World Oceans Day: Explore the Sounds of the Sea
In Jacques Cousteau’s words, ours is a “water planet,” one where seas cover 71% of the terrestrial surface, play the key role in regulating the climate and maintaining a breathable atmosphere, and provide a major source of nutrition to billions of people. And yet we know less about many aspects of marine life and the dynamics of how ocean currents and chemistry impact life on Earth than we do about much of the Solar System. Given how badly our species has treated the ocean and its creatures, at great risk to our own survival and wellbeing, it is critical that humanity mobilize itself to understand and protect this most vital of all ecosystems.
In that spirit, we invite you all to celebrate World Oceans Day by hearing from some leading activists and brilliantly innovative researchers who have devoted their lives to studying and defending our “water planet.”
Want more news like this? Sign up for the Bioneers Pulse to receive the latest news from the Bioneers community straight to your inbox.
Marine Mammal Conservation & How Activists Saved the Dolphins
The extreme ill effects of human activity in the ocean have been documented for decades. From irresponsible fishing techniques and oil spills to plastic pollution and global warming, the havoc humanity has brought to marine life has threatened entire species. How can we turn the tide and begin to protect what we have previously harmed?
Dave Phillips is a Co-Founder of the Earth Island Institute and Director of its International Marine Mammal Project. In this conversation, Dave discusses the ways in which he’s seen and participated in marine conservation initiatives that have saved the lives of millions of animals, and he addresses the work that still must be done.
After almost 20 years of negotiations, United Nations member countries have agreed upon an international treaty to protect oceans that lie outside national borders. This “High Seas Treaty,” which took substantive steps toward adoption on March 4, 2023, is being heralded as making enormous progress toward protecting marine life, if it is credibly enforced. Conservation experts and ocean activists Rod Fujita and Dave Phillips share their reactions to and concerns about the treaty.
Save the Date for Bioneers 2024!
Mark your calendars for March 28-30, 2024! Bioneers is coming back to Berkeley for our 35th annual conference. More information and early registration access is coming soon.
World-renowned National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala launched the National Geographic Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore and help inspire the protection of the last wild places in the ocean, an absolutely critical last-ditch effort to prevent the complete unraveling of global marine ecosystems. Made up of an extraordinary team of scientists, conservationists, filmmakers and policy experts, Pristine Seas has helped protect 6 million square kilometers of ocean habitat. Partnering with 122 different organizations and agencies across 23 countries, its work has inspired the establishment of some of the largest marine reserves in the world. In this presentation, Enric discusses the vital importance of healthy oceans to humanity’s future and what Pristine Seas hopes to accomplish in the years ahead.
Whale researcher Shane Gero shares his experiences studying sperm whales and emphasizes how fundamentally similar their lives are to our own and how their cultures define their identity. Shane explores the influence of culture in shaping individuals and societies, highlighting the role of language and cultural norms in both human and animal interactions. He advocates for a shift in wildlife conservation, urging humans to include cultural diversity as an essential component of biodiversity and to learn from whales’ powerful sense of community.
The Global Library of Underwater Sounds (GLUBS) is an exciting new project being developed to create a library of underwater soundscapes. According to Audrey Looby, one of the co-authors, the project has the potential to transform what we know about our underwater world and has profound implications for conservation, restoration and our understanding of our fellow water-dwelling animal kin.
In a major breakthrough, scientists are using algorithms to identify the clicks, calls and bleeps of marine life, as part of a 10-year project mapping noise under the sea.
The call of our time is for women to step forward to lead in new ways, embodying approaches that are adaptive, resilient, collaborative, and networked – practices that the natural world has masterfully evolved over nearly 4 billion years. With nature as your teacher, Biomimicry for Social Innovation is inviting women to explore the mountains, grasslands, and organisms of northern New Mexico, learning skills to connect with nature and translate strategies from the natural world into transformative leadership practices. This retreat is for people of all ages and backgrounds who identify as female or as non-binary, including a wide realm of gender expression. Registration closes June 15th.