Save Our Seas Summer 2017 - Issue 07

The Save Our Seas magazine is a visual celebration of the projects the Save Our Seas Foundation is supporting around the world. Powerful and unique imagery highlight the incredible diversity and beauty of nature, and the impact that we, humans, have on the Oceans. We thrive to produce both a reference magazine for marine conservation bonding compelling visuals and revealing content, and a driver for optimism, showcasing the ripple effect that one organisation can have in the world of ocean conservation. «In the effort to protect our oceans, the Save Our Seas Foundation funds and supports research, conservation and education projects worldwide, focusing primarily on charismatic threatened wildlife and their habitats.» Save Our Seas Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland

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ANA SOBRAL In 2011 Ana started her Master’s degree, studying the biology, ecology and conservation of mobulids at the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. For the past three years, under the University of the Azores’ Department of Oceanography and Fisheries’ Institute of Marine Research, she has been investigating the islands’ migrant population of Chilean devil rays, with the help of citizen science and remote underwater video systems. Most recently, Ana was involved with the Manta Trust’s campaign to ensure that ‘mini mantas’ are protected by CITES. TRISTAN GUTTRIDGE Originally from the United Kingdom, Tristan first arrived at the Bimini Biological Field Station 11 years ago to complete his PhD on the social organisation and behaviour of Bimini’s lemon sharks. He returned to the ‘Shark Lab’ a few years later to take up the…

2 min

Every now and then, specific moments remind us how much we ought to value life. I get these reminders, in many different forms, every time I visit or am in contact with project leaders from around the world. I hear about the enthralling work they are doing and I get to share their enthusiasm and their passion for the ocean and its inhabitants. Theirs is a dedication seldom touched by the mundane twists of everyday life. Most of my close friends enjoy lives filled with adventure and exploration in unique and fragile ecosystems, and with wild animals that still hold many mysteries for us. Everything they experience is a constant expression of how amazing, exciting, mysterious and wonderful our planet earth – and all life – really is. And of why…

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in memory of rob stewart

‘Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’…

2 min
where we work 2017

SOSF Centres 1 D’Arros Research Centre, Seychelles | Clare & Ryan Daly 2 Shark Education Centre, South Africa | Eleanor Yeld Hutchings 3 Shark Research Center, USA | Mahmood Shivji AFRICA 4 Sawfish Education Book | Ruth Leeney MADAGASCAR 5 Sawfishes | Ruth Leeney MAURITIUS 6 Sperm Whales | Fabrice Schnoller SENEGAL 7 Sawfish Expedition in the Casamance River | Nigel Downing SEYCHELLES 8 eDNA | Luca Fumagalli & Tony Dejean 9 Humphead Wrasse | Kevin Weng & Andrew Grey 10 Juvenile Sharks | Ornella Weideli 11 Lemon Shark | Ryan Daly 12 Marine Biodiversity | Guy Stevens 13 Oceanography | Phil Hosegood 14 Reef Manta Ray | Lauren Peel & Guy Stevens 15 Shearwaters | Danielle van den Heever 16 Stingrays | Chantel Elston 17 Terrestrial Biodiversity | Terence Vel 18 Turtles | Jeanne Mortimer 19 University of Seychelles | Karl Fleischmann & Terence Vel SOUTH AFRICA 20 Shark Spotters | Sarah Waries 21 ATAP |…

3 min
sharks may have the edge in healing

New research suggests that understanding sharks and their DNA could benefit human medical research. The findings not only add to our scientific interest in these predators, but also increase their conservation importance. Nicholas Marra and scientists from the Nova Southeastern University’s Save Our Seas Shark Research Center and Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine found that genes linked to sharks’ immune systems have been modified through evolution. These modifications help to explain how, even though sharks swim in bacteria-laden ocean water, their wounds heal quickly. They may also give sharks higher resistance to cancers. ‘The immune system of sharks and rays has been battle-tested and evolved over hundreds of millions of years,’ explains Mahmood Shivji in a Nova Southeastern University press release. Shivji is…

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sawfish births a breakthrough

The first recorded birth of smalltooth sawfishes Pristis pectinata in the wild is a boon for scientists trying to find out where this species breeds and has its nursery sites, and whether populations in The Bahamas mix with those in Florida, USA. On 7 December 2016, Dr Dean Grubbs, associate director of research at the Florida State University, and his team caught a female smalltooth sawfish to tag. While doing so, they discovered that she was giving birth. The researchers delivered five pups before releasing the 4.2-metre (14-foot) female to continue giving birth unassisted. Blood and DNA samples were extracted from each of the five pups and PIT tags were inserted. The mother was fitted with an acoustic transmitter and a satellite tag. Analysis of the samples and movement updates from…