Murdock is a ginger kitten who gets into plenty of mischief. He loves eating fish and he has lots of friends who live and work in the sea. Murdock’s name means “protector of the seas” and that is what he loves doing. Here are some of his friends.
Meet... Sharky the hammerhead shark
Sharky is a handsome hammerhead. With such a strange-shaped head, it's easy to see where he gets his name from! There are many different kinds of sharks that live in all of the world's oceans. Some sharks, like the Port Jackson, stay at the bottom of the sea and use their flat crunching teeth for eating shellfish. Other big sharks, including the great white, swim around the ocean and use their sharp sawlike teeth to eat bigger creatures like seals. Lots of people are scared of sharks, but sharks have good reason to be afraid of humans because they often get caught in fishing nets as bycatch.
Meet... Mittens the crab
Mittens sounds like a big softy - but don't tell him that! He's about 15 cm across the widest part of his shell and lives on the rocky shores on the coast of Cromer, England. Mittens, like most crabs, has his own tough shell to protect him against predators, but hermit crabs borrow the shells of other animals to live in. All crabs have ten legs and walk sideways. Their front legs have developed into powerful pincers that they use to defend themselves from other creatures. Crabs are found all around the world. Some methods of fishing can damage the rocky sea floor where crabs live and this means their habitat is one of the important considerations for sustainable fishing practices.
Meet... David the fisherman
David is a fisher who works on the south coast of Britain in Cornwall. He catches mackerel using a long line of hooks but he is careful not to catch too many because he wants there to be more next year. David has been fishing ever since he was a boy and the fish he sells has the blue eco-label to tell shoppers that the fish has been caught using sustainable methods.
Meet... Bones the jellyfish
Bones is a common jellyfish, found all around UK coasts. Bones is an invertebrate which means she has no bone structure. Her body is see-through and bell-shaped, with a mouth on the underside. Bones catches her food in two clever ways. There is a layer of slime (mucus) coating her body, which traps all sorts of plankton like tiny shellfish and worms. Bones uses her stocky arms to collect it and put it in her mouth. Bones can also catch small fish using her stinging tentacles that surround the edge of her body. Don't panic! Unlike some dangerous jellyfish found elsewhere in the world, Bones' sting can't penetrate human skin.
Meet... Titch the humpback whale
Whales like Titch are mammals which means they are warm blooded, produce milk to feed to their babies and breathe air. In fact, whales have more in common with you than with fish! Titch is a humpback whale and he LOVES to sing!
Humpbacks are a type of baleen whale, which are a group of whales that have plates of stiff bristles instead of teeth. Humpback whales eat fish mostly - the baleen just means they can take huge gulps of fish filled water and filter the water out to just swallow the fish. They also swim around below the school of fish they plan to catch and blow bubbles to surround them in a 'bubble net'. The fish stay inside the wall of bubbles because they are afraid, then the whales comes up from below and gulps the whole school down!
Humpback whales 'sing' to communicate with each other and their songs can go on for hours! Whales used to be caught for their meat and blubber and this had a big impact on their numbers. Luckily, in 1986 lots of countries in the world got together and agreed to stop catching whales to allow their numbers to recover. Some countries do catch whales today, but some stocks are recovering.
Meet... Dusky the dolphin
Dusky, like her friend Titch, is a marine mammal. Dusky can't hold her breathe for quite as long as Titch though, and needs to surface every two or three minutes to breathe. Dusky is quite a clever young dolphin - she communicates with her family (known as a 'pod') using high pitched whistles and groans and uses sounds to gather information about her surroundings. Dusky sends out clicks into the water and the clicks echo off objects in her path, telling her about what is in front and around her. This is similar to the sonar equipment used by boats and submarines! Dolphins sometimes find themselves getting tangled in nets from fishing boats, especially trawlers or purse seine nets. To help dolphins to escape safely, responsible fishermen might use pingers or excluder devices on their trawl nets or watch their purse seine nets very carefully.
Meet... Ted the turtle
There are 7 different species of marine turtles in the world, including green, hawksbill, loggerhead, flatback, leatherback, olive ridley and kemps ridley. Most species of turtle are found all over the world, mainly in tropical and subtropical waters. Did you know that Ted, like snakes and crocodiles, is a reptile?! Turtles lay eggs on the beach and after about 12 weeks the baby turtle hatch, slowly crawl to the water and swim away! Different species of turtles feed on different things. Ted is a Green turtle and loves to eat algae and seagrass. His friends all eat different things - for example Lisa Leatherback eats jellyfish while Olivia the Olive Ridley eats shellfish. Turtles all over the world are in great danger. Many get tangled in abandoned fishing line, some think that plastic bags and rubbish are jellyfish and eat them by mistake and others accidentally get caught in trawling nets. Responsible fishermen are trying to help turtles by putting turtle excluder devices on their trawl nets so that turtles can escape.