We are all about diverse representation here at The Fins United Initiative (TFUI) and we are excited to show off a rare pale blue skate. Smooth as butter (it lacks spikey bits), has a heart-shaped disc, and a long slender tail... the eastern looseskin skate (Insentiraja laxipella) is a definite looker! With a flexible snout and greyish-brown pelvic fins and an indistinct caudal fin, these flabby skates only have a patch of scales on their pectoral fins (called an alar patch) in the males. #Finfact: These skates have no dorsal fin! The eastern looseskin skate is unique among Australian skates in that it lacks dorsal fins.
Happy #StingareeSunday again, folks! We are excited to bring you an endemic stingaree from southwestern Australia which common in shallow water over sand, seagrass, and the upper continental shelf up to 70 m (around 230 ft) in depth. Here, the masked stingaree (Trygonoptera personata) feasts on polychaetes and crustaceans.
Disclaimer: The following post is an opinion piece written by TFUI Margaret Hanzlick-Burton who is not a trained/practiced nutritionist, dietitian, or doctor.
Please talk to your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet to get the okay from them.
Hey there! It’s Margaret again, with some more tips for how daily action can improve the health and survival of Chondrichthyans, like sharks and rays! Today I’ll be discussing how to start a vegetarian, vegan, or meat-reduced diet and how doing so can positively impact the ocean and the animals that live in it.
You may be wondering how foregoing a cheeseburger can aid in sharks’ survival. The answer lies in how meat is produced. Not only does meat production use up a third of the farmable land and fresh water on Earth, but 77% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to raising and processing cattle. Greenhouse gases have been shown to contribute to warming ocean temperatures and ocean acidification, effects that negatively impact sharks. The pesticides that are used on the crops that are fed to livestock often end up in runoff that ends up in rivers, streams, and ultimately, the ocean. Studies have found that vegetarian diets require 1.4 times fewer pesticides than meat-based diets. When talking about ocean animals in particular, cutting seafood out of your diet reduces the chance that the fish you’re eating was caught using methods that put sharks at risk of becoming bycatch.
So, let’s say you’re on board with this vegetarian/vegan business but don’t know how to get started with your new diet. That’s okay! Below are some tips that I’ve picked up from my 10+ years of vegetarianism. And as with any major change in your lifestyle, it’s a good idea to let your doctor know about your new eating habits.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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