Also by Willie

Orange roughy – a ‘sustainable’ fish certification too far.

Posted by Willie — 21 June 2016 at 2:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Lizzie Barber / Greenpeace
orange roughy illustration

Orange roughy are easy to over fish. So, humans do. But that doesn't seem to be stopping moves to re-define them as 'sustainable' by the Marine Stewardship Council.

True, when we started fishing orange roughy we didn’t know that this slow-growing, long-lived, deep water fish was particularly susceptible. But now we definitely do. Orange roughy can live to a staggering 150 years old, and are at least 30 years old before they are mature enough to breed. To put that into context: there are probably orange roughy alive today that were born when Queen Victoria was on the throne, and they take about 10 times longer to mature than Atlantic cod.

Fishing for plankton is ridiculous.

Posted by Willie — 1 June 2016 at 5:04pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/Sheldon_J._Plankton/gallery
Plankton is justifiably outraged.

In the ocean, plankton is food.

There are two types of plankton – tiny plants (phytoplankton) and tiny animals (zooplankton).

Zooplankton includes some eggs and larvae of things like fish and crabs, as well as some minute animals that feed on phytoplankton. That makes them the first link in any food chain, and the basis for all of the ocean’s food webs.

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?

About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, I work with Greenpeace on all things ocean-related

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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