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Carl Safina, host of Saving the Ocean on PBS, is author of several books including "Song for the Blue Ocean," "A Sea in Flames," and "The View From Lazy Point." His writing has won the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Medal, National Academies Book Award, and the Orion Book Award, and he has received MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim fellowships, among other honors. He is founding president of The Safina Center (formerly Blue Ocean Institute), and co-chairs the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

Breach the Snake River Dams

By Kenneth Balcomb, guest essayist Note: In this guest essay, long-time killer whale researcher Ken Balcomb shows how obsolete but still salmon-killing dams are helping cause the decline of killer whales due to food shortage in the Northwest. The dams do feed us one thing: propaganda. As Ken wrote to me, “I was flabbergasted that…

The Good and The Bad for Atlantic Menhaden

Co-authored by Elizabeth Brown On May 5th the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission met to make pivotal decisions about the management of Atlantic Menhaden – arguably one of the most important fish in the sea. Two keys decisions were up for discussion: 1.) What to set the Atlantic Menhaden catch limit at. Or, in other words,…

A SEA IN FLAMES

Though a bit imprecise, the time, approximately 9:50 p.m. on April 20, 2010, marks the end of knowing much precisely. A floating machinery system roughly the size of a forty-story hotel has for months been drilling into the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. Its creators have named the drilling rig “Deepwater Horizon.” Oil…

Lemurs of Madagascar

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. I’d just arrived in Madagascar for the first time. I was with the foremost expert on the primates called lemurs, trying to pay attention. I had everything to learn. We’d just gotten there on the ship National Geographic Orion, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions. As…

In the Agulhas

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of…

Great White Sharks of Gansbaai: No Hooking, No Handling, No Harm

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 23, 2015 – As we began our cruise up the southeast coast of Africa aboard the ship National Geographic Orion, we departed Cape Town, South Africa. Several of us spent the day on an outing with Marine Dynamics out of Gansbaai to see…

Obama Gives Bristol Bay Fishermen A Great Christmas Present!

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown Last month, President Obama used his executive power to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from future oil and gas drilling. Bristol Bay is a 52,000 square mile area (roughly the size of Florida), north of the Aleutian Islands that the largest surviving salmon populations on Earth swim through on their…

Protected No Longer? Desperate Fisheries Managers Want to Open Closed Areas.

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown By the early 1990’s, decades of heavy fishing had depleted several of New England’s important fish species, including cod, haddock, pollock and flounders (collectively referred to as ‘groundfish’). Fishermen had been catching fish faster than they could reproduce and had degraded fish habitats by dragging nets. To help rebuild New…

Pancake Sharks – The Cousins are in Trouble

Reversing overfishing, climate change, and population growth can seem insurmountable. Safina Center Fellows strive to amplify the global conservation discussion and, in targeted ways and places, overcome some of these obstacles. They bring a wide range of skills, engaging in every way from primary research to policy to popular media. They make a difference. Where the rubber…

Bluefin Tuna Finally Catch a Break

By Carl Safina and Shana Miller Thirty-three years ago, international fishery managers agreed to stop targeted fishing for giant Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico, the only known spawning area for the western population.  Their decision was grounded in one of the basic tenets of fisheries management – catching fish when they aggregate…

Return of a Native: Reflections on the 38th Voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, July 11, 2014

By Patricia Paladines and Carl Safina The first whale was spotted at around 11am. We approached it with the quiet stealth afforded by a light wind in our sails. To the best of our knowledge the animal could not imagine or have any concern that a wooden whale-hunting ship was nearing its magnificent, enormous body.…

The Guardians of Raja Ampat: Community-Driven Conservation in the Heart of Indonesia

Reversing overfishing, climate change, and population growth can seem insurmountable. Safina Center Fellows strive to amplify the global conservation discussion and, in targeted ways and places, overcome some of these obstacles. They bring a wide range of skills, engaging in every way from primary research to policy to popular media. They make a difference. Where…

Palau Plans to Ban Commercial Fishing, Create Enormous Marine Reserve

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown The people of Palau, a small island nation in the northwestern Pacific, have long realized that the health and prosperity of their nation depends on the ocean. Because of this realization, Palauans have always worked to protect their ocean resources.  That’s why Palau has drawn the world’s top scientists…

The Mirror of Armila

By Carl Safina and Pam Longobardi There are no mirrors in Armila.  As a culture, the Guna are less concerned with themselves than they are with their families, friends and community.  When you live in Armila, you see yourself only as a reflection in the faces of the beautiful smiling people of this town.  Armila…

New Catch Limit for Menhaden Leaves Millions of Fish in the Sea

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown In December 2012, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to establish the first ever coast-wide catch limit for the Atlantic Menhaden fishery, after urging from fishermen, conservationists, and many of you to protect Menhaden1.  Menhaden are one of the sea’s most important fish because they provide food for…