Human impacts

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 Buyers examine tuna lining the floor of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan...

Shark DNA Helps Catch Poachers

Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how shark DNA is used as evidence to prosecute shark fin poachers . What is shark finning? Find out here .
Phoenix the right whale diving in North Atlantic.

A Tale of a Right Whale

Suspended at the center of the Sant Ocean Hall is a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. The result of four years of work, and collaboration between exhibit fabricators, whale...
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 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 bluefin trevally swims in Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Two Views of Coral Reefs: Thriving and Threatened

Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of all marine species and provide billions of dollars in products and services to humans each year. But they are also vulnerable to...

Rethink the Shark

Sharks have a long and impressive lineage. Ancient sharks were cruising the ocean 400 million year ago- long before dinosaurs roamed on land. Relatives of the great white like the giant megatooth evolved more...

Protecting Sharks: How Nets Hurt

Tom Peschak, a photojournalist with the Save Our Seas Foundation, describes the devastating effects shark nets have on ocean life along the South African coastline. The nets were installed to protect swimmers, but the...
A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage.

Resolve to Protect the Ocean

A diver cares for the reef by cleaning up discarded fishing gear and garbage. Credit: Amos Nachoum 2005/Marine Photobank Happy New Year! We’ve officially hit mid-January, but there is still plenty of time to...
Great White Sharks breach to hunt -- with split-second timing they grab their prey in one swift snatch. Follow the whole breaching action in this slideshow.

Great White Shark

Sharks are much older than dinosaurs. Their ancestry dates back more than 400 million years, and they are one of evolution’s greatest success stories. These animals are uniquely adapted to their ocean environment with...
A screenshot from the NOAA Climate Portal prototype.

Climate Change on the Brain

A screenshot from the NOAA Climate Portal prototype. Credit: NOAA We’re only two months into 2010, and climate change is shaping up to be one of the year’s big buzz topics. Our friends at...

Oil and Water Don't Mix, Even After 40 Years

More than 40 years after the 1969 oil spill in Massachusetts’ Wild Harbor salt marsh, environmental chemist Dr. Chris Reddy from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution finds that the oil is still present. In this...
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle in recovery.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle recovers from oil

A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Turtles were cleaned and nursed back to health...

From Sea to Shining Sea

Credit: Terence T.S. Tam from Flickr CC Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage...
Mangroves abut blue ocean waters.

Mangroves: One Species at a Time

Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this episode of the Podcast...
A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline.

Helping Kids Help the Ocean

A beach clean-up in Malaysia brings young people together to care for their coastline. Credit: Liew Shan Sern/Marine Photobank An 11-year-old in Texas is saddened by the oil spill and begins searching for something...
A sunset over marshland near Ocean City, N.J.

One Step Closer to a Healthier Ocean

A sunset over marshland near Ocean City, N.J. Credit: Flickr User Tony the Misfit The year 2010 will likely be remembered as a tragic time for the ocean. Yet, despite the oil disaster in...