In a perfect blend of art, science and fun, ocean conservationist and comic strip artist Jim Toomey is featuring the real life journey of Fillmore, a Green Sea tagged by a group from SeaTurtles.org and PRETOMA this past September off Costa Rica’s Cocos Island.
Toomey hopes to connect hundreds of thousands of readers, young and old to conservation efforts led by SeaTurtles.org at the remote Cocos Island National Park offshore of Costa Rica. Fillmore the green sea turtle in the comic strip shares anecdotes on illegal fishing, coral reef ecology, and actual scuba-diving spots that the real sea turtle encounters during its meanderings at Cocos Island.
“Cocos Island is one of the most amazing underwater habitats in the world, but even this protected area is under siege from illegal fishing that kills endangered sea turtles,” said Todd Steiner, director at SeaTurtle.org and one of the researchers who attached the satellite-tracking device to the real sea turtle they named Fillmore. “Fillmore in the comic strip can reach millions of kids who can be the next generation of sea turtle activists working to save these imperiled creatures from extinction.”
Toomey has used Sherman’s Lagoon to promote awareness of ocean and shark conservation efforts and last partnered with SeaTurtle.org to raise awareness of sea turtles trapped in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sign up today at www.seaturtles.org/fillmore to get daily updates about Fillmore’s wanderings, facts about the remote Cocos Island, and alerts about what you can do to help protect sea turtles and their habitat.
And how about this for a Christmas Gift? You can even adopt a real sea turtle nest on a beach in Costa Rica under the protection of SeaTurtles.org’s partner project PRETOMA (www.pretoma.org). They also protect sharks and promote a pledge to eat seafood that is caught in ways that are safe to sea turtles.
Fillmore will be featured at Cocos Island for the entire Thanksgiving week and for a few days afterward before he returns to his digs at Sherman’s Lagoon.
Not a new video… but just as important as when it was released. A dramatic film on the leatherback sea turtle, the largest of all turtles and the most endangered. Includes dramatic video above- and underwater and interviews with experts on the issue.
Ocean Champion Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-Marin/Sonoma), was honored on Sunday at Sea Stewards wrap-up Sharktoberfest event hosted by Turtle Island Restoration Network and Lori Grace of Sunrise Center in Corte Madera.
There was a great deal to celebrate this year – the passing into law of CA Bill AB 376 banning the sale of shark fins in the state, as well as shark sanctuaries popping up around the globe in ever increasing numbers as public awareness grows of the key role of sharks in ocean ecosystems and planetary health. It truly is a case of ‘No Fins, No Future.’
And as David McGuire reminded us, poaching is a big issue, and the need for enforcement of ‘shark safety zones’ remains a challenge that we must face as we move forward to protect sharks worldwide. And now that the shark fin ban has been signed into law, next up will be to ban the killing of sharks altogether in California waters.
Todd Steiner, Executive Director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network welcomed David McGuire to the crew out in Forest Knolls. David will be directing their ‘Got Mercury.org’ program working to protect fish & public health. David will also continue his shark research, conservation and advocacy and with the TIRN team, will be able to achieve even greater success for ocean protection.
This has definitely been Sea Stewards (and the sharks’) best Sharktober yet!