coral reefs

When sharks are fished-out from coral reefs, fish body shapes change

Sounds kinda weird.. but studying nearly identical coral reef systems off Australia, my collaborators and I discovered something unusual on the reefs subjected to nearly exclusive fishing of sharks—fish with significantly smaller eyes and tails. This provides evidence of body shape changes in fish due to human-driven shark declines from overfishing. In the study, our…

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The Dwindling Sharks and Rays of the Western Indian Ocean

By Rhett Bennett Sharks have been cruising the world’s oceans for millions of years. We know them as ferocious hunters, built for the kill. And some are. However, most shark and ray species have somewhat less aggressive feeding behaviour and, of course, many end up as food themselves. These magnificent creatures have adapted to an…

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Sailing a 108-Year-Old Ship Through the Most Biologically-Diverse Marine Ecosystem on the Planet

  This winter (in the northern hemisphere), the Biosphere Foundation is undertaking a sea voyage on their 108-year-old ship through the gumdrop islands and turquoise waters of Raja Ampat — the most biologically-diverse marine ecosystem on the planet. A Homecoming I hadn’t seen her in over seven years, then there she was, resting peacefully on a…

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Before the Next Storm: Helping People and Nature Adapt

By Vera Agostini, Senior Marine Scientist, The Nature Conservancy Major hurricanes like Sandy (New Jersey in 2012) and Ivan (Eastern Caribbean in 2004) and Typhoon Haiyan (the Philippines 2013) make global headlines as they hit coastal communities, appropriately drawing attention to the human, financial, and community losses. While some smaller communities may not make global…

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Protecting Coral Reefs, From the FL Keys to the Savu Sea

By Rob Brumbaugh, Integrated Ocean Management Lead, The Nature Conservancy I’ve just returned from Bali, Indonesia, where I spent three weeks working with The Nature Conservancy’s Indonesia marine program, and attending an international conference of scientists and economists exploring ways to make the human benefits of nature more apparent to policy makers and stakeholders everywhere. …

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Protecting Fisheries on a Budget: Low-tech Solutions in Barbuda

Co-authored by Shah Selbe Ayana: Over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with Caribbean governments and stakeholders about potential ways to restore and sustainably manage their oceans. I speak about how marine reserves increase the number and size of fish, and restore ecosystems. How protecting key herbivores (parrotfish, surgeonfish, and urchins)…

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Fishermen In Palau Take On Role of Scientist To Save Their Fishery

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown The island nation of Palau is a legendary tropical coral paradise, with perhaps the most farsighted fisheries management in the Pacific. Palau has protected its reef fishes from the export business that has destroyed fish populations on many reefs for the limitless demand in China. That’s why Palau remains…

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National Aquarium Unveils World’s Largest Reproduction of Indo-Pacific Coral Reef

This month, the National Aquarium in Baltimore opened a new permanent exhibit, Blacktip Reef. Based on the Indo-Pacific reefs found across a large swath of oceans, the exhibit is the largest of its kind in the world. Ocean Views spoke with the aquarium’s general curator, Jack Cover, about the new exhibit. How did you get…

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Assessing Barbuda’s Ecosystems – What’s Under the Water?

Before making changes to ocean management, it helps to know something about the status of living creatures and ecosystems you’re trying to use sustainably. So, nine marine biologists* (plus me makes ten) descended on Barbuda in May to conduct an ecological assessment of the fish, coral, lobster, conch, and water quality within 3 miles of…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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