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Endangered Species Day- Act for Pacific Sharks

Ocean Artivists Speak Out Against Nuclear Wastewater Dumping

Each year on the third Friday in May, we celebrate National Endangered Species Day and work harder to build momentum to protect sharks from extinction.


National Endangered Species Day encourages learning about wildlife habitats and the actions necessary to protect them. The designation of a day to protect critically imperiled species from extinction is important to our ecosystems. As part of the Ocean Health Cooperative, a volunteer-based collective of nuclear engineers, marine biologists, ocean researchers, environmental lawyers, and citizens who work to protect our oceans, we are calling on Japan to desist from their plan to release radiation contaminated wastewater in the Pacific. We are joined by 10 Ocean artivists to make an international statement for the ocean, Pacific marine wildlife and ecosystems.


May 19, 2023

News Release: For Immediate Distribution

World-Renowned Eco-Artists Unite to Oppose Japanese Nuclear Wastewater Dump. Urgent: Endangered Species at Risk

Media contact: or for any additional questions. 

This artivism project was organized by the Ocean Health Cooperative, a volunteer-based collective of nuclear engineers, marine biologists, ocean researchers, environmental lawyers, and citizens who work to protect our oceans. 

[Global, and Pacific; 5/19/23] 

In a global effort, eight internationally acclaimed eco artists have joined forces to oppose the controversial Japanese plan to dump nuclear wastewater into the Pacific ocean starting Summer 2023. Their collaboration seeks to shed light on this critical issue that has not received sufficient attention in the media due to competing political priorities, and to use the transformative power of art to effect meaningful change. 

By highlighting the potential harm to several key endangered species, namely the Okinawa Dugong, Eastern Hokkaido sea otter, sperm whales, Indo-Pacific whale sharks, giant manta rays (threatened), and spinner dolphins (protected) which inhabit the bays of Japan and surrounding Pacific regions, these artists aim to raise awareness and inspire action among the public and policymakers. 

They demand a halt to the Japanese nuclear water dump. These artists, whose work has captivated audiences worldwide, believe that the time has come for society to prioritize the preservation of our planet over short-term convenience.

The proposed Japanese plan has been deemed “inadequate, incomplete, inconsistent and biased” by a third-party panel of expert scientists, assembled by the Pacific Islands Forum, the leading political and economic policy organization of the region comprised of 18 countries, and has been opposed by the National Association of Marine Laboratories, a nonprofit that includes over 100 research and academic institutions that focus on marine and coastal science. 

Japan is looking to the G7 leaders for approval, scheduled for May 19th, 2023. Germany opposes the plan, although the rest of the G7 may endorse it. Let our leaders know there are cheaper and safer alternatives to consider (bioremediation, electrocoagulation), and that we don’t want this waste in our oceans. 

More info on the dump and the science of nuclear waste bioaccumulation can be found here, and in this document below, including quotes from expert scientific panel who reviewed Japan’s data.

Artists include: 

  1. Olafur Eliasson (Iceland; World renowned immersive art installations and environmentalist, winner of the Joan Miró Prize, the J. Paul Getty Medal, and the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos among many others, for his contribution to the arts). (Waiting on his social media post)
  2. Mayumi Oda (Japan; “The Matisse of Japan,” Winner of many lifetime achievement awards, including The Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award for peace and nonviolence, founder of NGO Plutonium Free Future) (waiting on her art submission)
  3. Zeppelin Moon (aka Amber Fossey) (UK; Nautilus Award winning author & illustrator, wildlife). Okinawa Dugong, Eastern Hokkaido sea otter
  4. Amanda Cotton (US; Underwater photographer, Women Divers Hall of Fame) – sperm whales
  5. Claudia & Hendrik Schmitt (Germany; Award-winning underwater documentary filmmakers) – Indo-Pacific whale sharks
  6. Asher Jay (US; USNC United Nations Women Design Star, National Geographic Explorer. Creative Conservationist.) giant manta rays 
  7. David Pu’u (US/Hawaii; Nat Geo photographer, photojournalist, oceans & surfing). Spinner dolphins.
  8. Randy Olson (US; World renowned Nat Geo Photographer, wildlife). 
  9. David McLeod (Australia; World renowned 3D animator)
  10. Hannah Rothstein (US; Viral eco artist)

All art downloads can be found here

Zeppelin Moon (aka Amber Fossey)- UK; Endangered species Bath Time, art here, poem art here

“There is no life on earth without sea life, we came from the water and it is our duty to respect and protect the oceans.

The animals I chose to draw are the dugong; which once native to the Japanese waters of Okinawa is now endangered

Also a sea otter; the wild sea otters of Japan were thought to be extinct from fur harvesting but some have been spotted again (certainly remain endangered).” 

By bringing attention to these endangered animals, Amber, aka Zeppelin Moon, draws attention to the fact that these creatures face a grim future if the dump goes forward. Let’s protect them, not wipe them out. 

Bio: Amber Fossey was a doctor before becoming an artist and a Nautilus award-winning author (prize for books about social and environmental justice). 

She loves to tell whimsical stories inspired by animals and believes in compassion and equality for all life, as we are all deeply connected.

Website, Instagram

Amanda Cotton- image download here and here

A sperm whale family (unit) swims together off the coast of Dominica. This group of sperm whales, with their deep family ties, understands the importance of protecting those around them who mean so much to their survival. But as much as they rely on each other, they also depend on the health of the ocean ecosystem that sustains them. By taking urgent action to protect our oceans, we can safeguard the majestic creatures that call it home. It’s our responsibility to do our part to ensure the oceans and all the life within them are protected for generations to come.”

Bio: Amanda Cotton, Wildlife Photographer specializing in the underwater world. As an ocean enthusiast, Amanda’s goal is to help the general public embrace the beauty nestled below the waves, in hopes that with awareness comes concern.

Her work has been published in major publications and news sources worldwide including National Geographic, BBC, Discovery, Smithsonian Magazine, Times Publishing, CNN, Scuba Diving Magazine, Sport Diver Magazine, Natural History Magazine, Earth week, and Science Daily; as well as many international dive industry advertising and marketing campaigns. 

Working with organizations such as Scholastic Books, The Conservation Fund, Consortium For Ocean Leadership, Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, Marine Life Protection Act, and Rourke Publishing has allowed her imagery and writing to have a positive impact on the oceans through education and outreach programs designed to improve awareness toward the plight the oceans now face. 

Amanda is honored to be a Member National of The Explorers Club and was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2015.

Website, Instagram

Claudia & Hendrik Schmitt – video download here

“Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, gentle filter feeders that have been swimming in our planet’s Ocean for millions of years. Their presence is a sign of a vital marine ecosystem. During the Anthropocene and due to human impact, they’ve become endangered. If whale sharks disappear, we will not only lose a beautiful marine species, we will also have lost the ecosystem they thrive in. 

Us humans must realize that for us to also thrive on this planet, WE also need a healthy Ocean. Protecting the Ocean is not just about the beauty of the marine world, it is about our very own survival on this planet.”

Bio: Claudia and Hendrik Schmitt are award-winning underwater filmmakers and passionate for the protection of our ocean. Confronted with the vulnerability of the ocean and eye witness to the problems our ocean is facing, they decided to become ambassadors of the underwater world. They use their cameras and skills not only to create beautiful films about their diving adventures, but also to focus on documentary films about environmental issues like pollution, climate crisis, overfishing and species extinctions – and on the ocean heroes who are dedicated to the ocean’s protection.

Website, Instagram

Asher Jay – A Manta Moment art download here

“This is a print reproduction of a hand illustrated, mixed media Asher Jay Original. A Manta Moment abstracts the complex musculature of an exquisitely engineered creature of the deep, in a moment of wild abandonment. The image captures the drape of this enigmatic being as it gently glides with its large wings stretched expansively, as if to emulate the dimensions of the blue ocean itself.”

Bio: Asher Jay is a National Geographic explorer,  international, adventurer and public figure whose compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife conservation. 

Asher’s travels to the frontline have made her witness and story-teller, combating illegal wildlife trafficking, promoting habitat sanctuaries and illuminating humanitarian emergencies. Her core message, again and again: biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene – the Age of Man. 

Website, Instagram

David Pu’u – Hawaii. Art download here and here

“This image is from a production shoot for Hobie off the Kona coast, Big Isle, Hawaii, where I was teaching the crew how to swim and interact with cetaceans. All dolphins shown are spinner dolphins. 

It was a pretty adventurous day for us all. These shots were from a recon I did, after having a pretty active interaction with an alpha male spinner, who came straight up off the bottom screaming, and grabbed me, taking me to the surface. I swam back down and shot this. He is the third dolphin from the left.  After this, the pod let us swim with them. All of the male and female athletes on this shoot were elite watermen-women.

I do not believe it is possible to protect the Ocean without having a deep and intimate relationship with it. As someone raised in the sea by a Hawaiian Father, I was brought up to understand that as a Hawaiian: the Sea is my home. I learned its ways, and strongly advocate for the passing along of that type of understanding to culture at large. We are to care for every aspect of the Ocean, even as we would the house in which we live. Housekeeping matters very much where the Ocean is concerned.”

Bio: David Pu’u is a Photographer, Cinematographer and Writer with broad experience ranging from editorial publication, to television and feature film production. For the past 20 years David has been a leader in the imaging community through his contributions to both new technology and uses of high-speed motion capture in film and digital 3D formats, which have been featured prominently on the global stage. His work can be found The Surfers Journal, The Surfers Path, LongBoard Magazine, Deep Magazine, Nalu Magazine, Surfers. De Magazine, Blue Magazine Japan, Surf Life Japan, Surf Life for Women, Santa Barbara Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Men’s Journal, Standup Paddler Magazine, White Horses Australia, Fluir Brazil, Surfing Life Japan, and more. 

Website, Instagram

Randy Olson- Image download here


Randy, an award-winning National Geographic photographer, is supporting the Fukushima artivism project by drawing attention to how important it is to protect ALL our water, and the animals who depend on it. 

“This photograph demonstrates how important water is and how scarce it is becoming, from a National Geographic story I did on the Ogallala aquifer. This photo is from one of the few places you can see unpolluted, plentiful fossil water from the aquifer, and also see how it’s NOT JUST IMPORTANT TO US… but to the livelihood of a half million birds and other species of wildlife.

There are only six great aquifers in the world, and ours in North America is the Ogallala aquifer.

This photo is an example of where we are in the Anthropocene, and how we decide which species we save. If the Crane Trust hadn’t dredged this river in Nebraska back to the Pleistocene, these majestic sandhill cranes would have no place to congregate en masse and breed little cranes. And no surprise, this aquifer, like all water it seems, is under stress…Texas and Oklahoma have already pumped out or poisoned their portion of it.

Every spring 80% of Lesser Sand Hill Cranes and some Greater Sand Hill Cranes (560,000) fly to the Platte River in greater concentrations than anywhere in the world. Fossil beds in parts of Nebraska contain the remains of prehistoric cranes from 10 million years ago. Their main migratory path is north-south constrained by the Rocky Mountains in the same way as the aquifer was when the mountains were formed.

Sand Hill Cranes land on Crane Trust property feeding on adjacent farmland’s waste corn. Ironically, it is because modern agriculture took away the constrained rivers they need to survive. 

The Crane Trust counted 413,000 Sandhill Cranes on this evening—more than they’ve ever counted before, so this image is what it must have looked like millions of years ago. Conservation groups tirelessly work to keep 20 miles of the Platte River a perfect habitat for the 560,000 cranes that fly through. One of the biggest migration corridors in the world hinges on a core of volunteers, and the money they raise to dredge the rivers back to the place they were millions of years ago.” 

Bio: Randy Olson is a multi-award-winning National Geographic photographer in the social-documentary tradition. Most of his work centers around resource extraction and how that affects indigenous communities or pristine ecosystems. 

His 30+ National Geographic magazine projects have taken him to nearly every continent, winning: the Alfred Eisenstadt award for Magazine Photography, an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, and a Robert F. Kennedy Award, among others. The National Geographic Society published a book of his work in a Masters of Photography series. Olson was the Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, and was also awarded POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year—one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II. 

In 2011, Randy founded The Photo Society ( to provide support for, and exposure to members as the economics of print dwindles. The National Geographic photographers elected Randy to represent them on the Photographers Advisory Board (PAB)

Website, Instagram


“This changing piece represents the wholeness of our oceans and the interconnected nature of all earth’s water. Actions can be felt around the globe and we must do what we can to keep our oceans clean and pure for everyone.”

An original piece, made By David for this Fukushima artivism project. 

Bio: David McLeod is an Australian artist & designer. Creating still and moving image, David’s work is driven by a curiosity for exploring new visual territories in CG. He has had the pleasure of working with a variety of clients, including: Apple, Nike, Dropbox, Toyota, Adobe, Wacom, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Omega, Mastercard, Canon, Greenpeace and Wired.

Website, Instagram

Hannah Rothstein- art download here and here

“Inspired by vintage advertising, the work at left uses the idealized aesthetic of the 1950s to depict an unsettling scene. This contrast gives the piece its power, drawing users in with the unexpected and leading them to consider the work’s overall message. 

For the piece at right, I wanted to make a simple, streamlined piece that had an immediate impact. The large radioactive symbol sits atop a red background (red being the color typically associated with danger or warnings), and the symbol’s traditionally circular center is transformed into a slice of sushi. This sushi slice evokes Japan, and making it part of the radioactive symbol illustrates how dumping radioactive wastewater into the Pacific will affect marine life and, in turn, the food we eat.

Keeping our oceans clean and healthy is a major part of ensuring a livable Earth for future generations. For one, the oceans provide a major source of Earth’s oxygen via phytoplankton. They’re also an important food source for many people. When we care for our oceans, we care for ourselves.”

Bio: Hannah Rothstein is redefining art in the eyes of the Millennial Generation. Her internet-viral work spans many media, from watercolor to digital art, and has been published in The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, Vogue Italia, and more. See more of Hannah’s work at and Instagram (@HRothsteinArt).]

Website, Instagram

More information about the Fukushima situation:

The proposed Japanese plan has been deemed “inadequate, incomplete, inconsistent and biased” by a third-party panel of expert scientists, assembled by the Pacific Islands Forum, the leading political and economic policy organization of the region comprised of 18 countries, and has been opposed by the National Association of Marine Laboratories, a nonprofit that includes over 100 research and academic institutions that focus on marine and coastal science. 

Experts who reviewed TEPCO data include: 

  • Dr. Ken Buesseler: PhD Marine Chemistry Senior Scientist, Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Dr. Arjun Makhijani: PhD Engineering, Specializing in Nuclear Fusion President & Board of Director Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
  • Dr. Robert H. Richmond: PhD Biological Sciences Research Professor and Director Kewalo Marine Laboratory University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress: PhD High Energy Physics Scientist-in-Residence, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Adjunct Professor, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

QUOTES: What the Expert Scientists and Pacific Islands Leaders are saying (taken from Pacific Islands Forum Public Webinar): 

  • “Make no mistake, the [Pacific Islands] region is steadfast in its position, that there should be no discharge until all parties verified through scientific means that such a discharge is safe. Furthermore, taking the easy way out in this unprecedented case, could well open Pandora’s box and lead to widespread ocean dumping that disregards the concerns and livelihoods of small island coastal communities. As stated by many [Pacific Islands] forum members, we should rather err on the side of caution. There is no doubt in my mind that more time is absolutely necessary to fully consider all implications of such a decision before choosing the course of action that is not only in the best interest of Japan, but also of all Pacific Island countries.” -Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna
  • “The solution to pollution is dilution” is an old paradigm that we now know isn’t true. “As soon as you add living creatures to the mix, which is what the ocean is full of. Then you get away from dilution and you get into biological concentration… And the concern we have is how this stuff is taken up, and then how it moves its way into people.” -Dr. Bob Richmond 
  • “The policies that we use today are simply not kept up with scientific advancements. Science is advancing on a weekly, monthly, almost daily basis. And yet many of the policies that are being used now, including the ones that we’ve been up against with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and partners in this [Fukushima] effort now are simply outdated and they don’t reflect the best available science the knowledge we have today.” – Dr. Bob Richmond
  • “This is an opportunity during the United Nations “Ocean Decade” to reevaluate not just in this case, but take a broader view of how we treat our oceans and the people who depend on them. There is a strong consensus internationally that continued use of the ocean for dumping waste is simply not sustainable.” – Dr. Bob Richmond
  • “You can’t taste or feel and smell and see radioactivity.” – Dr. Ken Bussler
  • “[TEPCO] data shared with the Pacific Island forum is deemed to be inadequate, incomplete, inconsistent and biased.” – Dr. Arjun Makhijani
  • “The relevant data is missing from the sample, meaning that important pieces of information are not included in the analysis. Inadequate refers to large gaps in the data indicating that not enough information was collected to provide a thorough analysis and when data is inconsistent in these words, it refers to data that contains discrepancies or conflicts within itself.” -Dr Arjun Makhijani
  • “The poor data quality control is very shocking.” – Dr. Arjun Makhijani
  • “My concerns have grown the more we have discussed with [TEPCO].” -Dr. Arjun Makhijani
  • “Because there are trans boundary issues, because there are efficiency issues, because there are many, many issues of ecology in regard to discharging such a large volume of waste and radioactivity into the ocean, alternatives should be considered.” -Dr. Arjun Makhijani

There are many alternatives to consider. Two are: 

  • Bioremediation techniques: using microorganisms, algae, fungi, and/or oysters, we can consolidate and concentrate the waste in algal “cakes”, fruiting bodies, or shells, respectively. With the water filtered, it can be returned to the sea, while the concentrated waste would then be disposed of using standard hazardous waste protocols for solids, preventing the waste from entering the ocean and surrounding waters.
  • Electrocoagulation: a two-step process, applying electricity to the water which binds the waste in the water (including Carbon-14 and tritium), followed by an ion filtration step. This is safer and more efficient than TEPCO’s current plan, since TEPCO’s current plan suggests leaving Carbon-14 and tritium in the water (as well as other radionuclides that have been detected by independent sampling).

More information on the situation, along with research and citations, can be found here:

More information on several known alternate solutions can be found here: