Dr. Roger Payne Archives | Ocean Alliance

Roger Payne on the RV Odyssey

Aboriginal Subsistence Hunting

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

A Voice From the Sea Roger Payne Sept 11, 2014 An aboriginal subsistence quota for whaling is only supportable as a category if it is reserved for people who truly do subsist by hunting whales. The trouble is that it is largely used by corrupt claimants in notoriously crooked ways. Most outrageous is the aboriginal subsistence quota that the Russians have gotten in Kamchatka for their “aboriginal subsistence hunt” of gray whales (and that Paul Watson so memorably exposed when he invaded the Soviet Union and filmed frozen whale meat being used to feed mink and sable that were living…

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Roger Payne & Iain Kerr with Pharrell and Sylvia Earle

A Meeting of the Ocean Minds in NYC

By | Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

Ocean conservation leaders met up in New York City this week to collaborate on solutions for the problems facing our oceans. Ocean Alliance President Roger Payne and CEO Iain Kerr were invited by Parley for the Oceans to join scientists, activists and artists, including music producer Pharrell Williams, legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, and Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, to talk about our work studying the effects of pollutants on whales.

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Odyssey drone shot

Operation Toxic Gulf 2014 Campaign Update

By | aug14, Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf | No Comments

It’s been an extremely productive summer in the Gulf of Mexico with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society joining us on the RV Odyssey to study the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr describes what we’ve seen and learned in the Gulf this summer through multiple research techniques and tools, with new footage of the Operation Toxic Gulf crew at work:

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Andy Rogan and Roger Payne on the RV Odyssey

New Video: The Science of Operation Toxic Gulf

By | aug14, Gulf of Mexico, Operation Toxic Gulf | No Comments

In this new video from Operation Toxic Gulf 2014, Scientific Manager Andy Rogan explains the research goals of the campaign on the RV Odyssey in our fifth year following up on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, our second partnered with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Roger Payne joins the crew to help with the biopsy process: A listing of scientific papers by the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology from our Gulf expeditions so far can be seen here.

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Whale tail with oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

Are you Listening, Rex Tillerson?

By | Gulf of Mexico, july14, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf, Roger Payne | No Comments

A Message from Roger Payne on the RV Odyssey at the Deepwater Horizon Site: July 14, 2014 This evening we had a celebration over the fact that we got our 50th biopsy today. The goal from the start has been to get a minimum of 50 biopsies and with two more trips to go we anticipate that we’ll be well over that mark. We celebrated with a key lime pie made by Marc Rosenberg, our cook. It was all delicious: the pie, the sunset, the sense of accomplishment, the breeze, the billowy evening clouds. The celebration took place as we headed for our…

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Roger Payne on the bow of RV Odyssey

Offshore Chaos in the Gulf (Part 2)

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf, Roger Payne | No Comments

Part two of Roger Payne’s blog from Operation Toxic Gulf 2014: July 12, 2014 We are here to find out how those whales are reacting to the oil that got released during the oil blowout from Deepwater Horizon, and the dispersants that were sprayed on the oil to sink it out of sight (and out of mind) but that seem to be worse poisons than the oil itself. This is the fifth year of our research, and what we are already finding out is disturbing.

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Ship traffic in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore Chaos in the Gulf by Roger Payne

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf, Roger Payne | No Comments

Ocean Alliance President Dr. Roger Payne is currently on the RV Odyssey in the Gulf of Mexico for Operation Toxic Gulf, our joint campaign with Sea Shepherd USA, to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the whales of the Gulf. Here he gives an account of the man-made world in which the Gulf wildlife must coexist: Friday July 11, 2014 I am writing this from 80 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico where you might safely imagine that so far from land there ought to be just us and the sperm whales in the perfectly mirror calm seas that have…

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Sea Shepherd Summit

Roger Payne and Iain Kerr Speak at Sea Shepherd Summit

By | july14, Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Sea Shepherd | No Comments

Guest Post by Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr: What a remarkable weekend in Vermont at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society International Summit. Sea Shepherd staff, volunteers, consultants and friends from around the world gathered to review past, current and future projects. Dr. Roger Payne and I were invited to attend the conference to speak about the work we’re doing with Sea Shepherd on Operation Toxic Gulf. We had the privilege to meet and speak with a huge variety of people, from Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson to the newest volunteers. We were really impressed by the dedication and energy we…

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The Whale Guitar

The Whale Guitar: Six-String Activism

By | Education, Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

Whales are a species of sound. They live in a world of sound, communicate through sound, and captured the world’s attention when Roger Payne and Scott McVay discovered that they sing songs. Roger, in addition to being a biologist, is also a musician, and it became his life’s work to share their songs and inspire a passion to protect them. It’s no surprise then that artists and musicians, poets and composers are drawn to whales. This is how the Whale Guitar came to be.

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Odyssey with sperm whale in the Gulf

Biopsies! Why?

By | Education, Gulf of Mexico, Operation Toxic Gulf, Roger Payne | No Comments

A Special Guest Post by Ocean Alliance President and Founder Dr. Roger Payne: Between 2000 and 2005 Ocean Alliance ran The Voyage of the Odyssey, a research expedition that circumnavigaged the globe measuring background levels in sperm whales of a series of contaminants. We came back with over 900 samples from sperm whales which we had analyzed for a suite of contaminants. The worst offending molecules turned out to be toxic metals—not just mercury and lead but Chromium, Aluminum, Silver and several other highly toxic metals.

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OTG 2014 crew

Operation Toxic Gulf 2014 Launches Today

By | Gulf of Mexico, jun14, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf | No Comments

A special announcement from Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr: The Research Vessel Odyssey heads back into the Gulf of Mexico for a fifth season today. I’ve spent the last two weeks with a remarkable international crew aboard the Odyssey prepping for our fifth summer of data and sample collection in the Gulf of Mexico—our joint campaign with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society–Operation Toxic Gulf .  The crew represent six countries: Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Spain and the USA.

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Roger Payne at 2014 FiRe Conference

Roger Payne is Guest Moderator at FiRe Technology Conference

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Technology | No Comments

This past week Ocean Alliance President and founder Roger Payne was in Laguna Beach, California as a guest moderator at the 13th Annual Future in Review (FiRe) Conference. Called “The Best Technology Conference in the World” by The Economist, FiRe brings together leaders from technology, energy, the environment, education and the economy to forge new partnerships and new ideas for a better future. Speakers included executives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Oracle, journalists, scientists and environmentalists.

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Southern right whale mother and calf at Peninsula Valdes

A Happy Discovery from our Southern Right Whale Program

By | jun14, Ocean Alliance News, Southern Right Whale Program | No Comments

If you’ve ever been on a whale watch, you’ve no doubt seen a naturalist busy snapping photos of the whales encountered. Far from taking pretty pictures, in most cases the naturalist is taking shots to identify and record the sighting of individual whales. With whales who are recurring visitors, they can track their life histories–their health, births, and wounds, and by comparing photographs with those of other organizations they can track migration patterns.

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Odyssey with oil rig

First-Ever Paper on the Toxicity of Chemical Dispersants in Whales Comes from Our Gulf Expeditions

By | Gulf of Mexico, jun14, Ocean Alliance News, Pollution, Whales | No Comments

In 2010 the RV Odyssey headed to the Gulf of Mexico with a team from Ocean Alliance and our partners at the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology at the University of Southern Maine. The Deepwater Horizon well had been capped, but the Gulf wildlife and people were now challenged with coping with the oil and dispersants that remained. Our specific concern was the potential effects of this disaster on the population of sperm whales living in the Gulf in the deep water where the disaster occurred, and having sampled hundreds of sperm whales around the world during the…

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rpayne_001

Roger Payne to Speak in Park City this Friday

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

  If you live in the Park City, Utah area you have the opportunity this Friday to speak with Ocean Alliance founder and president Dr. Roger Payne in person and ask him anything you like about his over forty years of working with whales. On April 18th at 7:30 Roger will be speaking at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts’ Black Box Theatre about his work with whales and ocean pollution–sharing stories, discoveries and his hope for the future. The talk, “Oceans, Whales and People” will be followed by a question and answer period with the audience. You can…

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Historic Whale Film Will Be Seen Again

By | apr14, Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

Recently we told you about about the discovery in England of Roger Payne’s first film about whales, featuring Sylvia Earle and released in 1978, “World of Survival: Humpbacks—The Gentle Giants.” Tomorrow Iain Kerr is meeting with Judi and Terry Vose, longtime friends and supporters of Ocean Alliance. Iain will be handing over the film and they will be driving it to Play it Again Film and Video Transfer in Newton, MA where it will be transferred to dvd at a discount, with the remaining costs covered by the Voses.

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1978 Whale Film Featuring Roger Payne and Sylvia Earle Found in England

By | mar14, Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne | No Comments

Recently Iain Kerr was contacted by a senior radio producer at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol England named Sarah Blunt. She had been contacted by a gentleman named Harry Espley who lives an hour or so south of Liverpool in a town called Tattenhall. Harry had come by an original copy of a 16mm film made by Anglia TV in 1978.  The film, “World of Survival: Humpbacks–the Gentle Giants” was one of the first whale films ever made. It featured Ocean Alliance President Roger Payne, Katie Payne and Sylvia Earle, and was shot by Al Giddings and Chuck Nicklin….

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Thank You Pete Seeger

By | Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

Today we say good-bye to musical and environmental icon Pete Seeger. Roger Payne spent time with Seeger sailing on his boat the Clearwater on the Hudson River. The sloop was symbolic of the fight and the right for clean water in the Hudson and around the world. In 1970, after hearing Roger’s recording Songs of the Humpback Whale, Seeger wrote “Song of the World’s Last Whale,” but the song wasn’t recorded until 2007 when he released the album At 89 which went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. The lyrics are shockingly current: I heard…

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Ocean Alliance and the Wise Laboratory at Gulf Oil Spill Conference in Mobile

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Operation Toxic Gulf | No Comments

Today Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr is traveling to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference in Mobile, Alabama with Dr. John Wise and team from the Wise Laboratory at the University of Southern Maine. They will be presenting findings from our work in the Gulf beginning in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, specifically on the effects of chemical dispersants on the sperm whales of the Gulf.

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MEET OUR SCIENCE LIAISON IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN – EVA HIDALGO

By | Commercial whaling, Ocean Alliance News, Pollution, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

Eva Hidalgo, Bosun’s Mate on the Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin, has dedicated her life to the conservation of whales and their environment. For this season’s  campaign in the Southern Ocean, Operation Relentless, not only is the Sea Shepherd fleet trying to thwart Japanese whalers, but they’re collecting invaluable data from an environment that is not easy to work in or even access.

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FORMER ODYSSEY CREW CONFRONT JAPANESE WHALERS

By | Commercial whaling, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

As I write this, commercial whaling (under the false premise of scientific whaling) is going on in Antarctic waters.  Roger Payne calls this, “as egregious a misuse of science—the field I love—as I have ever seen.” This year three RV Odyssey Operation Toxic Gulf crewmembers (our 2013 Gulf of Mexico campaign) are there to try and stop it. Hillary Watson, Eliza Muirhead and Erwin Vermeulen are on board the Sea Shepherd fleet as it confronts Japanese whalers. When these three came to the Odyssey to work last summer they were already veterans of Sea Shepherd’s campaigns around the world. Now…

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“WHALE WARS” CREW TO COLLECT DATA FOR OA IN ANTARCTIC WATERS

By | jan14, Ocean Alliance News, Sea Shepherd Australia | No Comments

At this moment a fleet of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia vessels are heading to the Southern Ocean to prevent Japanese whalers from killing and processing whales. For 10 years Sea Shepherd vessels have run annual campaigns in Antarctic waters; in the last few years these campaigns have been documented in the Animal Planet series “Whale Wars,” but this year they have a new objective to add to their campaign.

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Roger Payne Attends Marine Mammal Conference in NZ

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Whales | No Comments

For the last forty years, every two years, marine mammal scientists and educators and other interested parties from around the world get together the Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. There are specialized training workshops, discussion groups, a video night along with the regular oral presentations and poster presentations on everything from pollution to captivity.

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A MESSAGE FROM IAIN KERR

By | Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

2013 has been a very productive and diverse year. Our primary goal, to protect whales and their ocean environment has never been more important or imperative so we cannot thank you enough for supporting our programs. To counter the diverse challenges facing whales and our oceans we have made significant leaps forward with both old and new programs in 2013.  Following are a few highlights:

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SHARING DAYS WITH JANE GOODALL AND ROGER PAYNE IN PATAGONIA

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Southern Right Whale Program | No Comments

To wake up in the morning and find a lovely woman in the kitchen preparing a cup of hot coffee for breakfast. To walk out the door and see a tall man on the porch, reading a book or writing some notes in his computer. To cook and look out the window and see this woman and this man walking along the beach in front of the house and having a lively conversation. These and other moments wouldn’t have been so special (in fact, so amazingly special!) for us if this woman and this man weren’t Jane Goodall and Roger…

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BP OIL SPILL DISASTER RESPONSE – OPERATION TOXIC GULF FIELD REPORT 2013

By | Gulf of Mexico, Ocean Alliance News, Odyssey, Operation Toxic Gulf, Sea Shepherd, Sperm Whales, Whales | No Comments

The following is a summary of goals and accomplishments for the 2013 collaborative research expedition Operation Toxic Gulf carried out by Sea Shepherd Global and Ocean Alliance in the Gulf of Mexico (USA) aboard the Research Vessel Odyssey. While we continue to work closely with our scientific partner the Wise Laboratory at the University of Southern Maine, this year our campaign partner was Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Global.

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ROGER PAYNE BRINGS JANE GOODALL TO WHALE CAMP

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Southern Right Whale Program | No Comments

  Forty-three years ago Roger Payne built a shelter on the beach at Peninsula Valdes in Argentina to study the southern right whale. At the same time, Jane Goodall was living in the jungles of Tanzania studying her chosen species –  the chimpanzee. Each feared for the survival of their study subject and both have worked continuously since then to educate the world about conservation. 

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OCEAN ALLIANCE’S PARTNER ORGANIZATION IN ARGENTINA, INSTITUTO DE CONSERVACION DE BALLENAS (ICB), WINS PRESTIGIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

By | Ocean Alliance News, Roger Payne, Southern Right Whale Program | No Comments

On September 27, 2013 Diego Alejandro Taboada, President of ICB, received a phone call.  According to the caller, ICB had received the BBVA Foundation’s Award for Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America for “its extraordinary contribution over more than forty years to the understanding and conservation of the southern right whale.”

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JUST ANOTHER DAY AT WHALE CAMP – RAINBOW AND MOTHER/CALF PARADE!

By | Ocean Alliance News, Southern Right Whale Program, Whales | No Comments

BLOG 7 September 6, 2013 An amazing day today! Just after the airflight team left to survey the whales, the rising sun created a beautiful rainbow that arched over the cliff-top observation site and appeared to land in the water directly in front of whale camp. After a dousing rain, I hiked to the cliffs and found a spot protected from the strong wind behind a broad bush to leave my backpack full of gear. Just as I dropped my pack I heard a loud blow beneath me and quickly unpacked the camera to take identification photographs of the white markings…

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OUR 43RD FIELD SEASON IN PATAGONIA BEGINS

By | Ocean Alliance News, Southern Right Whale Program, Whales | No Comments

Right whales are the most endangered of great whales. When Dr. Roger Payne started gathering data on the Southern Right whale in Peninsula Valdez, Argentina in 1970 he was concerned that this species might be lost forever and so Ocean Alliance’s Southern Right Whale Program began. For centuries, right whales were hunted mercilessly. Early whalers called them “the right whales to kill” because they are slow, have a thick blubber layer that produces abundant oil, and float when dead. Southern right whales were protected internationally in 1935. As whalers stopped hunting right whales, the populations in the southern hemisphere have…

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OPERATION TOXIC GULF 2013 – THE LAST WORD

By | Gulf of Mexico, News from the Gulf, Ocean Alliance News, Odyssey, Operation Toxic Gulf, Sea Shepherd, Whales | No Comments

This video is a final update from the 2013 campaign onboard the RV Odyssey and features Paul Watson, Dr. Roger Payne and Dr. Iain Kerr. Operation Toxic Gulf is a collaborative campaign between Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Ocean Alliance. This campaign has focused on Gulf sperm whales because they are at the top of the Gulf’s food chain and, as such, they can act as a bio-indicator of the health of the entire ecosystem. Ocean Alliance, its scientific partners and Sea Shepherd will be able to put any discoveries they make in the Gulf into a global context due to the…

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SECOND T-SHIRT AUCTION

By | Gulf of Mexico, Odyssey, Operation Toxic Gulf, Sea Shepherd | No Comments

Here’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to help the whales and own a campaign shirt that is signed by Dr. Roger Payne, Erwin Vermeulen and Hillary Watson of Sea Shepherd and “Whale Wars,” and the Odyssey crew. Help a great cause and get a cool shirt. 2 XL shirts available, each auctioned separately. Place your bid for shirt #2 in the single thread on www.facebook.com/oceanalliance in $5 increments beginning with $25. Auction ends at 8:00 pm EST on Friday August 16th when the winner will be announced. Good luck!!

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Meet the Crew – Dr. Roger Payne!

By | Ocean Alliance News | No Comments

MEET THE CREW ABOARD OPERATION TOXIC GULF – DR. ROGER PAYNE! This video is the first of a series that we will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks introducing the crew members of Operation Toxic Gulf. In this video you will meet Dr. Roger Payne; a very special crew member indeed. Dr. Roger Payne is a world renowned whale scientist, the Founder and President of Ocean Alliance and an old friend of Sea Shepherd Founder, Paul Watson. Dr. Payne was onboard for the second leg of campaign and the crew counted themselves lucky to have such…

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