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How do humpback whales locate food? Scientists need your help to find out

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Interested in supporting scientists who study how whales use their ears to find food in the noisy New York Harbor? If so, read on. When sharks want something to snack on, they rely on their excellent sense of smell. When swordfish want a meal, they use their eyes. When dolphins need…

World Heritage in the High Seas: A New Ray of Hope for Our Ocean Commons

Although the open ocean is remote, it is not safe from threats like climate change, deep seabed mining, navigation and plastic pollution. That is why the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for he Conservation of Nature partnered with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, The French Marine Protected Area Agency, Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre, with additional support from the Nekton Foundation, to explore the potential for applying the World Heritage Convention to iconic sites in the High Seas.

An update from Woods Hole Science Aquarium: I’m halfway through my internship, and it’s been awesome!

By Jessica Perelman It has been five weeks since I began working as a NOAA intern at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium (WHSA), and what an amazing experience it has been! As I expected, this summer is presenting me with every opportunity to learn about animal husbandry, interact with aquarium visitors, and discover all that…

Canada oks use of Corexit for oil spills—despite what we’ve learned in the Gulf

Co-authored by Erica Cirino After Shell Oil’s Brutus oil well platform 90 miles south of the Louisiana coast spewed more than 88,000 gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico this May, Shell contracted Clean Gulf Associates and Marine Spill Response Corporation to clean up its mess. The two companies deployed workers in boats…

Look Into This Dolphin’s Eyes and Tell Me That’s Not Grief!

By Maddalena Bearzi Although we live thousands of miles and an ocean apart, my brother Giovanni and I share not only the same bloodline but also a passion for dolphins. For more than two decades, both of us have conducted scientific and conservation research on marine mammals in the wild; Gio in the waters of…

Learning by listening to the whales of New York

Co-authored by Erica Cirino New York City may be home to more than 8.4 million people, but here also resides quite a bit of wildlife. On a recent summer afternoon in the Big Apple, I spotted hoards of colorful songbirds and dozens of squirrels in street-side trees; several red-tailed hawks in the skies; and a…

An Arctic gift-wrapped in plastic?

Let’s hope not. But—. All of us who’ve traveled long and far have seen the amount of plastic on beaches increase incredibly in our lifetime. And it isn’t slowing anytime soon. The worst plastic accumulations I’ve seen are in the tropics, near where most of the people are. A lot of it comes to the…

Spectacularity—While it lasts

The high Arctic is—well, it’s cold. It’s the Arctic after all. And we are very far north. Far north of Iceland, way up at 78º N and way north of Norway, in the waters around an astonishing group of rock-and-ice islands known as Svalbard. Greenpeace has invited me to join them for a while on…

Life aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic sunrise

I’m here in the Norwegian Arctic for a few days, cruising the waters of Svalbard as a guest on Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. Fish like cod are moving north as ice melts and waters warm. So Greenpeace has worked an agreement with fishing companies and giant retailers like McDonald’s to put fishing expansion here on…

This walrus blog contains plastic

I’m in the high Arctic, far north of Norway at around 78º N latitude in a group of islands known collectively as Svalbard. For a few days I’m a guest on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise while we do a little investigating into the arrival of fishing ships into these waters as the ocean warms…

Glimpse of Arctic seafloor reveals trawler’s damage

I’m in the Arctic in the waters of Svalbard, north of Norway, at 78º North Latitude during the time of year when the sun never sets. For a few days I’m a guest aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. We’re concerned about damage to the seafloor by a recent influx of fishing trawlers into the high…

What gives Greenpeace the right?

I’m here in the high arctic waters off Svalbard (78º N; way up there!) as a guest for a few days aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. I wonder if we’re doing the right thing. We’re here because warming waters have brought cod and other valued fish northward, and upon them are huge fishing boats capable…

High in the Arctic up-close with a mega-fishing trawler

I’m in the high Arctic in the waters of Svalbard, north of Norway, at 78º North Latitude in early July. For a few days I’m a guest aboard Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise. Bundled in clothes that I hope will keep me dry and maybe even warm, I’m at a doorway that opens straight to the…

Natural Fluctuations Responsible, in Part, for Antarctica Ice Growth

Natural fluctuations specifically related to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) are responsible for the increased growth of Antarctic sea ice, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience. A negative shift in the IPO has caused cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific, allowing Antarctic sea ice to expand since 2000. “The…

More ocean acidification, less coral?

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Scientists have known for about 15 years that ocean acidification has made it more difficult for hard corals and shelled marine organisms to survive. To grow, hard corals as well as clams, oysters, and others pull calcium and carbonate molecules out of the water and join them together to create calcium…