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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…

Healthy Seas and Healthy Communities: The People of Honduras’ Mesoamerican Reef

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and features the work of our Fellows on iLCP projects and expeditions.  Read our other articles on the National Geographic News Watch blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Karen…

What’s an Acre of Seagrass Worth? $80,000 in Fish Alone

By Philine zu Ermgassen, postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University and Dr. Mark Spalding, senior scientist with The Nature Conservancy For decades, dire tales of collapsing fish stocks were told, only to fall on deaf ears. Then, in a 2008 report, “Sunken Billions,” the World Bank and the FAO began to couch the problem in entirely…

March 24, 2014: Big Wave Crashes, Haitian Folk-Tunes, Babysitting Gorillas and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they are held underwater until they blackout and are rescued, put Langston Hughes’ poetry to music, study bats in the living room, grow up with gorillas, survive a deadly Antarctic expedition, remind travelers to represent their nations, refuse to order bluefin tuna sushi, and create stronger laws to protect elephants.

“First Ever” Photos of Rare Albino Marlin

On March 11, an angler hooked a rare fish: a 300-pound albino blue marlin. The animal was released alive, and photos of the encounter may be the first recorded images of an albino blue marlin, according to the Billfish Report. It was about 1 pm, during a charter fishing trip on the 42-foot boat Spanish…

Financing Sustainable Fisheries With Impact Investments

Impact IQ – What’s good for the fish is good for the fishing communities — and for impact investors. That’s the thesis of three new vehicles for investing in sustainable fisheries that will be tested in the Philippines, Chile, and Brazil over the next two years and then offered to investors more broadly. Former New York City…

Tackling Overfishing on Many Fronts

As the World Ocean Summit winds down in Half Moon Bay, California, this evening, much discussion among the hundreds of gathered delegates has turned to overfishing.  There were perhaps as many thoughts on the subject as members in attendance from the fishing industry, academia, conservation organizations, and the media. But, several solutions emerged that received…

Supply Chains Are Key to Change for Sustainable Fisheries and Oceans

When we buy seafood, whether it’s salmon, scallops, or sea bass, we may ask where the fish is from or how fresh it is. Is it local? Caught today? Farmed? And we may conjure up an image of a fisherman on the water, but we rarely think about the full path that fish took on…

Electronic Tagging and Tracking Marine Animals Supports Conservation

Understanding and predicting animal movement is important as it is central to establishing effective management and conservation strategies [1]. Until relatively recently, studying the movements and behaviors of highly migratory marine species (turtles, sharks, whales, penguins, seals and billfish) have been challenging due to the logistical and technological constraints of working in aquatic environments. However,…

Forecast: More Vessels Stuck in Antarctic Ice

Just as the Russian vessel Akademik Shokalskiy and the Chinese vessel sent to rescue it were finally dislodged from the ice after being stuck since Christmas Eve, three fishing vessels have followed a United States icebreaker deep into the Ross Sea to access ice-choked fishing grounds that would otherwise be impossible for their vessels to…

Shark Declines: Fuel for a Decade of Conservation Effort

Shark Declines: Fuel for a Decade of Conservation Effort by Austin J. Gallagher & Neil Hammerschlag     Scientists have been studying the population status of sharks for years and while the vulnerability, threatened status and biological importance of sharks has long-been well-recognized and documented by the research community (1), ten years ago, shark conservation…

Mobile Apps: A Path Back to Traditional Fishing Knowledge

By Tim Welch In the Solomon Islands, the older fishermen are impressive in their ability to fish the reefs. Keen knowledge of the currents, the moon phases, and the behavior of certain species inform their strategy each day. Many of the fishermen, however, have been around long enough to recognize that the fish they rely…

The Bottom Line: Five Myths About Fishing

From the Chesapeake Bay to Florida’s Gulf Coast, recreational fishing is big business for many communities along the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, more than one-third of America’s 11.8 million saltwater anglers live in the region. I count myself among them. This national pastime is much more than throwing a line off a local pier. In…

What’s a Danajon Bank?

by Michael Ready, Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers In April 2013, after four planes, a ferry, and two outriggers, I arrived at Handumon, a remote village and field station on Jandayan Island in the Philippines. As I lay down the first night under a mosquito net, wiped out and bit disoriented,…

Belize Fights Back Against an Uninvited Guest

Lionfish are predators of Belize’s waters, threatening tourism and local wildlife. Could offering them as a delicacy solve the problem?