Blue Ocean Institute

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Top Ten Takeaways

BLUE OCEAN INSTITUTE IS TEN!

2013 marks the Institute’s 10th anniversary! To celebrate, we’re sharing our TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS from our first decade. These are lessons that have shaped our conservation work and will help shape our next decade as well.

Beginning mid-March, we’ll add one Takeaway per week for the next 10 weeks. We hope you’ll tune in and share with your friends and family to help us make waves for the planet in our next decade!


#1 — WE’VE LEARNED NEW WAYS TO PRODUCE REAL CHANGE ON THE WATER
#2 — HOPEFUL MESSAGES MOTIVATE
#3 — PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR THE LATEST NEWS & WAYS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND IT
#4 — CHEFS CAN IMPROVE OCEAN & HUMAN HEALTH
#5–SIMPLE GUIDELINES HELP YOU UNTANGLE COMPLEX SCIENCE
#6–CONSERVATION CAN BRIDGE SCIENCE AND RELIGION TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
#7 –NON-SCIENTISTS NEED STRAIGHT-TALK FROM SCIENTISTS
#8 –PEOPLE SEEK DEEPER CONNECTIONS WITH NATURE
#9 –FISH ON A PLATE CAN LEAD PEOPLE TO CARE ABOUT FISH IN THE SEA
#10 – PEOPLE CAN AND DO CHANGE THE FUTURE

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TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS

#1 – WE’VE LEARNED NEW WAYS TO PRODUCE REAL CHANGE ON THE WATER

Too many New England fishermen (40 percent) were ignoring a law that required them to place pingers or “sound alarms” on their nets to scare away porpoises. Without pingers, gillnet fisheries for cod and haddock were needlessly catching and killing high numbers of harbor porpoises.

This harm to porpoises led Blue Ocean Institute scientists to downgrade the rating for gillnet-caught Atlantic cod from “yellow” to “red.” Then our retail partner Whole Foods Market stopped selling cod from this fishery.

Faced with the economic loss–coupled with negative media attention prompted by our op-ed on Nationalgeographic.com–the Northeast Seafood Coalition did an about-face. Gillnet fishermen are now deploying twice the required amount of pingers on their nets. They say this has already reduced harbor porpoise mortalities. Fishermen will also replace the current pingers with a newer, more technologically-advanced device. And, a tool is being developed to to alert area fishermen of harbor porpoise “hot spots.”

Read more to learn how a Blue Ocean Institute partnership with Whole Foods Market achieved an important conservation success:  Better Late than Never, New England Gillnetters Now Say They’ll Save Porpoises.

• Want to serve ocean-friendly seafood? Our Seafood FAQs should help.

• Check out our ocean-friendly seafood alternatives to popular, yet unsustainably fished favorites.

• Visit our searchable Seafood Choices color-coded rankings for popular, wild-caught seafood. Just type in the fish you want to learn about – common or sushi name.

• Here’s more about our work with Whole Foods Market.

Check out our Milestones & Firsts from Blue Ocean’s first decade.

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#2 – HOPEFUL MESSAGES MOTIVATE

That’s one reason why the PBS series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina, is making a difference. Most of us have heard about the impact of overfishing, pollution and climate change on the world’s oceans. Heard less often are the solutions to these challenges.

In the premiere season of this series, Blue Ocean founder Carl Safina traveled the globe to chronicle the unsung heroes who are hard at work creating and implementing solutions to save the world’s oceans.

Safina introduces marine biologists, fishermen, fisheries scientists, conservationists and activists who are helping fish populations rebound, bringing endangered species back from the brink and creating hope for today’s oceans. Watch all of the half-hour episodes to learn more about the “Scourge of the Lionfish,” the “River of Kings,” the “Cod Comeback,” and lots more.

PLEASE SHARE THESE MESSAGES ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

 • Want positive news about the ocean? Carl Safina shares it. http://goo.gl/kFCKq @carlsafina @BlueOceanInst @Oceantvsafina

• Saving the Ocean w Carl Safina introduces ocean heroes & solutions. http://goo.gl/kFCKq @carlsafina @BlueOceanInst @Oceantvsafina

The first season of Saving the Ocean is reaching more than 90 million PBS viewers. For air dates in your city, check here or watch the series online, free.

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#3 – PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR THE LATEST NEWS & WAYS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND IT

That’s why we specialize in communicating the science behind the headlines in language that everyone can understand. We tailor our message to diverse audiences ranging from Main Street to Wall Street, and chefs to faith leaders.

Blue Ocean’s founder, Carl Safina, is our top science communicator and a leading voice on humanity’s relationship with nature.  Dr. Safina has helped lead campaigns to ban driftnets, overhaul fisheries law, achieve a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduce seabird and sea turtle drowning on commercial fishing lines.

Recent issues in the headlines we’ve helped translate:


PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

Blue Ocean translates science; shares broadly for maximum impact. blueocean.org @carlsafina @BlueOceanInst

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#4 – CHEFS CAN IMPROVE OCEAN & HUMAN HEALTH

It’s this simple: chefs – the gatekeepers of the seafood industry – command a unique influence over the purchase, trade and consumption of seafood. And, by shifting toward more sustainable sources of seafood, chefs can improve both human and ocean health. Did you know that chefs were directly involved in the recovery of a specific fish population? As a direct result of a well-organized chefs’ boycott of the North Atlantic swordfish in 1998, this swordfish species is the only large fish in the world more abundant now than it was 20 years ago. Thank you, chefs!

Recognizing that chefs and culinary students are hungry to learn more about sustainable seafood, Blue Ocean partnered with Chefs Collaborative to create Green Chefs/Blue Ocean, an interactive, content-rich, online curriculum about seafood sustainability. Although designed for culinary professionals, it is free and available to everyone. That means you, too.

Want to know more?

Green Chefs/Blue Ocean free online course for chefs & students promotes ocean health. http://goo.gl/vEeQJ

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#5 - SIMPLE GUIDELINES HELP YOU UNTANGLE
COMPLEX SCIENCE

Mercury in seafood, for example. It’s this simple: seafood is good for you; mercury is bad for you. Some seafood contains a lot of mercury and some has very little. We’ve analyzed the research and explained the findings in a way that is relevant and makes sense. Our simple rules of thumb help you choose seafood that’s low in mercury.

Visit our Mercury web pages to explore our full Mercury ReportMercury: Sources in the Environment, Health Effects and Politics - that summarizes what scientists and medical researchers have learned about mercury in the environment, in food and in people. Our Mercury pages also offer additional reading, including an introduction and summary of the report by Dr. Carl Safina, cool video tutorials, partner links, seafood rankings and other valuable mercury information. Enjoy and share! We hope it helps keep you healthy.

PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

Blue Ocean Mercury Report just might help keep you & your family healthy. http://goo.gl/KYmmm @carlsafina @BlueOceanInst

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#6 – CONSERVATION CAN BRIDGE SCIENCE AND RELIGION TO SOLVE PROBLEMS

Conservation is where you find it. We found it in people inspired by the verses of the Koran. “The Sacred Island” episode of our PBS series, “Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina” profiles Muslim fishermen on the exotic Zanzibar island of Pemba, whose Imams preach that the Koran calls humans to be the stewards of Creation. Locals stand united behind a scientifically sound solution to save their reefs.

Breaking News! “The Sacred Island” episode of “Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina” just won the 2013 Conservation Award from the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.

Watch “The Sacred Island,” on your local PBS station, or online, free.

The entire “Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina” series will air on WORLD channel, beginning April 23.

PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

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#7 – NON-SCIENTISTS NEED STRAIGHT TALK FROM SCIENTISTS

The U.S. Congress has Science Committee members who believe the world is 9,000 years old, global warming is a hoax and evolution is the talk of the devil. A country that does not understand science and rejects reality cannot make the right decisions. Science itself must share some of the blame for seeming remote and undecipherable, for not reaching out effectively.

That’s why we’re helping to train young scientists to become a new generation of science ambassadors who are inspired, knowledgeable and plain-talking, so they can communicate with all audiences, including the general public, media and policy makers.

Through Blue Ocean’s partnership with Stony Brook University’s (SBU) Journalism School and its innovative Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Dr. Carl Safina teaches graduate sciences students how to communicate with non-scientists in plain language. He has participated in workshops with actor Alan Alda, who was instrumental in establishing the Center. Learn more about their work in these links.

  • CBS Sunday Morning: Alan Alda teaches scientists to speak plainly
  • The Ghost in the Water: Video report on the aftermath of the BP oil spill created by SBU’s Journalism Without Walls program; the reporting trip was led by Dr. Safina.
  •  The Flame Challenge: Explaining science to an 11-year old

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#8 –PEOPLE SEEK DEEPER CONNECTIONS WITH NATURE

Whether it’s whalewatching, birding or gardening, we continually meet people searching for more contact with the natural world.

Do you have to “schedule” time just to be outside? Is a walk on the beach or along a scenic route part of your weekly routine? When was the last time you sat outside to read a favorite book?

Come back to nature! We’ll make it easy to get started.

  • Get in the water! What better way to enjoy water than to jump right in? It doesn’t matter whether it’s a mighty ocean, a great lake or a backyard creek.
  • Spend time exploring the plants and animals where ever you live. At a nearby park, just sit quietly, observe and listen. Join a local hiking club.
  • Draw, paint or photograph the natural world around you. Write a poem or a song. Keep a nature journal.
  • Get inspired with a book. Blue Ocean founder Carl Safina’s books have won wide acclaim for his lyrical way of sharing his love for and knowledge of the ocean. “The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World” won the 2012 Orion Book Award for the year’s best book on the relationship between humans and nature. Powerful and poetic, it’s a fantastic way to kick off your return to nature. Enjoy.
  • As Graham Nash sang, “Teach your children.” Teach them to observe, to be curious, to explore and to love the natural world!

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#9 –FISH ON A PLATE CAN LEAD PEOPLE TO CARE ABOUT FISH IN THE SEA

So many of us are trying to be more thoughtful about the food we eat and what we serve to our families. Smart seafood choices are a big part of that growing trend.

Over the past decade we’ve seen the sustainable seafood movement take hold and grow to an amazing degree. As consumers, chefs and retailers dive deeper into the reasons why a certain fish or shellfish is ranked as “green” or “sustainably-caught,” an appreciation of fish as wildlife, not just food, begins to emerge.

People are beginning to realize that the seafood we eat has an enormous impact on our health today and on the health of our oceans tomorrow.

Blue Ocean continues to rank popular seafood species, educate chefs about sustainable seafood and inspire politicians and consumers to protect the oceans and care about fish as wild creatures.

Here are a few ways we are leading the discussion.

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#10 – PEOPLE CAN AND DO CHANGE THE FUTURE

It’s all connected: land, sea, air.

Water carries all of what we do into the ocean but it doesn’t start or end in the sea. Our approach is what matters. The approach we choose will decide whether we degrade our children’s world or hand it to them with all its options intact.

Whether we’re talking tuna, trees, turtles, elephants, the atmosphere, the Amazon or coral reefs, or for that matter, the economy, education and gender equity, either we consider the future or we don’t.

Either we’re all in or….

Consider the connections. Consider the future. Be all in.

For inspiration, enjoy these short video and radio clips:

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HELP US MAKE WAVES!

  • Share this page with your friends, family and networks.
  • Follow us on Twitter: @BlueOceanInst, @carlsafina, @elizabethbrw
  • Follow us on Facebook: Blue Ocean Institute, Founder – Carl Safina

 

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