World Bank helps Peru to manage the environment with a $330 millions loan.
Peru's recently created Environment ministry will receive a $330 million loan from the World Bank to improve and strengthen the environmental management and for the implementation of environmental policies permitting sustainable development in key sectors as mining, urban transport and biodiversity conservation.
Growing water scarcity threatens industries around the world
Water is crucial for almost all industries (electric power, high-tech, apparel, metallurgy, …) and for agriculture. On a global scale, 20% of water resources are used by industries, 70% by agriculture and 10% for drinking water supply.
Increasing temperature could threatens Sea turtles
University of Queensland Marine researchers (Australia) have found that the increased temperatures could threaten sea turtles by decreasing their swimming ability and the number of males.
Does eating oily fish protect against senile dementia?
A UK study conducted by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has cast doubt on claims that eating oily fish can protect against dementia in old age.
Dot Eco domain supported by Al Gore.
Dot Eco LLC (www.dotecotld.com) was founded in 2008 by Fred Krueger and Clark Landry to secure, operate and promote the .eco web domain in order to promote environmental initiatives and awareness. The former US vice president, Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his campaign on climate change and an Oscar for his film An Inconvenient Truth is backing this .eco initiative.
Francine Cousteau named Ambassador of Danube Delta
Francine Cousteau, head of Cousteau Society, received on Tuesday from Environment Minister Nicolae Nemirschi, in Tulcea (Romania), the diploma of ambassador of the Danube Delta for her merits in the international promotion of the region.
World Ocean Census - Extract 19 - Abyssal plains
Abyssal plains are flat or very gently sloping areas of the deep ocean basin floor. They are among Earth’s flattest and smoothest regions – and the least explored. Abyssal plains cover the vast majority of the ocean floor.
Climate change forum planned at Washington
US President Barack Obama announced a forum on climate change at the end of April at Washington with representatives from the world's 16 major economies and the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. It will focus on increasing the supply of clean energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
World Ocean Census - Extract 7 - Reaching the research site
Seventh amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Expanding the use of technology - Reaching the research site.
6,000 Rare Dolphins Found in South Asia
Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society announced at the First International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas in Maui, Hawaii that nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest and adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal. This species has been listed as vulnerable in the Red List in 2008.
World Ocean Census - Extract 15 - A new habitat for Alaska
When sampling for NaGISA in Prince William Sound, my co-worker dropped a sieve over the side of the boat on which we were sorting our samples. We did a dive to retrieve the sieve (60 feet [18 meters]) and found a totally new habitat for our state. We now know that there are rhodolith beds in Alaska.
– Brenda Konar, Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Census of Marine Life researcher
Cousteau: An Island in Mexico
Francine Cousteau, President of Equipe Cousteau and the Cousteau Society is honored to announce that the President of Mexico officially re-named an island in the Sea of Cortez as “Jacques Cousteau Island” on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.
Just off the city of La Paz in the southeastern region of the Baja California peninsula, the island has a surface area of 136 km2 and a perimeter of 68 km. Formerly known as Cerralvo, the island is henceforth listed in Mexico’s national register of geographic information as “Jacques Cousteau Island.”
Cousteau and World Oceans Day at the Copenhagen Conference
Oceans and acidification largely ignored in Copenhagen negotiations.
The planet’s seas and oceans cover 70 percent of Earth’s surface and shelter the same percentage of biomass. They are essential for life: they produce oxygen, absorb CO2 (25% of our annual production of CO2) and regulate climate and temperature. Sixty percent of human beings live less the 60 km away from a coast; 23% of people live less than 100 kilometers from a coast and less than 100 meters above sea level.
The oceans are grossly under-represented, compared to forests, in the climate change negotiations taking place in Copenhagen (COP 15), despite the fact that human activities are exposing the “Silent World,” championed by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, to a threat of biodiversity degradation through acidification not known in 20 million years!
The Cousteau Society is calling all the Calypso veterans:
On the occasion of the restoration of Calypso, we wish to get together all who took part in Cousteau's adventure and Calypso's legend.
Francine Cousteau, President of the Cousteau Society and sister organization Equipe Cousteau, has accomplished what may be Calypso´s most challenging voyage. Under Mrs. Cousteau´s direction, the mythical ship of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau has arrived at the Piriou Shipyard in Brittany, France, where she will be completely refurbished.
A fossil fish suggests early evidence for sexual reproduction
A new study published in Nature revealed that fish swimming 380 millions years ago may have sexual reproduction in a way similar to modern sharks.
World Ocean Census - Extract 26 - The path forward
Some news stories of the past decade are shocking, almost unbelievable. They range from the “great Pacific garbage patch” – a flotilla of trash nearly the size of Africa that tends to trap and kill marine life – to reports of massive coral reef bleaching and destruction, to vast dead zones, void of oxygen, that can no longer support life. When you dig deeper, past the headlines, into what scientists have actually discovered, some of the stories become more convincing, and in some cases the news is truly ominous.
Watching climate change
Cool(e)motion artwork wanders with Arctic ice to show the effects of global warming on Greenlanders.
Discover amazing extracts from the World Ocean Census book
The Cousteau Society presents extracts from the remarkable book World Ocean Census: A Global Survey of Marine Life, which is an insider's description of the comprehensive Census of Marine Life and what it reveals about a seriously threatened ecosystem.
Follow Cousteau on the oceans of Google Earth !
Cousteau movies are now visible on the new virtual oceans of Google Earth ! While exploring the coasts and oceans of the world on Google Earth, each icon of Captain Cousteau wearing his famous red hat is a new invitation to dive under the surface and discover the underwater world with the divers of The Cousteau Society!
New study harpoons Antarctic minke population boom
Researchers used genetics to determine pre-whaling numbers for Antarctic minke whales and concluded that the current population is not unusually abundant. In the ongoing debate about whale management, it has been suggested that commercial whaling of larger animals led to a population explosion in the number of smaller minke whales that is currently inhibiting the recovery of depleted species. Now, there is good reason to dismiss the argument that minkes need to be killed in order to save blue, sei, fin and humpback whales as specious.
Dolphin signature whistles
Researchers from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews (UK) showed that bottlenose dolphins use a “signature whistle” – their own unique calls – to introduce themselves when meeting up with another group.
The Opel Earth Project visits the Cousteau Society projects in Mexico.
Opel/Vx will launch an expedition called “Opel Project Earth” to four of the most endangered climate zones. The expedition will enable the next generation of scientists and selected guests from all over Europe to visualize the biggest threat for nature as well as practical solutions for sustainability and conservation.
Antarctic climate change review finds ozone surprise
The British Antarctic Survey has published the first comprehensive review of the state of Antarctica’s climate and its relationship to the global climate system. Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment, based on the latest findings of 100 scientists from 13 countries, focuses on the impact and consequences of rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and the Southern Ocean; rapid ice loss in parts of Antarctica and the increase in sea ice around the continent; the impact of climate change on Antarctica’s plants and animals; the unprecedented increase in carbon dioxide levels; the connections between human-induced global change and natural variability; and the extraordinary finding that the ozone hole has shielded most of Antarctica from global warming, delaying the impact of greenhouse gas increases on the climate of the continent.
100th Anniversary of Captain Cousteau’s birth - Submit your proposal!
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910, in Saint André de Cubzac, Gironde in France. One hundred years later, we are celebrating the anniversary of the man who made an indelible impression on our planet and its oceans.
Adaptation to climate change
Researchers have used 33 years of data on a population of yellow-bellied marmots in Colorado to explain, step by step, how climate change can affect animal life. Over that time frame, the rodents have been waking from hibernation and giving birth earlier in the spring. As a result, the marmots have more time to fatten up before going into hibernation for the winter. That means greater fitness and higher survival rates. The mean body mass for adults (2+ years old) increased from 6.8 pounds to 7.6 pounds. This was associated with an accelerated population increase, dominated by older individuals, from an average of .56 marmots per year between 1976 and 2001 to an average of 14.2 marmots per year subsequently.
2010 – International Year of Biodiversity
The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity to call public attention to the status and consequences of the decline in the world’s biodiversity.
A JY Cousteau marine observatory in Mexico.
Nagoya Biodiversity Summit: What can we really expect from the Tenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity?
According to the United Nations, the extinction rate of plants and animals is already up to a thousand times higher than any previous time in history. The causes include over-exploitation of resources, pollution, habitat modification and climate change. The World Conservation Union’s Red List shows that one-third of all assessed species are under threat of extinction.
It ain’t easy being a brown pelican
Brown pelicans in California nearly died out in the 1960s from the effects of DDT. Since the pesticide was banned, the birds have been recovering and seemed to be out of danger until a recent plague of deaths and illness.
IWC plenary session adjourned for one and one-half days
Following the administrative opening of the plenary session of the International Whaling Commission on Monday 21st June, Vice Chair Anthony Liverpool adjourned the meeting for one and one-half days. During this period, Commissioners would meet in small groups to negotiate the proposed Consensus Decision for the Conservation of Whales in private; non-governmental organizations like the Cousteau Society are prohibited from many areas of the Convention Centre, where the action takes place, lest they interfere with the lobbying efforts of compromise advocates.
To protect Oceans and people who depend on them, we MUST stabilize CO2 concentration around 350 ppm !
Press release - Cousteau
The planet’s seas and oceans cover 70 percent of Earth’s surface and shelter the same percentage of biomass. They are essential for life: they produce oxygen, absorb CO2 and regulate climate and temperature. Sixty percent of humanity live less then 60 km away from a coast. Since 1750, 30-50% of the global CO2 emissions have been absorbed by the oceans. This has helped slowing down climate change but it entails a disturbing change in the chemistry of sea water: acidification. Ocean acidity has increased by 30% since the industrial revolution, and will rise by 150% by 2050 if we don’t react. It would be a modification 100 times faster than any of the changes in acidity that occurred in the last 20 million years, leaving very little chance for biological systems to adapt. Many marine species such as the planktonic pteropods which are the basis for many food chains, and corals could disappear, causing major ripple effects throughout ecosystems and food webs and ultimately affecting even the largest animals, as well as many fisheries.
State of the World's Forests report 2009
The 2009 edition of the biennial “State of the World's Forests” report was published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday 16 March 2009.
Six key messages from the Copenhagen Congress on climate change
The international scientific congress on Climate Change "Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions" has been attended by more than 2 500 delegates from 80 countries in Copenhagen, (Denmark). The conclusions will be published in June 2009. However, the Congress' Scientific Writing team has already delivered six preliminary key messages during the closing session of the congress on Thursday 12 March:
Super-sized livers help shark pups survive
Sharks abandon their pups as soon as they are born, but scientists from the Bangor University (UK), the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science who studied shark data records over 30 years from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa have shown that they provide their pups with huge livers to live off while they are able to hunt.
World Ocean Census - Extract 21 - Identifying the drifters
While the typical process of species identification is laborious, for some scientists the Census made their labors much more exciting and efficient. Census taxonomists who study zooplankton, for example, were given a unique opportunity to take the identification process to sea.
Fifty years ago, on January 23, 1960, Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh descended in the bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, approximately 35,800 feet, setting a record for manned diving that still holds today.
Cop 15 featured
Cousteau Society,special guest at the Cinema Planeta Environmental Film Festival
Equipe Cousteau/Cousteau Society is a special guest at the third Cinema Planeta Environmental Film Festival in Cuernavaca, Mexico’s “Land of Eternal Spring.” The 2011 Festival, March 11-19, is dedicated to Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau; three Cousteau films will be screened as well as a cartoon for schools participating in the event. Faustine Martinez and Noémie Stroh are representing Cousteau at the Festival.
World Ocean Census - Extract 17 - Life in a cold seep environment
Several animals have developed highly specialized relationships with cold-seep bacteria. One of these, a clam, obtains its food from the bacteria. How does this happen?
100th Anniversary of Captain Cousteau’s birth
Tributes to Jacques Cousteau all around the world :
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910, in Saint André de Cubzac, Gironde in France. One hundred years later, we are celebrating the anniversary of the man who made an indelible impression on our planet and its oceans.
When Captain Cousteau and his crew set sail on Calypso to explore the world, no one knew yet about the effects of pollution on marine ecosystems, of over-exploitation on resources and of manmade destruction on coastal zones.
The adventures of Calypso were captured on film and drew the public’s attention to the ecological disasters caused by human negligence. Captain Cousteau, through his work and his life, was a leader in environmental awareness. He left it to the Cousteau Society and Equipe Cousteau, the two not-for-profit organizations he founded, to continue his mission.
Whale Shark Expedition 2009 to Djibouti.
The Whale Shark Expedition is a project undertaken by Danilo Rezzolla, a researcher at the Milan Aquarium and members of the Italian Shark Research Group. The project is supported by Cousteau and is one of several initiatives in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden that are tied to the Cousteau program Divers Aware of Sharks. Danilo Rezzolla takes amateur divers to participate in research activities on a two-week expedition, exploring marine diversity in a new way!
Pierre-Yves Cousteau interview on Ordinary People Extraordinary Planet
Alcyone is moving to Caen
Alcyone is leaving today (Feb. 20, 2009) the harbour of Concarneau to move to Caen, where PAtrice Quesnel, Captain of the Alcyone is living.
Shipwreck Exploration Yields Oldest Champagne
In a moment reminiscent of the Cousteau team’s taste of a 2,000-year-old Greek wine a half-century ago, (“a poor vintage,” wrote Captain Cousteau), seven Swedish divers may have unearthed the world’s oldest drinkable champagne while exploring a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea. Looking for a clue to the ship’s age or identity, the divers brought up one of about 30 bottles they found lying nearby. When they tasted the contents, they were delighted to find out that it was a drinkable, sweet bubbly wine. The cold, calm conditions of the seafloor 180 feet down helped preserve it. The bottle is unlabeled but the cork is marked with an anchor, which has led to speculation that the wine is a Veuve Cliquot made by Moët & Chandon. The exact location of the remaining bottles is being kept a secret until they are recovered. Meanwhile authorities are trying to sort out who has legal claim to the wreck: it lies near the Aland Islands between Sweden and Finland.
Wikileaks whaling discussions
Des télégrammes diplomatiques américains révèlent que, malgré l’opposition de l’administration Obama à la chasse à la baleine, les Etats-Unis poussaient l’Australie, la Nouvelle-Zélande et la Commission Européenne à accepter un compromis avec le Japon, qui aurait permit la chasse à la baleine commerciale et scientifique.
Climate change conference Sponsored by Rutgers University and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
Scientists, environmental experts and government officials will meet Thursday in Little Egg Harbor Township for a conference on how coastal communities can deal with climate change.
Francine Cousteau, Ambassadress for the Danube Delta, calls for countries to take responsibility to prevent toxic mud
Since October 4, Hungary has suffered from an unprecedented environmental catastrophe: a reservoir belonging to Magyar Aluminum (MAL), ruptured, for unknown reasons, and poured a mini-tsunami of more than 1.1 million cubic meters of red sludge full of heavy metals and acids into the Raab River, a tributary of the Danube. The caustic mud devastated everything in its path, killed half-a-dozen people and destroyed the fauna and flora in its way.
The Cousteau Society sends deepest condolences to Japan
On behalf of our board, staff and members, the Cousteau Society wishes to send our deepest condoleances to the people of Japan following the devastating eartquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
The Cousteau society have been able to speak at the IWC
The Cousteau Society took the floor for an intervention at the plenary meeting of the International Whaling Commission on Thursday, June 24, during a block of time allowed to non-governmental organizations representing civil society. Despite expressing a wish to expand the participation of NGOs, the Commission once again reduced the allocated time to one half-hour and only eight organizations—five speaking on behalf of conservation and three pro-whaling spokespersons—were allowed the floor.
As the plenary session approached the end of its session, the delegation of France, supported by Sweden and Ecuador, insisted that the NGOs be heard in light of previous postponement of the speeches.
Below is the intervention made by the Cousteau Society’s representative Noémie Stroh:
Inauguration of Cinema Planeta Festival in homage to Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau
An inaugural soiree opened the third year of the Cinema Planeta Festival, which is dedicated to France. The evening event, introduced by the Festival’s sponsor, actress Elizabeth Cervantes, before an audience of more than 2,000, took place by a lake in the luxuriant Borda Garden. This garden was the residence of wealthy families in the colonial era and today is the site of many cultural events.
Chile pays tribute to Captain Cousteau
During this centennial year celebrating Captain Cousteau, and in honor of his life’s work, the government of Chile, in collaboration with the Alkance Communicaciones agency and publisher Tiempo presente, has invited Pierre-Yves Cousteau and the Cousteau team to visit the country from November 15 to November 18.
A new model for the management of Marine Protected Areas
A recent study published in Ocean & Coastal Management* presents a new conceptual framework to evaluate the efficiency of the Marine Protected Areas (MPA). The study is framed by the EMPAFISH project, which studies the effectiveness of MPAs in different European countries. The study aims to define and debate the ecological and socioeconomic variables that can be used as indicators in order to evaluate MPA efficiency.
Conference at the Biosphere in Montreal
Tarik Chekchak, Director for Science and Environment presents a conference "Marine Biodiversity: Serving and Inspiring Humanity?" at the Biosphere in Montréal.
Oil spill : Fallibility of human technology strikes again!
A Global Survey of Marine Life in a book
The Census of Marine Life was launched in 2000 with the goal of producing the first-ever ocean census by 2010. Two thousand scientists from 82 nations agreed to the mandate to answer three important questions:
* What once lived in the global ocean?
* What is living there now?
* What will live there in the future?
Darlene Trew Crist, an award-winning writer, Gail Scowcroft, the associate director of the Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island and James M. Harding, Jr., a marine scientist and educator at the University of Rhode Island joined forces and talents to write the World Ocean Census - A Global Survey of Marine Life, an insider's description of the comprehensive Census of Marine Life and what it reveals about a seriously threatened ecosystem.
World Ocean Census - Extract 25 - Changes in fisheries practice help whales
All is not completely bleak, however. Another Census study has shown how better management of the lobster fishery in Maine may benefit North Atlantic right whales, which remain critically endangered despite more than 70 years of protection. Their recovery is being hindered by accidental mortality caused by ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
US Congress honors Captain Cousteau.
The US House of Representatives agreed 354-0 to Resolution 518 “honoring the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, explorer, researcher, and pioneer in the field of marine conservation,” on June 8, 2010. The Resolution was introduced by Representative Ilena Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, with 13 cosponsors, in time for the 100th anniversary of Captain Cousteau’s birth.
World Ocean Census - Extract 18 - Seamount
Seamounts are literally undersea mountains, which are usually defined as fully submerged mountains or hills rising 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) or more from the ocean floor. They are found throughout the world’s oceans, many in international waters, where they are governed by a complex array of multinational treaties.
Global warming and the white possum
Focusing on one obscure creature demonstrates the impact of climate change, a lesson that underlines how polar bears are not the only creatures that suffer.
David Wolper dies
Producer David Wolper died in Los Angeles on August 10 at the age of 82. A major force in the television industry, Wolper was key to the introduction of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” to American audiences in 1966. According to longtime friend Art Buchwald, Wolper and Captain Cousteau, who had previously co-produced a documentary for National Geographic, developed the idea for the television specials during a visit at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, where Cousteau was director. “For the first time,” says Wolper, “television was not simply an outside observer of an important event—television was an integral part of the event.” The power of film to transmit true tales from the ocean world began a new era for the medium.
World Ocean Census - Extract 10 - Census data available to the world
Census of Marine Life scientists are gathering a growing bank of data about marine life. They are analyzing and compiling this information, sharing it with a community of ocean scientists worldwide, and making it publicly accessible through an online database. Because all the data produced by Census projects are being made available, it is becoming possible to generate a comprehensive picture of marine biodiversity in the past, present and future.
Worldwide Centennial Celebrations Of Jacques Cousteau’s Birth Begin
Year-long plan includes re-launch of iconic vessel Calypso for marine education tour; new Cousteau Divers program
Documentary with National Geographic to contrast conditions in Mediterranean today with Cousteau’s films of the 1940s
Legendary marine explorer, inventor, innovator, filmmaker and environmental activist Jacques Cousteau was born June 11, 1910 in Saint André de Cubzac, a small town in southwest France.
To mark the centennial of his birth, the Cousteau Society is launching a year-long celebration in Paris with Cousteau’s global legion of admirers, and welcomes proposals from around the world .
The re-launch and tour of Calypso, the ship aboard which Cousteau created many of the world’s first glimpses of deep-sea life, will highlight the end of the centennial in 2011.
World Ocean Census - Extract 2 - The great unknown
Second amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: The Light zone and The Dark zone
Gulf Oil States move to include alternative energy
The fifth World Water Forum opens in Istanbul
The World Water Forum was launched on Monday 16 March 2009 in Istanbul (Turkey). It is held only every three years and aimed at addressing the deepening international crisis of water. The forum will address problems of water scarcity, the risk of conflict as countries squabble over rivers, lakes and aquifers, and how to provide clean water and sanitation to billions.
Sylvia Earle won the TED Prize 2009
Sylvia Earle, the legendary ocean researcher is one of the three winners of the TED Prize 2009. Her TED Prize wish is that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.
World Ocean Census - Extract 5 - In quest of a zero-year baseline
Fifth amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Painting a Picture of the past - In quest of a zero-year baseline.
Project remOcean: submarine robotics observe the deep ocean
The Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer is launching the remOcean project (“remotely-sensed biogeochemical cycles in the Ocean”) using profiling floats, a new generation of underwater robots that can “yoyo” between the surface and depths of about 2,000 meters. The system will improve understanding of the role of phytoplankton (tiny floating plants that are the basic organisms for transforming CO2 into biological material) in the ocean’s carbon cycle.
Only porbeagle sharks win trade protection at CITES.
Sharks, like bluefin tuna and red and pink corals, failed to gain the necessary three-quarters majority required to restrict their trade on international markets. The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting in Doha, Qatar, denied proposals to protect the oceanic whitetip, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, dusky, sandbar and spiny dogfish sharks.
World Ocean Census - Extract 24 - The demise of the great sharks
Ecologists have long understood that a reduction in predators affects the entire food web, that complex network of interactions between plants and animals that tells us who is eating what or whom. Census researchers investigating this premise determined that loss of predator species from oceanic food webs can cause long-lasting changes in the ecosystem that may be irreversible.
Human Right to water
The Fifth World Water Forum ended on Sunday 22 March following seven days of debates. The Forum recorded a record of 25 000 participants. However, the final statement stirs up a controversy among the participating countries.
Cousteau in Mexico : a second observatory
The Cousteau Observatory, Gulf of Mexico branch, opened its doors in Merida ,Yucatan, on Thursday, November 19, in the presence of Francine Cousteau, President of Equipe Cousteau and the Cousteau Society, His Excellency the Ambassador of France to Mexico Daniel Parfait, the Governor of the State of Yucatán Ivonne Aracelly Ortega Pacheco the Director General of CINVESTAV, Dr René Asomoza, surrounded by prestigious scientists.
National Geographic and The Cousteau Society present rediscovery of the Mediterranean
Expedition reveals changes at sites where Jacques-Yves Cousteau first filmed underwater 65 years ago
BARCELONA, Spain (July 2, 2010)—The Cousteau Society and National Geographic scientists and filmmakers returned today from their flagship expedition aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s legendary vessel Alcyone, which has been documenting the Mediterranean now — and in the past.
Save the Dugong Campaign
The Dugong (Dugong dugon) is a herbivorous marine mammal that lives in a large area covering 37 countries and territories. In most of these countries and territories, however, the dugong is on the verge of extinction.
One urgent case is in Okinawa, Japan, where the northernmost dugongs in this habitat face the possibility of extinction due to the Japanese and US governments’ plan to construct a US Marine Corps facility.
Festival to crown celebration of Darwin anniversaries
Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work On the Origin of Species are being celebrated in 2009 by a welter of scientific and educational institutions worldwide.
Cousteau shark advocate
Pierre-Yves Cousteau spent a week visiting communities in the Bahamas in January, with a two-fold purpose: to spread word of his Cousteau Divers initiative and to bolster efforts to protect sharks in the region.
At the invitation of the Bahamas National Trust and the Pew Environment Group, Pierre-Yves spoke with students, fishermen and conservationists about the importance of sharks to the ecology and economy of the Bahamas, one of the last few areas in the world with healthy shark populations. The lack of a local market for shark meat and a 20-year-old ban on long-line fishing are credited with protecting the fish; in fact, the biggest economic contribution of sharks to the local economy comes in the form of a $78-million recreational diving industry that features swimming with sharks.
International Year of Astronomy
Equipe Cousteau is organizing the Antibes International Underwater and Adventure Film Festival.
Beginning in 2010, Equipe Cousteau and experts in diving and film organize the prestigious festival, christened “Mediterranea - International Underwater and Adventure Film Festival,” in collaboration with the Office of Tourism of Antibes Juan- les-Pins.
A spectacular new species of mushroom
A mushroom recently found in southern New Caledonia is shocking pink and startlingly tall. A team of researchers from the Tropical Symbiosis Laboratory at the Noumea IRD Centre and Museum of Natural History named the new species Podoserpula mirand for the amazement it sparked. It lives deep in the forest in symbiosis with “gum” oak trees, from which it rises in elongated “cups” to a height of 10 cm.
61st Meeting of the International Whaling Commission
61st Meeting of the International Whaling Commission – Madeira, June 22-26, 2009
Portugal and the magnificent island of Madeira, where whales move peacefully offshore, hosted the 61st meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), where whales were the focus of not-so-peaceful negotiations. The Cousteau Society sent two representatives—Clark Lee Merriam from the US office and Noémie Stroh from the Paris office—as official observers to monitor discussions.
Creation of an Institute for water management in Brazil: the HydroEX UNESCO Institute
The project, which was initiated by the State of Minas Gerais, is run in partnership with The Institute for Water Education in Delft, Hollande and various national institutions.
Forests' role as carbon sinks at risk
On the occasion of the UN Forum on Forests, which begins today, Monday 20 April 2009 in New York a new study “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment” coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) damage to forests from climate change could cost the planet its major keeper of greenhouse gases.
New Rules For Responsible Whale Watching In The Pacific
The first regional guidelines for responsible whale and dolphin watching across the Pacific Islands were launched on Sunday 29 March, on the eve of the first International Conference for Marine Mammal Protected Areas in Maui, Hawaii.
International Whaling Commission Accomplishes Little at Intersessional
Cousteau’s observer at the intersessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is disappointed by the lack of serious movement toward conservation or transparency.
Bird migration linked to predation pressure
Arctic shorebirds travel thousands of miles to their breeding sites in the far north. A recent study finds that the substantial energy cost of such long migrations is balanced by higher survivability in a remote, harsh landscape.
EDGE Coral Reefs targets ten threatened species for conservation focus.
Led by scientists at the Zoological Society of London, UK, the EDGE (evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered) Coral Reefs project has identified ten coral reef species in most urgent danger of extinction. The project will work regionally to support and train in-country conservationists to carry out research and lead protective actions. Part of the solution will be establishing more marine reserves. Initially lasting for two years, the project will begin operating in the “coral triangle” around the Philippines, the Mozambique Channel and the Caribbean Channel.
Riquet Goiran: Last dive
Henri Goiran, called Riquet, veteran of Calypso, has rejoined the silent world after one last return to New Caledonia, which he loved so much. His ashes were spread today in one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world to be forever reunited with the waves and sea spray.
The Cove wins the Oscar
The ingenious, funny and tragic expose of a brutal dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan, wins the top American film award for a feature documentary. The producers of the movie expect the recognition to help widen awareness of it in Japan, where it is due to be released in early summer.
National Geographic and The Cousteau Society begin rediscovery of the Mediterranean
Will revisit sites where Jacques-Yves Cousteau first filmed underwater 65 years ago
Marseille, France (June 4, 2010)—The Cousteau Society and National Geographic scientists and filmmakers today launch a unique expedition from Marseille, France, aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s legendary research vessel Alcyone to explore the Mediterranean now — and in the past.
Polar marine biodiversity - Rich and threatened
500 researchers from more than 25 countries involved in two international science research programs focused on Polar region, the Arctic Ocean Diversity (ArcOD) and the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) revealed an astonishing diversity of species in both Artic and Antarctic oceans. The Polar marine biodiversity is now obvious, it is thus time to conserve it!
A camera reveals feeding interaction between albatross and killer whale
Cousteau Centennial – Tribute from Brazilian Congress
The National Congress of Brazil pays unanimous homage to the work of Captain Jacques Cousteau on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
The National Congress of Brazil presented to Francine Cousteau the Legislative Medal of Merit, the institution’s highest distinction.
Oil spill: Harte Institute seeks lessons from the past
BP has completed installation of a capping stack on the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico and oil has stopped gushing for the first time since April 20. This latest and tentatively successful attempt closed the flow over more than week of cautious testing and is being closely monitored for signs that the well’s integrity could be compromised. Progress inches toward a mid-August completion of relief wells that are expected to be a permanent solution.
NOAA Issues Summary Report of Oil Fate
As soon as a “top kill” operation apparently stopped the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, the US government agency leading the response to the devastating blowout issued a five-page update on the oil. (See the entire report HERE). According to the findings, a total of 4.9 million barrels of oil escaped from the well, making it the second largest spill ever. A pie chart shows that 25% of the total was removed by burning, skimming or direct recovery; 25% naturally dissolved or evaporated; 24% dispersed, naturally or chemically; 26% remains as surface sheen and tar balls or has washed ashore and been disposed of. Despite the soothing spin of the report—repeated assurances that the oil is biodegrading, that numerous scientists are working on assessment and that agencies are continuing to monitor—there are virtually no data nor references to data that could be verified by independent researchers. Government promises of transparency have been smothered by red tape and legal restrictions that continue to hamper access to sites or information. The report has been received with little confidence in its accuracy and a great deal of demand for more.
Protection proposals for Atlantic bluefin tuna rejected
On both sides of the Atlantic, efforts to protect the declining stock of bluefin tuna have been rejected. Scientists have estimated that the annual bluefin catch is about 61,000 tons, twice the agreed legal limit, and recommended a cut to less than 15,000 tons.
World Ocean Census - Extract 13 - Polar opposites, differences in the ice oceans
Antarctica and the Arctic are literally polar opposites, but geography is only one of many differences between these regions. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean and virtually covered in ice, while the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents and by Greenland. The physical characteristics of these regions create differences in the sea ice found in them. The landmasses that nearly surround the Arctic Ocean serve as barriers to the movement of sea ice – hence, making it not as mobile as the sea ice surrounding Antarctica. Arctic sea ice does, however, shift and move within its ocean basin; the floes tend to bump into and pile up on one another, forming thick ice ridges. These converging ice floes help to make Arctic ice thicker than the unconstricted sea ice found in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica.
Future of the bluefin tuna debated in Paris
The 17th meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) opened November 17 in Paris. The 48 members of the Commission, all fishing countries, have ten days to decide on catch quotas for the bluefin tuna, whose stocks have fallen by 85 percent in 30 years. In addressing ICCAT, John Scanlon, Secretary-General of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), recalled that, at its March 2010 meeting, CITES had failed to agree to limitations on trade in bluefin tuna and noted that “the debate was on the role of ICCAT in the conservation and sustainable use of the species.”
CITES rejects trade ban on bluefin tuna
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species rejected today in Doha (Qatar) the proposal introduced by Monaco aiming to ban the export of Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna.
All sea-level rise is not created equal
The collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is one of the major threats in climate change scenarios because models estimate it could lead to a sea-level rise of about five meters.
World Ocean Census - Extract 12 - Disappearing Ice oceans
Dramatic change is occurring at the opposite poles of our planet. A climatic shift caused by global warming is leaving an indelible mark on the “ice oceans” and the creatures that inhabit them. The ice at the poles has always grown and shrunk with the seasons. However, as global average temperatures rise, the overall amount of ice at the poles is shrinking. Each year during the month of September, the amount of sea ice floating in the Arctic Ocean is typically at its lowest for that year. In 2007, however, the loss of Arctic sea ice in September set a modern-day record: the ice cover shrank to about 4.1 million square kilometers (1.6 million square miles) – 43 percent less than in 1979, when accurate satellite observations first began.
Appeasement not compromise
The International Whaling Commission has released the end-product of a tortuous three-year maneuver to negotiate a compromise with its three whaling member nations (Japan, Norway and Iceland). The result is a “Proposed Consensus Decision to Improve the Conservation of Whales” that would essentially reinstitute commercial whaling. Although the text is billed as “talking points” and “examples,” it will be presented for acceptance at the IWC meeting this June in Agadir, Morocco.
Plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean EnDangered (MED) has released the first findings from a three-year program of expeditions to sample plastic pollution.
Preserving medicinal plants helps preserve ecosystems.
US protects sharks
President Barack Obama signed into force the Shark Conservation Act, which prohibits all shark finning by US vessels and in US waters, two weeks after Congress passed the bill.
World Ocean Census - Extract 3 - Ice Oceans
Third amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Ice Oceans
The decline in a population of Atlantic puffins could be due to the degradation of conditions in the North Sea.
A study published in the journal Marine Biology* used geolocation technology to track Atlantic puffins from the Isle of May National Natural Reserve in the North Sea. The research team found that a recent decline of 30% observed in the bird population since 2003 could be due to worsening climate conditions in the North Sea.
Dramatic decline of Australian bird populations
Biologists from Monash University, Deakin University and the University of Melbourne have studied the composition and distribution of bird communities in Victoria, in southeastern Australia, over a period of 15 years. Two-thirds of the species that were monitored showed a dramatic decline in abundance.
Future of the bluefin tuna: Decision at Doha
The 15th session of the Conference of Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) opens on Saturday, March 13. At stake will be a proposal to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna in Appendix I of CITES, effectively banning commercial trade in the fish.
World Ocean Census - Extract 9 - Collecting specimen
Ninth amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Expanding the use of technology - Collecting specimen.
World Ocean Census - Extract 14 - Coral reefs in the Northwest Hawaiian islands
In October 2006 the first expedition was launched to survey the coral reef environment of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, an untouched marine wilderness and the world’s most remote island sanctuary.
Aquatic ecosystems threatened by the size of non-native fish
Fish that were introduced into streams and rivers over the past 150 years have altered the average size of fish in many areas of the world. A study published in Ecology Letters shows that the species of introduced fish are larger than those found naturally in the water courses, which poses a heightened risk of modifying aquatic ecosystems.
World Ocean Census - Extract 22 - Eyes and ears in the deep
Outside of the polar regions, the rest of the deep, dark zone of the ocean – from 200 meters to more than 5,000 meters (660–16,500 feet) deep – has also contributed its fair share of new species.
Thousands of whales saved from whalers
The Cousteau Society spoke in the name of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who would be 100 years old this month of June 2010, during the plenary session the International Whaling Commission, on Thursday, June 24. The Cousteau Society called for the Commission to focus on its conservation-related work, which has achieved brilliant success while, historically, the IWC has failed miserably at regulating whaling.
World Ocean Census - Extract 16 - Hydrothermal vents
Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and their associated fauna were first discovered in 1977 along the Galapagos Rift in the eastern Pacific. It is now known that these extraordinary seafloor hot springs are found along the 48,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) of mid-ocean ridges that form Earth’s largest continuous volcanic system.
Ocean acidity will dissolve the shells of living shellfish
Researchers in the Laboratoire d'Océanographie at Villefranche (LOV) (CNRS / UPMC) have just demonstrated that key marine organisms, such as deep-water corals and pteropods (shelled pelagic mollusks) will be profoundly affected by the increase of ocean acidity caused by carbon dioxide emissions, whereas they are playing essential roles in their ecosystems.
Equipe Cousteau at French Sea Summit
Jean-Louis BORLOO, France’s Minister of State and Minister of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Land Management announced on February 27, 2009, that a Sea Summit will call together five groups – the State, elected officials, social partners (employers and employees) and environmental protection organizations—as well as companies and qualified leaders, chosen according to the themes to be addressed.
World Ocean Census - Extract 4 - Whaling Logs, Menus and Other Records
Fourth amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Painting a Picture of the past - Whaling Logs, Menus and Other Records.
New Calypso's engines delivered to Francine Cousteau!
Calypso refurbishing has reached a new step: Calypso's new Volvo engines have been delivered yesterday (Feb. 15, 2009) to Francine Cousteau, President of The Cousteau Society and Equipe Cousteau.
World Ocean Census - Extract 8 - Using sound to see underwater
Eighth amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Expanding the use of technology - Using sound to "see" underwater.
Tribute to Captain Cousteau, Chile
Pierre-Yves Cousteau, Joël Le Bail and Faustine Martinez have returned from their trip to Chile, where they accepted a magnificent tribute, on behalf of Captain Jacques Cousteau
European Commission mulls strengthening shark-finning ban
A public consultation document released November 15 by the European Commission includes an option to amend the EU ban on shark-finning. Two years ago, the EU pledged to strengthen the ban on the practice of slicing the fins from a shark on board a fishing vessel and discarding the rest of the carcass at sea.
World Ocean Census - Extract 1 - The light zone and the dark zone
First amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: The Light zone and The Dark zone
World Ocean Census - Extract 20 - The name game
"New species aren’t really new, they are just new to us. These creatures have been out there for millions of years and we are just now fortunate enough to find them and have the technology to examine them."
– Steven Haddock, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, member of the Census of Marine Zooplankton Steering Committee
The Cove wins Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival
Oceans acidification accelerates 100 times faster than natural pace!
More than 150 scientists signed the Monaco Declaration, sounding an alarm about the increasing acidity of the ocean. The Declaration states, in part, “We, the scientists who met in Monaco to review what is known about ocean acidification, declare that we are deeply concerned by recent, rapid changes in the chemistry of the oceans and their potential, within decades, to severely affect marine organisms, food webs, biodiversity, and fisheries.” The world’s marine ecosystems risk being seriously compromised by ocean acidification, barring drastic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, the scientists warn.
United Nations climate change conference kicks off in Copenhagen to clinch ambitious climate change deal
The highly anticipated conference opened today in Copenhagen (Denmark). This two-week meeting, the fifteenth Conference of the 193 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fifth meeting of the 189 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, is the culmination of a process set in motion in Bali, where Parties to the UNFCCC agreed to conclude negotiations on a new global deal in Denmark in 2009.
Whale poop as carbon sink!
The thought may be disconcerting but sperm whale feces are now recognized as one way Nature fights global warming. A study by Australian and German researchers has shown that the high iron content of whale excrement, released near the ocean’s surface, stimulates the growth of phytoplankton. In turn, these tiny aquatic plants take up CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow, trapping the carbon. Other marine mammals, like beaked whales, could similarly help offset greenhouse gases.
World Ocean Census - Extract 6 - Unlocking the mystery of the disappearing tuna
Sixth amazing extract from The World Ocean Census: A global survey of marine life: Painting a Picture of the past - Unlocking the mystery of the disappearing tuna .
The Deep partners with Cousteau to study manta rays.
The Deep a charitable public aquarium located in Hull, in England, recognized for its ethical educational and environmental programs. A partnership agreement has been signed between Cousteau and The Deep as part of an ambitious program developed by Cousteau in the Red Sea to study and protect sharks and rays. The Deep has expressed a wish to make a significant contribution to that part of the program concerning the iconic manta ray.
EU shark plan
World Ocean Census - Extract 23 - Visualizing the invisible
Technological advances have made it possible to identify new life-forms that only a few years ago were virtually impossible to see. A revolutionary new DNA technique, 454 tag sequencing, requires only small snippets of genetic code to identify an organism. With its help, Census scientists have revealed that the diversity of marine microbes may be some 10 to 100 times greater than expected.
Consequences of shark declines
A new review of documented changes in shark populations shows that the fish are vulnerable to even light fishing pressure and that fewer large predatory sharks can entail cascading changes in ecosystems.
Croatia and Hungary agree on river reserve
An area of approximately 630,000 hectares along the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers has been declared a Trans-Boundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by the governments of Croatia and Hungary.
Broadcast of The Golden Fish for the 100th Anniversary of Jacques Cousteau
Protecting African manatees in the Dioulol Valley, Senegal.
Whaling Commission considers compromise
The Small Working Group of the International Whaling Commission met in Florida March 2-4 to discuss the draft proposal for a compromise that was designed to bring together pro-whaling and anti-whaling nations. The Cousteau Society and other environmental NGOs criticized the proposal as a giveaway that legitimizes forms of commercial whaling without providing conservation protection.
World Ocean Census - Extract 11 - Blue fin tuna: seafood, satellite tags and census
The majesty of the bluefin tuna has awed humans throughout our history. Their power, grace and predatory prowess have propelled them to iconic status in many societies. However, their delicious flavor is contributing to their decline. Bluefin tuna, known in the Japanese market as kuromaguro, is in high demand worldwide and commands premium prices, even as stocks steadily wane. Hence, the effort put into catching this iconic seafood has reached huge proportions.
World Wetlands Day 2010
World Wetlands Day 2010: Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change was celebrated worldwide this month. With the slogan “Caring for wetlands—an answer to climate change,” the theme links to this year’s United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity 2010 by stressing how wetlands are part of the solution to climate change.
Bluefin tuna—France reaffirms its commitment to ban trade.
Minister of the Environment Jean-Louis Borloo announced on February 2 that France will support a ban on international trade in bluefin tuna, a fish that is threatened with extinction. By stating its position in favor of listing the bluefin tuna on Appendix I of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) alongside the Principality of Monaco, France intends to shift the international diplomatic momentum toward defenders of the endangered species.
Young turtles surf the ocean currents.
A new study suggests newly hatched leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) born on beaches in Costa Rica ride fast and seasonal currents. Understanding where young turtles swim during the first stage of their life could help conservationist to preserve them.