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The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

Pristine Seas: Southern Line Islands Set Bar for Healthy Reefs Everywhere

The waters around the southern Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean are home to some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world. The government of Kiribati recently declared a 12-nautical-mile fishing exclusion zone around each of the five islands, thanks in part to the efforts of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas initiative and Explorer-in-Residence Enric…

Short Film Showcase: Underwater Filmmaker Faces Off With Sharks

Underwater filmmaker and artist Joe Romeiro saw his first shark when he was five, and he’s been hooked ever since. In a short portrait with extraordinary close-ups of sharks underwater, filmmakers Jon Betz and Matt Weiss capture Joe in action, filming and sketching the predator that has fascinated him since childhood. We asked Jon and Matt to share a bit more about what drew them to this collaboration.

Two-Headed Dolphin Is Super Rare

A dead two-headed dolphin that washed ashore this week in Turkey is only the fifth-known case of conjoined twins in dolphins, experts say.

Watch: Very Rare Calico Lobster Caught in New Hampshire

You could call it a lucky catch: A fisher recently captured an extremely rare “calico” lobster in Maine.

Ask Your Weird Animal Questions: “Stiletto” Snakes, Cat Purrs

Why does your cat purr? What’s a stiletto snake? Check out this week’s Ask Your Weird Animal Questions.

Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay: When Partnerships Work

By Bob Vanasse Too often, environmental groups, regulators and fishermen find themselves cast in antagonistic roles on marine issues. Prolonged legal and regulatory battles frequently top headlines, while successful conservation partnerships go unheralded. The Chesapeake Bay, long plagued by problems like pollution and runoff, is benefitting from one such partnership. Regional fishermen, government agencies and environmental…

Rule for Regulating Existing Power Plants under Fire

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee during a hearing on “EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Existing Power Plants.” Debate about the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants has swirled since the rule’s release last month. Coal-heavy states and others have criticized both the…

What Conditions Will Bring More Investors into the Sustainable Seafood Sector?

As sustainable seafood markets grow, philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, and entrepreneurs see opportunities for impact-minded investors to make profits while creating positive change in the oceans. But what makes the conditions right for impact-minded investors to enter a relatively new field such as this one? We have been wrestling with this question in relation to sustainable…

Building on Success

In late fall of 2006, Congress came together to strengthen the primary law that governs our nation’s ocean fisheries—the Magnuson-Stevens Act, originally passed in 1976. A push from leaders on both sides of the aisle, combined with strong support from President George W. Bush, helped overcome political differences. Now the House Committee on Natural Resources…

June 29, 2014: Refueling Satellites in Space, Sequencing the Koala Genome and More

Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. This week, we walk in space to refuel a satellite, cure koalas of chlamydia, play soccer the Brazilian way, end elephant poaching in Tanzania, run out of air at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, pair scientists with adventurers, road trip through the American South, and “revisit the Golden Age of Exploration.”

How the “Disco Clam” Lights It Up Underwater

Researchers discover how the disco clam puts on its light shows—and it’s not bioluminescence.

Lionfish Flare Their Fins to Hunt Together

A new study finds that lionfish—those venomous, striped invaders of reefs in the Caribbean and off of Florida—fan their fins to gather a posse while hunting prey.

Senate Clears Way for Keystone XL Pipeline

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 10 on a bill Wednesday approving the long-debated Keystone XL oil pipeline. The pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, requires presidential approval as it crosses international boundaries. Without a commitment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring it to a vote…

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management—Part IV

Protecting essential fish habitat: Homes and nurseries On May 29, the House Natural Resources Committee met to refine legislation reauthorizing and amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary law that governs fishing in U.S. ocean waters. This is vital work: Our oceans are one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources. And…