal effects of other more subtle behaviour disturbances on animals that need to be investigated.
And so the best tourism practices are using research as a tool to help understand the impacts of tourism (and the tourist) on the wildlife and the environment. If researchers can work out the recipe for minimum disturbance then when applied it can help reduce the impact on the animals, increase tourist safety, limit pressure on the environment and promote sustainability of the tourism activities for the local community. Win, win.
Ok. So the scientists are doing there bit, but what can you do as a tourist?
1) Do your research before you book to ensure you are supporting tourism that has a conservation ethic. If you’re not sure ask for details. No one is going to hate you for showing you care about the planet, in fact actively asking companies that don’t have conservation ethics could help change their perspective. Tip: Beware of cowboy scientists (like crooked cowboy builders but with fancier vocabulary).
2) Remember, just because an activity is in the environment doesn’t make it ecotourism.
Ecotourism is only applied where there is a benefit to the animal, the environment, the tourist and the local community.
3) Ask your guide to see or hear any guidelines for interacting with wildlife (if you have not been informed already). Guidelines are in place for your safety as well as the animals.
4) If your guide is not abiding by rules and regulations, you have the power to ask why and insist that they follow the guidelines. Tour guides that break rules often put their guests in danger.
5) Avoid wildlife tourism activities that involve feeding wildlife and using jet skies.
If we want to continue encountering wildlife in the wild, then we all need to do our bit to ensure long lasting sustainable wildlife tourism. It’s fine to get wet, but keep your hands to yourself.
For more information check out blogspot Kraken in the Aquarium (http://krakenintheaquarium.blogspot.co.uk) written by Professor Chris Parsons, chair of IMCC3. Also look out for the results of the Marine Mega Fauna Tourism IMCC3 workshop which are due to be written into a paper for journal submission.
We have touch down!
Our #lamave team have arrived in Glasgow, UK for this years International Marine Conservation Congress #IMCC2014
As well as presenting we will also be tweeting updates from the conference. Follow us on twitter @lamaveproject and @sallyjsnow
And feel free to ask questions! No matter where you are in the world, you can be a part of marine conservation!
Tomorrow we - LAMAVE NGO - are heading north towards Scotland and the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) where we will be presenting some of our work, attending workshops and generally getting our marine conservation caps on. As a little extra,we are planning on tracking down a Basking shark - our fabulous filter feeding friend here in the UK. I am deadly excited, even if the waters are 15 degrees colder than the Philippines!!
This video was shared by a friend of ours who was lucky enough to see a Mola mola (sunfish dreams!), a minke whale and a basking shark when they went out. More than anything, the video shows just how incredibly rich our british waters can be, when we take the chance to look.
I’m just hoping they all turn up in a weeks time when I’ll be covered in goosebumps, numb from the cold, underwater wide eyed and with a giant smile on my face. Sharks, whales and fish come find me!#basking shark #scotland #minke whale #mola mola #sunfish #video #basking shark scotland #adventure
Throw back Thursday…
…to my WWF-Philippine days and my first taste of whale shark research. Here’s the waters of Donsol from a whale shark spotters point of view. These guys search for whale sharks by looking for shadows beneath the surface, or very occasionally the dorsal fin of a shark if it’s close enough to the surface. Each time they spotted something, I’d grab my fins, pull down my mask, slip into the water and disappear underwater swimming around to the left hand side of the shark to capture an ID photograph. By photographing the left hand side of all the sharks we saw, we were able to identify which individuals were visiting these waters, whether they’d been seen in the Philippines before or if they’d been seen elsewhere in the world. Photo-ID is one of the cheapest methods of tracking migratory animals such as the whale shark, and is an important tool in helping us understanding the movements of these giant fish.
Fab exhibition on in london at the royal geographic society in South Kensington - ‘travel photographer of the year’.
Loads of amazing photographs, but this one made me smile. The Mathatha pride in Botswana don’t have a mature male so the ladies run the show. Working as a team they bring down bigger prey like Buffalo which the whole pride will share.
Talk about girl power in the wild.