From Frank Bonoccorso, PhD:
Ten years ago as Curator of Natural History at the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery, I searched for information on the marine mammals of the waters that surround this nation of 600 islands set at the extreme southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean. There was no single source book about the marine mammals in this area and the best wildlife experts in the country had no idea how many marine mammals inhabited the deep waters of New Guinea. Thus began my joyful odyssey to study whales, dolphins and the dugong (a sea cow related the manatees of Florida) in that region. I am still working on the field guide for the marine mammals of the South West Pacific and I continue to learn about the wonders of the sea.
Sadly, our oceans are far from healthy bodies of water and are loaded–to a shocking extent–with chemical and solid waste.
Together with Char I look forward to providing some of my insights and experiences in the Pacific. Also I will be shanghai-ing some of my expert friends into sharing their knowledge about the Pacific Ocean and its living organisms.
From Charmaine Coimbra
When my news editor assigned me to write a story on migrating gray whales along the California coast, I grabbed my camera and notebook, unaware that I was about to fall in love with cetaceans. That was more than 20 years back when it was apparent that the gray whales were making a comeback from their slaughterhouse days. The story made front page on the Los Angeles Times feature page and was later wired to newspapers across the state. From then on, I tracked endangered wildlife and shared their stories with readers everywhere.
Today, I’m a volunteer docent for Friends of the Elephant Seals in Cambria, Ca. Our docent education included biologists horrified at the amount of trash found inside marine mammals–right here on the Central California coastline–as well as a northern elephant seal struggling to breathe because a plastic cord wrapped itself around his blubbery body, and so on. Frank and I got to talking…and now we have Neptune 911!
I’ll track the news and add interviews to this blog in an effort to answer Neptune’s 911 scream for help.
Categories: Condition of Oceans