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The Ocean Blog

Phoenix swims in George’s Bank, off the coast of New England, on March 13, 2009. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
The small vaquita ( Phocoena sinus ), a type of porpoise, usually only reaches lengths of 5 feet (1.5 meters). They are only found in the Northern part of the Gulf of California off the coast of...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story...
Watch a recorded webcast about the latest efforts in Greece to study and save the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused...
There were fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales in 2006. Yet it has been illegal to hunt them since 1935. Why haven’t populations increased? Traits that made right whales easy to hunt make them...
Staghorn (seen here) and elkhorn corals are listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They are the only coral species currently listed, but 66 other coral species have been proposed for...
The Shiretoko site in Japan was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site’s key feature is its exceptional productivity, largely resulting from the formation of relatively low-latitude...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
A Galapagos sea lion ( Zalophus wollebaeki ) rests on a beach in Ecuador. The population of these charming animals swings wildly during El Niño events, but is declining overall. They are currently...
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law on December 28, 1973 by President Nixon. Over 2,000 species are currently on the ESA, and they are separated into "Threatened" and "Endangered"...
The Goliath grouper, ( Epinephelus itajara ), is found in shallow tropical waters and reefs. They can reach sizes of 3 meters, and will eat crustaceans, other fish, octopi, and even sharks. The title...
Monk seals -- the only completely tropical species of seal in the world -- are in trouble. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused the remaining populations of...
Johnson's seagrass is the lone ocean plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Its flowing green stalks play an important role in coastal ecosystems where they act as nursery grounds for...
These statistics come from a United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization 2007 review of the status of global fish stocks. Learn more in our Sustainable Seafood section .
Researchers have identified five areas of high North Atlantic right whale concentration between Canada and Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
A 2010 study of IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species found that one-fifth of the world's vertebrates (animals with backbones) are threatened with extinction, including this Hawaiian monk seal. The...
A view of the injured fluke belonging to Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy. It is not known what caused this injury. It possibly could have been an entanglement. More about whales can be found in our Tale of...
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these...
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