Save Our Seas Foundation’s director of conservation and National Geographic Magazine photographer, Thomas P. Peschak, has always been fascinated by the ocean. He has spent much of his career as a scientist and and photojournalist searching for a pristine marine wilderness. He discovered his ‘holy grail’ of marine environments in a remote section of the Mozambique Channel when he joined a Save Our Seas Foundation Expedition to Bassas Da India and Europa atolls. In this video he shares his experiences of some of the last perfect underwater ecosystems on the planet.
To compliment the National Geographic ‘A Tale of Two Atolls’ story in their April 2014 issue, the Save Our Seas Foundation is dedicating the month of April to an exploration of this pristine marine environment, showcasing this incredible habitat and looking at broader issues surrounding conservation in the Western Indian Ocean.
Aldabra Atoll is a remote speck of land halfway between Madagascar and the Seychelles. It is also one of the world’s oldest marine protected areas (MPAs). Paul Cowley guides us on an incredible dive into one of the most abundant marine environments on earth and illustrates the significance of MPAs.
During a recent trip to the northern Great Barrier Reef, marine biologist Justin Rizarri was deploying underwater cameras on what he thought would be a very smooth day at sea. But a local resident had other ideas.
They started to pull the camera back into the boat, but it had disappeared. Justin was mystified. The next day dived at the site to try and find the camera. After about five minutes of swimming around he noticed something shiny in a mound of broken coral near the reef. Amazingly, the camera was still intact.
Justin was ecstatic to have his gear back and very curious to review the footage and see if the crime had been caught on camera. He plugged the GoPro into the computer to investigate…
An octopus had not only stolen his camera, but was cunning enough to turn it off, presumably in an attempt to protect its identity (although not before being caught on camera for about 30 seconds). We are not sure why it took the GoPro, but maybe it had a liking for shiny objects.
For the Vezo people, a relationship with the sea is as natural as our connection with the air that we breathe. As marine ecosystems become more exploited, the people that depend on them become increasingly vulnerable. Gildas Andriamalala of Blue Ventures describes the community for which he has great respect, and the some of the projects that are being implemented to ensure a mutual future for the Vezo and the ocean that supports them.
The Potato cod’s latin name is Epinephelus tukula. In Latin, Tukula means ‘maneater’. While these bold and inquisitive reef fish may grow as large as 2m, they are really quite friendly creatures. They are also ‘protogynous hermaphrodites’. They start out as females, but undergo a sex change later in their lives and become males.
Since the time of the ancient Romans, the Indian Ocean has played an important role in the trade between Java in the East and Zanzibar and Mombasa in the West. Despite this long human history, the region has remained relatively undeveloped. Paul Cowley describes the environmental implications of this.
Having a safe place in which to be, is as important for animals as it is for people. All over the world, marine habitats are being destroyed by anthropogenic pressures. Nursery areas provide a critical environment for sea creatures during the earliest phase of their life cycle. Paul Cowley describes why mangrove forests are an invaluable part of ocean ecosystems and need to be protected.
SOSF Chief Photographer Thomas P. Peschak takes us behind the scenes of his latest expedition to document the seascape of the Great Bear Rainforest. This pristine environment is under threat from a proposed oil pipeline.
SOSF is sponsoring pioneering work being done at the National Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall where lobsters are bred and then released into the wild to boost the natural stocks in the area. Dominic Boothroyd tells us more about the process of rearing juvenile lobsters and the effect it’s having locally.
Thomas Peschak talks about the challenges of photographing Lobsters for this Save Our Seas Assignment.
Cocos Island, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is home to a dazzling concentration of marine life. More than 30 species of coral, 60 species of crustaceans, 600 species of molluscs and over 300 species of fish are found in its waters. A Save Our Seas expedition to the island documented some of this incredible underwater diversity.