Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1) by Mira Grant (2017)

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

No one does mermaids like Mira Grant.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

Did you really think we were the apex predators of the world?

“You still chasing mermaids, Vic?” he asked.
“I’ve never been chasing mermaids,” she said. “I’ve only ever been chasing Anne.”

I’m a huge Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire fan, and her mermaid stories are among my favorites. (Zombies are grrrrrrate, but no one does mermaids quite like Mira Grant.) When I saw the prequel to Into the Drowning Deep, a novella called Rolling in the Deep, I snatched it up…but, being a mere 123 pages long, it just left me wanting more: more science (fiction), more killer mermaids, more heart-stopping suspense, more blood and gore and viscera. Somewhere in between a short story and a full-length book, it lacked the crisp concision of the former and the delicious, drawn out horror of the latter.

Enter: Into the Drowning Deep, which is exactly what I was craving. Pro tip: read Rolling in the Deep as if it was a prologue to Into the Drowning Deep. It’ll feel so much more satisfying that way.

In 2015, the Atargatis set off on a scientific expedition to the Mariana Trench. Ostensibly, their mission was to find evidence of mermaids. Really, though, they were there to film a mockumentary on behalf of their employer, an entertainment network called Imagine (think: SyFy). The hoax quickly turned into a bloodbath when they discovered what they were/weren’t looking for.

The Atargatis was found six weeks later, floating several hundred miles off course, completely devoid of human occupants. The only clue as to what became of her two hundred crew and passengers was a smashed up control room and shaky film footage showing what looked like – but couldn’t possibly be – a mermaid attack.

(More below the fold…)

Celebrating Mothers of all stripes.

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Saluting Animal Moms on Mother’s Day

According to writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the trials of motherhood make moms the great vacationless class. Although she may have been talking about the human variety—the moms who are near and dear to us—other animals show the same tireless dedication to their children. PETA hopes that this Mother’s Day, while you are praising your family’s matriarch, you’ll also remember that some of the best moms in the world are found in the animal kingdom.

Northern Fur Seals

Human mothers tuned in to Channel Mom may find themselves responding to anybody’s child when they hear someone calling the M word, but fur seals never make this mistake. Fresh from foraging for food, moms have to find their young quickly in a sea of hundreds—or possibly thousands—of seals, so both mother and pup depend on their uncanny powers of vocal recognition to find one another. Both will call out and answer, responding selectively to one another until they are reunited.

(More below the fold…)

IDA: Take Action: Stop Solomon Islands dolphin captures

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: Jun 8, 2007 8:51 PM
Subject: Take Action: Stop Solomon Islands dolphin captures

Take Action: Stop Solomon Islands dolphin captures

As many as twenty dolphin were recently captured in the Solomon Islands to meet supply and demand for the epidemic of captive dolphin amusement parks popping up around the world. At this early stage we don’t know exactly where the “Solomon Twenty” are destined for. When we find out we will inform you.

Dolphin dealer Christopher Porter of Marine Export Ltd (MEL) apparently has a buyer for twenty dolphins. Mr. Porter is working with his partners, Wildlife International Network, Inc. (WIN). You may recall that WIN is also known as Ocean Embassy (OE) in Panama. OE applied for a permit to capture eighty dolphins from Panamanian waters. A grassroots campaign is underway in Panama to stop these captures.

The Solomon Islands has a ban in place which prohibits the export of dolphins from the country, however the new government may have changed their mind about the export ban. We need to flood the prime minister — and the newspaper — with e-mail messages in order to stop this international traffic in captive dolphins.

The capture of wild dolphins and whales is violent, cruel, and disruptive to entire communities of cetaceans and the ecosystems in which they live. One capture method involves chasing dolphins to the point of exhaustion with high speed boats. The dolphins are then netted and dragged aboard. Undesirable dolphins (the old, the very young, the weak, injured, or sick) are thrown back into the sea, while the young, healthy specimens that meet aquarium specifications are kept for sale and transport.

(More below the fold…)

IDA: Urgent – Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: May 1, 2007 8:45 PM
Subject: Urgent: Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures

Urgent: Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures
Contact Panamanian Consulates and Embassies Now

The dolphin brokerage operation formally known as Wildlife International Network (WIN) is moving closer to capturing 80 dolphins in Panama.

Your help is immediately needed to stop this deal! Please contact Panamanian embassies today to protest the captures and call for a new vote by the Authority for the Aquatic Resources of Panama (AARP). Animal advocates need to flood the international Panama embassies and consulate offices with phone calls, e-mail messages, and physical protests demanding a new vote. This must be done today or tomorrow morning at the latest.

Click here for a list of embassies and consulate offices.

Some of you may be wondering why we are not addressing our letters to the President of Panama. The reason is simple: It won’t have any effect. Our messages would probably get deleted before he even reads them.

I know that everyone is busy on other important issues and with CITES work, but this may be our last chance to stop this new dolphin brokerage house. Please act now!

(More below the fold…)

WWF: Tell New Zealand to protect endangered dolphins

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Via the World Wildlife Fund:

Tell New Zealand to protect endangered dolphins

Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins live around the shores of New Zealand and are amongst the rarest marine dolphins in the world.

The biggest threat to Hector’s and Maui’s is from commercial and recreational fishing. The dolphins are unable to detect set nets – nets that are held on or off shore with anchors – and, if they become entangled, they drown within minutes. They are also accidentally caught by fishing boats.

Add to this the disturbances to their habitat from tourism, polluted waters, coastal development and boat traffic, and survival for one of the world’s rarest marine dolphins is a daily battle.

But there is hope. By taking the necessary action and removing all human threats New Zealand can give the dolphins their best chance of survival. Failure to do so could mean we will lose these enigmatic animals forever.

Help save Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins by signing our petition to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

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WSPA: Dolphin park poised to profit from bloody drive fisheries

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Via the World Society for the Protection of Animals:

Dolphin park poised to profit from bloody drive fisheries

An amusement park in the Dominican Republic is trying to import twelve dolphins captured during Japan’s bloody drive fisheries. The Ocean World Adventure Park plans to profit from the suffering of dolphins unless the President of the Dominican Republic can be persuaded to deny this import request.

WSPA is supporting the efforts of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition to convince President Leonel Fernandez Reyna to denounce Japans’ cruel dolphin hunts by refusing to allow these twelve dolphins to be imported into the Dominican Republic. Through a direct appeal to the President, a press conference and graphic footage of the hunt and capture of these dolphins posted on YouTube.com, WSPA hopes that President Reyna and authorities in the Dominican Republic will be convinced that the welfare of dolphins is more valuable than attracting a few tourist dollars.

The drive fisheries are an annual event in Taiji during which hundreds of dolphins and small whales are rounded up by fishermen and forced into shallow water. Once the dolphins are trapped within the nets, the fishermen use long knives or spear-like devices to kill and butcher the animals. A select few are chosen for the captivity industry to be trained to take part in aquatic shows and swim-with-dolphin programs.

To view the video of the capture of dolphins during Japan’s bloody drive fisheries, please click here. Please be aware that this footage is very graphic and disturbing.

Take Action

WSPA urges its members to write a polite email to President Leonel Fernandez Reyna of the Dominican Republic requesting that he use his authority to deny the import of 12 dolphins captured during Japans’ bloody drive fisheries. Remind him that allowing the import of these dolphins will imply support of Japan’s annual dolphin hunts and provide further incentive to the fishermen in Taiji to continue their hunts.

Please send your email to:

carolinadeleon [at] presidencia.gov.do

To learn more about efforts to stop Japan’s annual dolphin hunts, please visit Save Japan Dolphins at http://www.savejapandolphins.org

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DawnWatch: AJC front page story on aquarium deaths and debate 1/30/07

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 30, 2007 5:11 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: AJC front page story on aquarium deaths and debate 1/30/07

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a front page story, Tuesday January 30, headed,
“Aquarium deaths reopen captivity debate; Critics condemn facilities, but scientists say they help advance studies of rare animals.”

The Atlanta Aquarium recently euthanized Gasper, an ailing beluga whale, and nine days saw the death of Ralph, a marquee whale shark.

The article notes, “The back-to-back deaths have prompted protests from private citizens and national organizations. They range from reasoned to outraged.”

A Florida activists, Russ Rector, is quoted:

“If they’d never put whales or whale sharks there, then people never would miss them. It went from an aquarium to a prison.”

And Naomi Rose of the Humane Society of the United States is quoted:

“These big swimmers aren’t adaptable to confinement. I really resent that they’re exploiting these animals’ lives.”

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter linked with Swim with Dolphin programs in UK’s Independent — Sunday, January 14, 2007

Monday, January 15th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 15, 2007 1:10 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter linked with Swim with Dolphin programs in UK’s Independent — Sunday, January 14, 2007

The UK’s Independent continues its coverage of Japan’s dolphin slaughter — still largely ignored in the US press. An article by Jonathon Owen in the Independent on Sunday — January 14, 2007 — is headed, “£25,000; What brutal hunters in Japan charge for catching a dolphin; ‘Swimming with dolphins’ craze helps to fund a bloody and illegal slaughter.”

It focuses on the link between dolphin slaughter and dolphins as human entertainment.

It tells us:

“More than 20,000 whales and dolphins are killed along Japan’s coastline every year but the most notorious of the hunts is the ‘drive fishery’ near the village of Taiji. Fewer than 30 fishermen are behind an annual hunt in which dolphins are chased into shallow waters and then stabbed to death. The few that are spared are then sold on to the highest bidder.

Ric O’Barry, Flipper’s trainer turned dolphin rescuer is quoted: “‘Leading aquariums and swim-with-dolphin dealers are subsidising the Japan dolphin slaughter by paying £25,000 or more for a few show dolphins from the catch.”

And we read:

“Ocean World Adventure Park – a million-pound tourist resort in the Dominican Republic where visitors spend more than £60 a time to swim with captive dolphins – has placed a £300,000 order for 12 bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins, dubbed the ‘Taiji 12’, were taken in what he says is one of the most violent and brutal captures that he has ever seen.

“A report released last year by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society reveals that dozens of dolphins captured in Japan’s annual “drive fisheries” – and then spared – have ended up in aquariums around the world.

You’ll find the whole article on line here.

You can send a letter to the editor to letters [at] independent.co.uk.

And please, use this information for letters to your own papers when you see articles on the pleasures of viewing or swimming with captive animals as entertainment.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php

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DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter underway — Independent, Saturday January 6

Monday, January 8th, 2007

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jan 8, 2007 1:20 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter underway — Independent, Saturday January 6

Sad news to come back to is that Japan’s annual dolphin has begun. The Independent (London) covered it on Saturday, January 6, in an article, by David McNeill, headed, “Bloodbath: Japan’s dolphin cull gets underway.”

We learn that in Taiji, “Perhaps 2,000 small whales and striped, bottlenose, spotted and Risso’s dolphins have been slaughtered for meat that ends up on the tables of local homes and restaurants, and in vacuum-packed bags in supermarkets. By the end of March, many more will go the same way, part of what is probably the largest annual cull of cetaceans – about 26,000 around coastal Japan, according to environmentalists – in the world.”

We read:

“The hunts are notoriously brutal, and blue tarpaulin sheets block the main viewing spots overlooking the cove where the killings take place, to prevent photographs being taken. Beyond the cove, small boats surround a pod of migrating dolphins, lower metal poles into the sea and bang them to frighten the animals and disrupt their sonar. Once the panicking, thrashing dolphins are herded into the narrow cove, the fishermen attack them with knives, turning the sea red before dragging them to a harbourside warehouse for slaughter.

One dolphin hunter reminded us, “If you walked into an American slaughterhouse for cows, it wouldn’t look very pretty either.”

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Wash Post front page on dolphin slaughter — 11/20/06

Monday, November 20th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Nov 20, 2006 7:07 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Wash Post front page on dolphin slaughter — 11/20/06

The front page of the Monday, November 20, Washington Post demonstrates the positive effect of all those animal intelligence tests we have been reading about. It includes an article by Rick Weiss headed, “Intelligence Of Dolphins Cited in Fight Against Hunt. Others See Equal Weight In the Value of Tradition.”

The piece opens:

“A coalition of marine scientists has launched a campaign to halt Japan’s annual ‘dolphin drive,’ in which thousands of bottlenose dolphins are herded into shallow coves to be slaughtered with knives and clubs.

“The government-sanctioned event, which extends through the fall and winter, has been under fire for years from environmental and animal rights activists.

“But in a potentially influential escalation of that battle, mainstream scientists and administrators of zoos and aquariums — some of whom have been criticized for buying surviving dolphins for use in their shows — have united to condemn the practice.

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter on front page of Japan Times — 11/1/06

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Nov 2, 2006 3:53 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter on front page of Japan Times — 11/1/06

On Wednesday, November 1, Japan’s annual dolphin slaughter was covered on the Japan Times front page in an article, by Boyd Harnell, headed, “Dolphin kill dogged by mercury, activists.”

Since Westerners generally don’t eat dolphin meat, there has been a tendency to write-off the horror as something over which we have little control. But the opening line of the article lets us know how we support the kill:

“Nearly every day since the first week in September, fishermen have been driving pods of dolphins into quiet coves near the village of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, to kill them for their meat, whatever the mercury content, or sell them to marine parks.”

Though most of the animals are killed for their meat, they bring about $600 each while animals sold to the entertainment industry bring about $20,000, so the entertainment side business supports, even drives, the hunt. Ex-flipper trainer Ric O’Barry has described seeing American representatives of marine theme parks standing in the midst of the slaughter pointing to the best looking young animals they wish to purchase live.

(More below the fold…)

Dawnwatch: NY Times on dolphin intelligence and our similarity to other animals — 10/9/06

Monday, October 9th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Oct 9, 2006 3:16 PM
Subject: Dawnwatch: NY Times on dolphin intelligence and our similarity to other animals 10/9/06

Yesterday I shared an op-ed from the Los Angeles Times that discussed the likelihood that fish feel pain. Though pleased with the piece, I noted, with some annoyance, that it expressed any possible doubt as to whether nonhuman animals feel emotion, while millions of people who live with animals have no doubt that they do. It seems serendipitous that today’s (Monday, October 8 ) New York Times includes an op-ed by Professor Frans de Waal headed, “Looking at Flipper, Seeing Ourselves.” (Pg A17)

De Waal refers to a South African scientist who says that the intelligence of dolphins is vastly overrated. Then De Waal describes various dolphin feats, including “One female dolphin that was rewarded with a fish for every piece of debris she managed to collect from her tank managed to con her trainers into a bounty of snacks. They discovered she had been hiding large items like newspapers underwater, only to rip small pieces from them, bringing these to her trainer one by one.”

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter covered in UK Sunday Mirror — 17 September, 2006

Monday, September 18th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Sep 17, 2006 4:47 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Dolphin slaughter covered in UK Sunday Mirror — 17 September, 2006

While the US press ignores the issue, the UK’s Sunday Mirror, September 17, carries a shocking story, headed, “Slaughtered.” The subheading is, “They’re friendly, intelligent and out kid’s dram of swimming with them. So why are thousands of dolphins still being slaughtered?” (p 23)

It opens:

“They’re rounded up in nets and left to grow weak before the knives come out and the sea churns red. The slaughter of the dolphins has begun…Twenty-five of the most friendly, intelligent creatures known to man – the gentle mammals our kids dream of swimming with – were driven into a lagoon at Taiji, on Japan’s south-east coast, last week. After an exhausting day-long chase, a handful of the best specimens were picked to be sold to marine parks. The rest of these gentle animals faced an agonising death, killed for their meat, taking 10 minutes to die.

“Over the next six months around 20,000 dolphins will be butchered. Of them, 2,000 will suffer at the hands of Taiji’s ‘drive hunters'”.

(More below the fold…)