After three islands full of sharks, we were surprised by our first dives at Oeno, where the huge, colorful grouper seems to be king of the seas.
Diving at Henderson it is so easy to be fascinated by the sharks and other large fishes, that we risk missing entire little universes. As these photos show though, no matter what scale we view things at, Henderson reefs are full of life.
We arrived at Henderson Island at dawn. It was like the typical view that people in office buildings have on their walls, to inspire dreams about where they’d rather be.
The coral reefs of Ducie Atoll are some of the last tropical marine paradises, memories of what the ocean was like before extensive human impacts.
After 5 days at Pitcairn Island we sailed to Ducie Atoll, one of the least visited places in the ocean, uninhabited, and as far as we know, unfished.
Beyond the island’s halo of muck caused by four days of relentless rains, we found clearer deeper waters and an unexpected coral reef, teeming with fish.
We made it to Pitcairn Island this morning, shortly after sunrise. We saw the island appear exactly like it has been described dozens of times – like a tall ship coming out of the horizon.
In 1790 the mutineers of the HMS Bounty took refuge on tiny Pitcairn Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Only a few of their descendants still live there today, making the area one of the least inhabited places in the world. Join us this March and April as National Geographic explores the land and waters of Pitcairn, revealing one of the most untouched undersea environments left on Earth.
The first time I dived at the remote Kingman Reef, in 2005, I thought I found paradise. When I returned in 2007, I thought I had entered the dark land of Mordor.
A scientific study published today by the Public Library of Science shows that creating a no-take marine reserve brings fish back to degraded areas, and creates jobs and increases economic revenue for the local communities. I have seen it with my own eyes and, believe me, it is like a miracle, only that it is not–it’s just common business sense.
Who hasn’t been stung by a jellyfish on the beach? I have, a few times, and it’s painful. Jellyfish are blooming in most of the world’s oceans, creating gooey tides where there used to be clear waters. They are a nightmare for swimmers, but the worst may be yet to come. A new study found that jellyfish can wreak havoc by disrupting the ocean food web in unexpected ways. How can these animals, which are mostly water inside a living bag, be so disruptive?
The sea almost killed me a couple of times. I still remember the last time, a stormy day off the Costa Brava of Spain, in early 2008. Every time I think about it my heart races, and my guts jump to my throat. The sea is our mother, sister, and home, and as such I love her. We should thank the sea, the ocean, every day. But on this day I was having a hard time being grateful.
June 11 is the 101st anniversary of Jacques Cousteau, the Commandant, the man with the red cap who opened our eyes to the ocean like nobody did before. He was the first global environmental celebrity, as known worldwide as all-time soccer stars and movie stars. He inspired me to be what I am now. How did he inspire YOU? Let’s share our experiences for his 101st anniversary on June 11.
Is Santa Claus the owner of the North Pole? Well, Denmark doesn’t think so, since its government will ask the United Nations to recognize the North Pole as a geologic extension of Greenland. Russia is also claiming the sovereignty of vast extensions in the Arctic. But the United States cannot make those claims. Why?
Jacques Cousteau once called the Gulf of California “the aquarium of the world.” Today there is only one place that still looks like that, full of large groupers and snappers, sharks, manta rays, marlin, tuna, and five of the world’s seven endangered species of sea turtles: Cabo Pulmo National Park. But this natural jewel is at risk because of a proposed mega-resort.
According to the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace, several Libyan vessels, legally unauthorized to fish for the endangered bluefin tuna, have left Malta bound for Libyan waters. Their goal is to take advantage of the chaos in the country due to its civil war. That raises the question: is war bad for fish?
President Obama has an opportunity to lead in the environmental arena while doing a favor to the US fishing industry – by urging the international community to eliminate subsidies that perpetuate the decline of fish stocks worldwide. In other words, Obama can ask the world to be serious about free (and fair) trade of seafood.
‘If the EU were only to consume fish from its own waters, it would run-out of fish on July 8th, making it wholly dependent on fish from elsewhere from July 9th’, says a new study by the New Economics Foundation. It’s time to start worrying about where we’ll get our fish in the not-so-distant future – and to do something about it.
Global fisheries data since 1950 indicate a decline in catches for many fish species. Many marine biologists agree that we have a problem and that fisheries will continue collapsing – unless clear actions are taken to restore fish stocks. A handful of scientists, however, are confusing the public by saying that most fish stocks are stable. Why are these ‘fish skeptics’ wrong?
National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala comments on a new study, released today, which shows that 75 percent of the world’s coral reefs are threatened by human overpopulation. The proximity of the corals to human settlements means their fish populations are being depleted. The impact of humanity reduces the biodiversity of reef fishes, which in turn has a negative impact on the many services the reefs provide to humans.