Sy Montgomery (Soul of an Octopus) and Warren Carlyle (founder of OctoNation) on octopuses taking over the media, the origins of OctoNation, why octopuses needed a publicist and some of the secrets of octopus from their new book Secrets of the Octopus that accompanies the National Geographic TV series. First of a two-part interview about all things octopus!

Shownotes:

0:01 Meet author Sy Montgomery.

0:13 Meet Warren Carlyle “the PR agent for the octopus.”

3:50 How Sy met Warren.

4:25 Warren’s journey from high fashion to the deep ocean.

5:32 The origins of OctoNation: “When the Beyonce of octopus people tells you to do something, you just do it.”

6:41 Octopus used to be monsters!

10:06 “It’s the golden age for octopus appreciation. For octopus research. And I think this is a great opportunity for the ocean in general. What better ambassador can you imagine than somebody who’s got the equivalent of nine brains and eight arms.”

13:00 Octopuses can give themselves manicures… we kind of laid the red carpet for “My Octopus Teacher.”

14:57 The impact of OctoNation. “Appreciation for the octopus has just exploded.”

16:00 Sy: “They are not some slimy gross monster. They are super smart. They are superheroes with superpowers. And yet they are enough like us that you can be friends with an octopus.”

18:45 Sy: “We’re in the age of octopus.”

18:50 Warren: “The way that I view Sy… Sy has this insatiable desire to hang out with animals all the time… All OctoNation is is really a reflection of Sy’s light.”

23:47 The blanket octopus!

28:08 Connecting with National Geographic.

32:10 Octopus have their own hunting fish the way humans have hunting dogs!

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Warren Carlyle & Sy Montgomery.
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NOAA scientists Kim Parsons & Tom Jefferson on orca species, orca survival, orca scat, really old whales, the return of harbour porpoises, the fight for vaquitas and so much more in the second part of a special two-part episode on the two soon-to-be official species of orcas who call the Salish Sea home.

Shownotes:

2:29 The challenge of naming new animals… scientific names, the names we use and the politics of naming. Yes, we’re sticking with Residents & Bigg’s.

5:15 How many orca species are there? The challenges of collecting data.

7:01 The genetic challenges facing the southern resident orcas.

10:09 Not enough J-pod baby-daddies.

12:32 “I think we need some optimism here…” a happy story about harbour porpoises. “There may be hope for this species after all. We know what the problems are… if we can make enough compromises in our own behaviour to reduce those threats, I think there’s good reason for being optimistic that the future of southern resident killer whales can still look quite bright.”

14:50 Biological and chronological ages.

19:30 The latest on the vanishing vaquitas – the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Are there only 10 left? “As long as there’s one male and one female left in the population there’s a chance for them to survive.”

23:20 Talking poop about orcas. And orca poop. “I spent a lot of time working with killer whale poop… I’ve collected a lot of poop in my time.”

24:55 Is there another orca species in Alaska? Probably! How many species are there? “We may be looking at six or maybe eight species… maybe more.”

26:58 Improvements in understanding orca health and their environments.

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Kim Parsons from NOAA.
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NOAA scientists Kim Parsons & Tom Jefferson on killer whale science, killer whales versus orcas, orcas versus dolphins, how science becomes official, the challenges of translating science to civilians and so much more in the first of a special two-part episode on the two soon to be official species of orcas who call the Salish Sea home.

Shownotes:

3:45 Meet marine mammal biologist, Tom Jefferson.

4:21 Meet molecular geneticist, Kim Parsons.

5:10 Orcas or killer whales? And how to pronounce orcinus orca.

6:35 Orcas vs. whales/dolphins vs. Delphinidae and confusion over “common names.”

10:35 Talking taxonomy: splitting orca populations into two species.

12:55 Exploring orca genetics.

17:38 What’s in a name? Taxonomists reviewing splitting up species. And making the species designation official. Ish.

20:10 How to tell the difference between types of orcas.

24:31 Early observations of killer whales and how and why they got their names.

26:16 Naming the two orcas – the scientific names and the names we’ll all use…

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Tom Jefferson from NOAA.
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Eco-pirate Paul Watson talks about taking on whalers in Iceland and Japan, splitting with the Sea Shepherd, launching an eco-church and what the hell just happened in his world with Skaana host Mark Leiren-Young (author of Sharks Forever & Orcas Everywhere). “We’re ecologically ignorant. And unless we learn to educate ourselves, we’re not going to survive.”

Shownotes:

4:45 Paul Watson on how he landed in Paris and why he’s only working with Sea Shepherd France & Brazil.

5:40  “They said I was too controversial. Too confrontational.”

9:20 On being an international fugitive. And the disappearance of his Interpol Red Notice.

19:00 “We’ll rebuild it.” On the split with Sea Shepherd Global, his new boat and the dangers of sponsors.

21:40 On radically retiring Sea Shepherd vessels.

22:18 “The three most valuable things – courage and imagination and passion.”

22:30 What’s in a name? Neptune’s Pirates, Neptune’s Navy and The Captain Paul Watson Foundation

23:43 Taking action in Iceland and saving whales by taking on “modern Ahab” Kristján Loftsson. “I’m not really concerned about getting arrested.” Why he’d like to be arrested in Iceland.

28:14 Chasing super-trawlers and the importance of saving krill.

30:30 The return of Japanese whalers – with a new factory ship. And preparing to take on a faster ship.

33:45 Shifting baselines and rebranding fish like pollock becoming artificial crab. “Who wants to buy a toothfish… It all comes down to marketing.”

35:10 “We’re overfishing the ocean.” The need for a 75 year moratorium on mechanized fishing.

35:40 The fight for phytoplankton. “If phytoplankton disappear from the ocean, we die… The ocean dies, we die.”

37:15 “We’re ecologically ignorant. And unless we learn to educate ourselves, we’re not going to survive.”

38:20 Founding the Church of Biocentrism and the dangers of anthropocentrism.

45:30 “We can’t have a viewpoint that it was all created for us and we’re the only species that matters.”

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Captain Paul Watson in his natural habitat!
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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.

Skaana podcasts connect you to news and experts and their discussions about environments, oceans, and orcas.
Melody Horrill with the perfect beach book!
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