The Path Forward for Marine Species-At-Risk in Canada: Watch our Online Science Roundtable

On July 13th, the Ecology Action Centre was joined by experts from across the country in a live science roundtable on Canada’s marine species-at-risk, now available for viewing at any time. Continue reading

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Where Do Maritimers Stand, or Swim, on Marine Protected Areas?

In 1885, Banff National Park was established as Canada’s first national park, to protect its unique and pristine area for future generations. Since that time, hundreds of other federal and provincial terrestrial parks and ecological areas have been designated to protect a variety of and biologically and culturally important environments. Continue reading

On World Tuna Day, let’s ‘tuna’ Canada’s policy on Species at Risk into something great

Today we celebrate the 6th annual World Tuna Day – an opportunity for the world to rejoice with me and my relatives! This is an interesting year for me here in Canada with some big decisions coming about how my species is going to be managed into the future. Continue reading

Canada’s Bluefin Tuna Management: Time to Get it Right

Back in August, Fisheries and Oceans Canada released its recommendations on whether or not to list several marine species as endangered or threatened under the Species At Risk Act—one of which was Atlantic bluefin tuna. Regardless of whether the government lists the species on SARA or not, these bluefin need more attention. Continue reading

Helping Sea Turtles

Photo courtesy of NASA

 

Guest contribution by Kathleen Martin

The first time I went out on a fishing boat to try and find endangered leatherback sea turtles, I asked the captain what I should be searching for. I knew what leatherbacks looked like. I’d seen a dead one and been awestruck by its enormity. And I’d seen many pictures. But this morning, as the daylight began to sparkle across the still water, we would be at sea trying to find the real thing.

The captain was securing a piece of rope. He stopped for an instant, glanced up at the horizon and said, “You’re just looking for something that’s not supposed to be there.” Then he went back to work.

It wasn’t exactly the kind of direction I was hoping for that morning. But it profoundly shaped my understanding of fishermen and their connection with the sea. In its great vicissitudes, the ocean is the landscape of their minds. What is an endless series of waves to most of us, is to them the gentle flop of a sunfish fin, a resting seabird, a seal having a peek around—and when we’re lucky, a leatherback’s head and ridged shell breaking the water’s surface.

This way of understanding the ocean can’t be taught in school. It is what binds small-scale commercial fishermen tightly to the future of the animals in the ocean. It is what has compelled hundreds of them to voluntarily help us conserve sea turtles over the almost fifteen years since my trip that morning. A passion for the sea and its inhabitants rests deep in their core.

I have spoken to thousands of people about our work with endangered sea turtles. In each of those presentations I say that the future of sea turtles depends on the cooperation of the fishermen whose gear poses the greatest threat to the turtles’ survival. And this gives me hope.

Kathleen Martin is executive director of the Canadian Sea Turtle Network. Get the sea turtle scoop on Facebook.