Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // This week, I want to share with you my first ever Instagram photo. I was on assignment in Mexico, and my first camera assistant @jennygnichols asked why Paul Nicklen and I weren’t posting on Instagram. With her guidance, this was the first picture I shared on my feed, with what has become an amazing community. For many years, photography has been my outlet for artistic expression and the passport that has allowed me to immerse myself in the majesty of nature. It fills me with hope to see so many people who care for our oceans and are willing to take on issues of climate change, biodiversity, cultural loss, and women's empowerment. This wouldn’t have been possible without the power of social media and the connection it allows with millions of people around the world.
Video by @iantmcallister // Yesterday was World Rivers Day. Rivers are the lifeblood of the Great Bear Rainforest, providing spawning habitat to over 2000 different runs of wild salmon. For millennia, salmon have nourished and fed countless species throughout the rainforest coast, but many of these watersheds are lifeless because of dramatic salmon declines. These creeks and rivers are becoming known as ghost rivers.
The Canadian Government and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have turned their back on protecting wild salmon in favour of supporting farmed salmon. This is especially evident in the #GreatBearRainforest, where DFO has elected to not renew creek walker contracts. Since the turn of the last century, creek walkers would walk the rivers counting salmon. These counts have been the only connection between the health of wild #salmon and the Canadian public.
Canada’s mismanagement of wild salmon is an international embarrassment and a coastal ecological tragedy. By turning their back on wild salmon, the Federal Government is free to focus on industrializing the rainforest with LNG refineries, pipelines, mega dams and fish farms.
We must not let this happen. Please follow us at @PacificWild and sign the petition in our bio to tell the government you want them to protect #wildsalmon. Thank you.
Photo by Tide Member @arnezphoto. A big thanks to all of our Tide Members who submitted images and the stories behind them, for World Rivers Day! Join The Tide for future opportunities to contribute your work by visiting SeaLegacy.org/tide // I took a tour in the majestic Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas, Mexico. It broke my heart to see all this garbage, most prominently plastic bottles, floating on the surface of Grijalva River. The tour guide had to avoid garbage patches on the water and drove past the most affected areas at such a speed that it was tricky to get a good shot. It was even more disturbing since this area is actually a national park. It was a reminder of the fact that even the tiniest bit of plastic somewhere up in the mountains or anywhere along the shore of the river will eventually be washed away by the next storm and slowly but surely end up in our oceans. The Canyon provides dramatic views and steep cliffs, and its beautiful nature is an important habitat for all kinds of birds, fish and larger wildlife like spider monkeys and river crocodiles.
Photo by Tide Member @kalin_botev. This is one of two selected submissions for World Rivers Day! Join The Tide for future opportunities to contribute your work by visiting SeaLegacy.org/tide // A black-winged stilt feeds on a river bank in Bulgaria, Southeastern Europe during its spring migration. The bird was on its way to its nesting grounds, coming from the banks of the Mediterranean sea or the Indian ocean where it spends the winter by the warm ocean coasts. These birds breed by the banks of slow moving rivers or lakes. Their nesting grounds are highly affected by human activity, waste and disturbance. Human waste "migrates" from rivers to oceans, just like the birds. A crucial part of protecting our oceans is considering how our actions impact environments beyond our immediate surroundings.
Photo by @nickhawkinsphotography // A rainbow arches over a humpback whale as it dives into one of the many deep channels that cut through the Great Bear Rainforest. I just returned from my first trip into this incredible wilderness and very few places in my travels have felt as wild and untamed. This is one of the last intact temperate rainforests on Earth, a place to be cherished and protected for generations. Shot #onassignment for @oceanschoolnow#GreatBearRainforest#HeiltsukTerritory
Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // In addition to diving with narwhals and polar bears, one of my favourite things about visiting northern Greenland, is spending time with amazing Inuit huskies. There was a time when the survival of the Greenlandic huskies was in danger, after an epidemic of canine distemper killed large numbers of the breed. The dogs we now see in Greenland descend from Canadian huskies, which arrived through the ice bridge that once connected Canada and Greenland every winter, last formed in the 1980s. The Canadian huskies led a team of Inuit hunters across Baffin Bay and arrived in Greenland in the nick of time to carry the lineage down to these dogs we see today.
Video by @Jim_Abernethy // A gorgeous yellow seahorse, camouflaged with the pink and yellow sponges, feeds on the small shrimp and other invertebrates that drift by in the current at the Blue Heron Bridge, Florida. With the head of a horse, the snout of an aardvark, eyes of a chameleon, pouch of a kangaroo and the tail of a monkey, I find seahorses to be one of the most fascinating, mythical-like creatures of this planet. Sadly, the population worldwide is at a small fraction of what it once was, due to issues of by-catch, habitat loss, and excessive harvesting. Currently, on the west coast of Florida, hundreds of dead seahorses litter the beaches with the thousands of other victims of the region’s worst red tide in over a decade. Please sign and share the petition in my bio at @Jim_Abernethy to help end this environmental disaster.
Photo by @shawnheinrichs // Every year tourists spend an estimated $140 million to see manta rays in the wild. As a result, tourism can form part of the solution to combating the issue of global manta fisheries, providing many countries and governments with a strong economic incentive to protect these animals. By going out to swim with a manta, you are helping conserve one of the ocean's greatest treasures. Dive on in! #turningthetide with @shawnheinrichs@bluespherefoundation@sea_legacy@reddigitalcinema
Photograph by @PaulNicklen // In the cold waters of Norway’s northern fjords, we witnessed the remarkable feeding behaviours of orcas and humpback whales. Once assumed to be collaborating together, we quickly learned that it was the orcas who were doing all of the work, while the humpbacks, newcomers to these fjords, were opportunistic fish thieves, gate-crashing to feed on herring balls.
With your support, we took on the Norwegian government to ensure that both humpbacks and orcas, and all other wildlife, were free from the pressures of seismic exploration and drilling for the next four years. After this victory, we're excited to be heading back to Norway this November to continue our work so these magnificent creatures can be protected forever.
Photo by @nickhawkinsphotography // The mola mola image I posted before caused quite a bit of confusion as to the fishes orientation. Was it right side up or upside down? Where’s the mouth? Well, the mola was actually right side up. Here’s a more conventional view of the same mola from the left side that better shows the strange body form and the large dorsal and ventral fins that propel them through the open ocean. You can see that it also has a similar patch of parasitic copepods on its left side, ahead of the eye, which many of you confused for the mouth in the previous photo. Follow me @nickhawkinsphotography for more weird and wonderful marine life. Shot on assignment for @seabluecanada - together we’re shining a light on the species and ecosystems of Atlantic Canada. @SeaLegacy#TurningTheTide with @ecologyaction@davidsuzukifdn@wwfcanada@cpaws_national
Video by @shawnheinrichs // Imagine a "heat run" where 18 humpback whales charge right through you, full speed and in hot pursuit of a female. The ocean trembles with the incredible energy and intensity of these massive whales! 🐋💥🐋 As the largest marine mammals, whales play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy. They prevent species over-population, regulate food systems and combat climate change. We need all of our whales, alive and breathing, to support healthy and abundant oceans. Spend your tourism dollars in countries that protect wildlife, not those that slaughter it. #turningthetide with @shawnheinrichs@bluespherefoundation@sea_legacy#savethewhales#worthmorealive#stopthehunt