A young sea turtle drags a tangle of fishing nets and other debris through the open ocean off the coast of the Canary Islands. This is just one example of the danger that #plasticpollution poses to the health of marine wildlife. Seabirds and whales are found dead with their bellies full of #plastic Coastal communities the world over are suffocated by plastic waste that comes from far-off shores. And in America, the plastics industry intends to expand production at least 35% by 2025 - with no plan for preventing more #plasticpollution from entering our ocean, or protecting frontline communities from toxic pollutants. Current #US regulations are decades old and we think it's well past time for @EPAgov to update them. Will you join us and stand up for our ocean, our communities and help #StopPlasticPolluters ? Join us and start #TurningTheTide by signing the petition (link in our bio and in our stories ) to make sure the #EPA knows you want new standards for protecting our #ocean #BreakFreeFromPlastic and join the 275+ organizations standing in support including @SeaLegacy @BlueSphereFoundation @lonelywhale 🎥 : @francisperez000
Photo by @macstonephoto // A baby American crocodile catches some sun on the shell-lined coast of East Cape in @evergladesnps After hatching, crocodile hatchlings will stray from their mother and fend for themselves after only five weeks; braving vultures, crocs, and large fish - it’s a tough world out there, even for a baby dragon. #everglades #florida
Photo by @daisygilardini // People quite often ask me if I'm afraid of bears. I find that spending time among these powerful creatures simply gives me a sense of peace. Being with them, I feel the oneness of the universe coming together. I feel part of the greater picture. Humbled to be accepted, I feel an obligation to bring their peaceful voices to the public and make people aware of the issues that face them on a daily basis, including habitat loss, fragmentation of their territories, poaching, trophy hunting and other forms of human-wildlife conflict.
Photo by @francisperez000 // Today is the last day to #ActForHope sign the petition at the link in our bio to protect marine wildlife on the coast of the Canary Islands. We'd like to take this time to thank all of you for standing up for our oceans. The Tide is at the heart of everything we do at SeaLegacy, and we are so proud to be #TurningTheTide with all of you. 🌊 WAYS YOU CAN HELP: 1. Tag 3 friends in this post 2. Sign the petition (link in our bio 👆 ) 3. Share this post with the #ActForHope hashtag
Photo by @FrancisPerez000 // A whale without its tail is vulnerable and helpless in the open ocean. They become inert, unable to feed or protect themselves from predators, and cannot escape the inevitability of death. A right whale on the eastern coast of North America was discovered dead this July, killed by an encounter with a ship that left a six-foot laceration in her lower back. In the Canary Islands, a little pilot whale named Hope became a symbol for the protection of marine life in the area after her tail was severed by a boat propeller; it clung to her body by nothing but shredded tissue. Right now, there is a petition to stop construction of a macro-port that would increase both pollution and boat traffic off the coast of Tenerife, where Hope was injured and later euthanized. There are just a couple of days left to sign, but its not too late to #ActForHope ! The link is in our bio. #TurningTheTide
Photo by @FrancisPerez000 // Hope was a young pilot whale euthanized after a collision with a propeller almost completely severed her tail from the rest of her body off the coast of the Canary Islands. Local environmentalists and marine conservationists are concerned about plans to build a macro-port in Tenerife - a port that would increase both pollution and boat traffic in the sensitive wildlife corridor where Hope lived with her family, which also means increased potential for more dangerous ship-strikes with sea turtles and whales, like the Bryde's whale in this photo. There's still time to make sure your voice is heard before the petition to stop the port closes next Monday. #ActforHope by signing at the link in our bio. #TurningTheTide
Photo and words by @nickhawkinsphotography // [Sensitive content warning] "It was a surreal and sad experience to photograph the body of 9-year-old right whale “Wolverine” under the stars on Miscou Island. It was 1am and I was all alone with his gargantuan body which dwarfed my own as I worked in complete darkness to light the scene with a flashlight. As a calf, Wolverine had been struck by a ship’s propeller and left with three parallel scars on his back, which reminded researchers of the comic book character of the same name. In his short life, Wolverine had survived three known entanglements in fishing gear, but he managed to free himself each time. On June 4th, a survey plane spotted him floating in a pool of blood in the Gulf of St. Lawrence." Tap through to the link in our stories to read the recent @natgeo story, written by @tomcheney , on the current mortality crisis of North Atlantic right whales, and follow Collective member @nickhawkinsphotography in his commitment to improving this situation. Ready to start #TurningTheTide with us? Follow the link in our bio to join The Tide.
Photo by @iantmcallister // The fairly recent and successful reintroduction of sea otters after the fur trade extirpated them from the BC coast is seeing profound ecosystem benefits. Kelp forests are flourishing now that the otters are keeping the kelp-eating urchins in check. In turn, these marine forests increasingly provide a nursery for countless species of fish.
Photo by @chrislinderphoto // Tucked up against their parent's protective belly, Adélie penguin chicks beg for their next meal. The tiny potbellied chicks hatch in December and grow quickly on a diet of regurgitated Antarctic silverfish and krill. In about a month they are big enough to toddle around the colony in small groups of chicks called crèches. By the end of February, their gray down feathers have been replaced with the sleek black and white feathers of an adult penguin, and they are ready to strike off on their own into one of the last great wildernesses on Earth: the Southern Ocean.
Photo by @PaulNicklen // "There is magic in nature, and the nature of my work has taken me all over the world, but working in my own country is always a highlight for me. Mexico is where I was born and raised and where I feel most at home," says @CristinaMittermeier , SeaLegacy co-founder. "Paul took this photo of me while we were working on a @NatGeo assignment on the sacred rituals of the Maya. The tannins from the roots of trees dyed the water yellow, and the light shining down from above makes it look as though I am swimming through liquid gold." Nature's #magic is compromised everyday by the plastic that clogs our rivers and infests our oceans. For #PlasticFreeJuly we're joining our friends at @LonelyWhale to ask - how do you hydrate? Join us and @CristinaMittermeier take the pledge to #HydrateLike a diver and keep our oceans and waterways #PlasticFree Say no to single-use plastic water bottles and reach for more sustainable alternatives. Go to the link in our bio or visit hydratelike.org to learn more! 🌊
Photo by @francisperez000 // [Sensitive content warning] In the wild of the open ocean, female shortfin pilot whales can live to be as old as sixty years. Hope, pictured here, was no older than four when she was struck by a boat propeller off the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands, that almost severed her tail from the rest of her body; it held on by thin threads of muscle tissue, and flailed uselessly behind her as she struggled to swim. She was euthanized after she was found. Hope's family is the largest population of shortfin pilot whales in Europe that resides in the waters off southwest Tenerife year round. She has become a symbol for the protection of marine life in the area. The southwest coast of Tenerife is mostly protected under law as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC Teno-Rasca ), but there is one place that was left out: Fonsalía, where there are plans to construct a new macro-harbour. Fonsalía is a part of the same sensitive wildlife corridor where Hope lived with her family, and which hosts a natural abundance of other marine species from dolphins to green turtles to nesting seabirds. A harbour in these waters would destroy habitats and increase pollution: chemical, acoustic and light. It would also increase human traffic on the water, which means the potential for more dangerous ship-strikes with whales and sea turtles. We're raising our voice alongside Francis Pérez, SeaLegacy Collective member, in support of a movement to #actforHOPE and stop the building of the macro-harbour at Fonsalía. Sign the petition at the link in our bio! #TurningTheTide #Tenerife
Photo by @ShawnHeinrichs // 🦈⚡️ Shortfin makos are the fastest shark and one of the fastest fish on the planet. However, these beautiful animals can’t out-swim the impacts of unsustainable fishing practices. The IUCN shark specialist group recently increased their threat status to Endangered. The heightened extinction risk for one of the ocean’s most iconic sharks is a stark warning that urgently requires a suite of conservation measures to prevent the species being lost. In August, world governments will consider listing a record number of seriously at-risk shark and ray species, including makos, on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( @CITES ). SeaLegacy, @bluespherefoundation and @vulcaninc are supporting an unprecedented push with key countries to gain the two-thirds majority needed for their inclusion. Stay tuned for how you can continue #TurningTheTide for sharks. 🌊
Photo by @macstonephoto // Black vultures get a bad rap in the Everglades. They’re known to tear apart rubber seals on windshields and doors within the National Park and when approached they make unflattering grunting and hissing sounds. But, they’re also one of the best recyclers we have. They feast on large and small, filling a crucial role in the complex web of life. Beauty can be found anywhere if you know how to look.
Photo by @ShawnHeinrichs // Sleek and slender and built for speed, the shortfin mako shark is a silver bullet in the water, capable of jumping as high as 30 feet in the air. In the water they can vanish like a ghost from your line of sight; there one moment, gone the next. Shortfin makos are prized for their fins and for their meat, and they are extremely vulnerable to long-line and gill net fisheries that target fish like tuna in the pelagic zone. Makos are often caught on lines or trapped in nets as bycatch. They are also endangered, with populations decreasing worldwide. If fishing practices remain unregulated, we could lose these animals to the claw of the fish hook and the angler's line forever. 🦈⚡ In August, world governments will consider listing a record number of seriously at-risk shark species, including makos, on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( @CITES ). SeaLegacy and @bluespherefoundation are supporting an unprecedented push with key countries to gain the two-thirds majority needed for their inclusion. Join #TheTide and stay tuned for how you can continue #TurningTheTide for sharks. 🌊🦈 @vulcaninc @bluespherefoundation
Photo by @daisygilardini // When photographing wildlife, I try to “work my subject” whenever possible. Basically, this means shooting with different lenses while trying every possible angle. When the opportunity presents itself, I prefer to lie on the ground and be at eye level with my subject. Depending on the animal I’m photographing, whether it’s docile or dangerous animal, shy or fearless, I choose one lens over the other. I love wide-angle portraits as they give me the chance to get close and personal while including the background habitat. Sometimes, though, I find it too intrusive and I opt for a telephoto lens instead. In this particular case, I wanted attention on the big harp seal’s eyes only. My 200-400mm lens allowed me to zoom in and focus on a tight close-up without disturbing the seal.
Photo by @simonagerphotography // The Australian sea lion was heavily hunted for its hide and oil in the 18th and 19th centuries before which its range extended as far as the islands in Bass Strait. The species is protected under several pieces of state legislation in Australia dating as far back as 1892, receiving national protection in 1975. They are currently listed as endangered, populations decreasing. These seals are found only in the states of Western Australia and Southern Australia - nowhere else in the world!
Photo by @chrislinderphoto // Southern rockhopper penguins storm the beach at Saunders Island in the Falklands. The population of southern rockhoppers has declined by a third in the last 30 years. These birds are now classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. The main threats to rockhoppers are climate change (which has reduced the abundance of their prey ), overfishing, and oil pollution. 36% of the world population can be found in the Falklands archipelago. #TurningTheTide
Photo by @jim_abernethy // The Atlantic spotted dolphin is known for being one of the friendliest dolphins in the world. To interact with them on their terms in their world is humbling and life-changing. In fact, I'm almost speechless trying to come up with words describing how it makes me feel to swim alongside them. This image was shot in the Bahamas during the summer, on a day when the water was calm and crystal clear. Moments like these are valuable beyond measure. Join SeaLegacy and me as we continue #TurningTheTide for healthy and abundant oceans. Link in bio. 🌊
Photo by @andy_mann // Of all the ways to say “hello,” I generally prefer this one. Intimate wildlife encounters are both exhilarating and immeasurably difficult to get. A little luck goes a long way. During a 2017 climbing expedition to Greenland, we encountered a curious polar bear from our zodiac boat. As it approached, I dunked my camera-housing in the frigid water as it took a dive, swam under our boat and away into the ice forever. And in the end, luck would have it. 😉
Photograph by John Weller // Emperor Penguin and Icebreaker: On Oct. 28, 2016, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources declared the world's first large-scale international marine protected area (MPA ) in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. It is the world's largest MPA, and it protects the last large intact marine ecosystem on Earth. The final deal was struck, and when it was announced the room erupted. People were standing, clapping, cheering, crying. Nations were literally hugging other nations. This was not just a massive win for Antarctica. It was not just a massive win for the conservation of our global oceans, though it was both. This was also a peace treaty. If we all work together, we believe it is a blueprint for the future of our oceans. @bluespherefoundation
Photo by @ShawnHeinrichs // PRESENCE - Gazing down into the blue abyss, my eyes were transfixed on the beautiful, loving, and protective connection between a mother humpback whale and her tiny newborn calf. And then she slowly turned and began to rise towards the surface just beneath me! I caught my breath and floated motionless, my heart pounding as her massive form rose toward the surface. First her barnacle encrusted nose, then her deep dark curious eye, followed by her powerful pectoral fin; then her huge body, and finally her mighty tail the width of a school bus. Her massive tail passed just inches from my face, and with a gentle pump that almost spun me in a vortex, she glided into the distance with her most precious little cargo tucked in safely by her side. 💙🌊🐳🌊💙
Photo by @daisygilardini //After all day waiting at the river's edge in the rain, we finally saw some movement in the forest. I felt a lump rise in my throat when this spirit bear appeared like a ghost out of the forest. A really emotional and mystical experience. Recent studies suggest coastal bears survived through the last glacial era. Their white fur probably served as camouflage. The recessive gene has survived to this day, due to the isolation of British Columbia’s coastal islands. Contrary to what many people think, bears are not great fishermen. Their success rate is only around 25%, one in four. Interestingly, studies have shown that spirit bears' white coat is less visible to salmon in daylight. This gives them a slight advantage while fishing, and raises their success rate to 30%, nearly one in three. This makes it easier for them to gain the fat reserves necessary for hibernation. It might also explain why the gene has not receded over time.
Photo by @PaulNicklen // Change is possible for the smallest to the most charismatic species we share the planet with. Did you know that the bald eagle almost went extinct in the lower continental United States? At one point in time, their population was reduced to 418 breeding pairs across the lower 48. Concentrated conservation efforts and the ban of a harmful pesticide called DDT, which entered the food chain through groundwater that flowed into rivers and lakes where bald eagles fished, changed what could have been a tragic ending for these large and powerful seabirds into a resounding success story. Bald eagle populations soared into the 21st century, and they were removed from the "List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife." Shout-out to our friends and followers in the United States - may all of your Independence Day celebrations be fun and ocean-friendly and as glorious as a bald eagle in flight. Happy 4th of July! 🇺🇸 With @LonelyWhale , @BlueSphereFoundation , @DuneIves , @ShawnHeinrichs
Photo by @chrislinderphoto // An Atlantic puffin returns to its nest with a bill-full of its favorite prey, sand eels, to feed its growing chick. In the last few decades, an influx of warmer waters to Iceland's southern shores has displaced the sand eels, causing massive puffin breeding failures. Since 2000, the total puffin population in Iceland has declined from 7 million individuals to 5.4 million, earning them a Vulnerable ranking on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. On top of the climate impacts, puffin hunting is still permitted in northern Iceland.
Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // There is so much we don’t know about our oceans, but moments like this offer us a wonderful glimpse into something worth cherishing and protecting. As I floated nearby, I wondered how these animals were related? Who are the matriarchs, the trouble-making youth, the caregivers? Will you work with us to keep exploring the intimate, tender, and complex social dynamics of mysterious ocean life by taking our survey? Link in bio. Upon completion, you'll be entered into a drawing for a copy of "Born to Ice" by @PaulNicklen
Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // Today, we celebrate Canada and all of its raw beauty and charm as an ocean nation. With the longest coastline in the world, our heritage relies on healthy and sustainable oceans. Yet, we are over polluting, over heating and over fishing our oceans. United as a nation, we have the power to initiate lasting change throughout both our country and the world as ocean stewards. We just have to step up to the plate. Join us in taking a stand in #TurningTheTide for our oceans. From all of us at SeaLegacy, #HappyCanadaDay !
Photo by @daisygilardini // When photographing, I concentrate on composition. My final goal is always to convey emotion through simplicity. For that reason, I love low key and/or high key exposure. I find that, by underexposing or overexposing an image, I eliminate unnecessary, extraneous detail. These are two of my favourite quotes about simplicity: Simplicity is nature's first step, and the last of art. (Philip James Bailey ) / There is nothing quite so complicated as simplicity. (Charles Poore )
Photo by @PaulNicklen // The story of Bristol Bay is about a movement to keep one of America's last true wild places out of the hands of industry titans, because what happens to these waters, happens to all of us. Thank you for everything you've done on behalf of Bristol Bay and the people and the animals who depend on the health of the watershed there. With your help, we have sent 45,000+ signatures to Congress asking them to put a stop to the creation of the largest gold and copper mine the world has ever seen - a mine that would alter the face and the future of Bristol Bay forever. Your voices were heard, and the U.S. House of Representatives has taken a first step toward protection. In the coming months, the administration’s Army Corps of Engineers and the Senate will continue to play critical roles as they consider next steps. As this unfolds, we may call on you to take further action. Thank you for #TurningTheTide with us!
Photo by @suzieszterhas // Before I went to the coast of Katmai, I had no idea that coastal brown bears ate clams. I just knew them as salmon eaters. But they also graze on grass like bison, delicately browse berries, and manage to crack open as many as 100 clams a day. It's incredible to watch the bears dig up the clams up from deep in the sand, and then somehow manage to get the shell open with their massive paws and extract the clam with their razor sharp claws. For young cubs like this guy, it will take quite some time to perfect this skill. But even at the age of four months cubs start trying. They wind up doing a lot more playing than eating. Join us and all of the people in Alaska already standing up to #SaveBristolBay Tell US Congress to put a stop to Pebble Mine now before it is too late - link in bio. #NoPebbleMine #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere
In wild Alaska, a massive mining project threatens the lifeblood of an entire ecosystem — but a line is being drawn in the sand: #NoPebbleMine Over a decade long fight, the mine has been thrown yet another lifeline with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ) announcing their intended move to undo environmental restrictions that have thwarted the project thus far. Pebble Mine will sacrifice too much — economically, socially, culturally, and ecologically. Our voices matter in this vital land-use decision. We need your help to ensure that it is impossible for US Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers to ignore this alarm. Please sign and share our petition with your friends and family - link in bio. 🎥: @paulnicklen
Every year thousands of visitors travel to Alaska during the peak summer season for the experience of a lifetime: the opportunity to watch bears fish in water as clear as glass, right from the water's edge. Bear-viewing and all related service providers (air/boat taxis, guides, lodging ) reported $34.5 million in sales. Pebble Mine would change all of this. Forever. Mine construction will alter the ways that these bear move through wild Alaska and their relationships with humans. But there's still something you can do to try and change the future for these bears. Join us and all of the people in Alaska already standing up to #SaveBristolBay Make sure your voice is heard - tell US Congress to stop Pebble Mine now before it is too late. Link in bio. #NoPebbleMine #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere