Into the Deep Blue

By Ali Kriscenski
August 23rd, 2007, Daily Tomorrow blogs

I watched two great ocean documentaries this week: The Deep from BBC’s The Blue Planet series and another about the migration of a sea turtle from it’s birth place in Japan across the Pacific and back – didn’t catch the English title, sorry. But the sea turtle trip was incredible, especially with a stop in Hawaii. Anyhoo, I’m obviously on a bit of an ocean kick and turns out I’m not alone.

Mother Jones magazine has just released Ocean Voyager: a five part journey to defend our oceans. You can sign up by email for access to the series which follows marine hot spots with weblogs, videos and more. The series goes as follows:

Episode 1: The Fate of Fish: Chase pirates off the coast of Africa, and help prevent fish from vanishing from our seas.

Episode 2: The Dead Zone: It’s not a horror movie — it’s here in the Gulf of Mexico, and bigger than New Jersey. Find out why.

Episode 3: San Juan Orcas: Some of the world’s best-loved marine mammals face deadly toxins — and humans are not immune.

Episode 4: On Thin Ice: A mother polar bear’s dangerous trek across the Arctic, and the sea change transforming our poles.

Episode 5: Washington, D.C.: Make it political! Help friends of the ocean, and join the fight to pass vital ocean legislation.

I’m still exploring Episode 1 but it’s really good so far. I’m looking forward to the next episode with updates on The Dead Zone. I spent two weeks traveling down the Mississippi River on a field study and our trip ended near this phenomenon in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s eerie.

I’ve found some other great web resources for virtual ocean voyages. Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP):

began in 2000 as one of 17 projects of the Census of Marine Life, an ambitious 10-year, 80-nation endeavor to assess and explain the diversity and abundance of life in the oceans, and where that life has lived, is living, and will live.

Several dozen TOPP researchers from eight countries began venturing into offshore waters, remote islands, and along rugged coastlines to attach satellite tags to 22 different species of top predators that roam the Pacific Ocean. As of 2007, they have tagged more than 2,000 animals, including elephant seals, white sharks, leatherback turtles, squid, albatross and sooty shearwaters.

TOPP has also tagged solo rower Roz Savage as she crosses the Pacific and is an organizer of the Great Turtle Race which followed eleven leatherback turtles on a journey from Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands. This one is great for kids of all ages.

And speaking of Galapagos Islands, it seems that my own little marine sidekick Juanito the guppy, who was named after my Galapagos Islands tour guide, is heading to a deeper ocean so to speak so this post is in his honor. Luckily he took after his namesake and has left a legacy of little Juanitos behind to uphold his memory.