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Map showing the range of the eastern and western populations of Atlantic bluefin tuna and their spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus)

This map is based on electronic tagging of Atlantic bluefin tuna from 1996 to 2007. Credit: Tag-A-Giant Foundation and Stanford University Because of consumer demand for sashimi (a fresh raw seafood dish), the fishing...
The Line Islands are one of the most remote places in the Pacific Ocean.

Expedition to the Line Islands

The Line Islands are one of the most remote places in the Pacific Ocean. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Remotely located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, the Line Islands provide a remarkable research...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems.

Smithsonian Research Stations

These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues are investigating important questions and issues related to mangrove ecosystems. • At...
A rendering of an underwater marine scene depicting life ~145-65 million years ago, when rudist clams were the major reef builders.

Long Before Coral, Mollusks Built the Ocean's Reefs

Rudist clams were major reef builders during the heyday of dinosaurs. Credit: Smithsonian Institution About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams...
Colorful corals and brittlestars on Manning Seamount off the New England coast.

Seamounts: Underwater Oases

Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean: a solid surface to cling to. Corals, sponges, and other marine animals...
The currents of the North Pacific gyre collect trash—mostly bits of microscopic plastic—into what are known as "garbage patches."

Ocean Trash Plaguing Our Sea

Garbage patches in the ocean aren't piled-up islands of trash and debris, as is the common perception. But that doesn't mean the tiny, swirling plastic bits are nothing to worry about. The currents of...
Phoenix swimming with her calf.

Scientists Use Bioacoustics to Protect Marine Mammals

John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and seals have an amazing ability to hold their breaths—sometimes for up to...
Polar bears are threatened by a lack of sea ice.

Climate Change at the Poles

Polar bears are threatened by the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Credit: K. Elliott, NOAA, Hidden Ocean 2005 At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic...
Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a dive.

From Submarines to Robots: Exploring the Deep Ocean

Alvin, a human occupied vehicle (HOV), returns to the ship after a deep ocean dive. Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer James Cameron on March 25, 2012, became the...
A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline.

How You Can Help the Ocean

The threats faced by our ocean planet may seem overwhelming. In the face of pollution, climate change, overfishing, and other daunting problems, what you can do on your own may seem like a drop...
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage.

Reef Rescue: Protect Coral Reefs with Your Actions

A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. Credit: Amos Nachoum 2005/Marine Photobank Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species...
Ruth Meadows examines specimens as part of her Teacher at Sea experience.  NOAA Teacher at Sea Ruth Meadows sorts specimens aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow as part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem (MAR-ECO) project.

NOAA Teacher at Sea Ruth Meadows

Ruth Meadows examines specimens as part of her Teacher at Sea experience. NOAA Teacher at Sea Ruth Meadows sorts specimens aboard the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow as part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Ecosystem...
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Terms of Use for Media on the Ocean Portal

The images, videos, and audio files contained within the Ocean Portal are owned by many individuals and organization who have generously loaned us their media for use on the Ocean Portal. We at the...
Cover of the Book Citizens of the Sea

Citizens of the Sea

Order a copy of the book, Citizens of the Sea . Credit: National Geographic The incredible variety of marine life—in numbers, body form, behavior, and more—is at the heart of Citizens of the Sea...
Musician Sam Lardner and friends created the 14-song CD Oceans Are Talking to inspire kids and adults to help save the ocean and the creatures living in it.

Five Questions for Musician Sam Lardner

Musician Sam Lardner and friends created the 14-song CD Oceans Are Talking to inspire kids and adults to help save the ocean and the creatures living in it. Credit: Dan Mead Wherever you live—and...
Dampier explored this area of Western Australia and named it Shark Bay because of the "abundance" of sharks in the waters. It is now a World Heritage site.

Around the World Again...and Again

After the success of his first voyage, Dampier was made captain of his own ship and invited to lead the first scientific expedition to Australia (then known as New Holland). He was fascinated by...
Dr. Robert Ballard with an ROV

Five Questions for Robert Ballard

Oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard used Remotely Operated Vehicles like the one pictured above to discover many of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, including the Titanic, the Bismarck, and John F. Kennedy Jr.’s PT 109...
A piece of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit.

When Art Meets Science: The Hyberbolic Crochet Coral Reef

The stunning Smithsonian Community Reef—an accompaniment to the main Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit created by local crafters. Credit: Rebecca Bray/Smithsonian Institution The “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef,” a unique exhibition and thought-provoking fusion of...