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Has President Trump launched World War Blue?

Forget obstruction of justice issues, how about obstructing the crucible of life on our blue planet? President Trump’s recent withdrawing of the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty may lack the emotional punch of say Nazi panzer tanks rolling into Poland in 1939, but in terms of global impacts, they may be more closely…

Solar Energy’s Rapid Growth to Save the Oceans

Ocean warming and acidification have devastating effects on our oceans: coral bleaching, species migration, mollusks’ and planktons’ stunted growth are only some of the impacts our fossil fuel economy is having on the planet’s most precious ecosystem. Solar power is currently the most promising energy source to replace fossil fuels and enable a clean energy…

Sushi Roulette: Is the Fish You Ordered the One You Got?

Have plans this summer to visit your favorite sushi restaurant? You might order spicy tuna roll. Or maybe salmon or halibut. But is the fish you selected the one you got? If you’re in Los Angeles or many other cities around the globe, it’s a flip of the coin. Scientists at Loyola Marymount University, the…

Pristine Seas facing major setback as Trump Administration reviews world’s largest marine preserves, Enric Sala warns

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala is concerned that the recently announced U.S. Department of the Interior review of Papahanaumokuakea and four other marine monuments may be the first major setback for Pristine Seas, a National Geographic project launched in 2008 to explore and help save the last wild places in the ocean.

“This is a true land grab, a few companies trying to exploit something that belongs to all Americans and humanity,” said at the National Geographic Society Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C. today.

How the National Geographic Society Has Rebooted to Help Restore Earth’s Natural Equilibrium

Six months into his new position as National Geographic chief scientist, Jonathan Baillie, the former conservation programmes director of the Zoological Society of London, outlined his “scientific vision” for how the National Geographic Society would work to help create a a planet that’s going to provide for 9 billion people — and all forms of other life. “How do we do this with 9 billion people on the planet? This is the great challenge we all face. National Geographic now needs to think about its unique role helping us face this challenge,” Baillie told hundreds of National Geographic explorers and staff gathered at the Society’s headquarters for this week’s Explorers Festival.

How a remote Indonesian island community is reclaiming its fishing heritage by restoring ruined coral reefs

Is this the future of marine conservation? A remote island community in Indonesia is restoring damaged coral reefs and reclaiming its fishing heritage.

National Geographic Explorers a ‘Secret Weapon’ to Change the World, Says Society President Gary Knell

“This is truly National Geographic’s moment, because as Neil deGrasse Tyson says, the great thing about science is that it’s true, whether you believe it or not,” National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell said at the opening of the Explorers Festival (#NatGeoFest) at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. today.

Knell told hundreds of National Geographic explorers and staff that the Society had been through a major transition that transformed the organization, “a transformation that better positioned National Geographic to address the multiple challenges facings its future, but more importantly, facing our planet. We figured out a way to support your critical work in a more direct way and tackle those issues by connecting and integrating our multimedia platforms. And today the content that we are generating, the stories we’re telling, the grants we’re making, the actions we’re taking are more needed and important than ever before.”

Food, Fuel, Medicine, Wrinkle Reducer: Algae Does It All

You know what there’s really plenty of in the sea? Algae. And I am in love with them. Most people envision algae as slimy, possibly toxic, green scum. But this diverse group of fast-growing aquatic plants is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous. Algae got a lot of excited…

No-take sanctuaries proven to be most effective way to resuscitate and protect ocean life

New analysis of previous studies shows that biomass of whole fish assemblages in marine reserves is, on average, 670 percent greater than in adjacent unprotected areas, and 343 percent greater than in 15 partially-protected marine protected areas (MPAs), according to an essay published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. Marine reserves also help restore the complexity of ecosystems through a chain of ecological effects (trophic cascades) once the abundance of large animals recovers sufficiently, say the authors, Enric Sala, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, and Sylvaine Giakoumi, Universite Cote d’Azur, in their opinion essay Food for Thought: No-take marine reserves are the most effective protected areas in the ocean.

There are significant additional benefits from a rigorous protection of portions of the ocean. “Marine reserves may not be immune to the effects of climate change, but to date, reserves with complex ecosystems are more resilient than unprotected areas. Although marine reserves were conceived to protect ecosystems within their boundaries, they have also been shown to enhance local fisheries and create jobs and new incomes through ecotourism,” Sala and Giakoumi say in their essay.

Whale conservation spurs economic revival in Mexican fishing community

Barra de Potosí is a tiny fishing village located in Southwest Pacific Mexico. Tucked between a mangrove and salt flat-lined lagoon and a 12-mile golden sand beach, Barra used to be the fishiest place I knew. When I first arrived 18 years ago, tiny fish would thwack my legs in the surf, every fourth wave revealed the form of a big yellowfin or needlefish, and schools of bottlenose dolphins patrolled the coast daily.

How the Safina Center is helping to save the seas this World Oceans Day (and every day)

The members of the Safina Center crew send out their World Oceans Day messages and discuss what they’re doing to help save the seas.

Hokulea Sights the Hawaiian Islands After Incredible 3-Year Voyage

At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of Hokulea sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala, signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home, bringing back wisdom, lessons, and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this world wide voyage of rich learning.

Monitoring sharks in the mid-Pacific: a journey to the sharkiest place in the world

Filming large schools of sharks at Darwin and Wolf islands, in the Galapagos. These islands were declared a sanctuary due to the large biomass of sharks. How do we know? The shark team at the Charles Darwin Foundation Research Station uses underwater video-monitoring surveys at this remote shark haven to understand and assess shark aggregations. This is the story of the team’s week-long sharky trip.

At the UN Ocean Conference, Recognizing an Unseen Pollutant: Noise

Whales, which live in and migrate between marine habitats (some with considerable levels of maritime transport and other industrial activities), are particularly at risk from noise. These underwater blasts can disrupt behaviors and prevent these marine mammals from finding food and communicating with one another.

Doing our bit for the ocean, and happy!

  Today is our last day at sea after a truly terrific expedition. Like all of the very best expeditions, ours was highly ambitious, and at times it felt impossible. But we not only completed all of our targets; thanks to this extraordinary team, we exceeded them! This has been hugely successful and enjoyable deep-sea…