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Oceans
Plates of leaf-like foliose corals are common on the Philippines' Benham Bank. Oceana / UPLB

'Twilight Zone' Reefs Win a Conservation Spotlight

By Allison Guy

In May 2016, technical divers descended 200 feet to Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of a huge underwater plateau off the Philippines' northeast tip. As they neared the bottom, an otherworldly landscape emerged from the dim cobalt blue.

Plates of coral grew one atop the other like china at a yard sale, dotted with sea fans and sprigs of algae. Coral columns encrusted in yellow, orange and pink coralline algae looked as though they'd been splashed with rainbow paint. Colonies thrived as far as the eye could see.

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Politics
Fishing vessels in Point Judith, RI. NOAA Fisheries / Ariele Baker, NEFSC

House Republicans Pass Hostile 'Empty Oceans Act'

By Molly Masterton

For the last 40 years, the Magnuson-Stevens Act has been our nation's primary defense against overfishing.

The road hasn't been easy—in the 80s and 90s many of our fish stocks were still in bad shape—but through previous reauthorizations of the law in 1996 and 2006, Congress has consistently moved the ball forward on sustainable fisheries management, with broad bipartisan support.

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Oceans
Grey reef sharks swim in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which could be opened to commercial fishing under a NOAA proposal. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / CC BY 2.0

NOAA Proposes Opening Marine Monuments to Fishing Within 90 Days

When reports surfaced in June that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) might shift the language of its mission statement away from climate and conservation and towards security and the economy, acting head Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet rushed to reassure reporters that the agency's mission would remain unchanged.

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Oceans
The "salmon wars" between the U.S. and Canada in the 1990s could foreshadow conflicts to come as climate change pushes fish species towards the poles. David Menke / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

'Fish Fights' Could Erupt as Climate Change Drives Species Across Borders

A study published in Science on Friday warned that climate change could spark global conflict over an unexpected resource: fish.

As waters warm, fish and other animals are already moving into new territory at a rate of 70 kilometers (approximately 43.5 miles) per decade, and that pace could accelerate in the future. If we do not act to lower greenhouse gas emissions, new fish species will enter the waters of at least 70 countries by 2100, challenging the regulatory framework for managing fishing rights, according to a University of British Columbia (UBC) press release.

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Animals
Atlantic cod is one of hundreds of fish species in which larger females lay more, and healthier eggs. OCEANA / Carlos Minguell

Old, Fat Fish Have the Most Offspring, Sustainability Study Finds

By Annie Roth

It might seem smart to eat the big fish and throw the little ones back. But a recent study in the journal Science says just the opposite. Big fish are the ones to throw back, especially if they're female.

That's because bigger females have disproportionately more babies than their smaller counterparts.

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National Geographic Creative / Paul Nicklen

High Seas Fishing as Economically Unsustainable as It Is Ecologically

By Carly Nairn

Five countries are responsible for the majority of fishing in the high seas—international waters that are not under one country's jurisdiction. All five depend on enormous subsidies to keep high seas fishing economically sustainable, concludes a study released Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

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Food
Warming water puts fish on the move. Fishermen adapt, or fall behind. Here, a boat cruises Canada's Mackenzie River. Leslie Philipp/ Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Fish and Fishermen Already Moving to Survive Climate Change

By Amy McDermott

The Inuvialuit and Gwich'in peoples spend their summers fishing off the coast of Canada's Yukon Territory. For generations, they've trekked from towns around the Western Arctic to a spit called Shingle Point, where the Mackenzie River's braided flows spill off North America into the Beaufort Sea. The nutrient-rich waters at the mouth of the Mackenzie are fat with marine fish, drawn in by the brief abundance of Arctic summer. Indigenous families subsist on these fish and other wild resources throughout the warm months.

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Animals
Greenpeace / Roger Grace

On World Tuna Day, Let’s Fix Oversight of Tropical Species

By Rachel Hopkins

Tropical tuna species—skipjack, bigeye and yellowfin tunas—are important economic assets for coastal communities across the globe, and even far from the ocean they are a favorite on supermarket shelves and in sushi bars. These three species—together worth close to $40 billion annually at the final point of sale—prompted eight Pacific island countries to launch World Tuna Day on May 2, 2011. In 2016, the UN officially adopted the date to highlight the importance of sustainable tuna management.

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Animals
A Kemp's ridley hatchling makes its way to the water on Padre Island, Texas. Terry Ross, CC BY-SA

For Baby Sea Turtles, Beaches Become Safer While Ocean Hazards Mount

By Pamela T. Plotkin

On beaches from North Carolina to Texas and throughout the wider Caribbean, one of nature's great seasonal events is underway. Adult female sea turtles are crawling out of the ocean, digging deep holes in the sand and laying eggs. After about 60 days turtle hatchlings will emerge and head for the water's edge, fending for themselves from their first moments.

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