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Mapping out the chronic effects of silent oil spills

By Anna Kulow We are all familiar with the images from massive oil spills. A sea otter blackened by a thick coating of oil on its fur. Masses of dead fish floating in iridescent seawater. Pelicans being lifted from the water, hydrocarbons dripping from their saturated feathers. However, the majority of oil pollution in our oceans…

Plastic: The big breakup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My dog Foosa and I step onto the beach, and in the first few steps I find—as usual—something made of plastic. This beach is strewn with everything from fiberglass buoys to crumbling Styrofoam cups to poorly disposed “disposable” lighters to plastic bags (use once, throw away, except that “away” is here).…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

Fish 2.0 Network Scales Sustainable Seafood Businesses

“Fish 2.0 accelerated our business to a fundamentally different level.” “It’s boosted the confidence and pride of board and staff in our business model, in addition to validating our model with current and potential funders.” “Winning Fish 2.0 was a huge event for our young company.” Barely six months past the 2015 Fish 2.0 Finals,…

Ascension: Halfway to the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve

    By Charles Clover, Executive Director, Blue Marine Foundation     On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2016, the world woke to the news that the British government was proposing to create a “marine reserve nearly the size of the United Kingdom” in the tropical Atlantic around the island of Ascension. It was a…

Gaining a better understanding of the seas through citizen science

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Twice a day, every day, Kera Mathes hops aboard a ship that sets off from Long Beach Harbor in California. As education specialist at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, she helps visitors aboard the ship identify the animals they see. Mathes also supervises the aquarium’s interns (college students and…

Our Ocean’s Future In An Era of Change

Imagine you live on the East Coast.  NOAA—the federal agency that tracks hurricanes—has spotted a tropical storm brewing in the mid-Atlantic. Over the next few days, the storm develops into a Category 5 monster.  NOAA’s best available forecasts show a possible landfall across over 600 miles of US coastline – and your town has a…

Stingrays Respond to Enrichment With Affection and Bonding, Phoenix Zoo Finds

Aquarists are given the rare opportunity to learn from a wide variety of animals on a daily basis. The ability to constantly learn from animals in our care provides valuable insight and advances in animal welfare. The Phoenix Zoo has recently been providing significant insight to the intelligence of the Southern cownose stingray. This insight…

Tagging Adorable, Nasty Little Penguins: #bestjobever

The world has had a love affair with penguins for some time now. Their tuxedo-colored feathers, waddling walk, and awkward mannerisms make them easy to adore. But get too close to penguins—chinstrap penguins in particular—and your endearing perception of these birds may be tested, given their penchant for projectile pooping and beating each other up.

Beyond BP: Restoring Our Gulf of Mexico in the Era of Climate Change

By Bethany Carl Kraft, Ocean Conservancy The future of the Gulf is being shaped everyday. Six years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which took the lives of 11 workers, the grand experiment in the Gulf of Mexico continues to unfold in a unique crucible of complex science and complicated politics. Over…

William Gray, 86, Pioneer Of Hurricane Meteorology

Pioneering meteorologist William Gray, who devised seasonal forecasting for hurricane activity, died earlier today surrounded by his family in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was 86. His death was announced by the Colorado State University News Service, but word of his passing was posted on Facebook before the university’s official announcement. Gray joined the CSU faculty…

Better Oceans, Better World: Inspiring Conservation Through Pristine Seas

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. This blog entry spotlights some of the exciting work our grantees are doing with support from the LEX-NG Fund. Our oceans are in trouble. From…

Uncharted Arctic waters: A new opportunity for exploitation, or conservation?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino When thick sheets of sea ice began melting in the Arctic waters around Svalbard, Norway, a few years ago, a new expanse of sparkling blue sea opened up. As climate change continues to drive ice melt here on the previously untouched waters of the North Barents Sea, what many ocean conservationists…

Saving Sharks with Satellites

In the past I have blogged about how the use of electronic tagging and tracking can support the conservation of marine animals. I have also addressed some misconceptions about shark tagging studies and discussed the value of such research for conservation. Building off these topics, I would like to share the results of two recently…

So you live near a coral reef: Why experts say that’s not good news for reef conservation

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My favorite beach on Long Island’s North Shore, where I live, is more than 700 miles away from the nearest coral reef (in Bermuda). This distance may be a good thing: Recent research suggests the further a coral reef is from human civilization, the better. (To get close from far away,…