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CBS News 60 Minutes | "William Trubridge on defending dolphins"

See it on CBS News.

Hector's & Maui's Dolphins

Hector's Dolphins, and their subspecies the Maui's Dolphins, are the world's smallest cetacean and the most endangered dolphin species.

FACTS

  • they are found only in areas of New Zealand's coastal waters, in water shallower than 100m.
  • there are less than 7,000 Hector's Dolphins remaining.
  • there are only 55 remaining Maui's Dolphins, which teeters on the brink of extinction.
  • irresponsible fishing methods have bought their populations to these levels, since the dolphins are easily entangled in nets that are invisible to the sonar they use for echo-location.
  • their only salvation lies in the reform of fishing legislation to ban any kind of set net and trawl fishing wherever the dolphins are found in waters up to 100m deep.

In 2010 William set a world record of 100 meters (one hectometer) without any assistance or fins as part of "Project Hector," an attempt to raise awareness of the plight of this species and compel government to make the right decision for their preservation. The battle continues, as government is currently considering the latest round of submissions from the public. You can help by visiting the Hectors and Maui's Dolphins website and adding your voice to the campaign to increase their protection.

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Plastic Seas

Plastic is forever

All rivers run to the sea

These two facts, combined with the huge increase in plastic products that are used daily (in 2008 more than half a million tonnes per day was produced worldwide) has meant that our oceans have become inundated with plastic, floating on the surface or coating the reefs and seafloors.

America alone throws away 35 billion plastic water bottles per year.

Denni's Trash image

Once the plastic waste enters the oceans it is influenced by global currents that distribute it around the world. It is broken into ever smaller particles by wave action, but doesn't ever completely disintegrate, meaning the ocean turns into a kind of plastic soup of particles of varying sizes. These enter the marine food chain (and hence our food sources), and kill huge amounts of sea life, such as turtles, who mistake plastic bags for their normal jellyfish prey, or sea birds who die far from civilization with collections of plastic in their bellies.

Huge 'plastic gyres,' larger than any American state, are forming where currents have a whirling effect in the middle of oceans.

A solution?

The plastic disclosure project is a tool for businesses to track their 'plastic footprint' in the same way that many have chosen to monitor CO2 usage. By setting targets to diminish this footprint through the "3 R's" (reduce, recycle and reuse) companies can increase their brand appeal while protecting the environment. For more information watch this video and read the description below it, and if you own a company then I strongly encourage you to become part of the plastic disclosure project - clients are increasingly making decisions based on companies' eco-standards!

William is an ambassador for the Ocean Recovery Alliance, an organisation that is working to find solutions and raise awareness of the plastic epidemic. He also works in the Bahamas to organise clean-ups and educate the new generation about the importance of taking care of our oceans.

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Daily Galaxy Plastic Ocean Trash image
Plastic Seal