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The Ocean Blog

Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without...
This bluefin trevally is lucky to call Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , its home. Maro is the largest reef in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and just...
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom. No, this is not bubblegum from some careless teenager’s shoe: it’s a stony kind of seaweed that, like other seaweeds,...
A school of yellowfin surgeonfish, Acanthurus xanthopterus , feed near dusk off Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest marine protected areas. Think this photo should be...
Photographer David Liittschwager took a 12-inch metal frame to Moorea, French Polynesia, and four other disparate environments to see how much life he could find in one cubic foot. Read more about...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. In the background is Mt. Rotui—the...
The United States has a network of protected areas in the waters off our coasts. From the chilly waves on Washington's Olympic Coast to the warm shallows ringing the Florida Keys, the National...
This offshore cage is stocked with 70,000 Pacific threadfin ( Polydactylus sexfilis ), or moi. Aquaculture can provide a sustainable way to satisfy the demand for this Hawaiian delicacy, once...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
This deep-sea black coral from Hawaii ( Leiopathes sp. ) is more than 4,200 years old. Black corals are named for the color of their skeletons, but the external tissues of black corals come in many...
The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific ocean unless it is breeding season (March to October) when they can be found nesting on Hawaiian islands. They feed on animals...
The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary history that dates back some 200 million years . Because of this and the fact that it has retained some primitive features,...
The Tubbataha Reefs National Park site in the Philippines was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993. The site is an example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 m (330 ft)...
Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
Large numbers of grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) were observed at Jarvis Island, an uninhabited Pacific island, during the 2010 Pacific RAMP expedition of the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai ...
This Marine National Monument protects a chain of atolls and reefs 1,931-kilometers (1,200-miles) long. The Hawaiian name for this chain is “Papahanaumokuakea,” which joins the Hawaiian words for...
The long silver tool shown here is a piece of traditional Australian fishing gear called a “yabbie pump.” Researchers use the device to collect burrowing shrimp and other fast-moving animals from the...
In the 1940s the short-tailed albatross population plummeted from tens of millions to such a small number that they were believed to be extinct. Their decline was due to hunting for their feathers...
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