Zoos carry out conservation, they rescue animals, they educate people and delight millions of visitors a year. But a vast number of zoos are also responsible for immense cruelty, open the door to illegally sourced wildlife and capture wild animals for our pleasure. Is keeping of animals in captivity the ultimate oxymoron animal welfare?
Days ago, from a conference center perched on the edge of the bustling mountain city of Quito, Ecuador, delegates to the Convention on Migratory Species made an urgent and unprecedented call to end the live capture of whales and dolphins. This is the first time that any international body has called for this cruel and unnecessary threat to cetaceans to end.
An estimated 6.4 million tonnes of marine litter is dumped in oceans every year. In hotspots more than 3.5 million pieces of litter can occur per square kilometre. Plastic, which constitutes between 60 and 80 percent of marine debris, does not biodegrade and can persist in the marine environment for hundreds to thousands of years.
Last Saturday was the 32nd Anniversary of the Mary Rose's raising from the Solent seabed, which took place on the 11 October 1982 and was broadcast live across the world. We asked the Mary Rose Museum's Conservation Manager Dr Eleanor Schofield the question - what has science got to do with the Mary Rose?
The Dodo is one of the most well known birds in the world, although it's been extinct for several hundred years. Gerald chose the bird as a logo to remind us all of the importance of the conservation work that goes on in his name and how very fragile some species are and there are reminders of the bird everywhere.
Space exploration has come to the forefront of the public's interest in recent years with success stories coming from all over the world. As well as the recent successes reported by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, the European Space Agency boast an impressive track record and is the world leader in environmental research into the ozone layer.
I consider my relationship with nature as a long and unfolding conversation, like learning a language that I can never master. And this conversation is never dull. Like most discourses, it only improves with time and age, to reach a point where a constant connection evolves and grows, with almost daily realisations.
It took me a week to get used to the environment, as even though I liked the food, I struggled to eat much, though I soon got my appetite back to its usual size once I had adjusted to the climate and my malaria pills. Anyway despite my lack of energy I still enjoyed the quick intro into PADI (I found that I was at a slight advantage as I had already started working through the book).