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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.

Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows Will Shine Spotlight on Critical World Issues

The Department of State and National Geographic share a common interest in ensuring that individuals throughout the world have access to information that serves to break down barriers between people, said Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan in her remarks at the official signing event of the new Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The inaugural fellows will “will shine a spotlight on critical world issues that serve as the themes of this year’s Digital Storytelling program: Biodiversity, Cities, Cultures, Disasters, Energy, Food, Oceans, and Water.”

Protecting Coral Reefs, From the FL Keys to the Savu Sea

By Rob Brumbaugh, Integrated Ocean Management Lead, The Nature Conservancy I’ve just returned from Bali, Indonesia, where I spent three weeks working with The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia marine program, and attending an international conference of scientists and economists exploring ways to make the human benefits of nature more apparent to policy makers and stakeholders everywhere. …

Mexico is Saving Sharks While Australia Kills Them

There was great news out of Mexico this week when the Mexican government announced a permanent ban on fishing for great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). The measure applies to national waters on both coasts and is notable because it means that white sharks caught accidentally – bycatch – by commercial or recreational fishermen must be…

Bloomberg Sees the Upside of Oceans

By Brett Jenks, CEO of Rare I’ve been waiting so long to say this, I can hardly contain myself: Michael Bloomberg, in his first big philanthropic act since stepping down as mayor of New York City, just announced a five-year, $53M investment called the Vibrant Oceans Initiative. This is good news for the ocean and…

New Study: 1 in 4 Sharks and Rays Threatened With Extinction

The future for sea animals looks pretty grim. And, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it will only get worse unless action is taken to conserve sharks and rays. A new global study released this week predicts that a quarter of chondrichthyan fishes—sharks, rays, and chimaeras—are threatened with extinction. The study,…

Family of SeaWorld Trainer Killed by Orca Speaks Out for First Time

The family of Dawn Brancheau, the trainer killed by Tilikum the killer whale, speaks out for the first time about the documentary Blackfish.

Shark Species Thought to Be Extinct Turns Up in Fish Market

When scouting for extremely rare species probably the last place you’d think to check would be “the store.” And yet it was at a store of sorts–a public fish market in Kuwait to be exact–where marine researchers rediscovered the smoothtooth blacktip shark (Carcharhinus leiodon) in 2008. The species was thought to be extinct, or not even a…

Animal Without a Brain Can “Sneeze,” Surprising Study Shows

They don’t exactly say achoo, but sponges can “sneeze,” according to a new study.

Stop the Trash

We once believed that the ocean was too big to fail, that we could take out as much fish, and dump in as much trash, debris and pollution as we wished.  Now, we know we were wrong.  And, not only were we wrong, we need to make it right.  One good place to start?  Stopping…

Country’s First New Species of Fish Discovered

The science community welcomed a new species of fish today, called Eviota santanai. The striking, pinkish-mauve-and-white animal, a type of dwarf goby, was found off Timor-Leste (map), and is the first new species of fish found in the country, according to Conservation International (CI), the group that made the discovery. The new fish description was…

New Interest in Seafloor Mining Revives Calls for Conservation

By Michael W. Lodge New interest in the exploitation of seabed minerals has led to the revival of old concerns for the preservation of our oceans, argues Michael W. Lodge, Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel of the  International Seabed Authority, and speaker at the upcoming World Ocean Summit hosted by The Economist in…

SeaOrbiter: Help Build This Space Station of the Sea

SeaOrbiter, the first space station of the sea, is launching a crowdfunding campaign to finance the construction of the ‘Eye’ of the vessel, to start in spring 2014. Each person’s chance to own a small part of SeaOrbiter. Often compared to Star Trek’s Starship USS Enterprise, SeaOrbiter is a new generation of underwater exploration vessel…

Photos: Orange Octopus, More Creatures Found Deep in Antarctic Sea

A bristle-cage worm, a sea lily, and an orange octopus are among species hauled up from Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea for the first time.

Tribes Take the Helm in West Coast Ocean Planning

By Shaunna McCovey The Tolowa Dee-ni’ of the Smith River Rancheria in California have always been the caretakers of the ocean and coast. During the summer months, Tolowa families set up camps to fish for smelt on the local beaches. Caught smelt are elaborately arranged on the sand to dry while Tolowa fishermen and women watch…