Top Oceans News

Breakthrough could help predict a catastrophic loss of ocean oxygen.

The ocean has lost 2 percent of its oxygen in just 50 years. Now scientists have for the first time measured a devastating loss of oxygen in ancient oceans, which could help them quantify future losses. Oceans Deeply

This coral reef now has its own innovative insurance policy.

Because the reef protects the businesses on the shore in Mexico, it offers an incredible amount of economic value. Now, when it’s damaged, repairing it will be paid for. Fast Company

Why do fish eat our trash? Because it smells yummy.

Scientists have been trying to figure out why fish that normally eat algae are eating the plastic particles that float in the ocean. San Francisco KQED Public Radio, California

Our Reporting on Oceans

More news from EHN

“We are a salmon people”.

Tribes celebrate, honor a threatened cultural icon on the Seattle shore. Environmental Health News

Dwindling salmon and treaty rights in the Puget Sound.

Pacific Northwest tribes are fighting crowds, pavement and pollution to protect the centerpiece of their culture: The region's fabled salmon runs. Environmental Health News

VIDEO: A Fisherman’s Fears - The threat of seismic testing on the North Carolina coast.

As President Obama pulls the plug on offshore drilling off the Atlantic Coast, this short documentary of a North Carolina fisherman illustrates the magnitude of the decision. Environmental Health News

Gary Braasch: Omnivorous chronicler of our changing planet.

We lost an strong, eclectic voice with the death this week of environmental photojournalist Gary Braasch. Daily Climate

2015 in review: The year environmental and climate issues left their silos.

Call it the grand convergence: Coverage of environmental issues, especially climate change, jumped traditional boundaries to pick up broader—and slightly ominous—geopolitical and health angles. Environmental Health News


Help protect reefs by reporting coral bleaching.

Guam’s coral reefs are integral to our island’s marine ecology as well as to our tourism industry, and it’s vital that we all take steps to protect and preserve them. more…

The unvarnished truth about climate change.

Rising seas could swell Tampa Bay up to 19 inches over the next quarter-century, putting tens of thousands of residents at risk. The federal study is another wake-up call about a threat that is real, here and more pressing by the day. more…

Gulf of Mexico dead zone is going in the wrong direction.

Reducing the dead zone is essential to the health of the Gulf, but it's headed in the opposite direction. more…

Fighting back the water in Miami and Miami Beach.

Local communities, and the broader region, are making strides in addressing nature’s quirks and climate change. But a long slog lies ahead. more…


Can we feed the world with farmed fish?

New research suggests there is space on the open ocean to farm essentially all the seafood humans can eat — and then some. But such volumes of fish and shellfish could not be grown without costs. National Public Radio

Will Americans ever become ethical buyers? This state is betting on it.

Alaska is taking significant bets on do-gooder buyers — and the results could be telling for the nation. OZY

Some tuna can carry up to 36 times the toxic chemicals of others. Here's why.

A new study may prompt hand wringing among you tuna poke and sushi lovers. When it comes to pollutant levels, researchers now say where your tuna was caught matters. National Public Radio

Trump administration urged to avoid salmon protection rules.

A group that represents farmers is calling the costs of saving imperiled salmon in the largest river system in the Pacific Northwest unsustainable and is turning to the Trump administration to sidestep endangered species laws. Associated Press

India's new coastal law threatens Mumbai's ancient fishing villages.

Fishermen say changes will lead to environmental damage, displace coastal communities and hurt the livelihoods of millions who depend on the sea for their survival. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Genetically modified salmon hits the shelves in Canada – and sells quickly.

AquaBounty salmon was approved for sale in Canada in 2016, paving the way for it to become the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply. The Guardian

Peeping in on the Mile Deep Club.

Braving an Antarctic winter to catch Chilean sea bass in the act. Hakai Magazine


A solution for Hong Kong’s plastic waste crisis: Turn it into fuel.

A wide range of plastics cannot be recycled, or cannot be recycled any further, and end up in a landfill. Such plastics are an excellent, high energy feedstock for gasification. more…

Plastic – from wastelands to waistlines.

Not only are we eating plastic toxics in our seafood, we are breathing in, absorbing them in our house dust. more…

Industrial meat production is killing our seas. It's time to change our diets.

America’s addiction to cheap meat, fed on corn and soy in vast indoor factories, comes at a high cost to our own health and that of the planet. more…

The moral panic around climate change means the facts are always skewed.

So which is it? Is there too much ice in the Arctic or not enough? It’s convenient that climate change can be blamed both for too much ice in the Arctic in June and too little in July. more…

Climate and oceans

Hilcorp’s Arctic offshore drilling plan advances, but impact statement cites concerns.

The federal environmental impact statement moves the project ahead but cites concerns about effects on climate change, marine life and local communities. InsideClimate News

Governor urges Trump to drop Virginia from offshore drilling plan.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. Reuters

West Coast governors tell Trump: No oil, gas leases off our coast.

Oil and gas leasing must never again be allowed in sensitive marine waters off the West Coast, the governors of three states told U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration, in a blunt letter Thursday. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Washington

The Arctic’s most famed shipwrecks lie in these waters. Scientists are still learning what else lies beneath.

As climate change opens new ecosystems to human activity, scientists are racing to understand and protect the pristine waters. Washington Post

Climate: ′Every year a contender for warmest on record.′

The year 2016 broke records for our warming planet, and climate expert Deke Arndt says it won't be the last. Deutsche Welle, Germany

Nighttime pictures reveal Antarctica's cracking ice shelves.

Using satellite images, NASA keeps an eye on the region's shifting ice even during the total darkness of polar winter. National Geographic News

Solutions and Good News

Baja California’s recipe for saving fishing communities.

As fish populations crash elsewhere, towns limit catches to stabilize harvests, boost tourism, and preserve a way of life. National Geographic Magazine

Arctic waters get long-sought protection after Ottawa, Inuit group reach agreement.

An Inuit group and the federal government are creating a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound that will be – by far – Canada’s largest. Globe and Mail, Ontario

L.I. Sound funding restored after Trump cut.

Although Long Island Sound’s cleanup was cut from President Trump’s 2018 budget, Congress has restored $8 million aimed at keeping Connecticut’s water gem pollution free — or as close to it as possible. Hearst News Service

Shedd unveils 1,600-pound seahorse sculpture made from ocean garbage.

The newest creature at Shedd Aquarium is a piece of garbage – a lot of garbage. Chicago WTTW TV, Illinois

Sustainable British cod on the menu after stocks recover.

A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years. The Guardian

Ocean Acidification

Federal approval for controversial fish farm.

A controversial fish farm proposed for Okehampton Bay, on Tasmania’s East Coast, has been granted federal approval, prompting condemnation from conservationists, who claim whales will be endangered. The Australian, Australia

What do 10,000 Europeans know about climate change and the sea?

An ambitious survey reveals that when it comes to marine issues, most Europeans show greater awareness of pollution and overfishing than the effects of specific climate change threats, such as ocean acidification. Anthropocene Magazine

Acidification of Arctic to be studied on icebreaker.

The expedition also will undertake scientific research on marine microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic, often used in facial cleansers and similar products as scrubbers, that pass through wastewater treatment plants and reach the ocean, officials said. China Daily

In landmark move, GOP Congress calls climate change "direct threat" to security.

Extreme weather and rising seas threaten bases from Virginia to Guam. For the first time, a Republican House has voted to recognize that. Foreign Policy

The loudest smallest voices are raising the alarm on climate change.

Stepping Up is a new podcast that highlights the stories of climate advocates who are stepping up their game in unexpected ways. Sierra

Marine Biodiversity

As Arctic sea ice disappears, 2,000 walruses mob remote Alaska beach.

The 'haul out' of Pacific walruses along the Alaska coast is the earliest known and comes as global temperatures and loss of sea ice near records. InsideClimate News

A rich person’s profession? Young conservationists struggle to make it.

The field of conservation may be hemorrhaging passionate, qualified, and innovative young people. Mongabay

Scientists measure whales' aversion to noise pollution.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia wanted to find out if "ramp-up sequences" allow whales to acclimate to foreign noise. United Press International

Queensland conservationists call for river-mining ban to protect Great Barrier Reef.

State mines minister rejects two applications at reserves west of Cape Tribulation which campaigners say should set a precedent. The Guardian

Marine Toxification

Plankton 'mucus houses' could pull microplastics from the sea.

California researchers have found a unique creature that spins a three-dimensional undersea net—one that can capture these tiny floating bits of plastic. Wired

Why fish can't help but eat our plastic garbage.

It passes the sniff test, but it shouldn't. Popular Science

Plastic in the sea smells like food to fish, finds new study.

Plastic starts to smell like food to fish after it has been in the sea, according to research that sheds new light on how the artificial, toxic substance is getting into the food chain. The Independent, United Kingdom

Polluted water: It’s where sea snakes wear black.

Maybe it’s more than reptile fashion. The high percentage of citified sea snakes wearing black might be a sign that pollution is an evolutionary force. Science News

'We are jobless because of fish poisoning': Vietnamese fishermen battle for justice.

A year after Vietnam’s worst environmental disaster, lives remain ruined while the government cracks down on protesters seeking compensation. The Guardian

Denmark reports Maersk Oil to police for discharging chemicals into North Sea.

The Danish environmental protection agency said on Thursday it had reported Maersk Oil to the police for discharging chemicals into the North Sea in connection with oil production. Reuters

Canary Island tourists warned to avoid toxic 'sea sawdust' algae.

Tourists have been warned to avoid blooms of toxic micro-algae that have been proliferating in hot weather in the sea off Spain’s Canary Islands. Agence France-Presse