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Whale Shark Research Expediton to the Galapagaos Islands

Despite incredibly warm waters, part of the building El Niño conditions, our whale shark team, led by Turtle Island’s Science Director Alex Hearn and Jonathan Green, have finally encountered whale sharks at Darwin Arch in the Galapagos Islands.

EVENT: Blue Mind Meet the Authors Reception & Book Talk on August 22nd, 2015

Join Turtle Island’s board and staff to meet the authors at an exclusive pre-event benefit reception and a reserved seat for the Book Talk will be included in your ticket price. Enjoy wine, beer and hearty hors d’oeuvres at the beautiful Dance Palace in West Marin. Learn more about our work and enjoy a silent auction. Your ticket purchase will support our work to protect sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, salmon and our world’s oceans.

Meet Photography for a Change’s Ron Wooten

Ron is one of the featured photographer’s in Photography for a Change’s incredible online show. As a quick recap for those of you who haven’t already heard, Photography for a Change, provides exquisite photographs of our natural environs. This show features four photographers who have generously donated their images and prints to support Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Drones & Submarines Assist Scientists At Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica

During a recent scientific expedition to Cocos Island National Park (May 4-15, 2015), small two and three passenger submarines known as submersibles were used to deploy acoustic listening stations at 180 m (590 ft) depth, an inflatable boat was used to catch sharks and implant acoustic tracking tags, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones) were used to patrol from above in search of marine wildlife below. The expedition was directed by Randall Arauz, Central American Director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network (Turtle Island), in collaboration with Costa Rica’s National System of Protected Areas (SINAC) and the Cocos Island Marine Conservation Area (ACMIC), and with the companies Alucia Productions II, Precision Integrated and Aeroval.

Photography for a Change Show to Benefit Turtle Island Restoration Network

Turtle Island Restoration Network is proud to announce that we are teaming up with Photography for a Change to offer you high quality, fine art prints from top, emerging photographers. For a limited time you can purchase these stunning prints that put you in an ocean state of mind, liven up your walls and help protect our world’s oceans and marine wildlife!

UN General Assembly Will Negotiate Treaty to Protect the High Seas

fter years of working through United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process, the 27 non-profits that make up the High Seas Alliance finally convinced the United Nations General Assembly to begin work on a treat to better protect the High Seas and its marine biodiversity through a legally-binding treaty. The U.N. member states adopted the historic resolution on Friday, June 19, marking the shift to a new era of increased ocean governance of the High Seas.

Turtle Island Joins Sea Party Coalition!

The Sea Party Coalition represents coastal and inland cities and towns, businesses, fishermen, surfers, divers, boaters and other concerned citizens regardless of political affiliation who support a healthy and vibrant coastal economy and oppose proposed new oil surveying and drilling along the Atlantic Coast and in the U.S. Arctic Ocean.

El Niño Triggers Temporary Drift Gillnet Fishery Closure off Southern California

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced it will close southern California ocean waters to drift gillnets in order to protect endangered loggerhead sea turtles. This legally mandated closure went into effect June 1 according to regulation and is prompted by current El Niño conditions–warmer than normal ocean waters. The closure will stay in effect until August 31, 2015.

Endangered Sperm Whale Washes Ashore at Pacifica Beach

A 50-foot endangered sperm whale washed ashore this morning at Pacifica Beach located near the town of Pacifica, Calif. Scientists from the Marine Mammal Center and the Academy of Sciences will perform a necropsy on the whale to discover the cause of death, which is currently unknown.

Make Way for Dolphins (Day 8)

Everything was moving, the water was a bit colder, there were strong currents, and giant schools of black tuna swimming in slow circles by us. We were surrounded by life.

Shark Fin Rock, Marvelous Manta Rays & Pirate Lore (Day 7)

And that’s when we met an endangered Giant Manta Ray. Giant Manta Rays are the largest of all species of Rays and are instantly recognizable underwater by their size and horn-like features (which is why they are also known raya diablo). The Ray came from the blue and gave us a show – flapping its wings and gliding with such power and grace that we had no

Q&A on Driftnets with Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael)

I have always believed we need to be good stewards of our environment for future generations. Our ocean and its marine wildlife is an integral component of that. The health of our ocean affects our air, food, and coastal communities. California’s health is directly tied to the health of the ocean.

Pregnant Whale Sharks Use Galapagos as Pit Stop

A new study in the Journals of PLOS aims to unravel some of the mystery surrounding the largest fish in the sea – the whale shark. The study, led by collaborating scientist David Acuña of the Charles Darwin Foundation and co-authored by Alex Hearn of Turtle Island Restoration Network, discovered that more whale sharks than previously suspected use Darwin Island (one of the smallest islands in the Galapagos Archipelago) as a rest stop in their migration route.

Whale Sharks to be Tagged to Save Species

It is the largest fish in the ocean with some individuals reaching sizes of up to 65ft (18m) long and weighing more than 30 tonnes, but whale sharks remain one of the enigmas of the deep.

Feds agree to seafood import rules aimed at protecting whales, dolphins

“The public demands and the U.S. can — and by law, must — wield its tremendous purchasing power to save dolphins and whales from foreign fishing nets,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network. “We have the right to ensure that the seafood sold in the U.S. is caught in ways that minimize the death and injury of marine mammals.”

US To Implement Dolphin-Safe Rules For Seafood Imports

The U.S. government settled with environmental groups on Monday in the U.S. Court of International Trade, agreeing to implement legislation that ensures seafood imported into the United States meets the country’s standards for protecting whales and dolphins.

Bigeye Tuna Remains on Hawaii’s Menu — But for How Long?

We should be leaders in fisheries management, not cheaters,” said Doug Karpa, of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, noting that the U.S. is one of the few nations that ban the fishing in its own waters of overexploited stocks unless they are recovering.

Whale Sharks to be Tagged to Save Species

There are fears that the gentle giant, whose flesh is prized in countries such as China, India and the Philippines, is being slowly driven towards extinction. And so little is known about them that there is huge uncertainty about how their decline can be arrested.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom Joins Lawmakers To Phase Out California Drift Gillnets

With the full support of Turtle Island Restoration Network, OCEANA, and other marine conservations organizations, California Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay), Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria), Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) this week called on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service to transition away from deadly California drift gillnets.

Whale Sharks Back on the Map

Two of our whale sharks tagged in August on a joint expedition with our collaborators Jonathan R Green, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the

Technology and more than 32,000 Square Miles of Area Closures Will Safeguard Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the New Year

Turtle Island Restoration Network delivered more than 3,800 petitions to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) supporting greater protections for Atlantic bluefin tuna populations. After five years of work by Turtle Island, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and our partners, on Dec. 2, 2014, NOAA Fisheries officially announced new, stricter regulations for the U.S. Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery.

GivingTuesday is Tuesday, December 2nd!

#GivingTuesday™ is a movement created to celebrate giving on the Tuesday following Cyber Monday. Join in by making a donation to Turtle Island on Dec. 2nd!

Turtle Island Call for Action on Ocean Acidification.

Turtle Island signed on to an open letter addressed to Washington Governor Inslee’s commending him for his leadership on ocean acidification, and also addressed to the Department of Ecology asking that they follow suit and also take action on ocean acidification.

Nominate Turtle Island for Heart of Marin Awards

Have you sent in your nomination for the 22nd Annual CVNL Heart of Marin Awards? Please nominate Turtle Island Restoration Network for the ‘Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence’ award; And please nominate a dedicated SPAWN volunteer for ‘Volunteer of the Year.’

Turtle Island Attends Historic Convention on Migratory Species to Promote the Record Number of Protections Proposed for Sharks, Rays & Marine Mammals

Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Executive Director Todd Steiner and Conservation Science Director Alex Hearn are in Quito, Ecuador attending the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) to lobby for the inclusion of several species needing greater protection including silky sharks, hammerhead shark, mobula ray’s and other marine species such as the polar bear.

Movers & Shakers: Doug Karpa

Turtle Island Restoration Network, an international ocean and marine conservation organization headquartered in Marin, has hired Kentfield native Doug Karpa as a staff attorney.

Intern Spotlight: Meet Sara Gendel

Sara Gendel, a graduate student at Bard College in New York, joined the Turtle Island Restoration Network team this July as our newest conservation intern.

Protecting Western Australia’s Seas from Natural Gas Development

Turtle Island Restoration Network strongly opposes the siting of any Liquefied Natural Gas processing hub or any other industrial development at James Price Point/Walmadany as such a development would permanently destroy wild and sacred lands along the pristine Kimberley coast and open the door to wide scale industrialization of the coastline.

Saving Humpback Whales

Turtle Island and conservation groups submitted comments on the petition by the state of Alaska to de-list Central North Pacific Humpbacks from the Endangered Species Act, and is working to protect Humpback whales.

Turtle Island Calls for Protections for the Vaquita

Turtle Island Restoration Network signed onto a letter with other conservation groups to protect the world’s most endangered marine mammal – the vaquita. The vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise.

The Summer Salmon Institute Goes Swimmingly

Thanks to Turtle Island Restoration Network’s hard work, and funding provided by the NOAA BWET grant, this years Summer Salmon Institute was a huge success. Teachers spent the week learning about hands on watershed education and it’s links to the newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards.

Marin Group Plans Suit to Help Protect Sperm Whales

The Olema-based Turtle Island Restoration Network hopes to reinstate a National Marine Fisheries Service rule designed to protect endangered sperm whales from mile-long drift gillnets in ocean waters off California, which are intended to catch swordfish.

Suit Filed to Ensure Foreign Fisheries Meet American Standards for Dolphin and Whale Safety

Each year, nearly half of the more than 5 billion pounds of seafood consumed by Americans — including tuna, swordfish, shrimp, cod and other fish — comes from foreign fisheries that have not been shown as meeting U.S. whale and dolphin protection standards. The United States is required to insist on such proof before foreign seafood may lawfully be imported into the United States. A lawsuit filed today by Turtle Island Restoration Network and conservation groups seeks to protect marine mammals by requiring the government to ensure that all imported, wild-caught fish meet U.S. standards.

Feds Move to Protect Sperm Whales From Fishing Nets

“This wasteful driftnet fishery is always in crisis and the emergency never stops for whales, dolphins, and fish that get caught and die by the hundreds,” said Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Teri Shore. “It’s time to ban driftnets instead of constant regulatory triage.”

 Emergency Regulations Imposed to Protect Sperm Whales from California Fishery

Today the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced emergency actions designed to protect endangered sperm whales from being caught in the California swordfish/thresher shark drift gillnet fishery. The emergency rule, prompted by advocacy by conservation groups, goes into effect tomorrow. The overdue regulations came 20 days after the drift gillnet fishing season opened in offshore waters beyond 75 nautical miles.

Facts on Assembly Bill 2019

Replacing wasteful driftnets with cleaner gears will create a sustainable fishery by minimizing bycatch and ensuring long-term fishing opportunity.

A Whale of a Time: Interns at Sea

During my time working with Turtle Island Restoration Network  as a sea turtle conservation intern, California has shown me some incredible things that I

Whales

View a gallery that showcases images of whales, sea lions, seals and seabirds.

Feds Clamp Down on Whale Kills in California’s Drift Gillnet Fishery

New Report Details Top 10 Reasons to End California’s Deadliest Catch – Swordfish

New federal emergency fishing regulations are forcing California’s drift gillnet fleet for swordfish and shark to stop fishing for the season if a single endangered sperm whale gets entangled in a net. All vessels that fish offshore will now be required to carry on-board observers at all times.

California’s Drift Gillnet Fishery Too Deadly for Endangered Sperm Whales

SAN FRANCISCO— The National Marine Fisheries Service this week declined to issue a required marine mammal take permit for California’s swordfish drift gillnet fishery in light of the recent entanglement of two sperm whales, but agreed to call a special meeting next week to discuss possible emergency measures to allow the fishery to continue operating legally while reducing interactions with these endangered whales.

Swordfish Caught in Driftnets is California’s Deadliest Catch

The California drift gillnet fishery for swordfish and shark is the most dangerous fishery for whales and other marine mammals along the U.S. West Coast from California to Alaska. A new federal review of marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries found that the drift gillnet fleet is causing more harm to whales than ever

Conservation Groups Sue to Protect False Killer Whales in Hawaii

Conservation Groups Sue to Protect False Killer Whales in Hawai‘i Longline Fishery Killing Whales at Twice Sustainable Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Seeking an end to the continuing slaughter of false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) in the waters of Hawai‘i, Earthjustice, representing a coalition of conservation groups, filed suit in federal court in Honolulu today against the National Marine Fisheries Service, challenging the agency’s failure to devise a plan to protect the whales from the Hawai‘i-based longline fishery. The coalition includes Hui Mälama i Koholä, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Turtle Island Restoration Network.

HAWAII TUNA LONGLINERS SNAG AND KILL MORE DOLPHINS, WHALES, AND SEABIRDS IN 2008

Recently released data from National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) indicates Hawaii’s tuna longliners’ bycatch rose dramatically in 2008. It is estimated more than 60 dolphins and whales were caught in 2008, a 50% increase from the 40 caught the year before, including such species as Risso’s and spotted dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, and false killer whales.

Indigenous People in Papua New Guinea Petition Government to Suspend Seabed Mining in Territorial Seas

More than 80 participants attended the meeting organised by the Madang People’s Forum and attended by community representatives from Manus, Kairiru island, New Ireland, Bagabag Island, Karkar Island, Riwo, Gildiasi, Rai Coast, and the statement was also endorsed by representatives of the Ramu River Authority, Simil Hondulwa Evangelical Alliance of PNG, New Ireland Students Association of University of Technology, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Alemewo Foundation, the Catholic Church, Madang Rehabilitation and presented from Vanuatu, Porgera, plus observers from surrounding community based organisations, school teachers and students.

West Coast Fishery Managers Vote To Open Sea Turtle Protection Zone To Harmful Longline Fishing

Seattle –Following close on the heels of a decision to close the California and Oregon salmon fishery, last week west coast fishery managers approved opening a new longline fishery for swordfish in vital sea turtle habitat off the California and Oregon coasts. The same proposal, which faced widespread opposition, was defeated last year by the California Coastal Commission.

Imperiled Bird Advances Toward Endangered Species Act Protection

HONOLULU, Hawaii- Today the federal government announced the initiation of a formal review to determine if the black-footed albatross should receive the protections of the Endangered Species Act. The announcement, published in the Federal Register, comes in response to a petition filed in 2004 by the environmental law firm Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Lawsuit Seeks Better Management of Marine Mammals Threatened By Global Warming

SAN FRANCISCO- Two conservation organizations, the Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network, filed a lawsuit today against Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne for failing to take into account the latest information on global warming in management decisions affecting polar bears, walrus, sea otters, and manatees. The suit, brought under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, seeks to force the federal government to issue updated stock assessment reports for protected marine mammals ranging from Florida to Alaska. Stock assessments are population estimates that include information on the range of the species and threats to its survival.

Tribal Villagers Demand Stop to Deep Sea Mining in Pacific

Bababag Island, Papua New Guinea – This week tribal villagers from Bagabag Island in Madang Province called on the government and all exploration and mining companies doing business in Papua New Guinea to stop pushing for the sea bed mining, a controversial new mining method. The villagers formally lodged their concerns and protests by running an advertisement in the national paper.

1,007 Scientists Call For UN Moratorium on Longline Fishing

New York – May 31, 2005 – On the eve of a critical United Nations meeting to discuss actions to protect the world’s oceans from overfishing, a letter signed by more than 1,000 international scientists calling for decisive action has been delivered to the international body. Recent scientific reports have linked industrial fishing, such as longlining, to the decline of sea turtles and other marine species, and have offered marine protected areas as a potential solution. During the UN meeting which begins June 10, Costa Rica will be proposing a plan of action that offers sustainable use marine protected areas as a part of a comprehensive solution for the world’s oceans.

Longline Fishing Pillaging the Pacific Says New Report

On Monday, June 6th, the new report Striplining the Pacific: The Case for A United Nations Moratorium on High Seas Industrial Longline Fishing will be released at the United Nations Law of the Sea meeting June 6-10th. The new book length report echoes the sentiment of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin’s call on May 1st to end the “pillage” and “rape” of the ocean at an international fisheries conference this week.

Longline Moratorium Campaign Gaining Momentum

Forest Knolls, CA – On the eve of a key United Nations meeting relating to the oceans, a growing number of international scientists and non-governmental organizations are actively lobbying their country delegates to address the problem of industrial longline fishing in the Pacific. The scientists and NGOs are also joined in their efforts by members of the New Zealand, Irish and EU parliaments. The lobbying effort echoes the call of more than 800 international scientists and 230 NGOs who are also asking for a moratorium on industrial longline fishing in order to protect endangered leatherback sea turtles, albatross, sharks and other species caught and killed as bycatch by industrial longliners.

Prominent Scientists Join Call For UN Moratorium on Longline Fishing

World renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, has added her voice to 1007 international scientists from 93 countries who are urging the UN to implement a moratorium on longline fishing in the Pacific Ocean to prevent the extinction of the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle. The scientists are joined by 282 non-governmental organizations from 60 countries. The list of signers includes biologist E.O. Wilson, oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and former U.S. astronaut Bernard Harris, Jr. M.D.

New Report: Longlines Annually Capture and Kill 4.4 Million Sharks, Billfish, Seabirds, Sea Turtles and Mammals in the Pacific

Although there have been recent efforts to “mitigate” the devastating impact of industrial pelagic longlines on sea turtles, the problem is not limited to these species. Pelagic longlines are literally wiping out the lions and tigers of the ocean—sharks, billfish and tunas. Industrial longline fishing results in an extensive catch of non-targeted species as “bycatch” creating a global marine biodiversity crisis.

Lawsuit Filed To Stop Illegal Killing of Albatross And Sea Turtles

Honolulu, HI–Today, Turtle Island Restoration Network , the Center for Biological Diversity, an d Ka `Iwa Kua Lele, represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court in Hawai`i against the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) for reopening the Hawai`i-based longline swordfish fishery in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”), Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), and National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The fishery will cause the deaths of black-footed albatross and Laysan albatross, both protected by the MBTA, and endangered sea turtles protected by the ESA, and was reopened without a proper Environmental Impact Statement, in violation of NEPA.

Federal Fisheries Service Acknowledges Hawai‘i Longline Fleet’s Toll on False Killer Whales

Honolulu, HI – Today, the National Marines Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) finally acknowledged the devastating toll that the Hawai‘i-based longline fishing fleet inflicts on the Hawai‘i population of false killer whales, formally classifying the longline fleet as “Category I” in the List of Fisheries for 2004, a designation reserved for fisheries that annually kill and seriously injure marine mammals at unsustainable rates. In November 2003, Turtle Island Restoration Network, along with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Hawai‘i community group Hui Mälama i Koholäand, represented by the Earthjustice law firm filed suit on behalf to force NMFS to increase protection for the whale by making such a reclassification, as mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”).

California Longline Fishing is Banned

March 11, 2004—Today, the US Fisheries Service issued new rules banning California longline fishing from targeting swordfish from a huge swath of the Pacific Ocean. The final rule comes on the heels of an August 2003 decision by the federal Ninth Circuit Court concurring with environmentalists that the Fisheries Service had failed to conduct the proper environmental review before issuing permits to the fishery.

US Fish & Wildlife Sued to Save Aleutian Sea Otter

San Francisco- The Bush administration’s Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, andParks will be served with a lawsuit filed today for failing to take actions to protect an endangered population of Alaskan sea otters.

Lawsuit filed to Save Okinawan Dugong from Extinction

A coalition of conservation groups from both sides of the Pacific Rim filed a lawsuit in US District Court against the US Department of Defense over plans to construct a new heliport facility on a coral reef on the east coast of Okinawa, Japan. Conservationists are concerned that the proposed 1.5 mile long airbase to be built on reclaimed land over a coral reef will destroy the remaining habitat of the endangered Okinawa dugong, a relative of the manatee, and a cultural icon of the Okinawan people.