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The Future of the Past in Palau

Enric Sala and team are back in the big blue on their latest expedition to explore and document the world’s most pristine seas. This time, the destination is the Micronesian island group of Palau.

The MPA Wave

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In 2004, Australia created the first large-scale marine protected area (MPA) in the world. Its Great Barrier Reef Marine Park had been a world heritage site since 1981, but ten years ago the government of Australia did the unthinkable – they banned all fishing, both recreational and commercial, from 33% of the park. In one…

Whale Encounters in Arctic Svalbard

We did not see the rare bowhead whale during our week-long cruise through Svalbard early in the summer of 2014, but our ship, National Geographic Explorer, had some dramatic encounters with humpbacks, and there were also excellent sightings of fin whales and belugas.

Tourism Not Tuna

There is a new wave of conservation in the Pacific.   Fed up with overfishing and other non-sustainable practices like shark finning, small island nations are returning to more traditional ways.  They are beginning to scale back industrial fishing in their waters, to protect their fish stocks from illegal fishing, and to create sustainable tourism destinations…

Video: Divers Clean Reefs to Save Marine Life

Artificial reefs, created by intentionally sinking ships, provide a home for marine life of all types. The sites attract fishermen and divers, who unintentionally leave trash behind, some of which is deadly to marine mammals. A team of conservation divers visits three reefs to carefully extract fishing line and anchor rope that have become entangled in ocean habitats and pose threats to turtles, dolphins, and other marine life. For more…

Breaking Down Rocks in the Deep Ocean

When I witness adults cooing over Eocene-era rocks, or tasting 15 million-year-old ocean sediments, I instantly wonder what their childhood was like. Were they kids that didn’t want to leave the sandbox after recess? Were they shy and looked at the ground more than they looked at the sky? Why curiosity for inanimate objects over, say, plants or something with eyes and a heart?

Turning Divers into Citizen Scientists

Lindsay Aylesworth is a PhD Candidate with Project Seahorse at the University of British Columbia, Canada. In Thailand, she collaborates with Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, postdoctoral research associate at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, to investigate how seahorse catch and trade affect their wild populations, which helps to inform seahorse conservation and management. Recently, Lindsay co-authored…

Welcoming Hōkūle’a to American Samoa With Dr. Sylvia Earle

Daniel Lin and Dr. Sylvia Earle (National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence) team up to write about their experience of greeting Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia in American Samoa, and to reflect on the health of the ocean there.

Watch: Grouper Slurps Down A Shark, Not A Typical Meal

A massive grouper gobbles down a shark in one bite. The unfortunate victim seems to have been a meal of opportunity rather than part of a steady diet, according to an expert.

Social-Ecological Marine Restoration: A New Vision of Benefits for Nature – And People

The sea goldie (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) a small species of colourful fish. It is a common sight to scuba divers in the Indian Ocean. Credit: Assaf Zvuloni By Dr. Michael Beck, lead marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy Location Post: The Gulf of Aqaba. Red Sea reef restoration projects. Last month, I dove on some amazing reef…

Are You Kidding? Larger Tanks Won’t Cut it for Killer Whales

Once again Sea World is missing the point. The aquatic entertainment enterprise just doesn’t seem to give up despite documentaries like Blackfish and a growing public awareness that keeping cetaceans in captivity is cruel and morally wrong. Even Wall Street is turning its back on the company. Now, with a new and grandiose multi-million dollar plan for expanding their killer whale tanks, Sea World is taking the “logical” next step to resurrect itself.

Longtime Sea Urchin Diving Partners Lead the Way in Sea Kelp Restoration, Technology and Collaboration

By Leanne Weiss Terry Herzik (67), Gary Thompson (71), and Lucy, Gary’s 8-year-old Chihuahua, board the Sunstar at dawn with enough food and fuel for the next three days. As they pull away, in their 34-foot vessel the sun is just beginning to rise over Fish Harbor, in San Pedro, Los Angeles. They’ll head southwest…

Why Are Jellyfish Swarming This Summer?

Swarms of jellyfish that have appeared recently in the Pacific Northwest and the United Kingdom are not unusual, but may signal an ocean out of balance, experts say.

The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

Pristine Seas: Southern Line Islands Set Bar for Healthy Reefs Everywhere

The waters around the southern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean are home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world. The government of Kiribati recently declared a 12-nautical-mile fishing exclusion zone around each of the five islands, thanks in part to the efforts of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative and Explorer-in-Residence Enric…