Category Archives: Ocean

Artic Belugas found with Cat Pathogenes


Cat Pathogens Found in Arctic Beluga Whales

The occurrence of human diseases in marine mammals is rapidly on the rise and an alarming development for our oceans. The latest species to succumb is the canary of the sea: the beluga whale. Researchers from the University of British Columbia recently discovered Toxoplasma gondii, a devastating parasite, in a western Arctic population of beluga whales.

Usually found in cats, this parasite can cause blindness and other effect in human, although the effect on whales is not yet known. Some scientists attribute the wide-range movement of pathogens to the warming Arctic conditions, but the exact cause of this pathogen found in Belugas remains a mystery. One theory that has been discussed is cat litter that is flushed down toilets carry the pathogen into sewers and some sewage leaks into the oceans.

The discovery of this pathogen is of concern for the indigenous people of the Arctic, the Inuit who eat whale meat as a staple of their diet.

photo-059_59_thumbThe Inuit hunt beluga whale. It is a vital part of their nutrition in their diet

7bc17bb62ffb13316005019ba3df981aBeluga swim in pods, at times in the hundreds during the summer months in the Arctic.

Hilton Removes Shark Fin From Menu


Hilton Removes Shark Fin from All Establishments Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide will be taking shark fin dishes off the menu at all restaurants and food and beverage facilities across Asia Pacific. This is the final step of the company’s plan to ban shark fin from all its establishments. “We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.

The company’s campaign began in December 2012, when the company decided to remove shark fin from its Chinese and Southeast Asian establishments, and only serving it on request. A ban then followed in Southeast Asia on 1 September, 2013 and then in Greater China on 1 February, 2014.

“The demand for shark fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations. Hilton Worldwide’s ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide’s measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment,” said Elaine Tan, CEO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -Singapore.

In January 2014 the IUCN reported a staggering quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.

ImageThousands of shark fins in Asia waiting to be shipped off to market


Sharks are often still alive for hours after their fins are cut off.
Those that do not die of blood loss, drown as their ability to swim is taken away


Do you really want a bowl of shark fin soup?
It has little nutritional value, bland, and is added in most cases with chicken broth