Shifting Baselines

Jennifer L. Jacquet

Unintended Consequences

We need to pay closer attention to how hunting and fishing regulations are set or we may end up with unintended negative consequences for the species we are trying to protect. This according to new research reported in The New York Times. We know that target species can react to increased predation by humans (which…

Shifting Views of Marine Algae

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a profile of Sylvia Earle and the marine environment, which included some wonderful photographs and a nice introductory anecdote about how, in 1953, when Earle began studying algae, the marine plants and related microbes were often considered weeds or worse. Today, Earle says that one type — Prochlorococcus —…

Dolphin Stampede

Check out this video shot in the Sea of Cortez a friend from the Surfrider Foundation sent along. It is a great reminder of the magnificent life that still exists in the ocean. But can you imagine what it was like 200 years ago?

Shifting Glaciers

Check out this magnificent and convincing collection panoramic photographs of receding glaciers over the decades…

I am the lead author of a new study In Hot Soup: Sharks Captured in Ecuador’s Waters out in the journal Environmental Sciences. We reconstructed the shark landings for Ecuador from 1976 to 2004 and demonstrated that Ecuador captures more than 3.5 times the number of sharks they officially report catching–or about half a million…

Fish Stocks: All Fall Down?

Everywhere I turn it seems to be bad news for poster fish species. Bluefin tuna are in a bad way. And let’s not forget pollock, the world’s largest food fishery. This year, conservation groups and scientists feel the catch limits are being set anywhere from two to three times too high. Greenpeace has gone so…

In my Topics in Marine Science class that I teach at Western Washington University, we spend a week on marine mammals and a portion of that time talking about whaling. We discuss the use of whale oil for illuminants, the 1930s as the Whaling Olympic era, the devastation of certain whale populations, and the formation…

And Still More Trouble for Tuna

Andrew Revkin has the disheartening news from the ICCAT meetings this week with insights from Carl Safina. Surprise, surprise. Tuna are still in trouble as ICCAT continues to set a quota much higher than what scientists recommend. Here is Safina’s take on it all: What’s really needed is a moratorium for bluefin, and I first…

Food is the name of the game this week (well, food, and trampling store employees on Black Friday). And friend and fellow Ph.D. student here at UBC, Jeremy Goldbogen (photographed with a minke whale jaw bone), has some new research out this week on the feeding habits of humpback whales and it dons the cover…

R.O.: This Whines for You

Randy Olson travels a lot these days, and frequently calls me from airports to whine about how much he hates to travel. Randy, this clip of stand up comedian Louis CK talking about how times have changed is for you (with thanks to Dale of Faith in Honest Doubt for titling this piece with the…