Author, broadcaster and activist Melody Horrill (The Dolphin Who Saved Me) talks about saving the Port River dolphins and how a dolphin named Jock saved her with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young (author of Sharks Forever & Orcas Everywhere). “Dolphins do have a special place in our hearts… They help us connect to the water and the natural world.”

Shownotes:

5:10 Meet the Port River dolphins. And find out why they’re in trouble.

10:20 “I made it my single-minded mission to let everyone know in South Australia that these dolphins existed. They’re here.”

11:10 “They do have a special place in our hearts… They help us connect I think to the water and the natural world.”

11:50 On the Port River becoming a dolphin sanctuary and how her documentary helped change minds and laws.

15:23 Is the sanctuary really dolphin-friendly?

15:46 The first time she saw a dolphin.

16:51 Meeting Jock.

19:35 “Little did I know at that time that Jock would end up being my best friend. And lead me out of a place that I didn’t think was possible. Immediately I just felt this connection to this solitary dolphin. He was by himself… he just seemed adrift and alone. So from my perspective it was this instant recognition of another being that I felt compassion for and a connection with.”

22:20 “He accepted me in a way that I’d never been accepted in my life before.”

24:20 “He taught me a lot about forgiveness.”

25:07 “He forced me to live in the moment… we’re not feeding him, we’re not enticing him. There’s no other reason for him to hang out with me other than he just wants to. How mind-blowing is that?… It made me realize love was possible.”

26:00 Helping Jock meet and interact with other dolphins. “He taught me about courage.”

29:59 “We really tried to keep his friendliness quiet.” Jock following her boat.

32:34 Connecting with Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute.

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Melody Horrill with the perfect beach book!
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Author and marine conservation biologist David Shiffman (Why Sharks Matter) talks about Sharkweek, Sharknados, megalodon myths, Jaws and junk science with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young (author of Sharks Forever & Big Sharks, Small World). “More people are bitten by other people on the New York city subway system every year than are bitten by sharks in the whole world… but whenever any shark gives someone side eye anywhere in the world, it’s headline news everywhere in the world.”

Shownotes:

4:10 “Jaws has had a really transformative impact. For sharks mostly bad.” How Jaws changed everything for sharks and meeting Richard Dreyfuss. “The movie is just so good.”

5:05 “It’s really changed the world. Before Jaws came out most people really didn’t think about sharks at all.”

5:56 “Spielberg has a lot to answer for here.”

6:23 The Jaws Effect. “It refers to how fictional portrayals of a real world issue can affect how people really think about that issue. In reality.”

7:36 Watching The Shark is Broken – the Jaws play – on Broadway!

10:14 On the impact of Sharknado! “I love those goofy, bad shark movies… there are two kinds of shark movies – there are bad shark movies and there’s Jaws.” And how Sharknado funded his PhD work.

13:18 “It’s just frigging weird how much this goofy Saturday night basic cable movie has escaped its cage and entered the cultural zeitgeist.”

13:44 “Here’s a crazy story for you…” How Sharknado may have launched Donald Trump’s political career.

16:04 On being Sharkweek’s number one critic “I’m very critical of the dumpster fire of nonsense and lies that they show every year.”

17:33 “I could rant about how bad Sharkweek is… forever.” And how Sharkweek does nothing to help sharks. “Sharkweek and I are not besties.”

17:48 There are more dudes named Mike on Sharkweek than there are women… even though in real life 60% of shark experts are women.

19:37 Great white sharks are mentioned in 40% of newspaper stories about endangered sharks – even though they’re not one of the most endangered species… All anyone wants to talk or write about… great white sharks.

21:00 Getting people to care about the bigger picture…”One thing that does change people’s minds is “yes, and…””

25:44 Talking 24 and sharks. “All of the species of sharks in the world combined have killed a lot fewer people than Jack Bauer has killed on-screen. Not even counting his off-screen exploits.”

26:34 “More people are bitten by other people on the New York city subway system every year than are bitten by sharks in the whole world… but whenever any shark gives someone side eye anywhere in the world, it’s headline news everywhere in the world.”

27:46 “Seeing a shark swimming close to the beach is not news. That’s where they’re supposed to be.”

28:00 A toy story – myth busting a fake goblin shark.

31:18 The megalodon conspiracy! “They were very cool – but they’ve been extinct for millions of years.”

33:38 The importance of public science engagement.

34:54 A new treaty that may help save sharks – and other species.

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David Shiffman and friends…
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Filmmaker Gloria Pancrazi (Coextinction) talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young about red herrings, fishy fish farms, whale watching, whale saving and Coextinction. “Orcas are telling us something. They’re showing us something. You can learn a lot about the things we’ve got to do in the world right now by looking at these orcas.”

Shownotes:

3:35 Meet Gloria Pancrazi and how the story of love for orcas turned into a mission to save the southern resident orcas.

6:12 “A lot of politicians like to blame whale watchers because then they can accept a pipeline that’s going to increase tanker traffic by seven- fold… you can go on and on about the impact of the Trans Mountain pipeline and how it’s going to impact southern resident orcas.”

8:38 “One of the biggest points of the movie is that everything is connected… it’s hard to pick one big issue.”

11:50 “It always fascinated us how the orcas are telling us something. They’s showing us something. You can learn a lot about the things we’ve got to do in the world right now by looking at these orcas.”

13:18 “They are each other’s home and we’re destroying that home.”

13:38 The first time she saw a whale:

15:35 Working for Cetus’s Straitwatch program in Canada and SoundWatch in the US and the challenges of keeping orcas safe from small boats.

22:04 Visiting OrcaLab. “It’s magical up there.”

25:28 The impacts of colonization and colonial trauma.

27:50 Where and how to see Coextinction.

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Cephalopod expert Danna Staaf (author of The Lady and the Octopus and Monarchs of the Sea) talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young about the alien world of octopuses, the secret lives of squid and her two new books Nursery Earth: The Wondrous Lives of Baby Animals and the Extraordinary Ways They Shape Our World and The Lives of Octopuses and Their Relatives: A Natural History of Cephalopods. “They are definitely our fellow earthlings and some of the oddest ones we share the planet with.”

Shownotes:

3:20 Meet Danna Staaf. “They are extremely intelligent animals with extremely short life-spans.”

6:12 Meet Danna Staaf’s first pet octopus – Serendipity.

12:32 “There’s this tension between the alien and the familiar in them.” And octopus decor…

13:50 “They are definitely our fellow earthlings and some of the oddest ones we share the planet with.”

15:49 How and why cephalopods lost their shells.

22:15 The difference between octopus and squid. “Squid basically evolved for swimming and for speed.”

25:10 “Cephalopods are amazing.”

27:13 “These are real animals that inspired a lot of myths and legends.”

28:35 “Squid are like the protein bars of the oceans.”

31:30 Squid squads!

32:36 Baby animals doot doot doot doot – Danna Staff’s new baby book!

34:31 “At any given moment, most of the animals on earth are babies… I find all of them to be adorable in their own ways.”

41:20 Her favourite odd octopus facts… donut brains!

42:17 “I love asking what if questions about nature and about science.”

44:20 How humans are threatening octopuses and the health of the oceans.

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Danna Staff Author Photo_credit Josh Weaver
Danna Staff Author Photo – credit Josh Weaver
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Jason Colby (author of Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator) talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young about the capture of Toki/Tokitae/Lolita/Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut and how Penn Cove almost ended the southern resident orcas and was the beginning of the end of the capture era. “It’s worth remembering that the argument at the time, if there could have been a debate at the time, it was really between whale catching and whale shooting, not whale catching and whale watching.”

Shownotes:

0:00 The voice of Toki.

4:08 Jason Colby on writing the book – or at least a very long chapter of his book – on Penn Cove.

6:05 “They eventually capture virtually all of these orcas behind nets. They estimate at the time around 90 individuals… The estimates vary but almost certainly the entire population of the Southern residents.”

7:43 “It’s worth remembering that the argument at the time, if there could have been a debate at the time, it was really between whale catching and whale shooting, not whale catching and whale watching.”

8:50 “Once they rounded them up, 90 to 100 animals, if Ted Griffin and his company would have wanted to and would have had the market to sell all 90 of them they could have done that. If they had wanted to shoot them all in the nets, they could have done that. There may have been a firearms violation, but there would be no sort of conservation law violation.”

10:30 “This must have been horrifically traumatic for these pods to be torn apart.”

11:20 How activists trying to free the orcas accidentally kill four baby orcas.

12:20 Hiding the bodies… “Whether it was illegal or not, it looks like a murder scene.”

14:20 Is Toki really L Pod or did she learn how to speak L Pod from Hugo in Miami?

20:04 “It was a generational loss.”

21:20 “If Griffin had done what the fisherman who was helping him demanded – which is to sell all of them all – you could have seen the entire population of Southern residents extinguished before we had even identified them scientifically as a population.”

23:00 How to help orcas today and the problems humans are creating for orcas today.

26:04 Toki talks.

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Jason Colby from Mark Leiren-Young’s award-winning documentary The Hundred Year-Old Whale
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Howard Garrett (Orca Network) remembering the southern resident orca Toki/Tokitae/Lolita/Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut and his nearly thirty year fight to bring Toki home to the Salish Sea. “Toki’s legacy is building, building, building by the day… She wasn’t just a circus animal. She was a member of the southern residents.”

Shownotes:

0:00 The voice of Toki.
4:57 How Howard started fighting to bring Toki home

7:50 “I really feel like she would have thrived and been thrilled and so relieved to be in her familiar waters.”

14:16 A superpod wake for Toki?

15:55 The Lummi Nation’s fight for Toki.

20:05  The origins of Toki’s names and becoming Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut.

21:44 “Her tank violated the very dismal standard of the animal welfare act…”

30:15 Getting the news that she was gone.

34:00 Toki’s legacy.

43:00 Toki speaks.

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Howard Garrett at a marine conference in Vancouver in 2017
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Author and biologist Rowena Rae on swimming with salmon, threats to this essential species and their incredible resilience with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young. “Salmon can thrive if we just give them a chance… if people would just get out of the way, they can thrive”.

Shownotes:

3:54 On becoming a biologist and leaving biology for writing.
7:12 Introducing young readers to the story of Rachel Carson.

9:20 Introducing Rachel Carson and the importance of Silent Spring.

12:20 Swimming with salmon.

14:07 Keystone species and why they matter.

19:oo  Humans Vs. Salmon; almost everything eats salmon  — salmon as “eco-system engineers”.

23:44 How to save Chinook salmon.

26:09 The fish farm jail-break in Washington State.

28:50 On the resilience of nature and salmon, and why to have hope. “They’re tenacious, they hang on … salmon can thrive if we just give them a chance”.

31:30 How we can help salmon.

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Rowena Rae – author of Salmon: Swimming for Survival

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Shark expert Alessandro De Maddalena talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young about hunting for the perfect shark photo, the two orcas who are hunting great white sharks in South African waters, what makes great whites great and so much more! “The reason I love sharks is that they are a perfect art form. I consider Mother Nature the greatest artist.”

Shownotes:

4:22 How Alessandro De Maddalena fell for sharks as a kid and why sharks are cooler than dinosaurs.
9:00 Why he thinks the great white is great: “the first time I was watching a great white underwater it was magic… The reason I love sharks is that they are a perfect art form. I consider Mother Nature the greatest artist.”
13:10 Perfect predators and perfect book titles.
17:01 How little sharks care about humans. “Sharks care very little about humans. In most cases they don’t care at all.”
21:40 “The fear was born with Jaws…”
27:50 “People like to be afraid. People like monsters. People also like to create monsters.”
28:44 Leading Great White Shark expeditions.
33:40 His three best moments with sharks.
37:15 The truth behind the orcas attacking sharks in South Africa. No they are not a major threat to the great white shark population!
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Alessandro De Maddalena

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Alessandro De Maddalena image – featured in Mark Leiren-Young’s book Sharks Forever

Sean Holman @Seanholman founder and lead of the Climate Disaster Project @cdp_community talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young @leirenyoung about the past and future of the media’s climate coverage, fighting fires with facts and sharing stories to save the future.

Shownotes:

5:00 Welcome Sean Holman. Why he challenged journalists to do better in their climate coverage.
10:57 The challenge of news cycles moving faster than science
15:10 “There is a lot that we can individually do about combat climate change creating collective action around that. as an example In the United States if everyone switched from eating beef to beans the United States would have actually met the greenhouse gas targets that were set by Obama.”
16:34 ““Almost all of us are climate disaster survivors in one way shape or form but many of us are also perpetrators of climate change as well in our individual lives.”
17:01 Climate impact on the oceans.
21:53 Climate impact on the economy
23:44 How the smoke from the 2017 BC Wildfire season changed the way he saw the world
26:40 The origins of the Climate Disaster Project and the importance of creating community
29:33 What gives Sean Holman hope
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Sean Holman

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Photo via the BC Wildfire Service.

Jonathan Mesulam @MesulamJonathan Founder and Coordinator of the West Coast Development Foundation in New Guinea talks with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young @leirenyoung about the crucial fight to stop Deep Sea Mining in his home – New Guinea – and around the world.

Shownotes:

5:00 Welcome to Jonathan Mesulam
10:00 The importance of the church in fighting sea bed mining in New Guinea
12:20 Calling out Canada for allowing Canadian companies to mine in the waters off other countries
14:49 “No one knows the risk.”
16:23 On displacing communities. “If the sea is destroyed where are people going to get food?”
21:40 On leaving teaching to fight for the oceans.
25:12 “This fight is not really about us, it’s about everyone.”
27:00 All the places the sign we carried has traveled.
28:32 What he’d like Canadians to do. “We’re looking at the Pacific Ocean and it’s connecting you and me.Any activity on the Pacific Ocean is going to affect your coastline as well. The sea has no boundary… Canadians really need to speak up… Canadians should say no to sea bed mining… This project is a Canadian initiation.”
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Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@LeirenYoung) shares the introduction and opening chapter of his new book Sharks Forever: The Mystery and History of the Planet’s Perfect Predator published by Orca Book Publishers (@orcabook).  “If you swim in the ocean every day for 100 years, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than swallowed by a shark.” – Mark Leiren-Young from Chapter 1, Sharks Forever.

 

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Show notes:

0:00 – Intro
0:00 – Introduction to Sharks Forever
0:00 – Chapter 1: Sharks Forever

Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung) talks sharks, Sharkwater (@teamsharkwater) and politics with Joseph Planta (@Planta) on a special shared episode with Planta On the Line @TheCommentary.ca


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Show notes:

00:21 Introduction
2:51 Joseph Planta introduces Mark Leiren-Young.
4:00 Why Sharks Forever is dedicated to Rob Stewart and meeting Rob in Barcelona
10:45 Why I call sharks “the perfect predator.” “They are eating machines… they look devastating and awesome when you see them hunting.”
12:40 The impact of Jaws “What is baffling to me is that this one movie – released in 1976 – completely defined the way humans see sharks…. every time somebody saw a shark it was reported as if aliens invaded.”
16:41 “One moose hit one person in Jasper? ‘We’re going to shoot every moose in Jasper!’ That is the approach to sharks. And I wish I put that analogy in the book… the government does not go, “it’s time for a war on moose.” You get a bear bite you don’t go after every bear.”
17:20 “We’re not food to them. We’re a lousy food source.”
18:00 “Sharks just look scary to us – something about them hits us on a primal level.”
21:18 Shark personalities and shark friendships.
23:40 The dangers of anthropodenial and the term’s creator, Frans de Waal.  “When you tickle a monkey it laughs.”
25:47 “Everything is now eating plastics… humans don’t share. Humans just are not good at sharing.”
26:30 “The more environmental stuff that I do, the more astonished I am by nature.”
28:10 “There are almost always sharks fairly close to shore… they’re everywhere. We’ve all been really close to sharks if we’ve been in the water.”
30:00 “Roughly five people are killed by sharks each year… falling bookshelves definitely kill more people each year than sharks. TVs falling on people. Just pick the most random thing and they are all more dangerous than sharks.”
31:10 Running for Saanich council. Why I ran for political office.
36:08 “Joseph – you’re an essential service.”

Director Josh Zeman (@joshzeman)  on the quest for the loneliest whale in the world and shifting his focus from human mysteries to marine mysteries with his movie, The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52.  “Just when you think you’ve had too much devil-worshipping and serial killers, you go and you spend a day working on whales and everything’s okay again.”

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Show notes:

0:00 – intro
4:37 – There once was a film in Nantucket. . .
6:20 – Working on a whaling ship at age 14.
9:47 – “It was such a cool story that interconnected science and legend and naval stuff. It was such a fascinating journey.”
13:38 – “There’s a mystery here for us to solve.”
13:55 – The first time he saw a whale.
17:18 – Looking at loneliness and why this story became a phenomenon.
19:28 – Explaining the idea of 52 Hertz.
23:12 – Moving from true crime to the mystery of 52 Blue.
24:50 – Catching fire on Kickstarter
28:52 – “Just when you think you’ve had too much devil-worshipping and serial killers you go and you spend a day working on whales and everything’s okay again.”
29:33 – “Understand what your consumerism does.”


Filmmaker Nadine Pequeneza talks about meeting and fighting for the North Atlantic Right Whales Right Whales for her award-winning documentary, Last of the Right Whales, with Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

Mark mentioning his campaign is authorized by Rayne Ellycrys Benu.
Mark’s campaign sponsorship mention is authorized by Rayne Ellycrys Benu -mly@icloud.com

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Seattle Times (@seattletimes) environment reporter Lynda V Mapes (@LyndaVMapes) on dams versus salmon, saving the southern resident orcas and how Tahlequah changed the world. “All the things we do for our comfort, convenience and commerce are not good for the southern residents. And that’s just fact.”
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Show notes:

00:30 – Lynda Mapes on falling in love with Ocean Sun
1:50 – Skaana introduction to Lynda Mapes and Tahlequah
9:31 – Removing dams and saving orcas
10:47 – “What do we want the next 150 years to look like?”
11:06 – Becoming the environmental reporter for Seattle newspapers and covering the Makah whale hunt.
15:25 – “We have a motto at the Seattle Times – news you can’t get anywhere else.”
19:30 – Hearing about Tahlequah and her daughter: “And I thought, she won’t let it go. I’m not letting it go.”
20:26 – “I don’t think she ever dropped it. I think it fell apart.”
21:04 – “By the time we wrote that last story where she dropped the calf, there were six million people reading that story online.”
21:13 – Scientists know that these very sophisticated intelligent animals grieve and that that’s what she was doing… these are families.”
26:05 – Tahlequah’s political impact.
30:54 – The Snake River Dam vs. salmon and orcas.
39:15 – Undamming the Elwha River – a river revival.
43:20 – Return of the eagles and dippers (a songbird at the Elwha).
46:36 – “Canada has been a real heartbreak for us down here in the States” – American opposition to Canadian pipeline expansion.
50:27 – “All the things we do for our comfort, convenience and commerce are not good for the southern residents. And that’s just fact.”
55:00 – On the differences in dealing with NOAA and the DFO.
57:38 – Names versus numbers.
1:00:17 – “Calling them by this sort of widget number is bizarre and insulting.”
1:04:00 – “The right way to think about these animals is… they comprise ancient societies.”
1:04:45 – “People say to me oh they’re just like us. Don’t flatter yourself… we could learn a lot from them.”
1:09:30 – “Everywhere we live is orca country.”
1:10:00 – On why she has hope.

Author and primatologist Frans de Waal  talks about great apes, not-so-great humans, animal emotions and anthropodenial with Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

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Show Notes

1:30 – Intro

3:35 – Defining anthropodenial.

6:05 – Anthropomorphism and primates.

7:02 – “That’s the interesting part is we are so human-centric that we can deal with facial expressions, but not with the expressions of an elephant who do a lot of things was their trunk and ears, but their face is not very mobile.”

8:31 – Are humans a “successful” species?

11:05 – On human exceptionalism. “People always want to be special.”

12:40 – “If related species show similar behavior under similar circumstances, you have to use the same terminology because the psychology behind it is probably similar too.”

13:28 – How science’s relationship with anthropomorphism is changing.

14:40 – Laughing chimps.

16:15 -Why primatologists use names for apes not numbers.

17:58 – Animals and grief. “All animals that have attachments can also grieve.”

20:30 -“I’m not against humanizing animals or animalizing humans.”

22:49 – Survival of the kindest versus survival of the fittest.

26:00 – Talking about his book Mama’s Last Hug.

27:40 – Gender roles in bonobos.

30:05 – Bonobos solve problems with sex.

32:46 – Is there resistance to de Waal’s work and theories?

34:27 – His thoughts on animal personhood and the rights of animals.

36:30 – How he became interested in animals and animal behaviour.

42:34 – How he began working with chimpanzees.

46:32 – Becoming friends with apes.

47:25 – Animal communication and “dialect”.

51:12 – On being a cat person. “I consider cats extremely social.”

52:10 – Talking to the Dalai Lama about empathy. “I think empathy is found in all the mammals.”

Sea Shepherd Captain, Paul Watson (@CaptPaulWatson), talks with Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung) about getting political, remembering Rob Stewart, saving salmon with Alexandra Morton and the Sea Shepherd Navy! Part two of our special two-part interview.

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Excerpts from Orcapedia by Paul Watson and Tiffany Humphrey

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Global

Sea Shepherd Legal

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Time Codes

    • 03:08 Running for public office. 
    • 03:38 “I did it primarily for the platform that it provided.”
    • 04:09 The Green Party trying to kick him out as a candidate.
    • 05:08 On the Sea Shepherd’s policy of “aggressive nonviolence.”
    • 08:29 On the Sea Shepherd going from outlaw to law enforcement.
    • 08:54 “We uphold international conservation maritime law.”
    • 11:47 The impact of Rob Stewart and his documentary, Sharkwater
    • 15:01 “The camera’s the most powerful weapon that’s ever been invented. It changes things. It can change society.”
    • 15:35 Operation Virus Hunter and working with Alexandra Morton to help save the salmon in the Salish Sea.
    • 19:02 Saving the vaquita.
    • 22:52 The Sea Shepherd’s current campaigns.
    • 23:45 The size of the Sea Shepherd navy
    • 24:14 “Everybody can do something.”
    • 27:00 Mark Leiren-Young performs Operation Dessert Storm live in Victoria in 2018 – music by Mike McCormick from The Arrogant Worms

Sea Shepherd Captain, Paul Watson (@CaptPaulWatson), talks with Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung) about Seaspiracy, life as an outlaw and as a movie star, the impact of Covid on life in the oceans and whether whales are more intelligent than we are.

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Berke Breathed’s original drawing of Opus, the Penguin – used to illustrate Mark Leiren-Young’s poem Operation Dessert Storm in the Sea Shepherd newsletter.

Excerpts from Orcapedia

Mentioned Episodes:

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd Global

Sea Shepherd Legal

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TIME CODES

  • 4:38– How Covid has effected the Sea Shepherd and the oceans
  • 4:52– “There has been an increase in poaching.”
  • 6:52– His new book, Orcapedia
  • 7:10– “What we’re talking about here is an international slave trade where the orcas are the new slaves.”
  • 8:36– “The orcas in captivity have names and therefore we tend to relate to them more so than the ones that are in the wild.”
  • 10:13– Tilikum’s story
  • 13:41– How Watson fell for whales.
  • 13:58– “To me whales are highly intelligent, very social, self-aware sentient beings and I think, in many cases, they’re probably more intelligent than we are.”
  • 17:20–  The backlash to Seaspiracy
  • 17:30– “The fishing industry’s very powerful and they throw a lot of money into their PR machines.”
  • 20:55–   “What we really need is a tuna-free tuna.”
  • 21:12–   “You can find scientists who will defend any side of an argument. I call them “biostitutes,” when they’re working for the industry.”
  • 23:36– “A good percentage of the fishing industry is strictly, completely illegal – unregulated and uncontrolled.”
  • 27:10– How his movie Watson happened.
  • 29:04– Selling his life story – a lot.

Killer whales hunting on land? Josh McInnis (scientist) and Justine Buckmaster (naturalist) on their wild discovery that some Salish Sea orcas are hunting seals on the shores of Protection Island and how orcas continue to surprise us.

Skaana shares stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.
Photo credits: Justine Buckmaster

Photo credits: Justine Buckmaster

 

Josh McInnes is a marine ecologist and masters candidate at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Marine Mammal Research Unit. Josh grew up on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  For over a decade Josh has studied the ecology and behaviour of transient (Bigg’s) killer whales along the Pacific Coast, but has also traveled to remote locations off British Columbia, Washington State, Alaska, California, Australia, and Antarctica to study marine mammal populations.

Justine Buckmaster is a certified Marine Naturalist currently working at Puget Sound Express. She has been working in the Salish Sea region for over ten years as a guide and educator on whale watching ecotours. Justine works with local marine mammal researchers by providing digital photos and sightings data from her encounters to record proof of presence and unique behaviors of the marine mammal species and populations of the Salish Sea. Justine was raised in southern Washington State near the Columbia River and currently resides in the town of Mukilteo in northern Puget Sound.

Books on Amazon and Classes

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Please support our guests and our podcast.

 

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 4:18– Killer whales hunting on land? Josh McInnis (scientist) and Justine Buckmaster (naturalist) on their wild discovery that some Salish Sea orcas are hunting seals on the shores of Protection Island and how orcas continue to surprise us.
  • 6:52 Discovering Bigg’s orcas who hunt on land.
  • 14:02– “This is something that maybe is brand new to these animals (Josh McInnes)”
  • 14:40– Josh McInnes on meeting rare Gerlache Orcas in Antarctica.
  • 15:01– “It’s kind of surprising that the killer whales are much more maneuverable than the penguins are.”  (Josh McInnes)
  • 19:34– “Seeing transient orcas hunt is always just a awesome” (Justine Buckmaster)
  • 21:30– “I think orcas are basically the epitome of what we are as a species and intelligence or smarter than us.” (Josh McInnes)
  • 27:09  “They’re spectacular animals and I don’t think we’re going to stop learning about them any time soon. (Josh McInnes)”

Eco-warrior, Alexandra Morton, on her fight to save wild salmon, being gaslit by the Canadian government and her adventures in Green politics. She also dares people to sue her over her essential new book Not On My Watch:  How a renegade whale biologist took on governments and industry to save wild salmon.

“The salmon farming industry is harming wild salmon, is harming whales, is causing algae blooms and really needs to be controlled.”

Skaana shares stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Join the Pod…… https://www.patreon.com/skaana

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Significant Quotes:

“The salmon farming industry is harming wild salmon, is harming whales, is causing algae blooms and really needs to be controlled. I mean, at first I thought they just had to get off the wild salmon migration routes, but now I realize they just have to get out of the ocean completely, and if they want to continue, build a tank and get in it and operate from there.”(8:18)


“Doing all this damage was part of how they were making such a phenomenal amount of money. It’s really insidious.” (12:38)


“I cannot believe I have spent my whole adult life fighting salmon farms. It just seems ridiculous. But when I look at it from a global perspective I realize I’m part of a huge army across the planet that is trying to protect life on earth.” (12:55)


“When you have a corporation involved, they don’t really care how many fish there are. They just want that share price to go up. And so this is deadly, because it really is a cancer model. They need to grow, they need to grow, they need to grow, with no mind to the fact that they’re killing the very body that they’re in, which in this case is the ocean. I mean, they’re going to kill themselves off. They are killing themselves off in the process of following their business plan. It’s really deranged. It doesn’t make sense and it has to stop.”  (15:31)


“Nobody wants to buy fish that have killed off whales, never mind everything else.” (19:00)

 

“There’s nobody whose position in DFO is the health of wild salmon. There’s no director of wild salmon.” (24:48)


“We have the biggest salmon run in the world on the verge of extinction.” (29:29)


“I saw grizzly bears that no longer looked like Grizzly bears… they were emaciated.” (33:14)


Alexandra: I have to wonder at some level in government are people saying, “Oh my God, those fish… What?!  They’re still coming back? There’s still 20 of them?! Gosh darn it.” I don’t know. I don’t think people, I don’t think some level of government wants wild salmon at all.

Mark: That just gave me chills because I found myself asking the same question about the Southern residents.

Alexandra: I bet you do. Yep..

Mark: I feel like there are people in the federal government, you are going “Damn, there’s still 74 of them…. “

Alexandra: Yeah, and they’re having babies. ” (36:07)


“The salmon actually have the whole mating thing down. They can handle that.”  (42:30)


“And for the first time last spring, I set my big net and pulled it in and looked at the fish and, oh my gosh, they were fat and sassy. They were sparkly, blues and silvers, deep jet black eyes, not the cloudy film they get when they go by the farms and it was a feeling in my heart that I just really had to sort of stand back a minute and be like, what is that feeling? It was joy. It felt like my heart was ringing.” (48:00)

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launch of Operation Virus Hunter

Launch of Operation Virus Hunter (2016) Photo credits: Mark Leiren-Young

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Alexandra Morton – introduction
  • 1:40Mark’s welcome
  • 6:30Alexandra’s new book, “Not on My Watch
  • 8:18– “The salmon farming industry is harming wild salmon, is harming whales, is causing algae blooms and really needs to be controlled. I mean, at first I thought they just had to get off the wild salmon migration routes, but now I realize they just have to get out of the ocean completely, and if they want to continue, build a tank and get in it and operate from there.”
  • 9:37– The impact of fish farms
  • 12:38– “Doing all this damage was part of how they were making such a phenomenal amount of money. It’s really insidious.”
  • 14:33– Alexandra’s political adventure – running for the BC Green party
  • 15:31– “When you have a corporation involved, they don’t really care how many fish there are. They just want that share price to go up. And so this is deadly, because it really is a cancer model. They need to grow, they need to grow, they need to grow, with no mind to the fact that they’re killing the very body that they’re in, which in this case is the ocean. I mean, they’re going to kill themselves off. They are killing themselves off in the process of following their business plan. It’s really deranged. It doesn’t make sense and it has to stop.”
  • 19:00– “Nobody wants to buy fish that have killed off whales, never mind everything else.”
  • 22:14– Mark and Alexandra discuss their adventures with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • 24:48– “There’s nobody whose position in DFO is the health of wild salmon. There’s no director of wild salmon.”
  • 29:29– “We have the biggest salmon run in the world on the verge of extinction.”
  • 33:14– “I saw grizzly bears that no longer looked like Grizzly bears… they were emaciated.”
  • 36:07– “Alexandra: I have to wonder at some level in government are people saying, “Oh my God, those fish… What?!  They’re still coming back? There’s still 20 of them?! Gosh darn it.” I don’t know. I don’t think people, I don’t think some level of government wants wild salmon at all. Mark: That just gave me chills because I found myself asking the same question about the Southern residents. Alexandra: I bet you do. Yep.. Mark: I feel like there are people in the federal government, you are going “Damn, there’s still 74 of them…. ” Alexandra: Yeah, and they’re having babies. “
  • 42:30– “The salmon actually have the whole mating thing down. They can handle that.” 
  • 42:35– Wild salmon breeding
  • 48:00– “And for the first time last spring, I set my big net and pulled it in and looked at the fish and, oh my gosh, they were fat and sassy. They were sparkly, blues and silvers, deep jet black eyes, not the cloudy film they get when they go by the farms and it was a feeling in my heart that I just really had to sort of stand back a minute and be like, what is that feeling? It was joy. It felt like my heart was ringing.”
  • 50:21– Mark’s conclusion

1966 est Born

December 11, 1969
Captured in Pender Harbor, BC

1969
Sent to Marineland of Pacific

1987
Sent to SeaWorld San Diego

Species: Orcinus orca Breed: Northern Resident
Meaning of name: Irish for “hill hollow”
Captivity History: Captured at around age 4 from A5 pod in Pender Harbor, BC
Mother: Stripe (died in the wild in 2000)
Full Siblings: A21, A29, Okisollo, Ripple, FifeOffspring: Calf (1977) first Orca ever born in captivity but died after 16 days, Spooky (1978), Stillbirth (1980), Kive (1982), Calf (1985), Miscarriage (1986), Miscarriage (1987)
Sex: Female
Weight: 8,335 lbs.
Length: 20 ft.

Corky II has been in captivity longer than any other Orca. She is about the same age as Lolita, both with estimated birth years of 1966. She has had seven offspring with Orky II, none of which lived past 46 days.
Corky II is the largest female Orca in captivity. On August 21, 1989 Kandu V collided with Corky II, which caused Kandu V to fracture her upper jaw and bleed to death.

Corky II became a surrogate mother to Kandu V’s orphaned calf, Orkid after this incident. In 1990, Corky II pushed the mid-section of her trainer and again pushed a trainer in 1994, however, she is known to be a very sweet and gentle Orca.

Gavin Hanke Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum (@RoyalBCMuseum) on the life, death and anatomy of Rhapsody – the skeletal star of the museum’s fantastic exhibit Orcas: Our Shared Future #RBCMOrcas – which is open until 2022 before touring the world (and was written by Skaana host, Mark Leiren-Young @leirenyoung).

Rhapsody Orca Breaching

Rhapsody (J32). Credit: Josh McInnes

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Images of Skaana peeps with the skeleton of Rhapsody.

Photos by Rayne Ellycrys Benu

Books on Amazon and Other Ways to Support Skaana

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

• The Killer Whale Who Changed the World… amzn.to/2pRNU1q 
• Orcas Everywhere… orcaseverywhere.com
• Paint the Ocean You Wish to See with Rayne Ellycrys Benu…. digital-enlightenment.net

Significant Quotes:

  • “This is a typical skeleton and it’s in beautiful shape… Rhapsody here, she was in the prime of her life… She was basically perfect.” (10:09)
  • “It’s kind of like LEGO, but with a real, with a real animal, it was, it was a lot of fun to put one together.” (12:24)
  • “Anyone thinking a museum job is nine to five and you go home and forget about it, it’s not the way museum work is. You’re always on. You’re always thinking about it and you’re not. I make the joke that these things aren’t getting any deader, but we don’t want them to degrade. We want these specimens here for thousands of years. As long as humans exists, we want these specimens available for research and study and the older they get, the more value that the valuable they become, because you can’t go back in time to collect a killer whale from 2014. This is now a time capsule. So the one neat thing about a museum is you can go back in time in a sense and handle specimens from the 1800’s. Nowhere else can you do that. No one else preserves the actual physical evidence from the past. And that’s the beauty of museum work.” (15:41)
  • “I think anyone who works at a museum also has a very supportive spouse because sometimes you come home, like, if I’ve been moving whales, I will come home smelling like whale fat..” (18:02)

 

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https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/
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• Twitter @RoyalBCMuseum
• instagram royalbcmuseum
#RBCMOrcas

Skaana visits Rhapsody @ the Royal BC Museum Photo Credits: Rayne Ellycrys Benu

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Assembling Rhapsody’s skeleton with Gavin Hanke 
  • 1:50– Mark’s Welcome. Start of the Skaana Podcast
  • 5:37– Start of the interview. Orca anatomy.
  • 6:47– The story of Rhapsody.
  • 10:05– Explaining Rhapsody’s skeleton.
  • 10:27– “Rhapsody here, she was in the prime of her life. Her skeleton’s in beautiful shape. No deformities, as far as I can tell, she was basically perfect. Her teeth are really nice. They’re not really all that worn. Um, but yeah, the animal’s very, it doesn’t look all that complex when you’ve got it all laid out on a floor.”
  • 12:24– “It’s kind of like Lego, but with a real, with a real animal, it was, it was a lot of fun to put one together.”
  • 13:59– Care and cleaning of marine skeletons.
  • 16:15– This is now a time capsule. One neat thing about a museum is you can go back in time in a sense and handle specimens from the 1800’s. Nowhere else can you do that. No one else preserves the actual physical evidence from the past. And that’s the beauty of museum work.”
  • 16:55– What it’s like to work at the museum
  • 18:02– “I think anyone who works at a museum also has a very supportive spouse because sometimes you come home, like, if I’ve been moving whales, I will come home smelling like whale fat.”
  • 25:31– Secret treasures of the Royal BC Museum
  • 27:22– Message from Mark Leiren-Young for our Patreons. Support independent coverage of issues facing the Southern Resident Orcas at www.patreon.com/mobydoll

 

Filmmaker, Julia Barnes, on the dirty secrets of clean energy, how electric cars are running over the oceans and her new documentary Bright Green Lies – debuting online April 22 (Earth Day), 2021 https://www.brightgreenlies.com/

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

Information on Julia Barnes and Deep Sea Mining

Trailer for Bright Green Lies

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Hello from Julia Barnes
  • 1:01– Mark’s welcome. Start of the Skaana Podcast
  • 3:51– Start of the interview. Discussing Julia’s upcoming documentary Bright Green Lies and where the idea for the documentary came from.
  • 6:30– About false solutions that are promoted by Bright Green Environmentalism.
  • 7:51– About Biomass. The dangers of wood waste and clear cutting.
  • 10:05– Solar, wind and hydro power lies
  • 13:34– How Julia Barnes got interested in filmmaking and her connection to Rob Stewart.
  • 20:33– About being uncomfortable in a room with David Suzuki
  • 24:41– Deep sea mining for electric cars…. “They’re calling it the largest mining operation in history. That’s about to begin. There should terrify everybody.”
  • 37:39– “We should be furious that the movement has been so co-opted and it is at this point, a betrayal of the natural world.”
  • 39:15– The displacement paradox
  • 40:10– There is no such thing as green industrial energy
  • 45:26– Experiences with whales while filming Sea of Life
  • 47:09– “My advice is learn as much as you can about what’s happening and get started right away.”
  • 48:02– Message from Mark Leiren-Young for our Patreons. Support independent coverage of issues facing the Southern Resident Orcas at www.patreon.com/mobydoll
  • 52:25 – Trailer for Bright Green Lies

What do you think of when you hear the word “psychopath?” Is it Norman Bates dressed in his darling mother’s clothes? Perhaps it’s Christian Bale’s handsome face spattered with blood in American Psycho. I’m sure the logo of a large corporation like Nike or Apple wasn’t the first image to pop into your head.

Joel Bakan, the world-famous filmmaker, lawyer, author and esteemed jazz guitarist, has made it his mission to reveal the true psychopathy and dangers of large corporations fed by capitalist pursuits in his latest film The New Corporation.

“We were learning about corporations and we were learning that they were persons, that the law sort of created them, constituted them, recognized them as these artificial beings,” says Bakan in a recent Zoom interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “We create this person. And then we imbue it with a personality that says it can only act in its own self-interest. It can’t act in ways that care for others, or for the environment, or for nature, or nonhuman animals, or any of that. It always has to act in its own self-interest. And what is that self-interest, basically? The collective financial interests of the shareholders that constitute the corporation.”

Joel Bakan, co-director of The New Corporation, on his Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, why corporations aren’t our friends and the reason corporations are considered persons, but orcas aren’t.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

 

Support Joel Bakan

Books on Amazon

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Song Information

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 5:54– Where the original idea for The Corporation came from.
  • 9:15– Why The Corporation unfortunately required a sequel 10 years later.
  • 12:41– “This new movement on the part of corporations to be good, in the new film and in the book, we basically say that it’s very similar to the charm of the psychopath. You know, the first film we show that the corporation is a psychopath. One of the points in the second film is it’s found its charm.”
  • 20:57– “We can’t ignore COVID, and not only can we not ignore COVID because it is a major event. But we can’t ignore COVID because it’s a major event that ties into every single theme that we look at in this film, both in terms of the difficulties and challenges of corporate power, and the way it corrodes society and democracy.”
  • 25:35– How come corporations receive personhood and animals don’t?
  • 38:15– “What the orcas don’t have is power and dominion over the human societies that do have power and dominion. In a way they’re victims of colonialism, an imposition of a legal system.”
  • 41:09– Discussing the anthropocentric qualities of the legal system and laws.
  • 45:17– The self-governance of corporations and what that means for the environment.
  • 50:10– “Just speaking from a personal perspective, there’s really no point, in my view, in doing this kind of work if I don’t have hope. I mean, what’s the point in criticizing the world if you don’t believe that it can be changed?”
  • 1:00:42– “This Note’s for You” by Neil Young

Carl Safina (@carlsafina) author of Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace talks about the culture of animals, the worlds of whale and sharing the planet -with @Skaanapod host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Information on Carl Safina

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

Music:

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 03:40– How Carl Safina is doing and where he’s at in the world of COVID.
  • 08:27– Discussing his latest book Becoming Wild and cultures in other animal species.
  • 11:12– “There are only two animals in the world who are currently known, who are able to tell when they are meeting a complete stranger.”
  • 16:07– What exactly is culture?
  • 22:48– Discussing the complexities of Orca communication and the mystery of their “sound making”.
  • 31:06– Animals and careers? “What else do animals do besides make a living?”
  • 35:53– Carl Safina’s least favourite whale names.
  • 45:20– Discussing Tahlequah and her tour of grief. The affect she had on the world.
  • 49:00– “In law, the only living thing that cannot be legally owned…is a human being.” Discussing animals and personhood.
  • 56:47– The Safina Centre and their mission.
  • 1:04:15– “Feather, Fur & Fin” by Danny Michel

Skaana guests Erich Hoyt, Robbie Bond, Joel Bakan, Carl Safina, Julia Barnes, Marc Bekoff & the Skaana team share our wishes for a very new New Year in 2021.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Books on Amazon

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Song Information

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 2:34– Wishes for 2021 from our guests and the Skaana team
  • 12:25– A big thanks to all our Patreon supporters
  • 16:12– Info on our SOCAN license and Mark’s farewell to 2020

Skaana (Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young shares stories from the audio version of his award-winning book for orca lovers of all ages – Orcas Everywhere: The Mystery and History of Killer Whales (orcaseverywhere.com). “This inviting book will be treasured by kids – a fun way to discover orcas and the sea.” Erich Hoyt, author of Orca: The Whale Called Killer. An amazingly accessible and fun book that explores our relationship with whales over millennia.” Elizabeth May former leader of The Green Party of Canada.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

· The Killer Whale Who Changed the World  

· Orcas Everywhere

Support Local Anxiety

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 2:40– “Orca Love” from Orcas Everywhere
  • 8:00– Thank you and happy holidays from Skaana
  • 10:23– “Oh Christmas Tree, Eco Christmas Tree” by Local Anxiety

Global fisheries expert Daniel Pauly (@SeaAroundUs) on illegal fisheries, vanishing fish and the fight to save BC’s salmon with @Skaanapod host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Image credit: Ms.Valentina Ruiz-Leotaud

More Information About Daniel Pauly

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

· The Killer Whale Who Changed the World  

· Orcas Everywhere

Music: 

  1. “Skana” – Leah Abramson https://youtu.be/CQr5BHW0k44
  2. Leah Abramson’s Website: http://www.leahabramson.com/

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 5:38– Defining “Shifting Baselines”
  • 9:14– “The main reason why we need to study fisheries globally is because studying them at a local level doesn’t capture the dynamics…All the fish move, they don’t know borders.”
  • 11:46– The globalization of fisheries and outsourcing to meet fish consumption.
  • 14:15– What fish should we eat? And who’s fish are we eating?
  • 20:12– The status of fish as meat and the role they play in our diets.
  • 20:25– Fish were viewed as a package of healthy meat and not wild animals capable of feeling, capable of agency.
  • 22:10– Do fish feel pain?
  • 27:34– “The implication of our treatment of animals, the mass slaughtering of whales for example, is too horrible to contemplate. And so, we have coping mechanisms and denial is one of them.”
  • 31:04– Japan and whaling.
  • 34:00– On the Aquacolypse
  • 36:08– Discussing fish stocks and biomass.
  • 38:26– Canada’s errors in managing fish populations.
  • 40:47– Bureaucracy, the DFO, and the politics of fisheries.
  • 42:10– (In Canada) fish are seen as a commodity, rather than animals that can go extinct
  • 44:35– Discussing the work of Alexandra Morton and her struggle to reveal the failures of the DFO.
  • 52:03– “I think that the DFO has a two-fold mission that should never be imposed, on an agency. They have to both promote and control the aquaculture. And you can’t do both.”
  • 54:04– Discussing FishBase and the thousands of fish that have been catalogued there.
  • 59:28– Daniel Pauly’s childhood and his journey to becoming the world’s leading ichthyologist.
  • 1:04:49– “I’s the B’y” Performed by Great Big Sea

 

Michael Moore (@MMFlint) on Canada, inspiration and capitalism in this flashback interview from the start of the Obama era with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). 

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Support Michael Moore:

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

· The Killer Whale Who Changed the World  

· Orcas Everywhere

Music:

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 3:16– Sitting down for a slice of pizza with Michael Moore.
  • 4:48– “I’m inspired by a lot of things and I see a lot of good that’s going on.”
  • 5:51– The value of people’s work.
  • 7:00– “If I’m a citizen of a democracy, it means I’m a political activist automatically.”
  • 7:46– The power of movies and how they should be seen.
  • 10:21– What he wants Americans to do.
  • 12:09– Is he scared of haters?
  • 16:30– How he keeps his sense of humour or, since he’s American, sense of humour.
  • 17:20– His Canadian content.
  • 21:18– “Land of Greed” by Miss Emily

In this episode, iconic orca mom, Tahlequah, talks to host Mark Leiren-Young about the upcoming US elections and what life is like for a whale in the Trump-era.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

Check out this special video content we made to go along with the episode:

https://youtu.be/huJQXz_fj9c 

USA Voter Information: https://www.usa.gov/voting

And if you’d like to know which policies are worrying us — and Tahlequah…

Books on Amazon

**Amazon links are affiliate links and support our podcast, thanks for clicking!

· The Killer Whale Who Changed the World  

· Orcas Everywhere

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 0:45– Interview with Tahlequah
  • 1:10– Tahlequah’s thoughts on off-shore drilling
  • 1:27– Who Tahlequah is voting for
  • 2:13– Where you can find information on how to vote
  • 2:40– One last word from Tahlequah

Anthropologist/author Wade Davis (@authorwadedavis) on optimism, decency, public service and saving America with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Part two of our special two-part election edition of Skaana featuring National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence and author of Magdalena: River of Dreams.

“Whatever happens in November, it won’t mean the end of this incredible schism between the two halves of the American reality.” – Wade Davis

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

For more about Wade Davis and his work:

USA Voter Information: https://www.usa.gov/voting

Books on Amazon

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 Music:

Wille Thrasher- “Wolves Don’t Live By the Rules”

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 04:29– How Wade Davis maintains hope
  • 05:08– “I’m always optimistic because I think pessimism is an indulgence.”
  • 06:22– Discussing the American military
  • 08:05– Factual divisions in America and the role of media
  • 10:17– “The end of America, the unraveling of America is no time to gloat. It’s no time for celebration. You should always remember that the military and industrial might of America literally saved civilization in the lifetime of my father.”
  • 13:26– Discussing gun control
  • 17:06– “America always swings between the wild extremes of the human heart and soul and spirit.”
  • 19:31– The evolution of how we consume news reports, and the role this plays.
  • 22:05– The fault in American democracy
  • 24:31– “40% of Americans feel so left out of what America’s become and is becoming that they simply don’t believe what is in front of them. The truth has lost all currency
  • 28:23– Discussing Trump and the environment
  • 30:14– “You know, the deeper thing that COVID has shown us is that we’re biological beings on a living planet.”
  • 34:03 – “You don’t vote your grievances, indulging your own indignations. The vote is something more serious than that. It’s a vote as to the destiny of your country.”
  • 35:56– Discussing rivers being granted personhood status and the river Magdalena
  • 40:27– “We need to change the way that we view our place on the planet. We are not apart from nature. We are a part of nature. And if COVID isn’t going to teach us that, COVID is going to teach us nothing.”
  • 42:38– “Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules” by Willie Thrasher

 

The United States is a country divided into Republicans and Democrats, haves and have nots, Biden and Trump supporters. But what does this mean for the future of America? According to world-renowned anthropologist and best-selling author Wade Davis, it means the American people have some work to do if they want to maintain their country’s status and legacy.

“Whatever happens in November, it won’t mean the end of this incredible schism between the two halves of the American reality,” says Davis in the second part of his interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “Even if Trump is resoundingly defeated, there still will be the desperate need to heal the two halves of the American reality.”

Anthropologist/author Wade Davis @authorwadedavis talks about wading into US politics to warn about the end of the American era & the Trump virus with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). A special two-part election edition of Skaana featuring National Geographic’s Explorer in Residence, the real-life Indiana Jones. For links on how/where to vote visit our show notes.

“America was the land of Walt Whitman and the Grateful Dead. Abraham Lincoln couldn’t tell a lie. The current president cannot recognize the truth. If Lincoln called for charity for all and malice toward none, this dark troll of a buffoon advocates malice towards all and charity for none.” -Wade Davis

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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USA Voter Information: https://www.usa.gov/voting

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 Music:

Timecodes

  • 0:00– Intro
  • 05:30– Discussing life during the pandemic
  • 07:06– “I travel in pursuit of stories. I’m a storyteller.”
  • 08:30– How the Rolling Stones article took off
  • 10:52– “Holding the mirror” to America’s face to see how far they’ve fallen
  • 13:33– “Every kingdom is born to die.”
  • 15:00 How Wade Davis’s father-in-law almost became Richard Nixon’s Vice President
  • 18:56– “COVID reminds us of a number of things. First of all, we’re living biological beings on a biological planet. Our lives were brought to a standstill by a parasite 10,000 times smaller than a grain of salt that commandeered the mechanisms of reproduction of ourselves. Forcing us to create it, not us.”
  • 20:45– Discussing the US’s WWII production records
  • 22:40– “Since 1970, China’s never been at war and America has never been at peace.”
  • 25:10– America’s income disparity
  • 28:03– I would argue that advocates for a wall are committing treason
  • 28:05– “Treason is also the acts that betrayal the very essence of your own country.”
  • 32:02– When you look at americans who deny the science… until… the fortitude to defeat it…
  • 33:10– Discussing the 2016 election
  • 36:17– That is a psychotic act… ending on chapel of the nation
  • 36:20– Americans viewing the federal government as a core problem
  • 40:00– Wade Davis’s own experience with the Canadian health care system
  • 42:10– Canadian patriotism and what sets Canada apart from the USA
  • 45:23– “Autumn in New York” by Diana Krall

Does Donald Trump’s irresponsible response to COVID mean the American Era is over? Wade Davis, the best-selling author and world-renowned anthropologist, thinks America’s response to COVID is a symptom that the country is diseased.

“America was the land of Walt Whitman, the Grateful Dead. Abraham Lincoln couldn’t tell a lie. The current president cannot recognize the truth,” David told the Skaana podcast. “If Lincoln called for charity for all and malice toward none, this dark troll of a buffoon, advocates for malice towards all and charity for none.”

Best known for his books like One River and the 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize Winner Into the Silence, Davis made international headlines when he published an article in Rolling Stone titled “How Covid-19 Signals the End of the American Era” that went viral. According to the CBC, the article made nearly 10 million impressions on social media within a week of publication.

Bestselling author Peter Wohlleben, talks plant rights, fruit fly dreams, scientists in denial and animals in love with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). The German eco-philosopher shares the secret life of trees, the hidden life of animals and the responsibilities of humans.

“We have to bring more emotions into the process and the discussions about environmental things and climate change. Because when we just discuss the numbers, it’s emotionally so far away. It doesn’t touch your heart, just your mind.”

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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“We have brothers and sisters in nature,” says German author Peter Wohlleben in a recent interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “For many people, that’s a problem because it disturbs business. It disturbs daily life because you have to look at what you have on your plate, you have to look at what you buy and so on.”

Wohlleben is the author of multiple best-selling books documenting the rich inner lives of plants and animals, including 2016’s The Hidden Life of Trees. Through his work, he has become an advocate for recognizing the rights of the natural world. He urges people to look at animals and plants as more than a collection of specimens and potential products.

“I think that kids can make even more of a difference than adults,” says 12-year-old youth environmental activist (and Marvel Hero) Robbie Bond in a recent interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young. “As a kid, it may seem like you don’t have a lot of say in things. Like you can’t vote and you can’t drive and things like that, but you can still make a difference.”

Bond has always had a love for the national parks in his native USA. He began to share his passion with others at the age of eight when he spoke at the Utah “Rally Against Trump’s Monumental Mistake” in 2017, following President Donald Trump’s executive order to downsize national monuments. He has since travelled around America speaking at schools to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining natural areas and to encourage kids everywhere to take action to protect the environment.

Real-life Marvel superhero 12-year-old Robbie Bond (@Kidsspeak4parks ) talks about founding Kids Speak For Parks, inspiring kids and adults and becoming a Marvel superhero (@Marvel) on Skaana (@skaanapod) with host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

I think that kids can make even more of a difference than adults, because we’re going to be around to experience the consequences so we can be more driven to help change the world.” – Robbie Bond

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Author and educator Marc Bekoff talks about animal emotions, his work with Jane Goodall and who you’re eating for dinner with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

 “It’s a matter of who we eat, not what we eat. Who’s for dinner, not what’s for dinner. It’s the animals who eat the animals, who we keep in cages, who we keep in aquariums… Words matter.” Marc Bekoff

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Skaana (skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (leirenyoung) talks Tahlequah and expectant southern resident orcas on the Adam Stirling Show (Adam_Stirling) on CFAX radio (@cfax1070).
“This was the story that captured the imagination of the entire world” – Mark Leiren-Young

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Photo by SR3 and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 2019 and SR3 and SEA in 2020, collected under NMFS research permit 19091

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Music:

Ken Dunn – Tahlequah

In a recent interview with Skaana podcast host Mark Leiren-Young, Kevorkian offered advice on how to cope with a world being rocked by COVID-19. “It’s not an easy time for anybody, but if you can find that something just within a moment where you can see any glimmer of hope, build on that and that will hopefully help you keep going… The lessons that I find from grief and from death are appreciating what we have in the now.”

Ta’Kaiya Blaney

“Activism doesn’t have to just look like one thing. It can be art, it can be creative resistance, it can be social-media-based. Do what you love to protect what you love.”

“Activism doesn’t have to just look like one thing. It can be art, it can be creative resistance, it can be social-media-based. Do what you love to protect what you love.”

 “I grew up around elders and relatives in my family who made an effort to instill cultural senses of value and what is sacred with our waters and our lands. So the work I’ve done in regards to land defense and advocacy and activism, has really been a result of them.”

“I grew up with people who tried to instill that sense of responsibility to land and to water and to future generations. And so it was never like one moment or something that I read. It was a lifetime of community that led me to care in that way about environment.”

“Commanding action that’s always a very powerful thing, but I think that it’s the work that follows those meetings, that is really the most crucial, you know, when we get together and we’re demanding justice for demanding action how do we carry that momentum forward? And what are the actions to follow?”

“Young people’s voices have such a powerful role in climate justice. It’s our generation that will witness and experience the repercussions of industrial activity, of environmental, the secretion of pollution, of climate change. So putting ourselves out there speaking to our concerns and speaking for our future and our right to live in a world with clean water and clean air and healthy lands.”

Actor and activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney (@TaKaiyaBlaney) talks about activism, art and the power and importance of young people speaking out for climate justice with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

“Activism doesn’t have to just look like one thing. It can be art, it can be creative resistance, it can be social-media-based. Do what you love to protect what you love.”

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Photo by Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf

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FOR MORE ON ISSUES AND ORGANIZATIONS MENTIONED

Music:

Robert Bateman
“A lot of doing art, and I guess anything, is perspiration rather than inspiration.”

“All little kids like art and nature. I’ve never met a little kid who doesn’t like art and nature. But most normal human beings grow up around the age of 12 and go on to more grown up things. And I just have not grown up yet.”

“If you’ve got an eye for it, nature is everywhere.”

“One of my missions in life is to get more kids out into nature.”

“A lot of doing art, and I guess anything, is perspiration rather than inspiration.”

“Mostly I just paint things that I love.”

“It’s a great benefit to be out into nature and paying attention to, well, one of the ways I put it, it’s kind of an unselfishness. Becoming involved and very interested in lives that are nothing to do with your life, but you become absorbed by these other lives and maybe you get into conservation and helping them and that sort of thing.”

“I would do an abstract painting and I would look at it and it was fun doing it. And then I would say is that all there is, was not very challenging, just slapping on paint.”

“I think fossil fuels should be left in the ground and we should be putting our money and our interests into an alternative power, wind and water.”

“I think fossil fuels should be left in the ground and we should be putting our. Our money and our interests into a alternative power, wind and water.”

Artist Robert Bateman talks about art, inspiration, teaching, the importance of hope and why we all need to spend more time in nature with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung).

“If you’ve got an eye for it, nature is everywhere.”

“One of my missions in life is to get get more kids out into nature.”

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about oceans, orcas and the environment.

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Music:

“Til I Am Myself Again” by Blue Rodeo

Thanatologist Kriss Kevorkian (@agrievingworld) talks about environmental grief, coping with covid, why we need to laugh at tragedy and much more with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Kriss came up with the terms “environmental grief” and “ecological grief” and she developed these concepts by working with people working for the southern resident orcas.

“I help support people who are dealing with environmental grief or ecological grief, or just the grief that people are feeling from all the chaos in the world today.”

“If a corporation can have rights, I think Mother Nature should.”

Please join the virtual book launch for Orcas of the Salish Sea – for elementary school students – and the board book Big Whales, Small World – May 1 2020 at noon PST on Facebook Live courtesy of the National Arts Centre of Canada and #CanadaPerforms.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Links:

Legal rights for the Salish Sea: http://legalrightsforthesalishsea.org/
The Climate Reality Project: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/ 
Global Earth Repair Foundation: https://globalearthrepairfoundation.org/

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Kriss Kevorkian
The lessons I find from grief – and from death – are appreciating what we have in the now.

“The lessons I find from grief – and from death – are appreciating what we have in the now.”

“What is environmental grief? …It’s the grief reaction stemming from the environmental loss of ecosystems caused by natural or man-made events.”

“Ecological grief is the grief reaction stemming from the disconnection and relational loss from our natural world.”

“I don’t see grief as a disorder. I see it as a life issue. And I wish people would stop trying to medicalize it, or put it as some sort of mental illness because I don’t see my environmental grief or ecological grief as a disorder. I see it as a proper reaction to what’s happening on the planet.”

“Laughter is just one of those things that’s helped us get through dark times.”

“This pandemic is also teaching us that mother nature has a way of managing without us.”

“If Jane Goodall can maintain a sense of hope, then who am I not to?”

“I look at the rights of nature as helping… If a corporation can have rights. I think mother nature should.”

“We need to start putting nature first.”

“When we get rights for the Southern residents, they will be the first species to have rights of nature”

Erich Hoyt (@erichhoyt) on his fight to end Russia’s orca trade, strange sea creatures, whale watching, cosmic orcas and more with Skaana (@Skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Erich’s books include: Orca The Whale Called Killer; The Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Weird Sea Creatures and many, many more. This is our first two-part episode… in part one Erich talks about how he and the world fell in love with orcas.

“I would like to see thirty percent of the ocean designated as effective marine protected areas by 2030.”

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Check out Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (created by Tracey power)

 

Erich Hoyt (@erichhoyt) – the man who wrote the book on Orcas (almost all the books) – talks about how he and the world learned about orcas, saving our oceans and more with Skaana (@Skaanpod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Erich’s books include: Orca The Whale Called Killer; The Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; Weird Sea Creatures and much, much more. This is our first two-part episode… in part two Erich shares his adventures in fighting the Russian orca trade, his thoughts on how to whale-watch and stories of strange sea creatures.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Links:

Whales Through a New Lens: Forty years ago, the world’s whale researchers met in Indiana. The now legendary, but nearly forgotten, meeting changed the way scientists and the public see whales—and it all started with a few photographs. Erich Hoyt in The Hakai https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/whales-through-new-lens/

Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises by Erich Hoyt Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxw1ejd_E2Q


‘I’m always optimistic, I have to be.’ Author recalls early orca research amid book tour https://www.knkx.org/post/i-m-always-optimistic-i-have-be-author-recalls-early-orca-research-amid-book-tour


White killer whales were a legend – now they are everywhere https://www.newscientist.com/article/2105254-white-killer-whales-were-a-legend-now-they-are-everywhere/

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Erich Hoyt
 “If you get to know them as individuals, you get this attachment and it’s beautiful.”


“If you get to know them as individuals, you get this attachment and it’s beautiful.” 


“You walk in to these places and, and maybe you were interested in dinosaurs before because you’ve heard of them, and then suddenly you look up. If you see them in the of natural history and New York or, or you find the room in Edinburgh, Scotland or Toronto, you find the room where there’s a blue whale. And you look at it and you realize it’s a lot bigger than dinosaurs, you know, and it’s alive today.”


“You know, in terms of climate change and everything else there, there isn’t a movement that I know of that’s anywhere near, I mean, there certainly isn’t a movement like what Greta has done with the climate emergency.”


“You know, to be honest, I realized this in redoing my book, you know, we have this sort of natural human desire to get closer and closer. You know, we’re. Visual creatures largely, and we want to fill our frames with, you know, what we see in a way.”


“I think more and more the older I get, the more I’m thinking about, the best way to observe wildlife is to stand off a bit.”


“[in regards to whale watching] the best thing you could do is just kind of stand back in awe and let it happen and try and take notes in your head. About what’s happening.”


“We really need to pay attention to that if we’re going to have these whales and other species around in the future.”

Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung) kicks off 2020 with a new vision and our amazing new theme song – Skana – by our special guest Leah Abramson (@abramsonsingers). Find out about her awesome album of songs for and about whales Songs For a Lost Pod.

Skaana connects you to stories about oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Links:

The voices of an orca pod helped Leah Abramson process grief for her lost family — in song: https://www.cbc.ca/arts/exhibitionists/the-voices-of-an-orca-pod-helped-leah-abramson-process-grief-for-her-lost-family-in-song-1.4805477

Inspired by the haunting calls of marine mammals, Vancouver musician Leah Abramson has found her pod: https://www.straight.com/music/887526/inspired-haunting-calls-marine-mammals-vancouver-musician-leah-abramson-has-found-her

This Video Of A Beluga Whale Trying To Play With A Sea Gull Is The Cutest Thing You’ll See Today: https://digg.com/video/this-video-of-a-beluga-whale-trying-to-play-with-a-sea-gull-is-the-cutest-thing-youll-see-today

Spy Beluga Plays with a Seagull: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-o4jWvMtcU 

Support Leah Abramson:

 

Leah Abramson
“I started researching orcas and was just sort of fascinated by them and their whole social structure and everything. Everything that I researched, I just kept going down rabbit holes until I knew that I had to make some kind of project.”

“When I was really little I had these recurring dreams about a pink beluga whale in a swimming pool, and I don’t know why or how, or it was a very lonely whale and it was pink and I was its only friend, and this was like recurring dreams that I had around the age of, I don’t know, four or five.”


“I started researching orcas and was just sort of fascinated by them and their whole social structure and everything. Everything that I researched, I just kept going down rabbit holes until I knew that I had to make some kind of project.”


“People seem to really respond to it. I mean, I think we’re at a time where people are really waking up to the environment”


“Whales are such a iconic set of animals, especially on the West coast, because, you know, we sort of have this idea of ourselves as wild and, you know, the orcas are jumping and it’s all happy and, you know, we’re obviously in a bit of a, um, crisis with the orcas right now.”


“I know a lot of people have found it quite sad to the project and I don’t know if there’s any way around that, you know, and I think that’s a grief that we have to feel and that it’s important to feel because otherwise we don’t do anything about it. So there’s that as well, you know, like allowing people space and time to feel those feelings of environmental grief, which, you know, you sort of have to slow down a little bit to do sometimes.”

 

Dr. David Suzuki (@DavidSuzuki) is Canada’s most iconic environmentalist and even in his eighties, he’s still fighting for our future. Skaana celebrates the end of the decade by recycling our premiere episode where we talked about fake facts, toxic whales and taking the heat off the planet and putting it on politicians.

“How can you make big decisions in your life if you’re not scientifically literate?”

Skaana connects you to stories about orcas, oceans, eco-ethics and the environment.

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Links Mentioned:

Support Dr David Suzuki:

Home: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/

Dr. Suzuki’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidsuzuki?lang=en

Suzuki Foundation Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidSuzukiFDN?lang=en

Dr. Suzuki’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidSuzuki/

Letters to my Grandchildren:  http://amzn.to/2oPTbVq

Force of Nature:  http://amzn.to/2o9XMDd

The Legacy:  http://amzn.to/2pJ8Jc6

The post David Suzuki on Our Past, Present & Future

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Camille Labchuck
“We’ve got this obligation to animals as a society to try to help them if we can.”

“Canada hadn’t passed any serious new animal protection legislation since the eighteen hundreds. That’s pretty shocking to most people.”

“We’ve got this obligation to animals as a society to try to help them if we can.”

“We never would have come this far, and people never would have known about the industry, if not for Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater film in the first place. I mean, I don’t know about you, but that was definitely the first time that I was exposed to the idea that shark finning existed, and I think it’s what mobilized a lot of people to take action.”

“The problem Mark, is that animals are victims of crime. They can’t report abuse themselves. They can’t speak up for themselves if there’s no one around to listen. And they’re often isolated and kept behind closed doors by abusers and it’s very, very difficult for anyone to know or detect what’s going on.”

“I think the problem is that governments seem to think these days that their role is to protect businesses, their roles are to protect industry — and if some other aspect of our laws, including endangered species laws, it’s inconvenient. To that end, they’re happy just to disregard it.”

“It’s in the economic interests of many humans to keep animals in the position that they are right now and not elevate them to some other sort of status that has rights. So there’s no moral argument for it, and there’s no scientific argument. There really is only an economic argument and I don’t think that’s good enough to deny an entire class of billions and trillions of beings  basic fundamental rights and freedoms, like living in appropriate social groups, like having access to fresh air and water and life.”

“A lot of people say that we need to protect animals because they’re voiceless and we need to speak for them, and I think that’s a mistake too. I think it’s really clear that animals do have voices and they use them. They use them to tell us that they don’t like what they’re doing to us. Every time we see a calf escape a slaughter truck, every time we see a coyote try to gnaw his or her paw off to escape a leg hold trap, when they yell and they scream when they’re being sent to slaughter, they’re telling us that they don’t like what we’re doing to them. So I think it’s important to grant them that agency and recognize that they have voices. We just ignore it and silence those voices.”  

Camille Labchuk (@CamilleLabchuk) executive director of Animal Justice (@AnimalJustice) talks with Mark Leiren-Young (@Leirenyoung) about Canada’s new laws to cancel cetacean captivity and finish finning sharks and the fight for legal rights for animals and vegans. 

Skaana connects you with eco-heroes sharing ideas about oceans, eco-ethics, the environment and how you can change the world.

“Canada hadn’t passed any serious new animal protection legislation since the eighteen hundreds. That’s pretty shocking to most people.” – Camille Labchuk

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Links

Vegan firefighter suing the government says he didn’t deserve hunger and humiliation: ‘I’m tired of nice’ | The Star

Canada’s new shark fin ban sets an example for the world

In passage of ‘Free Willy’ bill, Canada bans captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins

Environmentalism’s next frontier: giving nature legal rights

BREAKING NEWS: House votes to end shark fin sales in the U.S.

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The latest on the Lummi Nation’s fight to free Lolita (Tokitae), ceremonial feedings of the southern resident orcas, rights, responsibilities and reunification from Kurt Russo of the Lummi Nation Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office. Stories of inspiring actions to save the orcas for Orca Action Month. 

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about oceans, orcas and the environment.

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Join the Pod……https://www.patreon.com/skaana

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Links:

  1. Lummi Nation fights for return of relative
  2.  Rembering Lolita, an orca taken nearly 49 years ago and still in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium  https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/endangered-southern-resident-orcas-seen-swimming-off-california-coast-1.4360793

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