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Overfishing Remains Biggest Threat to Mediterranean, Study Confirms

Marine Ecologist Enric Sala says a new study produced by a dozen researchers confirms that the Mediterranean is on a trajectory to become a sea dominated by small tropical species that no one likes to eat. “Fishes will not be abundant, and the native species that the Greeks and Romans started to fish commercially will be rare — and most fisheries and the jobs they support will collapse,” he says. But this could change “if we stop all the irrational overfishing,” Sala adds, “including both legal and illegal fishing, and protect a large chunk of the Mediterranean. Without these radical changes, we’re just going to reduce the Mediterranean Sea to a soup of microbes and jellyfish.”

Two National Marine Sanctuaries May More Than Double in Size

Two national marine sanctuaries along the Northern California coast, renown for their rich animal life, may more than double in size if NOAA has its way.

New Killer Sponges Found in the Deep Sea

The carnivorous invertebrates, discovered deep in the waters off California, use tiny hooks on their bodies to capture prey, a new study says.

Pristine Seas: Mozambique Expedition Launches

As day dawns in the southeastern African coastal nation of Mozambique today, Pristine Seas Expedition Leader Paul Rose and team begin the latest in an ongoing series of missions to explore and document the biodiversity of the most untouched areas in the world’s oceans.

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…

Mauritius: Charting the Future of an African Outlier

Travels across the South Indian Ocean can be nicely punctuated with an exotic stopover on the small island state of Mauritius. The country boasts a fine airline which flies regularly to Australia and connects to various destinations on the African continent with which it shares geopolitical allegiances, including membership in the African Union. In January…

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…

Women-Powered Science & Exploration

National Geographic Emerging Explorer Gregg Treinish founded Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit organization connecting outdoor adventurers with scientists in need of data from the field. He also organizes his own expeditions, contributing to research on wildlife-human interaction, fragmented habitats, and threatened species.  —- Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is dedicated to connecting passionate adventure athletes and…

Can World Leaders Tame the Wild West of the High Seas?

Earlier this month, Indonesia announced the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays. At the World Ocean Summit Tuesday, Peter Seligmann, the CEO of Conservation International, said the sanctuary “was not done out of good will, it was done out of enlightened self interest.” Seligmann said Indonesia had made careful calculations about how much manta rays…

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…

John Kerry and Prince Charles Urge Immediate Action on Ocean Protection

The editor-in-chief of The Economist, John Micklethwait, asked a packed room at the World Ocean Summit if they thought the ocean was in worse shape now than when the conference was first held in 2012. Almost everyone held up a pre-printed red card that read “yes,” leading Micklethwait to say that the room had responded…

World Ocean Summit Puts Marine Issues “On Global Agenda”

Hundreds of representatives from national governments, environmental organizations, academic institutions, and corporations have gathered in Half Moon Bay, California, for the World Ocean Summit February 24-26. As the sun rises over the hills to shed first light on the Pacific Ocean, delegates are meeting to discuss solutions to international ocean governance and sustainable use of…

2,100 Feet and Holding: Inside the Mind of a Submarine Pilot

There’s nothing between me and complete corporeal implosion but a 3 inch thick dome of plexiglass. What goes through the mind of a submarine pilot two thousand feet below the surface of the ocean? And better yet, what goes past the window?

Filmmaker Greg MacGillivray Shares His “Journey to the South Pacific”

  Journey to the South Pacific, a new 3D IMAX film now in theaters, takes moviegoers on an adventure through the island paradise of remote West Papua, a province of Indonesia in the Coral Triangle. Narrated by Cate Blanchett, the film tells the story of Jawi Mayor, a young island boy who discovers the incredible diversity…

Strange “Fairy Rings” in Seafloor Explained

Seafloor “fairy rings” that have stumped scientists have their roots in a toxic plant-killer, a new study says.