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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…

Best Job Ever: Filming a Wild Beluga Whale Party by Drone

Thousands of beluga whales congregate in Canada’s Cunningham Inlet each summer for what National Geographic Young Explorer and nature photographer Nansen Weber calls “a big beluga party.” Using a drone, Weber captures the breathtaking view from above.

Whales Speak: Breaking Down Language Barriers

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. By Madeleine Pauchet Along the coast…

Kikeo and The Whale

Kikeo and The Whale is a bedtime story that submerges the young reader in a sea of dreams. Hand-in-hand with National Geographic Creative photographer Kike Calvo, the reader discovers a beautiful story of an encounter between Kikeo, the main character,  and a baby whale and her mom. “This children’s book comes at a time when…

Behind the Photo: An Underwater Close Encounter of the Third Kind

For the right whale in this shot by National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, humans are indeed an alien species.

Breach the Snake River Dams

By Kenneth Balcomb, guest essayist Note: In this guest essay, long-time killer whale researcher Ken Balcomb shows how obsolete but still salmon-killing dams are helping cause the decline of killer whales due to food shortage in the Northwest. The dams do feed us one thing: propaganda. As Ken wrote to me, “I was flabbergasted that…

Celebrating New York’s Seascape on World Oceans Day

By Jon Forrest Dohlin

You may not think that the words “metropolis and “corals” belong in the same sentence. So you might be rather surprised to hear that beautiful deep-sea coral communities can be found lurking in the deep just a few hours’ boat ride from New York City, one of most urbanized settings in the world.

Whales Surprise Baja Paddlers

The sudden appearance of two ocean giants didn’t phase grantee Justin DeShields: “I’m just like high off the experience of ‘oh my god there’s humpbacks just hanging out with us.'”

7 Photos of Diving Among Humpbacks in Tonga

Every year, humpback whales travel some 5,000 miles from the cold waters of Antarctica where they feed to the warm waters of Tonga where they give birth and rest.

In the Agulhas

On board with Lindblad Expeditions Southern Africa and Indian Ocean tour. March 27, 2015 – The Agulhas current flows down the east coast of Africa from the north. It’s described as “narrow, swift, and strong” on our briefing material aboard National Geographic Orion. As it reaches the southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas (Cape of…

Dwarf Minke Whale

This post is the last in the Click! Click! Click! Series which profiles interesting photographic moments that Kike captures during his travels.   Dwarf Minke Whale ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata.) All minke whales are part of the rorquals, a family that includes the humpback whale, the fin whale, the Bryde’s whale, the sei whale and the blue whale.   Kike’s photographs are available at the National Geographic…

Pictures: Whale Bone Memorials, by Nature and Humans

In the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), once a major location for whaling, whale bones are all around, layered with history and meaning, and silently communicating their tales.

A Massive New Marine Protected Area Network in Gabon

By John Robinson

The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans. The President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres). The network – encompassing about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) – will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the nation’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. As the President noted in his speech, this puts Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” This is a massive increase from the 1 percent of marine area currently protected by Gabon.

Whale Encounters in Arctic Svalbard

We did not see the rare bowhead whale during our week-long cruise through Svalbard early in the summer of 2014, but our ship, National Geographic Explorer, had some dramatic encounters with humpbacks, and there were also excellent sightings of fin whales and belugas.

July 6, 2014 Show: Whales vs. the United States Navy, and Visiting Every Country in the World

Traveling to every country in the world without flying. One man’s journey around the globe was punctuated by only a few stops in jail. And another man documents the fight in the United States Supreme Court between the Navy and whale conservationists who want to keep some parts of the oceans safe for the large marine mammals.