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Carl Safina, host of Saving the Ocean on PBS, is author of several books including "Song for the Blue Ocean," "A Sea in Flames," and "The View From Lazy Point." His writing has won the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Medal, National Academies Book Award, and the Orion Book Award, and he has received MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim fellowships, among other honors. He is founding president of The Safina Center (formerly Blue Ocean Institute), and co-chairs the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

Return of a Native: Reflections on the 38th Voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, July 11, 2014

By Patricia Paladines and Carl Safina The first whale was spotted at around 11am. We approached it with the quiet stealth afforded by a light wind in our sails. To the best of our knowledge the animal could not imagine or have any concern that a wooden whale-hunting ship was nearing its magnificent, enormous body.…

The Guardians of Raja Ampat: Community-Driven Conservation in the Heart of Indonesia

Reversing overfishing, climate change, and population growth can seem insurmountable. Safina Center Fellows strive to amplify the global conservation discussion and, in targeted ways and places, overcome some of these obstacles. They bring a wide range of skills, engaging in every way from primary research to policy to popular media. They make a difference. Where…

Palau Plans to Ban Commercial Fishing, Create Enormous Marine Reserve

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown The people of Palau, a small island nation in the northwestern Pacific, have long realized that the health and prosperity of their nation depends on the ocean. Because of this realization, Palauans have always worked to protect their ocean resources.  That’s why Palau has drawn the world’s top scientists…

The Mirror of Armila

By Carl Safina and Pam Longobardi There are no mirrors in Armila.  As a culture, the Guna are less concerned with themselves than they are with their families, friends and community.  When you live in Armila, you see yourself only as a reflection in the faces of the beautiful smiling people of this town.  Armila…

New Catch Limit for Menhaden Leaves Millions of Fish in the Sea

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown In December 2012, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to establish the first ever coast-wide catch limit for the Atlantic Menhaden fishery, after urging from fishermen, conservationists, and many of you to protect Menhaden1.  Menhaden are one of the sea’s most important fish because they provide food for…

Caught by Accident: Global Hotspots of Unintended Catches

By Carl Safina and Rebecca Lewison You might have heard that fishing gear accidentally catches sea animals that fishermen are not trying to catch. Certain nets set for mackerel and lines set for swordfish catch leatherback turtles; lines set for tuna catch sea turtles in some places, albatrosses in others. But what’s the big picture…

Australia Authorizing Destruction of Great Barrier Reef

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown When Captain Cook almost literally stumbled upon Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—it reached upward and clenched his ship—its size awed him. When the first orbiting astronauts looked down on their home planet, the Great Barrier Reef’s size awed them too. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest structure made…

Listening to Sperm Whale Sonar

Amazing. A few years ago in the Gulf of California, we found ourselves surrounded by a pod of female sperm whales sleeping peacefully like massive logs in a calm sea. One, followed closely by a seemingly protective companion, had a baby so new that it still trailed an umbilical cord as it swam with tail…

Fishermen In Palau Take On Role of Scientist To Save Their Fishery

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown The island nation of Palau is a legendary tropical coral paradise, with perhaps the most farsighted fisheries management in the Pacific. Palau has protected its reef fishes from the export business that has destroyed fish populations on many reefs for the limitless demand in China. That’s why Palau remains…

What Are Killer Whales Saying?

People who are listening to the killer whale calls in my previous posting are asking whether we have any idea yet of the meaning. Answer: not as language, but we do know some things. What we don’t know: We don’t know if they have words or language. We think they have signature calls (names) and…

Killer Whale Calls

The following audio was recorded in early October in Haro Straight off San Juan Island in Washington.  There were about 20 whales or so – if you close your eyes, you can picture the backdrop of a jungle just as easily as the ocean. A hydrophone was used to capture the sounds, and although it…

Killer Whales in Washington State: Serial Problems

We were just chatting in Ken Balcomb’s kitchen when out of the computer speakers’ white-noise static came a single whistle that stopped all conversation. They were coming! Moments later the kitchen was full of squeals, squeaks, whoops, buzzes—. At the windows with our binoculars, we confirmed that a familiar group of “resident” or fish-eating killer…

Kitchen Killer Whales

I was just standing on researcher Ken Balcomb’s kitchen porch looking out at Haro Strait, from Washington toward Vancouver Island, Canada, watching killer whales going by. Cool enough, but these were not the usual “residents” who hunt salmon. They were “transients;” mammal eaters. One way we knew: We’d been listening to the nearby hydrophones set…

Whale Whisperer Don Pachico Mayoral is Gone

Don Pachico Mayoral, the first man to make physical contact and develop friendly relationships with some of the gray whales of Baja, Mexico, is gone.  A stroke took him on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. He was 72.  I met Don Pachico on the shore of San Ignacio Lagoon a couple of years ago while filming…

GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 2 (Wednesday, June 12)

A mile down the beach and a mile out on the flat more-or-less, another mother trails three cubs from clam-hole to clam-hole. When she spots a big dark male headed her way from half a mile away, she moves off, in a hurry and a worry, frequently glancing over her shoulder and occasionally breaking into…