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Brian Skerry

National Geographic Photographer // Speaker // Author // Rolex Explorer of the Year

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A Southern Right Whale and diver swim together over a shady sea floor in New Zealand’s Auckland Islands (sub-antarctic) during wintertime. These enormous whales can reach sizes of 45-feet long and weights of 70-tons. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, their populations have slowly recovered due to protection. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, Southern Right Whale populations have slowly recovered due to protection. Their cousins, the North Atlantic Right Whales however, remain the most endangered whale on Earth, with a populations of only about 450 remaining. This species is an ‘urban whale’ and lives along the Eastern Seaboard of North America traveling from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida each year. During their migrations, they frequently become entangled in fishing gear and die. Ship strikes also kill these whales each year. Despite these devastating problems, solutions exist to save them. Researchers are working with commercial fisherman (lobstermen) in New England to test new lines that will break easier should a whale become entangled. To learn more about Right Whale problems and solutions check out @newenglandaquarium and @andersoncabotcenter #rightwhales #endangeredspecies #nz #newengland


Photo by @BrianSkerry. Like a ghost appearing amongst the icy undersea landscape, A Harp Seal takes a brief moment to stare at me in the waters of Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. Historically these animals have thrived in this region, where they come for a few weeks each year to engage in courtship, mating and pupping. Despite these behaviors, declining sea ice over the last decade - due to climate change - has caused problems for this species. Without stable ice, harp seal pups cannot suckle from their mothers, and often fall into the icy sea before they are physically prepared. Survival for this species is uncertain if such trends of climate change continue. #climatechange #seals #harpseal #canada #conservation #harp #seal #pup #gulf #stlawrence #canada #arctic #frozen #water #ocean #underwater #photography #wildlife #nature #national #geographic #natgeo #photooftheday #wonderlust #instagood #nikonlove #nikonambassador


Photo by @BrianSkerry A series of photos showing an Orca unsuccessfully attacking a Southern Sea Lion pup on the beach in Punta Norte, Argentina. Orcas are the largest species of dolphin and are highly intelligent. Many dolphins have developed special feeding strategies to catch prey, techniques that are unique to the location in which they live. This one family of orca living in Patagonia have developed a feeding strategy that has them beaching themselves in order to grab a sea lion pup. Their timing must be perfect and they must select a precise location where the geography is ideal. My Nikon camera shoot 14 frames per second, so this series happened in less than a second. Photographed on assignment for @natgeo. #wildlifepredation #orca #patagonia #nikonambassador #nikonlove


Photo by @BrianSkerry A large, male Harp seal blows bubbles in a display of territoriality beneath 25-foot thick pack ice in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. The water temperature here was 28.5-degrees F (almost minus 2 C), but exploring this realm of the harp seal was absolutely stunning. Unlike a frozen lake, the underside of this sea ice is like a mountainous terrain, with peaks and valleys. It is a convoluted and challenging world in which to navigate, at least for a diver, though the seals clearly have it well figured out. Unlike some species of seals, harp seals are not especially interested in humans and don’t want to play. To produce underwater photos I often ‘hid’ amongst the ice and waited for them to dive down through small holes or through leads (cracks) in the the massive ice fields. For a story about these animals for @natgeo I lived on a fishing boat for weeks over two seasons and spent day and night with the seals. Thinning ice due to climate change over the past decade has caused problems for this species, however. Harp seal pups need two weeks to nurse from their moms, during which time they build up fat and strength. If the ice is thin, then can fall into the sea before they are ready and die. In some, recent years, there has been no ice at all and the pup mortality rate rises dramatically. The future for this species remains uncertain. #harp # seal #cute #nature #cold #ocean #conservation #climatechange #nikonlove #nikonnofiter #nikonambassador #icediving


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