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The Ocean Blog

The ocean is essential to all life…including yours. As consumers, we're often exposed to confusing information about fishing and farming practices and other ocean-related issues, and find ourselves...
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...
Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the...
The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, I have hope for our ocean’s future. Last week President Obama signed an...
In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's surface, things happen slowly. Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) , deep ocean fish that were once known as "slimeheads...
Invasive species can have a range of environmental and economic impacts. In this photo sea squirts foul an oyster cage. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Marine Invasions...
We began this journey three months ago, a team of scientists and filmmakers traveling the East African coastline by boat to document and research the status of coral reefs from South Africa to Kenya...
It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification , pollution and overfishing, it often feels like the ocean and its...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
Tuna caught in the Indian Ocean show the huge scale of commercial fishing. More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable Seafood feature story.
A neighborhood seafood market in the Testaccio area of Rome, Italy.
This illustration shows how fishing lines attached to traps and buoys on the ocean floor present a potentially deadly hazard to North Atlantic right whales. Freeing entangled whales involves a...
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
Millions of sharks are caught each year for their dorsal fins, which are prized for shark fin soup. Top predators like sharks are important to maintaining biodiversity, and their removal can have...
David Barouh displays fresh fish for sale at the legendary Pure Food Fish Market in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Before you make your next trip to the grocery store, we hope you explore our...
CREDIT: Wikimedia User “Fisherman” Because of consumer demand for sashimi (a fresh raw seafood dish), the fishing pressure on Atlantic bluefin tuna is extraordinarily high. The sale of a single...
A still from The Changing Sea , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Guitarfish, rays, and other bycatch are tossed from a shrimp boat in La Paz, Mexico in 2006. Many species caught as bycatch are never monitored, and, insofar as they have important roles in the...
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