Ocean Wins: Exploration and Humans Helping Whales

This week with Ocean Wins we’re going for quality, not quantity. There are only two, but they’re good ones.

Group of locals frees entangled whale. Just off the coast of OWOO’s hometown of Laguna Beach, whale watchers came across a gray whale with over 50 feet of fishing net around its tail fluke. In the net were a sea lion, a 5-foot leopard shark, two angel sharks and various spider crabs, fish and rays, all of which were dead.

“This whale was towing an entire ecosystem behind it,” Captain Dave Anderson, of Dana Point, said.

The group of rescuers freed the whale after working for 24-hours and was surprised to see the whale stay near the boat for a short time in apparent thanks, or at least relief. Full story here.

Unknown amounts of abandoned fishing gear litter the ocean and take a toll on sealife. OWOO founders Greg and Barbara MacGillivray encountered a similarly entangled whale on a trip to Mexico’s San Ignacio Lagoon, a few weeks ago.

After following the whale through Friday night before being able to free it Saturday, one of the rescuers, who works for Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, said, “I know that we can find a whale by flashlight now.”

The whale, named Bart, after one of the rescue boats, swam free near the friendly humans. Photo courtesy DolphinSafari.com.

Whale disentaglement specialists work to free the whale. Photo courtesy DolphinSafari.com.

 

James Cameron makes solo dive to ocean’s deepest point. While this has received a ton of coverage, and we discuss the accomplishment in more depth here, it merits a mention as a win for the ocean. It doesn’t matter that Cameron didn’t find massive amounts of heretofore unknown sea life down there (nevermind that he and others probably will on subsequent dives) – the point is he got us excited, he raised global awareness of the fact that we’ve only just begun understanding the ocean through research, and he renewed the world’s wonder of our own home planet. Here’s to more such grand adventures, which appear to be coming soon, from the likes of Richard Branson and others.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic

 

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