Today's Catch

Jun 30, 2014

Flickr user bluewavechris

Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it reaches shore. So when three condos were going to be built on the shore of his favorite surfing spot, a surfer turned to economics . Turns out you can quantify the value of waves by looking at how...Read more
Jun 12, 2014

Britta Monaco/Marine Photobank

Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash. While the western coastline of Bonaire is mostly pristine, lots of plastic debris from other Caribbean islands and South America washes up on the eastern shore after being carried by currents. This...Read more
Jun 11, 2014
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-to-Energy Program is reducing the effects of marine debris on the ocean and keeping shorelines clean. Explore other videos that capture the beauty and mystery of the ocean realm at NOAA Ocean Today .Read more
Jun 5, 2014

Lovell and Libby Langstroth © California Academy of Sciences

The spiral-tufted bryozoan ( Bugula neritina ) is being studied for a potential Alzheimer's disease and cancer drug—but it's not the bryozoan that makes the chemical. The chemical, found in the bryozoan's tissues, is produced by its bacterial endosymbiont, Candidatus Endobugula sertula . In exchange for a protective home in the bryozoan's tissues, the bacteria produces a chemical called a...Read more
Jun 4, 2014

Brian Skerry, National Geographic

Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this photo on the Ocean Portal blog.Read more
Jun 3, 2014

Maggie D. Johnson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and habitat for animals that live on reefs. Unhealthy coral reefs are often home to fast-growing seaweeds that cover and smother the slow-growing coralline algae. In the Southern Line Islands, however, the...Read more
Jun 2, 2014

Scott Hamilton

The twin-spot snapper ( Lutjanus bohar ) is one of the more curious predators in the central Pacific, says marine ecologist Stuart Sandin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "It poses commonly for the camera but is also immediately on-hand whenever there is an opportunity to eat." These fish (also called bohars) are top predators on the reef, eating a variety of fishes, shrimps, crabs,...Read more
May 19, 2014

Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea 2007 Exploration, NOAA-OE.

How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research cruises to collect and count as many animals as they can find! Shown here is a sample of zooplankton collected in a trawl net with a 10-meter-square opening, including a jellyfish, a lanternfish, a snipe...Read more
May 14, 2014

L. Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (

This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together. In fact, the zooids (individual siphonophores living in the colony) cannot survive on their own. This specimen was photographed by the Census of Marine Zooplankton , a project of the Census of Marine Life , in the Sargasso Sea in April 2006. A Rosacea...Read more
Apr 29, 2014

NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred on March 24, 1989 when an oil tanker grounded on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. It spilled almost 11 million gallons of crude oil, which reached 1,300 miles of coastline. The spill's remote location, accessible by air or boat only, made the restoration response all the more difficult. Seabirds, mammals, fish, invertebrates, and their communities were...Read more