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The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys & Just Keep Swimming!

When most people think about ocean creatures, they picture large charismatic species like whales, penguins, polar bears, sharks and turtles. These magnificent animals are the “celebrities” of the oceans and tend to received significant public and scientific attention. In fact, they are even play starring roles in Hollywood movies, such as Happy Feet, Dolphin Tale,…

Marine Protected Area Increased Fish and Didn’t Hurt Fishers: Study

We’ve covered marine protected areas (MPAs) a lot in Ocean Views. They come in different flavors and can have different goals, although the basic idea is designating part of the ocean with some kind of legal protection against harmful activities like overfishing or drilling for oil. Today, a new study published in Nature Communications found that…

Fish 2.0: A Competition That Connects Investors With Sustainable Seafood Businesses

A new breed of investors is starting to shape business growth across the globe. These impact investors, as they are often called, look to put money into businesses that generate strong financial returns as well as environmental or social benefits. In the past decade alone, impact investors poured millions of dollars into new innovations, helping…

“Losing Nemo” Video Takes Aim at Overfishing–But Does it Go Too Far?

The above video is a highly produced animation that takes a shot across the bow of large fishing vessels. Capitalizing on the public’s affinity for a cuddly clownfish named Nemo from the 2003 Pixar/Disney film Finding Nemo, this six-minute clip of digital agitprop supports the advocacy group The Black Fish. The Black Fish targets the…

From Crown to Cage: The Changing Face of the Tuna Trap Fishery in Sardgena

For the last month, I have been immersed in a world of traditional bluefin tuna traps in three small towns in the Southwest corner of Sardegna (Sardinia): Carloforte, Portoscuso, and Porto Paglia. In each of these towns you cannot go far without seeing or hearing some sort of reference to bluefin tuna.  Whether it is…

Farmed Fish Now More Popular Than Beef Worldwide

“One billion people eat seafood every day, and it can be sustainable if we manage the oceans well,” Andy Sharpless, the CEO of Oceana, said last night at a book launch party at Azur in Washington, D.C. While guests noshed on sustainably produced lobster beignets, sardine sushi, and raw oysters (pictures), they heard about The Perfect…

Fair Fish: San Francisco Fishermen Shake Up the Docks With Community Model

By Ed Backus Northern California’s salmon season is in full swing and on San Francisco’s Pier 45, a two-year-old fishermen’s cooperative, the San Francisco Community Fishing Association, is upending a fishing industry dominated by 800-pound gorillas and consolidation. The co-op is moving tens of thousands of pounds of members’ salmon directly out onto the market,…

The Fish We Need to Feed 9 Billion People

Smart fisheries management is a great place to start a conversation about putting the ocean at the center of the world’s biggest challenges.  This is because the most profitable type of fishing is sustainable fishing – better management helps fishermen and the ocean at the same time. Sustainable fishing means keeping enough fish in the…

Passenger Ship Spots Illegal Fishing Activity

It’s not everyday you get to see large-scale illegal fishing in progress.  But on April 14, that’s exactly what passengers aboard the National Geographic Explorer seem to have witnessed. This passenger ship was two-thirds of the way through a voyage up the coast of West Africa, and guests were enjoying a day at sea. As…

Fishermen Develop New Business Models to Save Their Communities

Theresa Peterson has been an Alaska fisherman for three decades. During summer break one year in college she went to Homer, Alaska, to work in a cannery. She lived in a tent with friends. But after four days of being cooped up in the factory she decided she wanted to get a job on a…

An Ocean Champion in the White House

  This article was originally published by the Center for American Progress. It should come as no surprise that a president who grew up in Hawaii and has been known to enjoy the occasional vacation on Martha’s Vineyard would prioritize policies that result in the improved management of America’s oceans and coasts. In the past…

Time for Honduras to End Scuba Diving for Lobster

Statistically, fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions and it is hard to imagine what could be worse than scuba diving for lobster along the remote and impoverished Miskito Coast of Honduras and Nicaragua (see Building a Sustainable Lobster Fishery Off Honduras). The dangers of this profession have been graphically documented by NBC News and…

New Research: Marine Reserves Can Stoke Local Economies

On April 3, 2013, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala and a team of colleagues from around the world published a scientific paper called “A General Business Model for Marine Reserves” in the journal PLoS ONE. Building on the work of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Expeditions (see clickable map below), the team analyzed available data to show…

The Bottom Line: Coming Together for Bluefin Tuna

It’s not every day that fishermen and environmentalists agree. But in a significant move, the American Bluefin Tuna Association and the International Game Fish Association are partnering with The Pew Charitable Trusts to protect bluefin tuna, one of the most amazing fish in the sea. By working together, we might be able to help ensure…

The Bottom Line: Food Fit For a King

The annual arrival of spring chinook salmon to inland rivers makes March an eagerly anticipated time of year for fishermen and seafood lovers on the Pacific Coast. Anglers wait all year for the chance to land a hulking silvery chinook, commonly known as a king salmon, and consumers enjoy eating this tasty fish. When it…