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HUMAN IMPACTS

Explore some of the Odyssey logs focused on the area of human impacts on the environment.


September 17, 2002
'The Lives of Sea Turtles - Part 3 - Threats'
"Sea Turtles have survived on our planet for more than 150 million years, however, they now require only but a nudge to be propelled forever into oblivion. Due to the increase in human pressures around the world, extinction is a serious possibility for most sea turtle populations. What can you do to help?"
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October 8, 2002
'Protecting the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary'
"The Seychellois are rightfully proud of their past environmental achievements and are probably most highly respected for their strong anti-whaling stance and commitment to the Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The sanctuary was initially declared in 1979 after meetings hosted and led by the Seychelles."
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June 11 2002
'Shimonoseki - 2002 International Whaling Commission Meeting'
"The very nature of our work affords us minimal contact with the outside world for extended periods. During these times, we are always anxious to hear news of significant global concern and last month's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting was certainly no exception."
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June 4 2002
'The Threats to Pulu Keeling National Park'
"As Wendy Murray explained to us today, simply designating an area as a National Park is not always enough to protect the habitat or it's wildlife. Today 'Pulu' Keeling National Park faces many threats from the natural elements and from humans who seek to exploit it's wealth."
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April 2, 2002
'Selecting Seafood Wisely'
"More than 1 billion people now rely on fish as their main source of animal protein, making it the fifth largest agricultural commodity in the world. Once one of the cheapest animal meats, fish is now the most expensive, a direct reflection of its increasing scarcity."
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March 26, 2002
'Patagonian Toothfish'
"Large scale fishing for Patagonian Toothfish began in the early 1990's following the decline in fish stocks in many northern hemisphere fisheries. The high market value and decline of worldwide stocks, together with the remoteness of the fishing grounds and lack of surveillance has provided ideal circumstances for illegal fishing."
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February 6, 2002
'Diving Through Debris'
"Sadly, marine debris is causing much suffering to seals and sea lions around the world. Today we went to visit our friends at the Royal Melbourne Zoo, in Melbourne, Australian, where we were taken behind the scenes of the fur seal exhibit with one of their keepers, Adrian Howard. Adrian gave us a greater insight into the lives of these amazing marine mammals and the threats they face".
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January 27, 2002
'The Whalers of Albany'
"Paddy Hart and Chase Van Der Gaag worked as skippers and master gunners aboard the Cheynes Beach Whaling Stations catcher boats. Between them they spent almost 30 years chasing and dispatching sperm whales that were processed and sold to overseas markets. Today they share some of their past experiences with us."
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January 21, 2002
'The History of Whaling in Albany, Australia'
"For almost two centuries, whalers from around the globe came to the waters of King George Sound and the surrounding areas for the same reason to hunt right whales, humpback whales and sperm whales. The last working whaling station [in Australia] only closed in Albany in 1978. This vast natural harbor on the remote southern coast of Western Australia has a rich and sometimes violent maritime history."
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January 8, 2002
'Scientific Whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary'
"When the crew returned to port and our first exposure to the news in nine days, we were intrigued and disturbed to learn that at the same time we had been at sea carrying out our benign research on sperm whales, a group of supposed "whale scientists" were conducting research in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary in Eastern Antarctic waters.
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November 9, 2001
'Not Enough Fish in the Sea'
"This is Genevieve Johnson speaking to you from Darwin Australia where we are currently anchored near several different types of boats. There are sailboats, tugboats, and naval vessels. However, by far the most numerous type are illegal fishing boats that have been caught fishing inside Australian territorial waters."
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November 2, 2001
'Ocean or 'Toxic Soup'?'
"Today, the contamination from persistent man-made chemicals is a pervasive global problem that urgently demands a global solution. These contaminants are found in all of the world's oceans..."
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October 4, 2001
'Kakadu and Uranium'
"The other day while exploring the unique wilderness of Kakadu National Park, we drove through an area of vast wetlands on the way to an Aboriginal rock art sight at Ubirr. It comes as a shock to many when they learn that this unique wilderness area is also the site of a controversial uranium mine."
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September 11, 2001
'Threats to Native Biodiversity'
"Since the beginning of the voyage, the Odyssey crew have born frustrated witness to the devastation brought about by the introduction of non-native species into countries from the Galapagos Islands to Papua New Guinea. Nowhere has the problem been as severe as it is in Australia.
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August 20, 2001
'Donating Their Bodies to Science'
"It would appear that Japan has once again succeeded in blocking the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with the help of Norway (the world's second largest whaling nation), and Japan's Caribbean 'buddies' who are keen to continue receiving the Overseas Development Aid (ODA) Japan gives them, and who show their gratitude by rubber-stamping Japan's minority positions on whaling."
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July 26, 2001
'The Impact of Introduced Species'
"The rapid transfer of alien species has reached catastrophic proportions in many of the world's seas, oceans, rivers, lakes and waterways. Sometimes a species of plant or parasite will be inadvertently growing on the shells of cultured shellfish, while other species are intentionally released into waterways to grow and be harvested."
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July 24, 2001
'Papua New Guinea Takes a Stand Against Whaling'
"It is the first day of the 53rd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Global tension is mounting as member nations gather in London, England to discuss the future of the whales of the world. It is highly likely that the resolutions of this years meeting will spell disaster for the great whales."
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July 3, 2001
'The Shell Trade'
"Renowned for the brilliance of their attractive, bright patterned colors and often their rarity, the temptation to purchase shells as souvenirs can be irresistible. An impulsive purchase can spell disaster for the local reef."
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June 28, 2001
'The Deadliest Predator in the Sea'
"If asked the question, ‘what is the deadliest predator in the sea?’- the response of most people would include animals that bite or sting. However, the deadliest predator in the sea does neither and is far more dangerous than any shark, sea snake, jelly or giant squid.."
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May 28, 2001
'Shark Finning'
"This is Roger Payne speaking to you from the Odyssey about one of the most appalling fishing practices now being pursued. Called shark finning, it is the fishery that collects the fins of sharks so they can be used to make Shark fin soup. This fishery has become almost unbelievably lucrative owing to the high prices shark fins command in cities like Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, where a bowl of shark fin soup can cost $90."
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February 17, 2001
Politics of Whales
"When we left Kiribati a week ago, there were a about thirty large crates on the dock, addressed to Kiribati Fisheries from "Japan Aid"-obviously a gift to Kiribati from Japan to help them develop their fisheries. In addition, there is a new commercial fishing market being built on the Kiribati dock to which these crates were destined. This is a familiar pattern: Japan makes a major investment in the fisheries of some small country like Kiribati, then gets that country to support them in the international whaling commission."
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January 31, 2001
Global Warming
"The islands making up the nation of Kiribati, are low lying coral atolls, which, in the not-too-distant future, may well attain the much unwanted notoriety of being among one of the first countries to be affected disastrously, or destroyed entirely by the unavoidable rise in sea-level which scientists believe global warming will bring."
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June 20, 2003
'Save the Dolphins'
"Few people are aware of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of small whales, known as dolphins and porpoises, that are killed every year in frightening numbers as a direct result of entanglement in fishing gear. In fact considerably more dolphins are killed today than all the great whales that were killed at the height of the mechanized commercial hunts that brought many species to the brink of extinction."
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April 29, 2003
'The Sea Turtle Tragedy'
"At 2 o'clock this afternoon, Peter radioed the helm from the observation platform when he spotted something floating in the water about 300 meters ahead. As Mark followed Peter's directions to steer Odyssey toward the floating object, Peter called down again: 'I think it's a turtle tangled in fishing gear'."
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March 26, 2003
'Coral Bleaching'
"During our time researching sperm whales in the Maldives, the crew dove on some of the most spectacular and in tact coral reefs found anywhere in the world. Yet even on these heavily protected reefs there are signs of trouble."
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