Oceans

Bad News for Bluefin Tuna Keeps on Coming

The beleaguered bluefin was dealt another blow this week when the European Union, under pressure from France, Spain, Italy and Malta, all of which have a stake in the lucrative tuna fishery, backed down from lobbying for slashing quotas of the eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna at talks this week in Paris.

The EU fisheries commissioner …

Is the Caribbean Heading for Another Record Year in Coral Loss?

Anybody who has been visiting coral reefs for the past 20 years or so will tell you that the scene underwater pales – quite literally – in comparison to what it used to be.

New research published in PLoS ONE yesterday shows that coral bleaching in the Atlantic and the Caribbean in 2005 was the worst bleaching event ever …

Tuna on Trial: The Dark Side of the Bluefin Tuna Market

All along the northern coast of Sicily there is evidence of organized crime: empty tonnaros, or tuna canneries, that went out of business last century when the massive blue fin tunas they hauled from the Mediterranean for generations finally disappeared. Sicily’s ghostly tonnaros may not have much to do with the Corleones or the …

Oil Spill Report Hits White House. Is it Fair?

Sometimes a President can’t catch a break—a lesson the current, beleaguered resident of the Oval Office keeps learning. The latest bit of bad news came from a commission the President himself appointed back in the spring to study the BP oil spill  in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama announced the creation of the study group on May …

Oceans: A Book of Life for the Seas

“Only the sea knows the depth of the sea.” So goes a line from Hindu scriptures, one that well describes the mystery of the ocean depths—and our ongoing ignorance about life beneath the waves. For thousands of years, our knowledge of the seas was limited to surface currents and the fish that we could catch, close to the coast. …

Oceans: Protecting the Pacific

Over the past few weeks I’ve been immersed in the details of marine protected areas (MPAs) as I prepare a TIME story on the oceanographer Sylvia Earle and her crusade to defend the endangered oceans. Much of that focus has been on the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean, where Earle and I visited last week. But as promising as the …

Oceans: A Win—Over the Long Term—For the Whales in Japan

The anti-whaling movement scored a partial victory today in Tokyo, where two Japanese activists affiliated with Greenpeace were convicted of stealing whale meat, but were given a suspended sentence. Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki were found guilty of stealing 50 lbs. (23 kg) of whale meat from a delivery company’s warehouse in April 2008, …

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