We all love penguins. Clumsy and awkward on land, stealthy and precise underwater- these charismatic creatures have captured our hearts ever since the release of March of the Penguins. Unfortunately, penguin populations across the globe (especially in South Africa and Antarctica) are facing hardship. Researchers have recently concluded that African penguin populations, as well as other … More Penguin Problems: Are human-induced food shortages driving population declines?
It seems ironic that shortly after an amendment to the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill stating octopuses to be ‘sentient beings’ capable of a range of human-like emotions such as joy, pleasure, excitement, as well as pain, distress, and harm, plans of the word’s first commercial octopus farm arose. Yet that is exactly what happened with … More Farming Fiasco: The world’s first commercial octopus breeding programme
Little is known about Jeju- a Korean island- occupied by brutal Japanese troops in the 1930s and ’40s, later liberated by US forces and turned over to the even more barbarous Korean regime whose wrongdoings were overlooked by both American and U.N. occupiers. Lisa See travels back 75 years to these horrifying events and weaves … More Book Club: ‘The Island of Sea Women’ by Lisa See
Up until recently, culture has been thought of as a primarily human characteristic. However, recent studies shine a light on the fact that non-human animals including Cetaceans (dolphins and whales), may also possess it. They live in tightly-knit social communities, exhibit complex social behaviours, talk to one another and even have pod-specific dialects! A lot … More Culture Club: Time to let the cetaceans in?
Encountering the Wild in Us and Us in the Wild Norwegian and Pacific Northwest salmon industries remain largely overlooked and Martin Lee Mueller cleverly weaves the stories of artificially inseminated and reared salmon to highlight the long-standing notion of human exceptionalism and creates a critique of the widespread idea that non-human animals are little more … More Book club: ‘Being Salmon Being Human’ by Martin Lee Mueller
In the American Northwest, one of the main strategies to supposedly save endangered wild salmon has been the creation of hatcheries. While initially, this seemed to boost wild stocks and increase total biomass, the release of hatchery-reared salmon is now seen as more of a problem in itself than a ‘solution to’. While a landmark … More Pacific salmon hatcheries: More greed than a good deed?
Written by Rebecca Greatorex Freezing of animals is probably a concept you haven’t given much thought to. As humans, we can put on a hat and coat and survive out in the snow for hours on end. This is because we are endothermic, which means we produce our own heat. Some arctic animals like whales … More Baby it’s cold outside: Freezing in marine animals
Written by Rhodri Irranca “An old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect.”– Harry Houdini. Gargantuan ocean-dwelling beasts have been depicted globally in folklore since the dawn of human existence, such as the kraken described by Pontoppidan in his mid-18th century work “The Natural History of Norway”. Subsequent works … More Catch me if you can! Cephalopod defences & predator avoidance
A landmark study by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has found bottom trawling to occur in 98% of the UK’s offshore Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Their newly released ‘Marine unProtected Areas report’ outlines the issue of this destructive fishing practice in areas of protected sea life and calls for its ban. With our oceans already … More Trawling practices hit rock-bottom
Written by Rebecca Greatorex The Antarctic, as one of the most pristine environments on earth, is under the protection of a treaty agreed to by many countries to protect and preserve it. The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) protects everything south of 60oS which includes the entirety of the Antarctic Continent. It was implemented to highlight … More The Antarctic: Ecosystem Services and Future Threats