More Human impacts

Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—but, thanks to pollution, that sunlight has become more scarce. Nutrient runoff from fertilizers causes microscopic...
Red coral necklaces fill a store display window. The United States annually imports around one million live coral animals from tropical reefs for use in aquariums, and is the largest documented...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix indicates the location of scars on her tail from entanglements with fishing gear. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a...
Home is where the hull is: Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with pesky creatures, such as barnacles, that “foul” ship hulls and boat propellers like this one. Find out more in...
It's illegal to hunt threatened species such as the Dusky shark, but still tens of millions of sharks are taken each year for their fins—in high demand as a delicacy in China. Inside his laboratory...
Mangrove is the name for a tree—and also for a complex ecosystem—that bridges land and sea. There are around 70 species of mangrove trees (meaning trees that grow in a saline salt), but they are not...
On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was...
Using a deep-diving ROV, the crew aboard Oceana’s research vessel Ranger were surprised to discover large colonies of deep-sea white coral in the Western Mediterranean Sea in July 2010. Most of the...
While bottom trawling—a fishing method that drags a large net with heavy weights across the seafloor—fishermen often catch more than their target fish. Here, they've scooped up a large deep-sea coral...
Major oil spills like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill are devestating, but aren’t the only way oil gets into the ocean. Nearly 85 percent of oil in U.S. coastal waters comes from runoff (roads,...
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...
A still from The Changing Sea , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were lost at sea by fishers; others were discarded overboard when they ripped or became tangled. Regardless, once they are...
Traditional fishing techniques now involve monofilament nets, with snorkelers diving down to ensure the bigger fish don't get away. Many people still fish traditionally along the eastern coast of...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
Can painted wooden fish on a schoolyard fence change human behavior and help clean up the ocean for the real salmon? Stream of Dreams in British Columbia thinks so, and a lot of wooden fish and some...
These corals are dead—smothered in sediments and overgrown with algae. The reef is near Komodo Island in Indonesia. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
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