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Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study...
In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet,...

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Sharks face many threats from people, including extreme overfishing driven by high prices for their fins, and being caught by mistake in nets and on longlines. While there is still much work to be done to conserve sharks, take a...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human...
There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which...

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It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification ,...

The Ocean Blog

In the late 1990's, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invented the D-Tag —a radio device that can be attached by suction cups to a whale's back. Using a tiny underwater...
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System site in Belize was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996. The site is an outstanding natural system, consisting of the largest barrier reef in the...
Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash...
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-...
Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this...
There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which endangers wildlife that eats or gets tangled in it. Reducing the amount of plastic trash in the ocean doesn't seem that hard;...
It can be hard to remember all the names of fish caught or farmed sustainably while you're at the supermarket. To help, the Monterey Bay Aquarium created its Seafood Watch guides, which come in the...
Fever. Aching muscles. Coughing. Sniffling. It’s flu season . Have you had your shot? If so, thank a horseshoe crab. In fact, if you’ve been put on an IV, had a medical device implanted, or received...
Ever since fourth grade I’ve wanted to explore the creatures and landscapes of the deep ocean in a submersible. It took awhile, but I finally got my chance this summer as part of the Deep Reef...
by Laura Brodbeck A special type of marine protected area (MPA) called a “no-take zone” bans the removal of marine life from designated areas. At first glance, they seem like a hard sell to fishermen...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I have hope for our ocean’s future. Last week President Obama signed an...
A few years ago, I was in New Zealand photographing a story about the value of marine reserves (a type of marine protected area ). My last location was a place called the Poor Knights Islands , a...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and...
Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago, is home to vibrant coral reefs with scores of fish species. It was designated a Marine World Heritage Site in August...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
Atlantic puffins ( Fratercula arctica ) used to be quite common along the Maine coast until the late 19th century, when hunters killed them to collect their feathers to fill pillows and decorate hats...
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