Today's Catch

Feb 11, 2016

Brian Henderson, Flickr user stinkenroboter

The blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus ) is one of the most important commercial species in the United States, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region on the Mid-Atlantic coast. Its populations are affected by local water quality, overfishing, reproduction dynamics and bycatch amounts, and efforts to protect the region and crab species have been ongoing. Parasites can also affect the commercial...Read more
Feb 10, 2016

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
Feb 9, 2016

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
Feb 8, 2016

Steve Turek

A diet of algae and seagrasses gives this turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) greenish colored fat—and its name. Weighing as much as 500 pounds, the threatened green sea turtle lives its life at sea, with only females coming to shore to lay eggs. See a slideshow with more pictures of beautiful but threatened animals , and meet the seven species of sea turtle .Read more
Feb 5, 2016

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
Feb 4, 2016

© David Shale

This lizardfish ( Bathysaurus ferox ) rests on the ocean bottom with its head slightly elevated—waiting to snatch prey with its large mouth and sharp teeth. It lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,969-11,483 feet) and grows up to 64 centimeters (25.2 inches) long. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
Feb 2, 2016

Eve Cundiff, Flickr

The grasses and animals living in marshes help to filter water and stabilize shorelines, along with providing habitat for a variety of mammals, fish, shellfish and amphibians and a haven for migratory waterfowl. Along with supporting rich ecosystems, Louisiana wetlands are nurseries for fish and other seafood that support fisheries in the state, the second largest in the United States. But the...Read more
Feb 1, 2016

Wayne Levin

A school of akule (Hawaiian for bigeye scad) explode into a camera's frame. Wayne Levin followed schools of akule for several years, photographing them and exploring how their group dynamics changed over time. Read more in his blog.Read more
Jan 29, 2016

(c) 2004 MBARI

With a scientific name that means "the vampire squid from hell," you'd expect the vampire squid ( Vampyroteuthis infernalis ) to be a fearsome predator terrorizing the deep. Despite its demonic look, that isn't the case; instead, the vampire squid collects and eats drifting particles called " marine snow " using two long, sticky filaments. It doesn't seem like much food to fuel a foot-long...Read more
Jan 28, 2016

Trish Mace, Smithsonian Institution

Submarine pilot Bruce Brandt secures ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) to the submersible Curasub off the coast of Curacao. In shallow water, SCUBA divers can place these biodiversity-measuring structures on the seafloor by hand -- but in the deep, DROP (Deep Reef Observation Project) researchers had to devise new ways to deploy ARMS using creativity and adaptations to the tools of the...Read more