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Interviews

Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina

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Dr. Carl Safina is at it again, revolutionizing marine conservation with his new show on PBS, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina.  This show is a conservationists dream! Instead of focusing on the devastation found everywhere, Carl travels around the globe to highlight the people and projects that are getting things done for our oceans!  It illustrates that you don’t have to be a trained scientist to make a big impact in ocean conservation, and with enough passion anyone can do anything.
Whales-and-the-Pachico-The-Man-They-First-Approached.-Photo-by-Eddie-KisfaludyOne of my favorites was a story out of Mexicos Laguna San Ignacio and a man named Pachico Mayoral (left), previously terrified of the gray whale and its reputation as “devil fish” from the local whalers.  After meeting one of these “monsters” face to face, actually reaching out and petting it, he realized they were just curious gentle giants.  41 years later, there is a thriving eco-tourism whale watching co-op developed by the local fishermen that brings people from all over the world to experience these whales in their yearly calving grounds! You can watch the full episode from last years season here!
We had the privilege of interviewing Carl Safina about his new show, current ocean issues and what you can do to help!  You can read the interview below!

SUFB: Can you give our readers an overview of your newest adventure, the new PBS series Saving the Ocean?

Carl Safina: We travel the world for stories on how people are solving ocean-related problems.

SUFB: What was the inspiration for this series?

Carl Safina: There’s so much depressing gloom-and-doom environmental news. But there’s good news and inspiring news that people don’t get to hear. The problems are real, but we think it’s time for a little inspiration for a change.

SUFB: After watching the already released episodes I am envious of your experiences.  What has been your favorite so far and Why?

Carl Safina: Leatherback turtles.

Why? Incredible gentle giants and so ancient. You can sit with them as they lay eggs. It’s very intimate. Love ‘em.

SUFB: With all the ocean related doomsday prophecies it is great to see the successful conservation efforts from so many different backgrounds.  What do you feel to be the number one issue effecting our oceans today that is not being addressed or that needs more attention? Why? What can be done to combat it?

Carl Safina: Ocean acidification. The same carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels that is warming the atmosphere also dissolves into the ocean, where it forms carbonic acid. This is already killing oyster larvae in commercial hatcheries, and causing corals to grow slower and thinner. It will increasingly become a problem for any ocean creature with a shell because the reaction uses up calcium carbonate needed by shelled animals, and anything with gills and blood because energy will be required to continually buffer and rebalance blood pH. Nothing can be done in the short term. Long-term, we have to stop using fossil fuels and switch to clean renewables like wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, algae, maybe even nuclear though that entails a different suite of risks.

SUFB: What is your best piece of advice for budding ocean conservationists trying to get into the field?

Carl Safina: Read, think, experience, volunteer, plan a career path but stay flexible, and get as much education as you can.

SUFB: For those that are ocean minded but have chosen a different career path, what can they do to help save the oceans?

Carl Safina: Read, think, experience, volunteer, support groups doing the work that you like to see.

*Saving the Ocean’s 10 half-hour episodes are now airing on PBS stations nationwide. Dates and times vary, so please check your local listings.

Ocean Plastic

How The Clean Oceans Project Plans to Clean Up Ocean Plastic

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Ever wonder how we got a plastic Ocean? You need to watch this interview.

Did you wonder how we could clean up the plastic Ocean? You need to weatch this interview.

did you ever wonder how you could prevent plastic from going into the Ocean? Then you really need to watch this interview.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Captain Jim “Homer” Holm about the organization he co-founded called The Clean Oceans Project…and mind did he ever blow me away with the information and technilogy he is found to clean up plastic from the Oceans and preventing us from adding more plastic into our Oceans.

So YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS VIDEO to learn more about this organization because it will be big a couple of years from now. You can also get in on the action and help the Clean Oceans Project reach it’s goal of a plastic-free Ocean.


During the interview, Homer and I discuss the available technologies out there that will not only allow his organization to pick up large amounts of plastic from the Ocean, but they will help prevent the introduction of new plastic pollution into the Ocean.

Whale, Dolphin, and Seal Rescue

Get Wet and Rescue a Whale

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Photo Credit: BDMLR

How often do we need to rescue whales; rescue dolphins, or rescue seals? Well, whale, dolphin, and seal (marine mammals) strandings occur quite often; especially when your country is surrounded by the Ocean like the United Kingdom. The problem is to notice when a whale has been beached or is stranded and then to alert someone or an organization that will conduct the marine rescue. However, it is difficult to have someone patrolling the coast all the time to look out for marine mammals who are in need of our help; however, a network of individuals strectching across the U.K. can help spot troubled animals or respond faster to a rescue attempt. This network requires organization, training, and a passion to help animals in need. All of these qualities are possessed by the staff and volunteers Read More

Advocacy: How Far Do We Go To Protect the Ocean – Part 5

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The final part (Part 5) of my discussion with Arlo Hemphill on Ocean Advocacy concludes by identifying the need teamwork in Ocean Conservation. Perhaps many of the organizations should recognize and respect the work and results of other groups, whether they love the methods of others, and use those opportunities to get effective results through their own methods.

The big question is: Where Do You Fit in on Team Ocean?

Advocacy: How Far Do We Go To Protect the Ocean – Part 4

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Ocean Advocacy is most effective when the message gets out into the public. Arlo Hemphill and I continue our discussion on Ocean Advocacy by exploring the efforts to get media coverage in countries where Ocean issues are prominent. Check out a prime example told by Arlo and how his efforts were successful in getting a highly contended Ocean issue a higher priority in a different country where the people where not aware of the international protests.

Advocacy: How Far Do We Go To Protect the Ocean – Part 3

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Part 3 of my Ocean Advocacy Discussion with Arlo Hemphill deals with the Team aspects of marine conservation. There are a number of organizations which constantly test the boundaries of the law. There are also many organizations that challenge the current laws in countries to prevent the destruction of the environment and other organizations who lobby all levels of governments to change the laws. Each type of organization influence the effectiveness of the others even though they may not like the way another organization functions.

Check out our video discussion below:

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