Tag Archives: marine

Book Review: Wild Sri Lanka, by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Wild Sri LankaTo readers unfamiliar with Sri Lankan wildlife, the claims Gehan sets out in the introductory chapter to Wild Sri Lanka might seem fantastical. One of the best whale-watching destinations in the world? The largest annually occurring concentration of elephants in the world? The largest “bird wave” phenomenon in the world? It seems hard to believe, of an island roughly the size of Tasmania or Ireland.

But by presenting data he has gathered over many years, and sharing personal accounts of

The Poseidon adventure: behind the scenes at Atlantis’s aquaria

Manta ray Poseidon

The gigantic Atlantis mega-resort in the Bahamas is not somewhere I’d normally choose to stay, but when I found myself there for a recent tourism conference, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much conservation work is done by its team of marine experts.

Giant aquariums filled with fish, coral and sea mammals form an integral part of the resort, which is themed on the legend of the sunken city of Atlantis. I’m not sure I… Continue reading

A giant problem: whale sharks, shark fin soup and WildAid’s work to “stop the buying”

Branson swimming with a whale shark. Photo: Shawn Heinrichs, WildAid
Branson & whale shark. Photo: Shawn Heinrichs, WildAid

On a Virgin Atlantic trip to Cancun last week, I had the chance to fulfil a childhood dream of swimming with whale sharks – the largest fish in the ocean, growing up to 10-14 metres in length. I was concerned the tour might feel intrusive, but the Mexican guides on my boat were thoroughly responsible and considerate, following… Continue reading

Making a comeback: Bluefields Bay marine project six months on

A Green Travel Guides crew has just been out to Jamaica to film the latest developments from the marine sanctuary project I reported on in January. Assisted by The Travel Foundation and Virgin Holidays, local fishermen have created Jamaica’s largest marine reserve, to allow depleted fish stocks to recover.

The Bluefields Bay reserve is now a year old, and it seems that fish stocks have gone from strength to strength since my visit at the start of the year. The wardens… Continue reading

Aquaculture: a breeding ground for trouble?

A story about aquaculture on a North Carolina news site gave me food for thought. The journalist visited a research facility which is developing methods of artificially cultivating saltwater fish (aquaculture has been used more for freshwater fish to date).

In many ways, I think aquaculture sounds like a sensible idea.

  • Natural fish stocks around the world are now dangerously low because of overfishing. By farming fish in giant tanks, we can reduce the pressure on

A fascinating presentation by SeaWeb – “the ocean’s PR agency”

I attended a brilliant series of lectures last weekend, as part of Biosphere Expeditions’ 10th anniversary celebrations. Biosphere Expeditions is a conservation organisation which runs scientific research projects on which lay people can volunteer.

In the afternoon, we heard about big cat conservation Tessa McGregor, who heads up Biosphere’s snow leopard project in the stunning Altai Mountains of Central Asia. We also heard from Chris Gerrard of the Wildlife Trust who set up the Great Fen Project in Cambridgeshire (see my… Continue reading

Art with heart: underwater sculptures help Cancun’s damaged coral

I was pleased to hear that Cancun has devised an underwater museum as a new tourist attraction.Jason de Caires Taylor's new underwater museum in Cancun Not because I thought the world necessarily needed an underwater museum (more on that later) but because this is good news for the threatened coral reefs in the Cancun area.

The massive expansion of tourism over the last 40 years has led to the rapid decline in the quality of the… Continue reading