Smithsonian Ocean Team

The Ocean is important to all life, including yours. Join us. Welcome to the Ocean Portal – a unique, interactive online experience that inspires awareness, understanding, and stewardship of the world’s Ocean, developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and more than 20 collaborating organizations. You are among the first wave of visitors to the Portal, an experience which we hope will empower you to shape and share your personal Ocean experiences, knowledge, and perspectives. The input you provide through feedback modules and comment boxes will help us to shape future Ocean Portal content and functionality. Like the Ocean, which is made of millions of marine species, your comments, questions, and clicks will help to bring the Portal closer to the vastness and variety of the Ocean itself.

ROV Exploring the Deep Ocean

Dive through the zones of the ocean to the deep ocean bottom, where many strange species live, and there are many yet to be discovered. Explore them in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.

Phoenix and First Calf

In 1996, at age nine, Phoenix has her first calf (North Atlantic right whale #2605) off the southeast coast of Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .

Phoenix and Second Calf

In December 2003, researchers spotted Phoenix off the coast of Florida with her second calf. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .

Phoenix Feeding

Phoenix is seen skim feeding off the coast of Maine in August 2004. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .

Phoenix in Bay of Fundy

Phoenix was photographed swimming off the coast of Canada in the Bay of Fundy in August 2007. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .

Net Results

Students will study and replicate a model of the factors affecting fisheries populations in the Chesapeake Bay (or any other bay). Through a game they will investigate how decisions by watermen, recreational fisherpeople,...

The “Right” Whale to Hunt

Yankee Whalers: An 1856 Currier & Ives print shows whalers harpooning a right whale. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a Whale photo essay .

Fishing for the Future

Through a fishing simulation, students model several consecutive seasons of a commercial fishery and explore how technology, population growth, and sustainable practices impact fish catch and fisheries management.

Whale Baleen from a Dead Whale

Whalers hunted right whales for their blubber, which could be turned into oil to burn in lamps or make soap, and their baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in their mouths that they use to strain the...

Whale Products in Fashion

In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing, such as tight corsets,...

How to Catch a Fish

After an introduction to the variety of current fishing methods, students learn through an activity about the problem of bycatch and then design a poster or PSA to educate others about the issue.

Phoenix near Maine

This photograph was snapped as Phoenix swam in the Gulf of Maine in July 2008. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .

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