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Big ocean commitments

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Big ocean commitments

Fiona Llewellyn, Marine Reserves Coalition Coordinator Did we ever think we’d see the day when our political parties would be competing over who can protect more of the ocean? Well it seems that day has arrived. It started off in March, when the government announced its intention to create the largest marine reserve in the world around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK Overseas Territory in the South Pacific. Not stopping there, the Conservatives have now pledged to create a ‘Blue belt’ of...

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Happy birthday to the Chagos Marine Reserve!

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Happy birthday to the Chagos Marine Reserve!

Five years ago today (1 April), the UK government designated the Chagos Marine Reserve in the British Indian Ocean Territory. Covering 640,000 square kilometres, Chagos remains the world’s largest fully protected (‘no-take’) marine reserve (although this might not be the case for long, as the government has recently announced its intention to create an even larger reserve around the Pitcairn Islands). Home to the world’s largest coral atoll, incredible biodiversity,...

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Groundhog Day?

Posted on Mar 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Groundhog Day?

Tagging tiger sharks in Watamu, Kenya – Fiona’s next blog:  Day #7 aboard the Alleycat, and it feels like we’ve been here before… In fact, it’s just a full-on exact repeat of what happened yesterday. First of all, something chomps off and has away with our entire bait, which today is a big barracuda head. The crew reckon a tiger shark is most likely to blame, just like yesterday. Then, after rigging up some more bait, we get a lovely 2.3 metre female tiger shark on the line....

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Fresh blood…

Posted on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Fresh blood…

Fiona Llewellyn takes you back to the Watamu Banks in Keyna for the next tiger shark instalment… It’s 30 November 2014, and after three much-needed days ashore, we’re desperate to head back out on the Alleycat (our beloved vessel) in search of more tiger sharks. We came to Kenya armed with seven satellite ‘SPOT’ tags and ideally we want to go home empty-handed, having tagged seven sharks. But we’re already half-way through our time here – five boat days gone and five left to...

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Waiting and baiting… and more waiting

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Waiting and baiting… and more waiting

Another update from Fiona and the team, out tagging tiger sharks in Watamu, Kenya Dawn of day two arrives and still knackered but ready for more action, we head out to board our fishing vessel, the Alleycat. After yesterday’s excitement, we’re keen to get out to the Watamu Banks and find some more tigers. We reach the Banks in about fifty minutes, catching a couple of wahoos along the way to supplement our bait stock. Chi and Juama set up the rods and lines and so we begin drifting back...

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Fishing for tigers

Posted on Nov 28, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Fishing for tigers

Day one of our tiger shark tagging expedition has begun and to say we’re all pretty excited is putting it mildly. After wolfing down an early breakfast, we board the Alleycat at 06:30 in Watamu Bay. From there we head off towards the Watamu Banks, an underwater canyon system about six miles off the coast, where we’re hoping we’ll find the tiger sharks. On route, Chi and Juama, the Alleycat crew, rig up multiple rods and lines to catch us some bait – they mean business and seeing all the...

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Tiger sharks in Kenya – meet the team

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Tiger sharks in Kenya – meet the team

Introducing you to our tiger shark tagging team… First up we have shark tagging expert extraordinaire (although being the modest chap he is, he won’t like me calling him that!), Nigel Hussey from the University of Windsor in Canada. Nigel brings with him over 14 years’ experience of tagging sharks and many other species of fish, most notably in the extreme conditions of the Arctic.     Next up we have Dr Matt Gollock, ZSL’s Marine and Freshwater Programme Manager. With...

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Out of the congress and into the ocean – our tiger shark adventure begins

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Out of the congress and into the ocean – our tiger shark adventure begins

Marine Reserves Coalition Coordinator, Fiona Llewellyn – embarking on a new shark conservation project in Watamu, Kenya 21 November A few days ago I was at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, debating how much of the ocean we should be aiming to protect. Is the current target to protect 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020 enough? We in the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC) don’t think so. Like most others at the World Parks Congress, including scientists, conservationists, managers,...

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Ocean optimism in sunny Glasgow

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Ocean optimism in sunny Glasgow

On 14 August, nine of us from ZSL (the Zoological Society of London) and the Marine Reserves Coalition (MRC) made the journey up to Scotland to attend the third International Marine Conservation Congress in Glasgow.  We arrived Thursday lunch time, ready to share our work and eager to learn more from marine experts who had flown in from various corners of the globe. The plenary sessions included a diverse range of speakers, delivering a variety of motivating talks. One of the plenary speakers...

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Cameras, shrimps and icebergs – an eventful expedition to Greenland

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Cameras, shrimps and icebergs – an eventful expedition to Greenland

Taylor Gorham, Masters Student at Imperial College London and the Institute of Zoology has just returned from a marine research expedition to Greenland, where she’s been discovering some of the unusual cold water ocean life and experiencing the challenges of Arctic field work; The Greenland shrimp trawl fishery is in the process of applying to be certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, a lengthy and stringent process which incorporates years of research in three...

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Building Ocean Optimism

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Building Ocean Optimism

Heather Koldewey, Head of ZSL’s Global Conservation Programmes World Oceans Day is a good day to think positively about the ocean. Around the world, hundreds of organisations and thousands of people will be beach cleaning, painting ocean scenes, attending talks, watching an ocean movie, diving or joining one of the many other scheduled activities and events. It’s a good day to focus on the many different ways to conserve the ocean. Although there is overwhelming scientific evidence that...

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Let’s share some #OceanOptimism this World Oceans Day

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Let’s share some #OceanOptimism this World Oceans Day

By Elisabeth Whitebread This blog was originally posted on Positive News Our oceans provide us with every drop we drink, and every other breath we take, not to mention endless inspiration. Yet our knowledge of life under the waves is less than that of outer space. And when we do hear about the marine environment, it’s often scary, gloomy, or just plain silly. But today, Sunday 8 June, is a chance to change all that, because today is World Oceans Day. So let’s take a few moments to discover...

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Restoring the oceans will take time. We need to act now.