World Leaders Descend on France for Ocean Summit as Macron Puts Spotlight on Seas
February 8, 2022 By Jon Henley The Guardian Up to 40 world leaders are due to make “ambitious and concrete commitments” towards combating illegal fishing,
Plastics Production is Skyrocketing. A New U.N. Treaty Effort Could Cap It.
February 8, 2022 By Michael Birnbaum & Min Joo Kim The Washington Post Negotiators from around the world will start work this month on a treaty to reduce plastic pollution, in what diplomats say is the most ambitious round of climate diplomacy since the 2015 Paris agreement that focuses on global warming.
Accidental Implosion Yields New Measurement for Ocean’s Deepest Point
February 8, 2022 By Maya Wei-Hass National Geographic A scientific instrument that collapsed in the deep sea allowed scientists to make one of the most precise calculations yet for the abyss known as Chall
New Atlas Illuminates Impact of Artificial Light in the Ocean at Night
January 10, 2022 By Elizabeth Claire Alberts Mongabay Researchers recently released the first global atlas that quantifies artificial lig
A Sea Turtle Found off Washington’s Coast, Cold and Clinging to Life, Recovers at Seattle Aquarium
November 29, 2021 By Lynda V. Mapes The Seattle Times Blown off course by violent storms, a sea turtle usually at home in warm seas off the coast of Mexico was found stranded Nov. 16 by a Makah tribal member on Shi Shi Beach, a remote and wild stretch of the tribe’s reservation on the…
An Ambitious New Alliance Works to Identify What’s Happening to Our Crucial Kelp Forests in Order to Protect — and, Hopefully, Restore — Them
October 31, 2021 By Sandi Doughton The Seattle Times That seed of an idea more than a decade ago helped inspire an ambitious new initiative to figure out why kelp is vanishing throughout much of Puget Sound, and to reverse the trend. Bringing together tribes, citizen scientists, environmental agencies, university researchers and advocates, it is…
The People Who Collect Most Ocean-Bound Plastic For Recycling Are Getting a Hand Up From a Group of Companies and Brands
October 18, 2021 By Jeff Kart Forbes There are about 20 million waste pickers around the globe, responsible for 60% of the world’s recycling, including plastic that would otherwise end up in the oceans if not for these informal workers.
Newsom Declares Emergency as Investigators Probe Whether Anchor Caused O.C. Oil Spill
October 4, 2021 By Hannah Fry, Richard Winton, Jaclyn Cosgrove, Ian James LA Times The Coast Guard is investigating whether a large commercial ship set anchor in the wrong location, damaging an oil pipeline and causing the massive Orange County oil spill, an official familiar with the investigation told The Tim
A Crucial System of Ocean Currents Is Faltering, Research Suggests
August 5, 2021 By Heather Murphy The New York Times A slowdown in the network, which influences weather far and wide, could spell trouble. “We’re poking a beast,” one expert said. “But we don’t really know the reaction we’ll cause.”
‘100 days without Js’: Resident Orcas Absent From Salish Sea for More Than 3 Months
July 21, 2021 King 5 This is the longest absence of a “resident” pod from the Salish Sea since the O
How the Moon ‘Wobble’ Affects Rising Tides
July 16, 2021 By Jacey Fortin The New York Times Scientists say it’s less like a wobble and more like a slow, predictable cycle. And while the phenomenon will contribute to rising tides caused by climate change, it is just one of many factors.
Another ‘Red Tide’ Left 15 Tons of Dead Fish on Tampa Bay’s Shore, and Experts Warn of More Destruction
July 12, 2021 By Julian Mark The Washington Post When Glen Nguyen drove his boat out onto Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon, he did not bother bringing his fishing rod. The 38-year-old St. Petersburg, Fla., native had cast lines into the bay since he was a child, but this weekend, all he could see was…
On an Alaskan Island, a Mayor Fights for Fur Seals – and a New Future
July 12, 2021 By Matthew Green and Nathan Howard Reuters Fifty years ago, Patrick Pletnikoff spent his summers stripping blubber from the carcasses of seals clubbed to death in Alaska’s annual harvest, competing with other young men to show who wielded the fastest blade.Now he’s fighting for a bigger prize: to transform his native St.…
How a Mexican Lagoon Lost Its Colors
July 12, 2021 By Allison Keeley The New Yorker Bacalar is poised to become one of the country’s great tourist destinations—if its ecosystem can survive.
Like in ‘Postapocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse
July 9, 2021 By Catrin Einhorn The New York Times The combination of extraordinary heat and drought that hit the Western United States and Canada over the past two weeks has killed hundreds of millions of marine animals and continues to threaten untold species in freshwater, according to a preliminary estimate and interviews with scientists.
It’s Cold in the Ocean but It’s Hotter Inside Sea Otters
July 8, 2021 By Veronique Greenwood The New York Times Sea otters run hot. It’s not just a manner of speaking: Scientists have found that the furry mammals’ metabolisms work at a rate three times what might normally be expected from a creature their size, burning swiftly through calories.
The Coelacanth May Live for a Century. That’s Not Great News
June 23, 2021 By Max G. Levy Wired Scale markings reveal that this weird fish’s lifespan is double what scientists first estimated. That also means they’re closer to extinction than we thought.
As Seagrass Habitats Decline, Florida Manatees are Dying of Starvation
June 21, 2021 By Greg Allen NPR In Florida, wildlife managers and environmental groups are stunned by a record number of manatee deaths. More than 750 manatees have died since the beginning of the year, the most deaths ever recorded in a five month period. Most of the deaths are in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, where a…
The Deep Sea Is Filled with Treasure, but It Comes at a Price
June 14, 2021 By Elizabeth Kolbert The New Yorker We’ve barely explored the darkest realm of the ocean. With rare-metal mining on the rise, we’re a
There’s a New Ocean Now—Can You Name All 5?
June 8, 2021 By Sarah Gibbens National Geographic On World Oceans Day, Nat Geo cartographers say the swift current circling Antarctica keeps the waters there distinct and worthy of their own name: the Southern Ocean.
Biden Administration Strikes Deal To Bring Offshore Wind To California
May 25, 2021 By Lauren Sommer NPR The Biden administration plans to open the California coast to offshore wind development, ending a long-running stalemate with the Department of Defense that has been the biggest barrier to building wind power along the Pacific Coast.
Satellites Keep Watch Over Global Reef Health in a World First
May 20, 2021 Mongabay Scientists working with the Allen Coral Atlas just launched the world’s first global, satellite-based reef-monitoring system.
Scientists Uncover Longtime Mystery About Where Some Sea Turtles Go After Hatching: The Sargasso Sea
May 15, 2021 By Erin Blakemore The Washington Post A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B explains where at least some sea turtles head after hatching: the Sargasso Sea.
Extraterrestrial Plutonium Atoms Turn Up on Ocean Bottom
May 17, 2021 By William J. Broad The New York Times Scientists studying a sample of oceanic crust retrieved from the Pacific seabed nearly a mile down have discovered traces of a rare isotope of plutonium, the deadly element that has been central to the atomic age.
Ghost fish: After 420 million Years in the Deeps, Modern Gillnets from Shark Fin Trade Drag Coelacanths into the Light
May 12, 2021 By Tony Carnie Mongabay Demand for shark fins and oil has led fishers in southwestern Madagascar to set gill-nets in deeper waters. They are finding — and possibly harming — previously-unknown populations of these West Indian Ocean coelacanths.
Plastic World or Plastic-Free World?
May 10, 2021 By Erica Cirino Yes! The plastic crisis is tied not only to ecological destruction, but also drives systemic injustice. With plastic’s fall, will we rise?
The Birds and the Buoys: Using Googly Eyes to Avert Extinction
May 10, 2021 By Annie Roth The New York Times Every day, thousands of hooks and nets meant for fish end up catching seabirds — a global problem that is pushing many seabird species to the brink of extinction. But no fishing gear may do more damage than the gillnet, which entangles and kills at least…
Southern Resident Orcas Celebrate 3 Healthy Calves as Researchers Find J pod in Best Overall Condition in a Decade
May 8, 2021 By Lynda V. Mapes The Seattle Times But on this Mother’s Day, there is some cause for cautious optimism for some of the most famous mothers in our region, on whom the future of this fragile population of orcas depends.
Salmon Have Shrunk So Much That Whole Foods Redid its Guidelines
At OBI Seafoods, a sprawling operation with outposts throughout Alaska, there’s all sorts of extra machinery for workers to master. At Whole Foods Market, there are new guidelines for purchasing salmon from wholesalers. And at Ivar’s, a fixture on Seattle’s waterfront for eight decades, the chef is sending back skimpy salmon delivered to his kitchen.
On the Water in Alaska, Where Salmon Fishing Dreams Live On
Each summer, salmon begin their journey back to the rivers where they were spawned. Alaskan fishermen, along with whales, eagles and bears, share in the abundance.
Fukushima Wastewater Will Be Released Into the Ocean, Japan Says
April 12, 2021 By Jennifer Jett and Ben Dooley The New York Times Japan said on Tuesday that it had decided to gradually release tons of treated wastewater from the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, describing it as the best option for disposal despite fierce opposition from fishing crews at home and…
As Halibut Decline, Alaska Native Fishers Square off Against Industrial Fleets
April 8, 2021 By Miranda Weiss National Geographic The tiny fishing fleet from St. Paul is losing the fight for halibut, up against factory ships that throw away more of the valuable fish than the Indigenous fishers are allowed to catch.
Why Rescuing the Climate and Saving Biodiversity Go Hand in Hand
April 7, 2021 By Michael Le Page New Scientist Global warming is a “threat multiplier” for habitats and species already under pressure – by understanding how the problems are linked, we can solve two crises at once.
The Ocean’s Youngest Monsters Are Ready for Glamour Shots
March 30, 2021 By Erik Olsen The New York Times Divers practicing blackwater photography are helping marine scientists gain new insights into fish larvae.
The Biden Administration Makes a Swath of Ocean Between New York and New Jersey an Offshore Wind Zone.
March 29, 2021 By Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer The New York Times The Biden administration announced a plan on Monday to vastly expand the use of offshore wind power along the East Coast, aiming to tap a potentially huge source of renewable energy that has so far struggled to gain a foothold in the United States.
The Island Where It Rained Oil
March 24, 2021 By Juliet Eilperin, Darryl Fears and Salwan Georges The Washington Post In the Virgin Islands, a refinery tests Biden’s environmental justice commitment.
What’s Good for the Ocean May Also Be Good for Business
March 23, 2021 By Tatiana Schlossberg The New York Times Companies are trying to prove that conservation, sustainable fishing and carbon sequestration are profitable.
Sharks ‘Critical’ to Restoring Damaged Ecosystems, Finds Study
March 22, 2021 By Karen McVeigh The Guardian Research in Australian bay shows absence of apex predators can exacerbate extreme climate damage.
One Of Biden’s Biggest Climate Change Challenges? The Oceans.
March 18, 2021 By Lauren Sommer NPR Ocean scientists say the Biden Administration is taking office at a critical time. Sea levels are rising, fish are migrating away from where they’re normally caught, and the water itself is becoming more acidic as it absorbs carbon dioxide that humans emit.
Looking for Climate Solutions? Protect More Ocean, Researchers Find.
March 17, 2021 By Catrin Einhorn The New York Times The study offers what is essentially a peer-reviewed, interactive road map for how nations can confront the interconnected crises of climate change and wildlife collapse at sea.
Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?
March 14, 2021 By Christopher Flavelle The New York Times On the Outer Banks, homeowners in Avon are confronting a tax increase of almost 50 percent to protect their homes, the only road into town, and perhaps the community’s very existence.
Satellite Imagery Shows Northern California Kelp Forests Have Collapsed
March 11, 2021 By Alex Fox Smithsonian Magazine The coastal waters of Northern California are changing. A decade ago, hundreds of miles of the rugged seaside were flanked by thick, swaying underwater forests of amber-green bull kelp that were home to fish, abalone and a host of other species. Now, those forests have been nearly…
Deep-sea ‘Roombas’ Will Comb Ocean Floor for DDT Waste Barrels Near Catalina
March 10, 2021 By Rosanna Xia Los Angeles Times When Californians learned in October that the waters off Santa Catalina Island once served as a dumping ground for thousands of barrels of DDT waste, the ocean science community jumped into action.
In the Push for Marine Conservation, Partially Protected Areas Are a “Red Herring”
March 10, 2021 By Ashley Braun Hakai Magazine Compared to fully safeguarded marine protected areas, partially protected areas have little benefit for marine life or people’s enjoyment.
Biden Administration Backs Nation’s Biggest Wind Farm off Martha’s Vineyard
March 8, 2021 By Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin The Washington Post The Biden administration took a crucial step Monday toward approving the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., a project that officials say will launch a massive clean-power expansion in the fight against…
Talks Start to Protect Indian Ocean’s Depleting Tuna
March 8, 2021 Reuters Representatives of 30 nations meet on Tuesday to seek ways to save fast-depleting tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean as demand in Asia and the West soars for sushi and tinned fish.
A Half-Trillion Corals Live in Just One Ocean. Does That Mean They are Safe?
March 4, 2021 By Elizabeth Pennisi Science Magazine A comprehensive survey of corals has turned up billions of colonies across the Pacific Ocean. The work—based on actual head counts, satellite data, and informed estimates—suggests many species are not in immediate danger of extinction, and the census could help conservationists and policymakers make better decisions about…
When Chinook Salmon is Off the Menu, Other Prey Will Do for Endangered Orcas
March 3, 2021 By Elizabeth Claire Alberts Mongabay A new study has found that endangered southern resident killer whales mainly consume endangered Chinook salmon, but will broaden their diet when this species isn’t available.
In the Atlantic Ocean, Subtle Shifts Hint at Dramatic Dangers
March 3, 2021 By Moises Valasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White The New York Times The warming atmosphere is causing an arm of the powerful Gulf Stream to weaken, some scientists fear.
Tuna’s Last Stand
March 2, 2021 By Christopher Pollon Hakai Magazine Skipjack are the world’s most abundant tuna. They’re resilient, but can they outswim our demand for this pantry staple?
To Fight Climate Change, Save the Whales, Some Scientists Say
March 1, 2021 By Michelle Carrere Mongabay Scientists point out that helping whale populations recover from past overharvesting can help reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.
Salmon Smolts: Here Today, Guano Tomorrow
February 26, 2021 By Larry Pynn Hakai Magazine In British Columbia, great blue heron guano explains the mystery of the vanishing salmon smolts.
Scientists See Stronger Evidence of Slowing Atlantic Ocean Circulation, an ‘Achilles’ Heel’ of the Climate
February 25, 2021 By Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman The Washington PostA growing body of evidence suggests that a massive change is underway in the sensitive circulation system of the Atlantic Ocean, a group of scientists said Thursday.
Human Impacts Leave Reefs Short on Sharks and Long on Moray Eels
February 24, 2021 By Elizabeth Claire Alberts Mongabay A new study found that moray eels are more abundant on reefs where sharks are absent due to human pressures.
When Seas Turn Rough, Gleaning Keeps the Fish on the Table for Some Communities
February 24, 2021 By Basten Gokkon Mongabay Communities living close to hard-bottomed shallow shores are more likely to hand-catch marine animals during seasons when other types of fishing often aren’t possible, a new study shows. The findings suggest that worsening sea conditions due to climate change will increase the importance of this type of harvest,…
Octopuses Have a Secret Sense to Keep Their 8 Arms Out of Trouble
February 20, 2021 By Richard Sima The New York Times Even when an octopus can’t see light with its eyes, its arms seem to know it is there.
New Orca Baby Born to Southern Resident L Pod
February 17, 2021 By Lynda V. Mapes The Seattle Times A new baby has been born to the L pod family of southern resident killer whales, scientists reported.
Gray Whales Learn Daring Feeding Strategy in Puget Sound: Digging for Ghost Shrimp at High Tide
February 16, 2021 By Lynda V. Mapes The Seattle Times Every spring, a small group of about a dozen gray whales pauses along an epic migration from calving lagoons in Baja California to their feeding grounds in the Arctic. They travel more than 170 miles off their coastal migration route, to stop off in northern…
Submarine Permafrost Has Been Overlooked as a Major Source of Greenhouse Gases, Scientists Warn
February 15, 2021 By YaleEnvironment360 Scientists have found that permafrost buried beneath the Arctic Ocean holds 60 billion tons of methane and 560 billion tons of organic carbon — making it a major source of greenhouse gases not currently included in climate projections that could have a significant impact on climate change in the longer-term.
Whale Songs Could Reveal Deep Secrets Beneath the Oceans
February 11, 2021 By Robin George Andrews The New York Times The aquatic mammals’ sound waves penetrate into the rocks under the waves, which could assist seismologists’ surveys.
The Environmental Threat You’ve Never Heard Of
February 10, 2021 By Doug Johnson Hakai Magazine Coastal waters around the world are steadily growing darker. This darkening—a change in the color and clarity of the water—has the potential to cause huge problems for the ocean and its inhabitants.
Much of America’s Seafood Comes Through This City. Here’s How it Controlled COVID-19.
In New Bedford, Massachusetts, where the William Lee docks, scalloping season begins in April. But in 2020, that aligned tragically with something else arriving on U.S. shores: a deadly pandemic.
Can 14 Nations Put Global Ocean Protection Back on Track?
February 9, 2021 By Olive Heffernan China Dialogue Ocean For ocean conservation, 2020 was a year of high hopes dashed. It had been billed as the year when world leaders would end harmful subsidies that drive overfishing, agree a new law to protect marine life beyond national waters, and edge closer to protecting 30% of…
In the Oceans, the Volume Is Rising as Never Before
February 4, 2021 By Sabrina Imbler The New York Times A new review of the scientific literature confirms that anthropogenic noise is becoming unbearable for undersea life.
The Whale Bone Squatters
February 4, 2021 By Kelly Fretwell Hakai Magazine After a juvenile male humpback whale washed ashore on a remote beach along Calvert Island, British Columbia—the site of the Hakai Institute’s Calvert Island Ecological Observatory—in May 2019, the first order of business for scientists was to conduct a necropsy.
Is It Too Late for the Southern Resident Orcas?
February 3, 2021 By Catherine Denardo Outside Magazine Researcher Ken Balcomb has spent more than half his life studying the iconic killer whales of Washington’s San Juan Islands and raising awareness about their struggle for survival. Now he may have run out of time.
After Hurricane’s Devastation, a Dilemma in Nicaragua: Rebuild or Relocate?
February 3, 2021 By Brent McDonald and Alfonso Flores Bermúdez The New York Times When the leaders of an Indigenous Miskito village returned to their homes days after Hurricane Iota struck last November, they found their lush community in Nicaragua’s northeast laid to ruin — and the coastline itself transformed.
They Want to Start Paying Mother Nature for All Her Hard Work
February 2, 2021 By Catrin Einhorn New York Times The global system is built on buying and selling, but often, no one pays for the most basic goods and services that sustain life — water to drink, soil to grow food, clean air to breathe, rain forests that regulate the climate.
New Study Warns that Sea Levels will Rise Faster than Expected
February 2, 2021 Mongabay A new study has found that sea levels are rising faster than expected, which would put 40% of the world’s population living in coastal regions at elevated risk.
Seahorse Dads Have Gotta Feed Those Buns in the Oven
February 1, 2021 By Amorina Kingdon Hakai Magazine A recent study sheds light on the role male seahorses play in nourishing their babies.
Small Particles, Big Problems?
February 1, 2021 By Rona Kobell Chesapeake Quarterly Scientists Grapple with Many Unknowns about Microplastics and Their Impact on the Chesapeake Bay
Sea lions are Dying From a Mysterious Cancer. The Culprits? Herpes and DDT
January 31, 2021 By Rosanna Xia Los Angeles Times Now, after two decades of study, an all-star team of marine mammal pathologists, virology experts, chemists and geneticists say they’ve connected two surprising culprits: herpes and toxic chemicals, like DDT and PCBs, that poisoned the California coast decades ago.
Activists Make the Case That Bigger is Better to Protect Galápagos Reserve
January 29, 2021 By Elizabeth Claire Alberts Mongabay A group of scientists, conservationists and NGOs are campaigning to expand the current Galápagos Marine Reserve to protect an additional 445,953 square kilometers (172,183 square miles) in the exclusive economic zone of the Galápagos Islands.
Boat Strikes in Maldives Put Pressure on Whale Sharks’ Survival Odds
January 29, 2021 By Elizabeth Claire Alberts Mongabay Known as “gentle giants,” whale sharks are the sweethearts of the ecotourism industry. They spend large parts of their day drifting beneath the surface, feeding on plankton and shrimp with their massive water-filtering gills, which makes the species easy to spot from boats. It also makes them…
The Ocean’s Mysterious Vitamin Deficiency
January 28, 2021 By Alastair Bland Hakai Magazine A puzzling lack of thiamine is disrupting some marine ecosystems.
Shark Populations Are Crashing, With a ‘Very Small Window’ to Avert Disaster
January 27, 2021 By Catrin Einhorn The New York Times In just the last half-century, humans have caused a staggering, worldwide drop in the number of sharks and rays that swim the open oceans, scientists have found in the first global assessment of its kind, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
Earth Is Now Losing 1.2 Trillion Tons of Ice Each Year. And It’s Going to Get Worse
January 25, 2021 By Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman The Washington Post Global ice loss has increased rapidly over the past two decades, and scientists are still underestimating just how much sea levels could rise, according to alarming new research published this month.
Southern Ocean Waters are Warming Faster Than Thought, Threatening Antarctic Ice
January 21, 2021 By Andrew Freedman The Washington Post The Southern Ocean is one of the most important yet least explored and understood regions of the planet when it comes to determining how global warming may affect the future of humanity, thanks to its capacity to absorb huge quantities of heat and carbon dioxide, and…
Biden Selects NOAA Political Team as Decision on Next Agency Head Looms
January 21, 2021 By Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman The Washington Post The Biden administration appointed a new political team to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday, where they will help guide policies on the oceans and atmosphere. The staff members have a heavy focus on oceans policy, though the agency is…
Northwest’s Salmon Population May Be Running Out of Time
January 20, 2021 By Marie Fazio The New York Times A Washington State report put it bluntly: Because of the devastating effects of climate change and deteriorating habitats, several species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest are “on the brink of extinction.”
How Whales Help Cool the Earth
Seeing a whale stranded on a beach often provokes a strong reaction. It can make people curious – beached whales can do strange things, like explode. It can also be upsetting to witness a creature so magnificent in water reduced to lifeless blubber on land. What rarely registers, however, is the lost opportunity for carbon…
NGOs Demand Action Not Promises as EU Accused of ‘Failing to Protect Seas’
January 18, 2020 By Karen McVeigh The Guardian A coalition of NGOs is calling for an urgent ban on destructive bottom trawling in EU marine protected areas, after the failure of member states to defend seas.
US Fisheries Hit Hard by COVID-19
January 13, 2021 By Brian Owens Hakai Magazine The COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world for much of the past year has disrupted many industries, and fisheries are no exception. An early analysis estimates that in the United States, the pandemic has caused fresh seafood catches to decline by 40 percent relative to 2019,…
The Radio Station at the Heart of a Fishing Community
January 12, 2021 By Kamala Thiagarajan Hakai Magazine How a small radio station in India helps protect fishers and the ecosystems they rely on.
Someone Etched ‘Trump’ on a Florida Manatee
January 11, 2021 By Johnny Diaz The New York Times The sighting in Florida this week of a manatee with “Trump” etched in block letters on its back has prompted an investigation and a plea for help from a nonprofit conservation group.
Diving Deep with Plankton from the Comfort of the Lab
January 8, 2021 By Harini Barath Hakai Magazine Scientists at California’s Stanford University have fashioned an elegant device that allows them to watch microscopic plankton traverse the ocean’s depths—no wetsuits needed!
Inside the C.I.A., She Became a Spy for Planet Earth
January 5, 2021 By William J. Broad The New York Times Linda Zall played a starring role in American science that led to decades of major advances. But she never described her breakthroughs on television, or had books written about her, or received high scientific honors. One database of scientific publications lists her contributions as…
Salty Seas Make Lightning Brighter
January 4, 2021 By Nicola Jones Hakai Magazine When marine scientist Mustafa Asfur made a tiny storm in a box, he stumbled on a possible solution to a long-standing mystery: why bolts of lightning are brighter over the ocean than they are over land.
The Problem With Problem Sharks
January 1, 2021 By Jason Nark The New York Times The war on sharks has been waged with shock and aweat times. When a shark bit or killed a swimmer, people within the past century might take out hundreds of the marine predators to quell the panic, like executing everyone in a police lineup in…
Octopuses Are Eight-Armed Taskmasters
December 30, 2020 By Cameron Duke Hakai Magazine According to Eduardo Sampaio, a doctoral candidate at the University of Lisbon in Portugal and lead author on a new study documenting the behavior, there are a number of reasons an octopus might throw hands, from keeping its hunting partners in line to ejecting a parasitic group…
A New Population of Blue Whales Was Discovered Hiding in the Indian Ocean
December 23, 2020 By Katherine J. Wu The New York Times Weighing up to 380,000 pounds and stretching some 100 feet long, the blue whale — the largest creature to have ever lived on Earth — might at first seem difficult for human eyes and ears to miss. But a previously unknown population of the…
Dead in the Water
December 21, 2020 By Victoria Petersen Hakai Magazine As abandoned and derelict boats multiply from Alaska to California, officials scramble for solutions.
Fishing fail: WTO negotiators flunk deadline to end harmful fisheries subsidies by 2020
December 15, 2020 By Elizabeth Fitt Mongabay World Trade Organization negotiators failed to agree on rules to ban harmful subsidies to fisheries in time to meet a 2020 deadline. Months of intensive online talks ended on Dec. 14 with dozens of points reportedly remaining unresolved, including some major ones.
This Channel Isn’t Big Enough for Two Behemoths
December 14, 2020 By Casey Rentz Hakai Magazine Ships killed at least 20 whales in California’s Santa Barbara Channel in the past two years. Now, a nonprofit is demanding action.
World’s Largest Iceberg Nears Collision With South Georgia Island; Could Imperil Penguins
December 10, 2020 By Andrew Freedman The Washington Post An iceberg larger than the state of Rhode Island that broke off an Antarctic ice shelf in 2017 is closing in on South Georgia Island, a British territory in the south Atlantic Ocean. The iceberg, designated A68a by the National Ice Center, is being steered by…
The Military Wants to Hide Covert Messages in Marine Mammal Sounds
December 10, 2020 By Jeremy Hsu Hakai Magazine The human fascination with hiding military messages in whale and dolphin sounds has led to US military Cold War experiments and modern Chinese research.
Shift to a Not-So-Frozen North Is Well Underway, Scientists Warn
December 8, 2020 By Henry Fountain The New York Times The Arctic continued its unwavering shift toward a new climate in 2020, as the effects of near-record warming surged across the region, shrinking ice and snow cover and fueling extreme wildfires, scientists said Tuesday in an annual assessment of the region.
On the Trail of the Giant Squid
December 7, 2020 By Greg Noone Hakai Magazine Advances in genetic research are creating new ways to hunt for this most mysterious of creatures.
Navy Growler Jet Noise Loud Enough to Reach Orca Pods Even 100 Feet Underwater, New Research Shows
December 5, 2020 By Lynda V. Mapes The Seattle Times On the beaches, in the deepest reaches of the backcountry — even nearly 100 feet underwater — the noise of Navy Growler training jets is unescapable for people and even endangered southern resident orcas, new scientific research shows.
A Race Against Time to Rescue a Reef From Climate Change
December 5, 2020 By Catrin Einhorn and Christopher Flavelle The New York Times In an unusual experiment, a coral reef in Mexico is now insured against hurricanes. A team of locals known as “the Brigade” rushed to repair the devastated corals, piece by piece.