Discovery Channel Canada “Daily Planet” features interview and gorgeous drone video from Iain Kerr @Ocean Alliance of whale mom and baby calf, and more!
Innovation in Gloucester
Innovation in Gloucester
From ocean trash to fashion smash.
For more than four decades, Ocean Alliance has been a global leader dedicated to whale research and ocean health. In 2008 the organization moved its headquarters to one of Gloucester’s landmarks, the Paint Factory (built ca.1880s). Ocean Alliance http://www.whale.org/
By 2017, Adidas will produce 1 million UltraBOOST sneakers with material made from trash grabbed from the ocean. “Meanwhile, soccer jerseys that use the plastic will be worn by the Real Madrid squad when it plays Real Sporting de Gijón later this month. Eric Liedtke, responsible for global brands at Adidas, claims that the jerseys will be the first to be made completely from materials found in oceans.” Read more Fortune magazine
FOB Iain Kerr from Ocean Alliance let me know more exciting news.
We have just been told that they are airing the story on the NBC nightly news tomorrow night. Monday 19th.
I have attached a spectacular Alaska whale photo.
Watch NBC News on Monday night (19th) to see a story on Ocean Alliance. Correspondent Tom Costello came to Gloucester last week to shoot a segment on SnotBot. Mr. Costello and his team were a real pleasure to work with, we thank them for their interest in our work.
Congrats to our Ocean Alliance.
On Monday Sept 12th, Tom Costello from NBC Nightly News visited Ocean Alliance to shoot a story on SnotBot.
Mr. Costello was accompanied by his producer Jay Blackman, a videographer, and soundman. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the NBC team were on site from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.
Our CEO and chief SnotBot pilot Iain Kerr was interviewed and filmed flying SnotBot. Understanding the unique perspective of a drone, he offered to shoot some video of Mr. Costello for the news story with SnotBot. NBC are now heading to interview Dr. Scott Baker at Oregon State University, who is analyzing SnotBot samples from our most recent expedition to Alaska.
Took this photo from Ocean Alliance while attending Amy Kerr’s amazing art Show.
You’ve heard about SNOTBOT, right? OK, maybe you’re just visiting, so you haven’t heard about this yet. Let me explain: few other Kickstarter pledges could be better for the future of Gloucester (and anyone who lives or visits here) than this one — really, no kidding. You’ll be helping Ocean Alliance develop revolutionary drone technology for whale research — and there’s no telling what they might discover. But what ever it is, you’ll be a part of it along with iconic actor Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard on “Star Trek”, with a new show called “Blunt Talk” premiering TONIGHT on Starz)!
This is good for Ocean Alliance (which translates good for Gloucester because we want them to thrive here), good for whales, good for our planet, and good for all of us who will benefit from whatever they discover using this new gizmo! So pledge now right here.
Sunday morning Discovery Channel News was at Ocean Alliance filming a story about SnotBot, the organization’s new drone. The drone was created by a group of Olin College of Engineering students, under the direction of Professor Drew Bennet, in the College’s robotics lab.
“SnotBot will be used to collect DNA, bacteria, viruses and stress hormones from whale blows. The team also tested SnotShot, a machine that makes a simulated whale blow (with the capacity to simulate different blow types) on demand—a testing tool that will actually help the scientists in the field collect a control sample.
The SnotBot drone works something like this: “as SnotBot flies out to a whale that is approximately 300m from the research vessel, it hovers over a whale and the whale repeatedly blows onto a collection device. After the sample is collected and brought back to the RV Odyssey, the data is used to help interpret an animal’s state of heath through the analysis of bacteria, viruses, DNA, and stress hormones recovered from the whale’s blow.”
See More Photos Here
Here’s Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr representing at the United Nations where he is speaking today about ocean pollution for World Energy Day.
A lot of people don’t realize there is an open courtyard space that runs between the brick and wooden buildings at the Paint Manufactory. (see post card image)
As part of the restoration process, one of the courtyard spaces is currently being cleaned up by Kerr and his crew.
A pretty spectacular space.
Posting from very rough seas today in the Gulf of Mexico, we bring you the third crew blog by Ocean Alliance campaign leader Iain Kerr: on-board The R/V Odyssey for Operation Toxic Gulf.
I spend a lot of time captaining a desk nowadays so it is good to be back at sea with old and new friends and one of my favorite species sperm whales.
I do feel very frustrated by the lack of interest in whales in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 oil disaster. I have pounded the streets contacting pretty much every funding body I know to keep the RV Odyssey at sea each summer collecting data and yet as we move farther from the event funding is getting harder to come by. What scares me here is the fact that we have a unique toxicological experiment going on in the Gulf and we need to grab every bit of data we can – from my perspective our team is running through a burning library grabbing whatever books we can before the fire (or the chemicals used to put it out) irreparably damage or destroy the books. This then leads to what drives me as an individual.
I am impressed again and again by the depth of human compassion how people rise to the challenge when a crisis occurs. When the Tsunami devastated the Indian Ocean over $14 billion was raised internationally. In 2010 $3.4 billion was raised for Haiti relief in a matter of months.
During the 86 days of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico millions of people were riveted to the video feed of oil escaping into the Gulf. They seemed to become addicted to the live feed of an unfolding catastrophe. I thought that the Gulf spill would be a pivotal moment in humanity’s relationship with the oceans. You can imagine, then, how stunned I was when the leak was capped and people simply changed channels and tuned out. For Gulf species and residents, the potential long-term consequences of one of the largest oil spill’s and greatest release of dispersants ever to occur on this planet are unimaginable. But with the images gone, public concern seems to vanish.
It seems that unless people have a strong, tangible image on which to focus their compassion, we are not very good at staying involved. I fail to understand how our species can be so compassionate and yet, in the case of the Gulf — the ultimate case of ocean pollution — so naive. Because the oceans are down hill from everything and gravity never sleeps, everything ends up in the seas; yet it appears that without imagery of an unfolding catastrophe everyone assumes that the oceans can take all that we throw at them.
When our President Roger Payne founded Ocean Alliance in 1971 he did so with the goal in mind of setting up a ‘pathfinder’ organization that would tackle the difficult jobs and blaze a trail. Over the last 39 years (working with our partners around the world) we have succeeded on this front at many levels, but I remain deeply concerned by the way that ‘The tragedy of the Commons’ is being played out in the oceans. Roger said in a 1979 National Geographic article, “Pollution has replaced the harpoon as a mortal threat to whales, and in its way can be far more deadly.”
Since that time, Ocean Alliance has been focusing its efforts on documenting the levels and effects of ocean pollution on marine mammals, even though, given our limited resources, it would be hard to tackle a more difficult job. The news on ocean pollution turns out to be deeply disturbing. Despite evidence that ocean pollution is affecting our lives and those of our children, people don’t seem to get engaged, let alone enraged about its potential consequences for whales and humanity.
Please, be enraged and get engaged!
Thanks to the support of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Global Ocean Alliance will continue to collect data in the Gulf of Mexico this year and, write scientific papers and inform educators, policy makers, and the general public on wiser stewardship of our irreplaceable oceans and their marine mammal populations, and on the links between healthy oceans and our own health.
We hope that you will join us on this journey and thank you for your support — Oceans Matter