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Satsuma Fields: Encounters with the diaspora provoke reflections on what it means to be Japanese

When the Sakura Maru departed from Yokohama in February 1899 bound for the Peruvian port city of Callao, its 790 passengers must have had high hopes. The Meiji Government had been running campaigns advertising a better quality of life overseas, and the Morioka Emigration Company and other agents promised solid pay for four-year contracts on…

Blue Halo Initiative Expands to Montserrat and Curaçao!

VERY EXCITING NEWS! The Waitt Institute has expanded its Blue Halo Initiative to Montserrat and Curaçao, building on the recent success in Barbuda. The new partnerships with these two innovative island governments and communities will help envision, design, and implement sustainable ocean policies for their waters. With the launches of Blue Halo Montserrat and Blue…

Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Managing Marine Reserves

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4 It is a simple diagram, and Cristen Don and Stacy Galleher laugh wryly as they show us. Four overlapping circles represent their team’s responsibilities: “Policy and Administration (1 staff),” “Ecological Monitoring (2.5 staff),” “Human Dimensions Monitoring (1 staff),”…

Using Science to Empower Communities and Improve Marine Protected Areas in East Africa

By Jennifer O’Leary and Arthur Tuda When you think about East Africa, probably the first images that emerge are of large terrestrial animals like elephants and lions. Many people don’t know that East Africa has vibrant marine fishing communities and hundreds of miles of coral reefs. In a typical morning, you watch the sun rise…

Race for Water Odyssey against Plastic Pollution – The Countdown Begins

Less than one month from the big launch, the R4WO teams are putting the final touches on the expedition’s preparations. Technical details are adjusted, and bonds between team members grow stronger through training sessions in Lorient (France). Everything falls into place under optimal conditions before the trip to Bordeaux, R4WO’s first stop.   Final Tests:…

Listening to the volcano: Nasa communities blend ancestral knowledge with contemporary seismology in Colombia

On Ricardo Mena’s first humanitarian mission with the United Nations in April 1994, the only way to fly over southwestern Colombia’s Valle del Cauca was by police helicopter. Mena had been assigned to track indigenous Nasa displaced by the Páez River earthquake, but an eager police officer kept leaning over to photograph the poppy fields…

Fair Trade Writes New Chapter In Story of Tuna

  Tuna is the second most popular seafood in the United States, yet for most Americans, it’s a non-descript protein puck that inevitably gets mixed with mayonnaise and celery. Maybe the tuna in that can came from the Philippines, or Micronesia? Perhaps it was caught by a Japanese vessel and transferred to a processing plant…

The Small Town Boy Who Charted a New Course for Our Oceans

As a North Carolina graduate student, Bill Hogarth remembers fishermen proudly hanging giant marlin high on the wharf at Morehead City so people could admire and photograph the prized catch. But after the crowds lost interest, it was Hogarth’s job to cut down the nearly half-ton behemoths and watch their lifeless bodies float out to…

Entrepreneurs around Micronesia Restore Both Fisheries and Local Economies

The Fish 2.0 business competition held a workshop for entrepreneurs from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Marshall Islands, Palau, Guam and Saipan. The workshop was held in Pohnpei with the support of the Micronesia Conservation Trust, IdEA and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Before we went, some colleagues wondered whether there would be…

Diving the (Almost) Most Biodiverse Reef in the World

Among large numbers and variety of sea creatures, we finally catch a glimpse of the elusive bumphead parrotfish we’ve come to study.

The long shadows of Augusto Pinochet: Peace Boat passengers meet survivors of the other 9/11 in Valparaíso, Chile

For most North Americans, the mention of 9/11 evokes grey airplanes against white cirrus; slow television seconds; and the obscene inward folding of metal and glass. This collective memory is video-looped on CNN specials, honored by fire-fighter parades and nurtured at candlelit vigils, so that peripheral details – whether we were at biology class that…

A Bold Vision to Protect our Oceans Permanently

The oceans need our help. Human impacts – overfishing, pollution, invasive species, habitat destruction, acidification and climate change – have put our ocean species on the cusp of mass extinctions today. Scientists predict the collapse of major fisheries across the world within the next decades. We need to realize that fish are more than just food. Fish are wildlife, as well as critical components of complex marine ecosystems and food webs that must be maintained. We urgently need a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) to help sustain the oceans that in turn sustain all of us.

Shrimp Fisheries Improving in Gulf of Mexico, Thanks In Part to Seafood Suppliers

By Megan Westmeyer Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) are based on the premise that the seafood industry itself is the strongest force for driving improvements in fisheries, and a group of shrimp suppliers from the Gulf of Mexico has shown us how it’s done. Cox’s Wholesale Seafood, Katie’s Seafood Market, National Fish and Seafood, and Philly…

An Earthship at the end of the world: Peace Boat passengers consider sustainable tourism in Ushuaia

Between October and April every year, scores of gleaming cruise ships bound for Antarctica join the usual array of fishing boats, oil tankers, and freighters at the harbor in Ushuaia, Argentina. Last month alone 22,000 cruise ship passengers and crew disembarked from ships like the Celebrity Infinity, the Golden Princess, and Peace Boat’s Ocean Dream.…

Carnival Super Bowl Spot Obscures Cruise Lines’ Environmental Impact

Among this year’s Super Bowl commercials intended to pull at our heartstrings was a spot for Carnival Cruise Lines. Over images of seascape sunsets, SCUBA divers, and standup paddleboarding came President John F. Kennedy’s unmistakable Hyannisport accent invoking humankind’s biological and spiritual connection to the sea. Unfortunately, the negative environmental ramifications of cruises don’t exactly…