World Ocean’s Day 2012

Black-browed Albatross

Today is World’s Oceans Day, a day to remind us of the richness of the world’s oceans. But also a day to remind us how we use that richness, or better, misuse it…. Mankind has thought for a long time that there was so much fish in the ocean that we couldn’t possibly have a lasting impact on these populations. Now it’s starting to get obvious this is not the case. It is hard to get proper estimates of world populations of fish (how do you count those?), but it’s getting clearer and clearer that most populations are declining. This will also have an effect on the seabirds feeding on this fish. Now already are 81 of the 131 species within the order Procellariiformes (tubenoses) categorized as being threatened in any way by the IUCN (red list categories between near threatened and extinct. All 22 members of the family Diomedeidae (albatrosses) are categorized as being (near) threatened by the same IUCN.

I’ve always been fascinated by albatrosses. The birds with the largest wingspans (up to 3.6m for the Wandering Albatross), just flying effortless across the oceans, not touching land for years. They are true ocean wanderers and for me they were a highlight of my visit to the Southern Ocean in 2005-2006.

For more information about their red list status, see this page, for the Albatross protection program see the Save the Albatross page.


  • Reblogged this on Serenity Spell and commented:
    Yesterday was World’s Oceans Day: Natureview photography reminds us of the importance of the world’s oceans, and threats to this ecosystem under attack. He highlights an albatross in a beautiful image — a most amazing creature. I’ll never forget my first view of an albatross in the middle of the South Pacific, thousands of miles in the middle of nowhere; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.


  • An excellent book that discusses man’s impact on the world’s oceans is “The Unnatural History of the Sea” by Callum Roberts. Its pretty terrifying to learn what was and what now is. if I remember correctly, 97% of the total biomass of the world’s oceans has been lost. 😦 He does end with a possible solution, but it won’t be easy to implement.


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