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What Drives a California Woman to Save Starving Sea Lions? The answer may help scientists save our seas.

The emaciated seven-month-old sea lion pup was cowering in the bushes along the coast north of San Francisco in a driving, cold rain when Sue Hawley gingerly approached. Hawley put on gloves, grabbed a towel, tiptoed toward the brush, and reached in to pull out the scared animal. As she gripped firmly under its flippers,…

Heavy Lift: New England UPS Driver Rescued Tons of Fish, One Net at a Time

UPS driver Bill McWha had just moved to Wakefield, Rhode Island, in 2010 when he decided to check out his town’s main river. From the banks of the Saugatucket River, McWha was horrified by what he saw: thousands of migrating river herring stuck at a dam, unable to swim over to reach their spawning sites.…

Why Is Managing Fish in the World’s Oceans Like an Episode of ‘I Love Lucy’?

Fish scientist Jason Link says he often feels like he’s living the classic chocolate factory episode of the 1950s TV show “I Love Lucy,” in which Lucy and Ethel can’t wrap candies as fast as the conveyor belt spits them out. “It’s analogous to fisheries management,” says Link, whose mission at the National Oceanic and…

Going to the mat for fish and fishermen

On one side: fish. On the other side: fishermen. In the middle: Zeke Grader. For more than four decades, the California-based fishing advocate has worked to find common ground between taking care of the environment and looking out for the needs of family fishermen. Armed with passion and determination, the law school graduate and former…

Tracking Fish Oil Supplements to the Source

Are fish oil supplements really improving our health but hurting our oceans? That’s one question New York Times bestselling author Paul Greenberg is exploring for his next book, due out next year, The Omega Principle: The Health of Our Hearts, the Strength of Our Minds, and the Survival of our Oceans All in One Little…

Fisherman Finds a Way to Help Sea Animals Avoid Needless Death on Hooks

Tim Palmer was the kind of kid who took apart anything his parents gave him and then tried to put it back together. Much of the time, he got it right. Palmer never grew out of that curiosity about how things work—or how they could be improved. So one night off the Florida coast in…

Pitcairn Islands Become World’s Largest Single Marine Reserve

Relive the adventures and stunning photos of the expedition behind the announcement of the world’s largest contiguous marine protected area.

The Small Town Boy Who Charted a New Course for Our Oceans

As a North Carolina graduate student, Bill Hogarth remembers fishermen proudly hanging giant marlin high on the wharf at Morehead City so people could admire and photograph the prized catch. But after the crowds lost interest, it was Hogarth’s job to cut down the nearly half-ton behemoths and watch their lifeless bodies float out to…

What’s happened to all the striped bass?

Some people jump out of airplanes or go rock climbing for an exhilarating time. For me, it’s chasing striped bass—big, powerful, and beautiful. I always feel a rush of excitement as my fishing line goes screaming off the reel once a large bass takes my lure, knowing that while adult bass in the ocean typically…

Giving Thanks for a Life-Changing Adventure—And More

This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for one simple act that set my life’s course. Shortly after high school graduation, I picked up an issue of National Geographic magazine with a story about the Coast Guard. I read about dramatic rescues at sea, about making the Mississippi River safe for ships and barges, and about ships that…

Hōkūleʻa: Honoring the Kermadec Islands

This particular leg of the voyage, starting in Samoa and ending in New Zealand, is deeply significant because it follows the path of ancient Polynesian voyagers through the Kermadec Islands. Today, it is one of the most species-rich migration routes in the Pacific.

The Fish That Inspired a Woman to Help Save a Species

Shana Miller was fresh out of college in 1998 when she came face-to-face with one of the fastest fish in the sea. She and her friends battled for three hours to haul a 154-pound bluefin tuna aboard their boat off the Maryland coast. And when she finally looked the creature in the eye, she felt…

Congress Needs to Think Big About Fish

When you buy a house, do you inspect only the roof? Of course not. You look at the whole structure: the foundation, insulation, plumbing, and many other aspects that indicate the overall condition of a home. Taking a look at the big picture is wise when buying a house—and equally wise when making many other…

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Part V—‘Starting smart’

An old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin says that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Many of us in the marine conservation community believe that would, indeed, be a good way to manage our nation’s ocean fish. But that’s not happening. Too often, fisheries begin in a new location, or target…

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…