Today's Catch

This whale is entangled in fishing gear. The inset shows how special fishing lines allow whales to escape such accidental entrapments.

Fishing Gear Solutions

This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale, working with ropes pulled...

Ocean Currents: Motion in the Ocean

When you look underwater, what is making the seagrass wave in the water? The answer is ocean currents . Ocean currents are continuous movements of water in the ocean that follow set paths, kind of like rivers in the ocean. They can be at the water's...

Shark Girl With Caribbean Reef Sharks

Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. She’s been diving with sharks since the age of twelve. Here she is feeding a group of Caribbean reef...

Ice Melt at the Poles

It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350 billion tons each year—and, as a result, sea level has risen 11.1 millimeters worldwide since 1992. This photo shows a summertime channel created by the flow of melted ice,...
A puffin sits on a rock next to a puffin decoy.

Puffin and Decoy

Each summer puffin parents return to their nesting colony and lay a single egg in an underground burrow; once it hatches, they dutifully catch and feed fish to their chick. When the chick is strong enough, it emerges from its burrow, leaves its...

Seagrasses and Light in the Chesapeake Bay

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 algae (phytoplankton) to grow rapidly at the surface...
A "reef hotel" made of PVS layers on the seafloor.

Placing ARMS in the Red Sea

Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure (ARMS) during a dive in the Red Sea. These small underwater “condos” have been placed across the world’s oceans—from shallow water to 700...
A photo of zebra mussels clinging together, the mollusks have successfully invaded brackish and freshwater areas across North America.

Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

This bivalve mollusk is native to the Caspian Sea, lagoons of the Black Sea, and their inflowing rivers. It lives in fresh and brackish water and cannot tolerate full seawater. In the 18th and 19th centuries, zebra mussels spread through European...
Image of a rapa whelk, a large marine snail retreated into its shell

Rapa Whelk

Rapa whelks , native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are raising concerns about economic and ecological impacts to the Bay region due to their shellfish diet. Scientists believe that this non-native species reached the Chesapeake by...
Deep Water Octopus in the Gulf of Mexico

Deep Water Octopus in the Gulf of Mexico

This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered during the Census of Marine Life .

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