Also by Willie

How much do you really know about turtles?

Posted by Willie — 20 May 2016 at 4:21pm - Comments

I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea in the Mediterranean Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

I’ve also learned a lot of interesting and surprising facts about these enigmatic creatures, and I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you:

11. Sea turtles are ancient

How much do you know about whales?

Posted by Willie — 20 May 2016 at 11:39am - Comments

I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive humpbacks leaping clean out of the water in Cape Cod, migrating gray whales in California, Orcas chasing salmon in Canada, and even minke and fin whales in glassy-calm British seas.

I’ve also learned a lot of interesting and surprising things about these ocean giants, and I wanted to share a few of my favourite facts with you:

Finding a sense of porpoise.

Posted by Willie — 19 May 2016 at 12:00pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Stefan Schorr / Greenpeace

Being a porpoise looks rubbish.

Dolphins look like they have fun. They even look like they seek out fun. Okay, the fixed grins make them seem perpetually happy but let’s be honest - when was the last time you saw a porpoise jumping out of the water or heard a friend gushing about an *amazing* experience seeing porpoises?

There’s good reason that porpoises don’t have the wow factor of dolphins: and it’s not just that they have bad PR people.

Iceland's fin whale hunt cancelled for 2016

Posted by Willie — 25 February 2016 at 1:24pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Modrow/Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists blockade whale meat shipment in port of Hamburg.

No endangered fin whales will be hunted in Iceland this year.

This is great news. Word today from colleagues in Iceland, and now reports in both Icelandic and English-language media confirm that the planned hunt for fin whales will not happen this summer. The man behind that whaling is claiming that he’s stopping because of ‘hindrances’ in exporting the meat. That’s great news for whales, and everyone who has been opposing this needless, senseless hunt.

World's oldest wild bird has a new chick - but is it a doomed messenger in an increasingly polluted ocean?

Posted by Willie — 16 February 2016 at 2:31pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: https://www.facebook.com/hokuleawwv
World's oldest wild bird, Laysan albatross Wisdom & chick | https://www.facebook.com/hokuleawwv

Imagine becoming a parent at the age of 65. It might seem miraculous but that is what has happened to the world’s oldest known wild bird, an Albatross living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Why do whales strand on beaches?

Posted by Willie — 26 January 2016 at 1:19pm - Comments
Sperm whales washed up on skegness beach
All rights reserved. Credit: Lee Swift
Sperm whales washed up on a Skegness beach

Shocking and sad images have been all over the media in the past few days as some massive sperm whales have washed up dead on British beaches. Normally humans and these deep water leviathans live far apart, so it’s understandable that we are surprised and distraught to encounter them like this. But why does it happen? And what can you do?

New Year's plastic resolution: 5 simple ways to help the ocean.

Posted by Willie — 7 January 2016 at 12:22pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Poldhu Beach Watcher/BBC News

The New Year’s storms have brought a lurid, unmissable reminder to UK beaches, with thousands of bright pink detergent bottles being churned up by the sea. As waves of highly-visible plastic trash hit British beaches, it’s a timely reminder of a much bigger problem: we are turning our oceans into plastic soup. It’s been estimated recently that about EIGHT MILLION TONNES of plastic ends up in the ocean each year.

Cheap seafood costs too much in human suffering

Posted by Willie — 14 December 2015 at 1:09pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Dita Alangkara/Associated Press
Children and teenagers sit together to be registered by officials during a raid on a shrimp shed in Samut Sakhon, Thailand.

About 8 years ago, I had the joy of doing a live news interview from a fish processing factory in Grimsby. Being in a fish processing factory in Grimsby was fine, it was wearing a hair net on national TV that wasn’t.

The story being discussed was seafood brand Young’s decision to ship UK-caught shrimp all the way to Thailand and back, a move that was ‘better’ in terms of CO2 emissions, and cheaper for consumers.

But what price do we pay for cheap seafood?

Seven Deadly Fins

Posted by Willie — 30 October 2015 at 4:01pm - Comments
Seven deadly fins - scary creatures from the deep sea
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Which ocean creature sends a shiver down your spine?

If you go down in the deep today, you might get a big surprise. At Hallowe’en the usual ghosts, ghouls and monsters are all-too-familiar. But if you want a real fright, you really need to see what’s lurking in the sea. 

So, prepare yourself as we introduce you to seven of the spookiest, kookiest and most sinister denizens of the deadly deep, deep sea.

Big Blue Love for Big Blue Live

Posted by Willie — 21 August 2015 at 2:42pm - Comments

Something amazing is happening in Monterey Bay, California. The bay is a marine sanctuary, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The bay is home to an amazing array of wildlife: everything from cute, cuddly sea otters to prehistoric pelicans, from massive kelp forests to gigantic blue whales. But the big news is that BBC is kindly bringing all of this right into your living room with a massive live TV event called Big Blue Live.

About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, part of the Greenpeace UK biodiversity team. I work mostly on oceans and fishy issues.

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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