Conservation

More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. Learn about different threats to the ocean and its organisms, successful conservation stories, and what you can do to help.

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Reducing Bycatch

Bycatch, the name given to fish and other ocean animals that are caught unintentionally, is a huge problem. Scientists and...

The Last Wild Places In the Ocean Webcast

The ocean is not as natural as it once was. Where there used to be large predators that we took for sea monsters, now there are tiny fish and jellyfish. But there are a...

Webcast: Stories from the Reef

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef brings together mathematics, marine science, craft, and community activism in an effort to raise awareness about the threat to coral reefs worldwide. This discussion considers the impact of community...
Orange roughy and various marine species, bycatch, on the deck of a research trawler

Rough Going for Orange Roughy

Orange roughy and bycatch on the deck of a research trawler off the east coast of Tasmania. Credit: Stephen McGowan, Australian Maritime College, 2006/Marine Photobank In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000...
Boats docked in a Chesapeake Bay harbor

Rapa Whelks: Invaders of the Chesapeake Bay

Shellfish from the Chesapeake Bay are prized by seafood lovers. But the Bay's ecosystem and shellfish are threatened by human disturbances, including the introduction of non-native species. Credit: Mary Hollinger/NOAA During the summer of...
Large container ships at port, discharging ballast water in the Port of Oakland

Reducing the Risk of Transporting Invasive Species

Busy shipping areas, like the Port of Oakland, are especially vulnerable to invading species that can be carried in ballast water. Credit: Monaca Noble, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center When people sail the sea, marine...
A map of NOAA's 13 marine protected areas

The Marine Sanctuary: A Safe Harbor for Ocean Life

The National Marine Sanctuary system is a network of 13 marine protected areas managed by NOAA, in addition to the Papahānaumokuākea (Northwest Hawaiian Islands) Marine National Monument. Credit: NOAA, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries...
An underwater photo of Southern Bluefin Tuna swimming above a fish farm net.

Tunas and Marlins Officially Classified as Threatened

The Southern Bluefin Tuna ( Thunnus maccoyii ) is listed as "critically endangered" on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species . If its population continues to decline, the species faces the possibility of...
Plastic bottles and other marine debris cover a rocky beach in Curacao.

Ocean Trash: Marine Debris From Shore to Sea

While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine debris they...

Trash on the Beach and in the Ocean

While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine debris they...
Arctic cod have a special protein that warms their blood.

Arctic Lesson Plans from NOAA

Explore the Arctic in the "Under Arctic Ice" photo essay, co-developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This...
A photo of an oyster cage, out of the water, covered in sea squirts.

Alaska Vulnerable to Invasive Species from Warmer Waters

Invasive species can have a range of environmental and economic impacts. In this photo, sea squirts foul an oyster cage. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Marine Invasions Lab study the movement and...

Researching Invasive Species Near the Panama Canal

If you want to study invasive species in the ocean, the Panama Canal offers a lot to explore. The ships passing through can inadvertently transport plants, animals, and even parasites from the Atlantic into...
Sea bass flock to a tropical coral reef in the Red Sea.

5 Simple Things You Can Do for the Ocean

Sea bass flock to a tropical coral reef in the Red Sea. Credit: Michael Lang/Smithsonian Institution More than ever, the fate of the ocean is in our hands. To be good stewards and leave...
A graph of arctic ice coverage from 2011, showing data through September 7, 2011.

Arctic Sea Ice: A New Low?

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low. The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center...
A student uses a marker to decorate a reusable lunch bag with ocean creatures

Teaching Your Students About Marine Debris: a Classroom Activity

A student decorates a reusable bag as part of "Design Your Own Bag," a marine debris activity hosted by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Have you ever gone to...
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...

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