More Human impacts

The Ocean Blog

A placard warns residents that water—and anything else—that goes own this storm drain makes its way into the Potomac River and, eventually the ocean.
Gulf Coast of Florida tidal flats exposed by an early morning low tide
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 .
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...
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...
Imagine you’re an alien seeing Planet Earth for the first time. What do you see from your spacecraft? A blue planet with over 70% of its surface covered by ocean. From space it’s obvious how...
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...
A net used to trawl the ocean floor scooped up this large specimen of deep-sea coral. Because the ship was trawling for other species, the coral was discarded as bycatch. Fishing in deep-water...
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 with...
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...
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacts the coast at Pass a Loutre, La. Photo was taken on June 2, 2010. More about the Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf oil...
Any floating object in the ocean tends to attract life; fishermen know this and deploy floating buoys to concentrate fish for harvesting. Plastic marine debris is no different and, at microscopic...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
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.
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...
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. In many ways, the U.S. grew up on the water and...
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water and onto the beaches of the remote ecosystem. Richard Carson...
A lot can happen in five years. Since 2007, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to go up, reaching a concentration of 400 parts per million, and with it Arctic sea ice...
Subscribe to Human impacts