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How the “Disco Clam” Lights It Up Underwater

Researchers discover how the disco clam puts on its light shows—and it’s not bioluminescence.

Lionfish Flare Their Fins to Hunt Together

A new study finds that lionfish—those venomous, striped invaders of reefs in the Caribbean and off of Florida—fan their fins to gather a posse while hunting prey.

Senate Clears Way for Keystone XL Pipeline

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 10 on a bill Wednesday approving the long-debated Keystone XL oil pipeline. The pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, requires presidential approval as it crosses international boundaries. Without a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring it to a vote…

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management—Part IV

Protecting essential fish habitat: Homes and nurseries On May 29, the House Natural Resources Committee met to refine legislation reauthorizing and amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law that governs fishing in U.S. ocean waters. This is vital work: Our oceans are one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources. And…

June 8, 2014: Diving From 90 Feet Above Havana Bay, Free the Dancing Bears and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they run for peace through the Middle East, honor hero war dogs, play matchmaker for dolphins, safely cycle through crowded city streets, pick the perfect outdoor gear, dive from 90 foot cliffs competitively, recover a 500 year old sunken ship, farm the planet’s oceans, and save a species and a community at the same time.

Restoration Week: Celebrating Science in Action and the Value of Ocean Habitat

Rob Brumbaugh, senior marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy June 1st marks the opening of the Atlantic hurricane season and as a resident of the Florida Keys I know to take every storm seriously and prepare accordingly. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a “near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season,” and while…

Dolphins Guide Scientists to Rescue Suicidal Girl

One day, my research team and I were following a school of bottlenose dolphins near shore as we do on a regular basis in the waters off Los Angeles, California. We just wrapped up our photo-identification work and were moving on to take video of dolphin social interactions and enter data on behavior. The dolphins…

The World’s Largest Migratory Freshwater Fish

May 24th, 2014, marks the first ever World Fish Migration Day—a day created to raise awareness about the great diversity of migratory freshwater fish species, their importance, and the many threats to their populations and ecosystems. Migratory freshwater fish occur worldwide and include many familiar species. And while diadromous fish (fish that move between freshwater…

What’s Making Duck Sounds in the Ocean? Mystery Solved

It may sound quacky, but mysterious duck-like sounds in the oceans are made by whales, a new study says.

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…