Thursday, August 4, 2011

On our reading list today... An analysis of the impact humans are having on the deep sea published on Monday by scientists at the Census of Marine Life (COML) project, the 10-year assessment of the world's oceans completed in 2010. Their conclusions illuminate what we already know: that pollution, exploitation of the oceans' natural resources and climate change are damaging the habitat of the whales and dolphins we see everyday at Futurismo.

The deep sea covers an area of 360 million square kilometres and accounts for 73% of our oceans, which themselves form seven tenths of the planet. This is the world the sperm whale inhabits, a species we see regularly on our whale watching trips - capable of diving down to 3000m these whales have seen much more of the world's oceans than we have! Here in the Azores we have very deep waters very close to shore due to the volcanic origin of the islands, and hydrothermal vents which can support life even without sunlight, so we know the importance of protecting this unique part of the ocean. Our everyday choices can affect the oceans - simple things like ensuring we reduce, reuse and recycle our waste (did you know approximately 6.4 million tonnes of litter is dropped into the oceans per year?) and, if you choose to eat fish, ensuring it comes from sustainable fisheries. On our whale watching and dolphin swimming trips we hope our clients leave feeling motivated to protect our oceans so future generations can also have the priviledge of seeing the abundance of wildlife we see today. Today we've been swimming with and observing bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins - and again showing off their new calves!

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