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To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

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Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A diver swims with sharpfin barracuda, one of the many ocean species under threat from global warming, in Australia, Queensland, Great Barrier Reef. Pete Atkinson / The Image Bank / Getty Images Plus

The oceans could look much emptier by 2100, according to a new study that found that most fish species would not be able to survive in their current habitat if average global temperatures rise 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, as The Guardian reported.

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The ROV Deep Discoverer grabs a manganese-crusted rock sample near a brisingid sea star at about 7,900 feet during a 2017 expedition at Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site near the Cook Islands. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

By Monica Evans

This article has been updated to reflect corrected information in the original version.

The Cook Islands government plans to license seabed mining operators to prospect its exclusive economic zone for manganese and cobalt nodules within the coming financial year, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News.

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An armored sea robin seen during the NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas, Leg 1. NOAA Photo Library

Plastic isn't the only human pollutant infiltrating the deepest corners of the ocean.

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Non-profit organization Global Coralition draws on art, science and local communities for its coral reef restoration work. youtu.be

By David Elliott

Dive beneath the brilliant blue waters surrounding Thailand's Koh Tao island and you might come face to face with a giant sculpture of the sea goddess Mazu.

But a closer look reveals an even bigger surprise – Mazu is alive.

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The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is the only marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

President Donald Trump sparked the ire of conservationists earlier this month when he opened the country's only marine national monument in the Atlantic to commercial fishing.

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The ROV Deep Discoverer grabs a manganese-crusted rock sample near a brisingid sea star at about 7,900 feet during a 2017 expedition at Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site near the Cook Islands. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

By Monica Evans

The Cook Islands government plans to license seabed mining operators to prospect its exclusive economic zone for manganese and cobalt nodules within the coming financial year, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News.

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The deep-sea frogfish floats near the ocean floor. Mikael Kvist / Getty Images

By Tim Radford

Scientists have taken the temperature of the deep seas and found alarming signs of change: ocean warming is prompting many creatures to migrate fast.

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Australian researchers captured a stunning scene that looks like something out of Finding Nemo. The drone the scientists used recorded approximately 64,000 green turtles migrating near Australia's Great Barrier Reef for nesting season, as CNN reported.

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Two Indo-Pacific finless porpoises captured by a drone camera. Gary Stokes / OceansAsia

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

Two silvery-white porpoises glide through the ocean, captured in the lens of a drone camera. The pair swim side by side, occasionally surfacing for a quick breath of air. After a few minutes, they're joined by several other porpoises, and the group travels together before disappearing into deeper waters.

This is the first drone video ever recorded of the rare and very elusive Indo-Pacific finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) in Hong Kong, says Gary Stokes, director of Oceans Asia, a Hong Kong-based marine conservation group.

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