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Traffickers Busted in Indonesia, Whale Sharks Released Back to the Wild

Indonesian government agencies, supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) of the Wildlife Conservation Society, this week confiscated two illegally caught whale sharks from a major supplier of large marine megafauna to the international wildlife trade. The bust followed an 18-month investigation into a sophisticated operation that the WCU was first alerted to in late 2014.

Industrialization of the oceans: Is it time to dive into the “blue economy”?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When I was a kid, I spent most of my summer days exploring my local Long Island beach. I’d watch birds, build sand castles and—ever the entrepreneur—would dig up quahog clams to sell, for a quarter each, to my neighbors who lay sunbathing on their beach blankets on the shore. Little…

The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean

Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And to feed the world sustainably, the industry has to figure out how to feed farmed fish without using wild fish stocks. Fish feed stood out in our Fish 2.0 Market Report research as a huge opportunity for innovation. Most farmed fish need some form of prepared feed…

Sending our pollution problems down stream

I was planning to travel to St. Martin and Saba for vacation recently. I was excited to go scuba diving again, swim with the turtles, and to once again explore the underwater world that I work to protect. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t take off. Still, I had the days off, so I decided it was…

How street art can help keep waterways clean and clear of trash

Co-authored by Erica Cirino I’m strolling down Main Street in Northport, a nautical, perhaps quintessential, Long Island village that comes complete with bay views and the scent of sea spray in the air. A friend across the street calls my name just as I’m making the difficult decision of whether or not I should enter…

Lessons on Fish Migration Crucial for Protecting Communities, Livelihoods and Food

By Giulio Boccaletti, Global Managing Director for Water at The Nature Conservancy and Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy One day in 2014 a female eel set off from Nova Scotia on a long and hazardous journey to her spawning grounds. This was no ordinary eel.  Scientists had released her with…

Secrets of Stunning Ocean Photography

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala has visited and photographed some of the most remote and beautiful places in the ocean. Hear him reveal what he’s learned.

What’s Happening on the Beach?

By Craig Jones Earlier this year, I was confronted head-on with some of the coastal engineering math I plowed through in college. The swell was topping out over 20 feet at the offshore Monterey Bay NOAA buoy. On top of that, spring tides were bringing the tides over 6 feet at the morning high tide.…

Killer whales pursuing a dolphin off Central California

By Jodi Frediani, with intro by Carl Safina Killer whales are astonishing creatures, extreme by every measure. I (Carl) wrote extensively about them in my recent book Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. Several non-interbreeding “types” which are actually different species exist (though these are not yet formally recognized with different Latin names). And…

Watch: Inside the World’s Longest Sea Caves

Geologist and National Geographic grantee Nicolas Barth was studying active faults on New Zealand’s South Island when he decided to climb down some cliffs and go for a swim. That’s when he discovered the longest sea cave in the world.

Excuse me, waiter, there’s an invasive species in my soup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After a full day looking at dinosaur bones, taxidermy birds and hieroglyphs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, I walked through the streets of New Haven in the rain to into a warm, rustic little Japanese restaurant feeling ravenous, excited and slightly nervous. While my official excuse to travel…

Minnesota: An Ocean Protection Ally

By Annie Reisewitz Minnesota might not be the first state that comes to mind where you think of sandy beaches, but the home of 10,000 lakes has more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. And a bill introduced this year in the state legislature could help make headway protecting ocean waters downstream from the…

Let’s Focus On Real Solutions to Marine Litter

By Dr. Beth Lange, Chief Scientist at the Personal Care Products Council We can all agree on a desire for clean water and safe and healthy marine environments. These are especially important to me as a scientist and an avid outdoor enthusiast. But the contribution of microbeads to the islands of plastic that are polluting our oceans…

Journey Into Te Bangabanga: The Sacred Caves of Banaba Island

The morning was still dark when the young men arrived with their machetes and flashlights. We were on one of the most remote islands in the world, about to venture into an underground network of sacred caves known as te bangabanga. The land below the surface of Banaba, a Pacific island nearly 200 miles from…

Abandoned fishing nets: The irony of the sea that keeps on catching (and killing)

Co-authored by Erica Cirino It was a cool morning in early spring when a group of volunteer divers jumped off their boat into the calm, turquoise waters off Makronisos Island in Greece. Under the surface lay before them lay a vast reef wonderland, complete with bizarrely shaped corals, colorful fish and even a dilapidated shipwreck.…