It might be the world’s biggest ocean, but the mighty Pacific is in peril

Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the deepest, largest ocean on Earth, covering about a third of the globe's surface. An ocean that vast may seem invincible. Yet across its reach – from Antarctica in the south to the Arctic in the north, and from Asia to Australia to the Americas – the Pacific Ocean's delicate ecology is under threat. In most cases, human activity is to blame. We have systematically pillaged the Pacific of fish. We have used it as a rubbish t...
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Taking fish out of fish feed can make aquaculture a more sustainable food source

Taking fish out of fish feed can make aquaculture a more sustainable food source
The big idea Aquaculture, or fish farming, is the world's fastest-growing food production sector. But the key ingredients in commercial fish feed – fishmeal and fish oil – come from an unsustainable source: small fish, such as anchovies and herring, near the base of ocean food webs. My colleagues and I have developed a high-performing, fish-free aquaculture feed that replaces these traditional ingredients with several types of microalgae – abunda...
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An ocean like no other: the Southern Ocean’s ecological richness and significance for global climate

An ocean like no other: the Southern Ocean’s ecological richness and significance for global climate
In 2018, a map named after an oceanographer went viral. The so-called Spilhaus projection, in which Earth is viewed from above the South Pole, was designed to show the connected nature of the ocean basins. It is a perspective that comes naturally to those who live in the ocean-dominated southern hemisphere. The Southern Ocean, also called the Antarctic Ocean (or even the Austral ocean), is like no other and best described in superlatives. Storing...
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Here's how fishing stifles the ocean's ability to capture carbon

Here's how fishing stifles the ocean's ability to capture carbon
When fish die naturally, their bodies and the carbon they contain sink to the depths of the ocean.Yet when fished, this carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2.As the world has overlooked the ability of fish to act as a natural carbon sink, scientists now estimate carbon emissions from fishing are 25% higher than previously believed. A fish that dies naturally in the ocean sinks to the depths, taking with it all the carbon it contains. Yet,...
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Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

sea grass
A century ago Virginia's coastal lagoons were a natural paradise. Fishing boats bobbed on the waves as geese flocked overhead. Beneath the surface, miles of seagrass gently swayed in the surf, making the seabed look like a vast underwater prairie. More than 70 species of seagrasses grow in shallow waters around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In Virginia, beds of eelgrass (Zostera marina) provided habitat for bay scallops and foo...
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Track and trace: transparent and digitized fishing data is crucial to ocean resilience

Track and trace: transparent and digitized fishing data is crucial to ocean resilience
Recovery from COVID-19 will require greater transparency in fishing activity.Pandemic has meant surveillance has been suspendedHi-tech innovations offer potential solutions. As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, its myriad negative consequences are slowly becoming clearer. While many of the impacts have been unmistakable, with entire countries locked down, some are playing out far away from our homes and shorelines, in the open oce...
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Coral reefs: climate change and pesticides could conspire to crash fish populations

Coral reefs: climate change and pesticides could conspire to crash fish populations
Australia barely had time to recover from record breaking fires at the start of 2020 before the Great Barrier Reef experienced its third mass coral bleaching event in the past five years. Only five of these have occurred since records began in the 1980s. High water temperatures and marine heatwaves, caused by climate change, are making coral bleaching an almost regular occurrence in some parts of the world. Coral reefs are among the most vibrant ...
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Importance of sediment flow for mangrove conservation and restoration

Mangroves
New guide will assist practitioners to assess role of sediment flows in mangrove conservation and restoration projects. Mangroves are an amazingly rich ecosystem, supporting biodiversity, providing natural resources and services – and thus supporting livelihoods – and storing carbon. They also offer a very effective defense against the effects of climate change on tropical coasts, protecting deltas from shrinking and sinking. But mangrove forests...
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Blue Acceleration: our dash for ocean resources mirrors what we’ve already done to the land

Oil Rig
Humans are leaving a heavy footprint on the Earth, but when did we become the main driver of change in the planet's ecosystems? Many scientists point to the 1950s, when all kinds of socioeconomic trends began accelerating. Since then, the world population has tripled. Fertiliser and water use expanded as more food was grown than ever before. The construction of motorways sped up to accommodate rising car ownership while international flights took...
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Microplastic pollution is everywhere, but scientists are still learning how it harms wildlife

Plastic
Plastic pollution is a growing global concern. Large pieces of plastic have been found almost everywhere on Earth, from the most visited beaches to remote, uninhabited islands. Because wildlife are regularly exposed to plastic pollution, we often ask what effects plastics have on the animals. Over time, macroplastics (plastic debris larger than five millimetres in size) break up into tiny particles called microplastics (smaller than five millimet...
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