Many areas in the ocean are still amazing, rich in biodiversity and vital to our own survival, but a large part is in deep trouble (pardon the pun). One of our main goals is to help people learn about marine life and ocean conservation so that they will love the ocean too and help protect it, if not restore it to a healthy state.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to help with any of our current projects described below.
Project 1: Marine Species Database
Online database for the most common and endangered ~10,000 marine species to include referenced taxonomic, morphological, behavioral, dietary, habitat, reproductive, and conservation status information. To also include high quality photographs, video or access to video, as well as a variety of online resources for deeper species research. Species include marine alga and plants, marine worms, hard and soft corals (and other cnidarians such as jellyfish, etc.), plankton (phytoplankton and zooplankton), echinoderms, crustaceans, cephalopods, commercial, reef, and deep-sea fishes, sharks, marine birds, sea turtles (and other marine reptiles), and marine mammals.
Status: UNDERWAY (ongoing): Species launched »
Importance: various forms marine species data exists online but it is usually scattered with bits of data about different aspects at different locations, photos of species and behaviors at others, and video and other important information at yet other locations or missing altogether. By tying existing data together and filling in the remaining gaps, we hope to provide the most complete picture possible of each marine species that we discuss. Then, using various Web technologies, we will allow users to connect that data together in various ways to show, for example, relationships between species in terms of taxonomy, habitats, predators and prey, reproduction details, and conservation threats and status. Once we complete the most common and endangered ~11,000 marine species, we plan to offer that data in other ways for multiple uses to students, the general public, and researchers alike, especially to help promote marine conservation and marine conservation research.
Required: to achieve the above, ideally we need a small dedicated staff. Also, we are in need of Advisors for various marine species groups.
Project 2: Marine Conservation Information
We need to generate more interesting and in-depth information covering the main conservation issues concerning ocean life: global warming, the lack of a Sea Ethic, the solutions to overfishing (sustainable fishing), the threats to and an understanding of the importance of biodiversity, habitat conservation, ocean pollution, alien species, and sustainable ecotourism. Expert-reviewed sections on each topic with a focus on solutions while highlighting current efforts and the obstacles involved.
Status: UNDERWAY (ongoing): Marine Conservation section introduction
Importance: marine conservation essentially began with the save the whales campaign in the ’70s and the dolphin-safe tuna boycott in 1986. Since those times, we have learned much more about what lives in the ocean and subsequently that much of it is struggling, if not disappearing, due mainly to our presence. Like marine species data, marine conservation data exists online but it is usually also scattered with bits of data about different aspects at different locations, hidden in various books and journals, or written about for various reasons for a wide number of audiences. By researching and tying the existing data together and filling in the remaining gaps, we hope to provide the most complete picture possible of each marine conservation issue online. Then, also using various Web technologies, we will connect that data together in various ways with the above species to show, for example, relationships between species and the various conservation threats and their status. We should also be able to show and share various data on conservation issue solutions to the widest possible number of people, groups, agencies, and governments (knowledge is power and time is wasting). In doing so, these efforts should help to further promote marine conservation and marine conservation research.
Required: to achieve the above we also need staff. An important goal for MarineBio is to generate adequate funding to hire Marine Conservation Researchers to work on the very latest issues in the places where they are needed most. Of all research, and especially conservation research, marine conservation research is severely lacking (~30:1 according to Dr. Norse) and ocean life, which so many of us depend on, is quickly paying the ultimate price, extinction. And now with global warming as the number one marine conservation issue, there has never been a time when marine conservation research was more needed.
Project 3: Marine Life Sciences (Marine Biology)
Entails exploring and describing the alien world that marine life inhabits to assist with the understanding of the various marine conservation issues and their related efforts. This effort also interests and assists students around the world interested in studying Marine Biology, Biology, Zoology, Marine Conservation, Biological Oceanography, etc. We need to be able to offer at least a current entry-level Marine Biology course’s worth of information online to help students with career and job decisions, etc. as well as to help increase the global awareness of marine life and its conservation. By helping to ultimately produce teachers in the marine life sciences and the vital researchers that ocean life needs at this crucial time in history, we hope to help improve things for marine life (and ultimately ourselves) in countless ways.
Status: UNDERWAY (ongoing)
Project 4: Marine Conservation & Research Support
Status: UNDERWAY (ongoing)
Suggestions for volunteers:
- Review the groups listed at /conservation/marine-conservation-biology/organizations/
- Search for missing or new groups by species and the various issues involved. These pages should list ALL “effective” groups worldwide involved in marine conservation (look for signs of research, publications, etc. — effectiveness should be able to be verified, contact them if you have any questions).
- Contact each group to let them know they are listed on our pages with an offer to suggest updates, send us material concerning their latest efforts and to participate in our various social networking efforts, provide interviews, announce events, meetings, etc. If they are making a difference, we want to know and will do what we can to help.
- Keep in mind that these pages should serve multiple purposes, as:
- a current complete list of those groups worldwide that are actually making a difference for marine life for the benefit of the public, as well as ourselves,
- a list to help everyone determine what species, issues and areas are receiving the proper amount of attention and which are not, and
- a selected list of groups worthy of our and the general public’s support depending upon what species, issues and areas are of the most concern, etc.
There are literally hundreds of orgs of various kinds and trying to determine which groups are worth supporting has always been an irritating issue for us. This project, if successful, should help us (and others) see through the noise and support those groups making the greatest changes that are so desperately needed today.
Project 5: Ocean Online Communities
The MarineBio Conservation Society (MarineBio) maintains and is a member of various communities of worldwide members involved and interested in marine life, marine conservation and marine biology. Members include high school and college students, marine biologists, marine conservationists, ocean sports professionals, marine science professionals and academia, etc.
The MarineBio Conservation Society runs the following websites as part of our growing online presence supporting Our Mission:
MarineBio.org: since about 2000, we have averaged about 300K unique visitors and served about a half a million pages per month. And all without any significant external funding, thanks mainly to the countless visitors offering advice, pointing out mistakes and pitching in in various ways over the years. We read all feedback and will always welcome comments and suggestions concerning anything we offer. See the projects mentioned elsewhere on this page to see what we mainly need help with concerning the main site:
MarineBio @Facebook: currently reaching ~1 million people per week with >390K+ likes, our main Facebook page is becoming very popular as a great source of marine life photos and alerts concerning the latest issues in marine conservation here on Planet Ocean. Any and all feedback concerning our Facebook presence is highly appreciated:
MarineBio’s Facebook Group: named the “Friends of MarineBio.org” (the largest group of Marine Biologists online) and started in 2007 by our Dr. James Wood, our Facebook Group page currently has 21K+ members (including the likes of ocean heros such as Amos Nachoum, Andy Murch, Carl Safina, Cathy Church, David Doubilet, David Helvarg, Fabien Cousteau, Joe Romeiro, Richard Ellis, Sylvia Earle, and Wallace “J.” Nichols, to name a few, and many others from all walks of life and all around the world…). Any and all feedback concerning our Facebook Group presence is also highly appreciated.
MarineBio @Instagram: we’re a bit late to Instagram but we hope to make up for it quickly…
MarineBio @Twitter: our Twitter presence currently stands at about 3.4K+ tweets with 12K followers…
MarineBio @Pinterest: 900+ Pins, 51K+ monthly viewers and 1,475+ Followers), we look forward to seeing what’s possible for marine life on Pinterest. If you have experience on Pinterest and would like to help us push the limits there, please let us know!
MarineBio’s YouTube Channel: we consider our YouTube Channel a very useful resource to help us promote the best YouTube videos concerning marine life and its conservation as well as a way to link species to videos about them and improve our Ocean Channel (video library). With broadband speeds and availability improving all the time, online video has finally become a very important part of rich online experiences….
Where else should we be (LinkedIn, tumblr, StumbleUpon, reddit, deviantART, LiveJournal, Tagged, Ning, Meetup, Badoo, Dropbox, foursquare…)? We have a minor presence on Wikipedia and over 65K other webpages (various news sites, marine-life related groups, etc.) link to us in various ways…. Each site we’re on should primarily contribute to the important efforts by all effective groups toward spreading the proper awareness and making the changes needed NOW concerning the various marine conservation issues involving marine life (the ultimate uphill battle it seems).
Status: UNDERWAY (ongoing)
Project 6: Ocean Strandings Database
The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act falls short of requiring a central global database to store and analyze data concerning worldwide reports of marine mammal strandings (including unusual mortality events), necropsies results, etc. We plan to rectify that and also combine data about the stranding of sea turtles, fish, sharks, squid, etc. to help find out what trends may be hiding in the data to assist conservation efforts and research and to see if further work is needed involving investigations, especially in terms of the pathology involved and the common causes of strandings.
Potential sources of U.S. stranding data (there are “over 120 organizations partnered with NOAA Fisheries Service to investigate marine mammal strandings” alone…): California Academy of Sciences Department of Ornithology & Mammalogy | Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Department of Vertebrate Zoology at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Florida Strandings! | Institute for Marine Mammal Studies: IMMS Animal Rescues | Louisiana Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Marine Animal Rescue | Marine Mammal Center | Marine Mammal Center Rescue (Stranding) Network list | Marine Mammal Conservancy | Mote Marine Laboratory | NOAA NMSF Nationwide (U.S.) Marine Mammal Stranding Network Participants | NOAA NMFS Alaska Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network | NOAA NMSF NW Regional Office: Marine Mammal Stranding Network Maps & Area Contacts | NOAA NMFS Pacific Islands Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network | NOAA NMFS SE Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) | NOAA NMFS National Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Pacific Marine Mammal Center | San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network [Statistics] | Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network | Various Universities, Marine Science Centers and Aquariums | British Columbia, CA: Marine Mammal Research Group Stranding Hotline – 800-665-5939 | Canada Stranding Hotline – 800-465-4336 | FAQs: Whale and dolphin strandings and beachings
Project main purposes: to display simplified and referenced metadata concerning strandings of marine life from 1825 to the present in a central place online to help with efforts to understand and hopefully minimize or prevent such events in the future. The application will be very simple to use, utilize Google Maps and allow for detailed searching and reporting. It will hopefully help answer some basic questions surrounding marine life stranding events, such as:
- Which species strand the most often, where and why?
- Are stranding events increasing or is it just that reporting is improving? Where are they increasing the most?
- How are strandings related to natural events such as El Niños and other weather phenomena?
- What are the leading causes thought to cause stranding events? Do they differ by area?
- How many fin whales have stranded in the Atlantic Ocean since 1990? In the Pacific?
- What percentage of strandings have causes that are unknown? What is the likely reason…?
The project will also allow the public to submit new events as well as updates to existing events at any time for review and approval… we’ll also provide information to answer questions such as, what are you supposed to do when you find a stranded cetacean?
Status: IN NEED OF SUPPORT (Design phase completed. Projected launch date: unknown).
Contact our Founder at David@marinebio.org if you have any technical questions or are interested in collaborating.
Project 7: Marine Conservation Laws Reports
Research is underway to determine the extent of marine conservation laws worldwide. We need to research the details, species involved and areas currently protected to compare to what we find reported and recommended by other projects such as Project 6 above. This should help us define which laws appear to be working, why, which are not and what needs to be changed.
- Starting with Marine Mammal Protection Act (and the various agencies, etc. included on that page) and then searching throughout the Web, we first need an easy to use and complete outline page listing all applicable marine conservation related laws in force around the world (as well as those laws effecting marine life such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in the US, etc.). We can start with English-speaking countries but to be truly useful we’ll need pages about the relevant laws for all non-English speaking countries as well.
- Each law would then have its own page. We might start with listing all International Laws first and then list those applicable in each countries’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ)… we’re open to suggestions at this point. A succinct summary of each law followed by relevant resource links may be enough, let’s see what we find.
- Ultimately, we’d like the section to be able to tell users very quickly which laws apply depending upon where they are and what activity they are interested in pursuing (recreational and commercial fisherpeople come to mind here as the primary audience).
Project 8: MarineBio Kids!
We need to expand what we offer for kids of all ages (and especially their parents!) starting with the page at: MarineBio Kids. We first need to decide on the appropriate age groups (0-4? 5-7? 8-11?…) and then research all that’s available online that would be interesting for the various groups (no need to reinvent the wheel, if someone else offers wonderful lessons or games or movies, etc. then we need to know about it).
- Have a look at our only current page specifically for kids at /marinebio/games/. It will be split into games only and then needs to be replaced with a home page showing specific pages for different age groups.
- Search the Web and make a list of all the amazing resources for kids (and their parents and teachers) that you can find. Group them by age groups and look for those that offer the best materials for teachers too. There are tons of great materials online, let’s gather them all in one place and see what’s missing!
- Send us what you find with any remarks and suggestions you may have. Let’s start with English resources, etc. first and then look for Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian, etc. We have unlimited space and will make all the pages needed to offer the best resources available online for kids, their parent and their teachers.
Project 9: Marine Conservation Technology (Status Reports)
We need to identify the most useful and cost effective online and offline technologies being used to assist with marine conservation efforts today. To be posted online and updated frequently, this should provide a central place for marine conservation researchers, groups and others involved to most effectively take care of the business of restoring and protecting ocean life.
- We’ve started it at /oceans/submarines/ but it is far from complete. Using primarily online research, make up an outline of the specific tech being used in the various marine conservation efforts. For example, note the various tech involved in marine protected areas (MPAs) regarding delineation, determination, evaluation, monitoring and enforcement. Might break the tech down by issue or by species….
- Look for new tech (search news and research journals) such as AUVs, etc.
- If tech is used in marine conservation efforts, we need at least a page about it.
- The ultimate goal is to provide a simple to use area where those involved in marine conservation can review and make effective decisions regarding what tech to use to help them with their efforts.
- Once completed, we’d like to provide a monthly report about the latest developments in this field.
Project 10: Planet Ocean Content
We need to offer more pages regarding all interactions between humans and the ocean and its life. We have come a long way but still have much to do. If any of the following topics interest you, please let us know if you’d like to help us create pages about them (this list evolves over time, suggestions are more than welcome, and each topic should be covered in more depth than at least at Wikipedia…):
Topics Needed ASAP (in no order of importance…):
- Ocean Acidification: the science, the cause, the risks, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/global-warming
- Aquaculture: status, species, pros/cons, future, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/sustainable-fisheries
- Coral Bleaching: history, causes, prevention, the science involved, the future, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/global-warming
- Red Tides: history, causes, prevention, the science involved, the future, etc. Tie into /oceans/ocean-dumping
- Ocean Diseases: types, prevalence, species, causes, solutions, the future, etc. Tie into /oceans/ocean-dumping
- Marine Parasites: types, prevalence, species, causes, solutions, the future, etc. Start with /oceans/symbionts-parasites and expand…
- Marine Protected Areas vs. Marine Reserves: differences, benefits, cons, alternatives, current status, resources, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/sustainable-fisheries
- Ecosystem Management vs. other processes: what is it, pros/cons, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/sustainable-fisheries
- Research Vessels: ships, subs, aircraft, ROVS, AUVs, etc.
- Shipping: vessels, history, challenges, etc.
- Whale Watching: history, pros/cons, resources, etc.
- Diving: we have /oceans/scuba/ but it’s mainly about the History of Scuba and it’s rather old, let’s put History on its own page and make this section cover every aspect of scuba diving: types (snorkeling, free diving, sport, tech, commercial, military…), training, safety, best diev spots, where to see which species, underwater photography, videography, tech and commercial diving, gear (regs, BCs, computers, rebreathers…), etc. The more divers there are, the more people there will be that care about the Ocean and its life (and diving’s never been safer or more fun than now).
- Living Underwater: habitats history, current, future, challenges, etc.
- Living on the Sea: boats, sailboats, motorboats, yachts, etc.
- Water Sports! surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, etc.
- Oil & Gas from the Sea: drilling, platforms, exploration, history, challenges, tech, environmental issues, future, etc.
- Ocean Mining: history, status, future, etc. (e.g., China plans nuclear deep-sea mining base)
- Extraterrestrial/Extrasolar Oceans: starting with extraterrestrial liquid water, Mars, Europa, Callisto, Titan, Ganymede, Rhea, Titania, Oberon, Triton, Pluto, Eris, Sedna, Orcus, Ceres and possibly even Enceladus? For example, “Uranus and Neptune may possess large oceans of hot, highly compressed, supercritical water under their thick atmospheres, though their internal structure is not well understood at this time.” and “there is evidence that rocky planets hosting water may be commonplace throughout the Milky Way.”
- Shark Finning: (not shark fishing), include mantas being killed for just their gill rakers, etc. Tie into /oceans/conservation/sustainable-fisheries
- Plastic Pollution: best stats, status, efforts, alternatives, garbage patches, etc. Tie into /oceans/ocean-dumping
- Need to expand Ocean Pollution: this section should cover every type of pollution in detail (from all sources, industrial, commercial, residential, etc.) that effects marine life, every source, and all suggestions regarding solutions. Tie into /oceans/conservation/global-warming which is mainly about CO2 as a pollutant with various effects: warming, ocean acidification, etc.
- Commercial Fishing: everything… including TEDs, bottom trawling, etc. Start from /oceans/conservation/sustainable-fisheries
- Recreational Fishing: everything… what should every fisherperson know? What would they like to know?
- Captivity: all aspects concerning the controversial subject of keeping marine life in captivity, pros/cons, history, etc.
- Intelligence: what is it, who has it (marine mammals, cephalopods, fish?), who might have it…?
- We require pages for basically all ocean-related topics mentioned throughout the network such as the Great Barrier Reef or Oceania, etc. (any terms which are currently linked to Wikipedia).