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Carl Safina joins board of nonprofit working to improve lives of captive cetaceans

By Erica Cirino There are many people who believe whales and dolphins do not belong in aquariums and marine parks, and for good reason: When you put a large, highly intelligent animal that naturally travels a hundred or more miles a day into a small concrete tank, the results aren’t pretty. The animals suffer increased mental…

At the UN Ocean Conference, Recognizing an Unseen Pollutant: Noise

Whales, which live in and migrate between marine habitats (some with considerable levels of maritime transport and other industrial activities), are particularly at risk from noise. These underwater blasts can disrupt behaviors and prevent these marine mammals from finding food and communicating with one another.

A date with killer whales

Wildlife photographer Jodi Frediani explains why April 20 is more than a holiday for smokers; it’s a day for whale lovers in Monterey Bay to gather & watch.

Animal neuroscientist discusses her career and the case for keeping cetaceans out of captivity

Many countries and U.S. states have recently banned the captivity of orcas and other cetaceans. Neuroscientist Lori Marino discusses what happens when these animals are kept in tanks and why she believes there is a need to bring them back into a more natural environment.

Sound and the sea

New technology allows scientists to explore, study, and monitor noise in changing marine environments, and the growing field of marine bioacoustics is providing insight into the ways animals perceive their surroundings.

Southern Resident killer whale population is running out of salmon, running out of time

The Pacific Northwest’s Southern Resident killer whale population is running out of food…and that’s spelling disaster for these vulnerable creatures.

Sharks and Whale Song in the South Pacific

The Pristine Seas expedition to Niue and Beveridge reef isn’t only full of amazing sights. Take a listen to the beautiful sounds of the sea.

California bans orca breeding and entertainment, SeaWorld feels the bite of public opinion

A new law passed in California supports the idea that the captivity of orcas and other cetaceans is abusive and unnecessary.

As salmon dwindle, whales die

Experts say it’s time to focus on fish for the sake of orca survival in the Pacific Northwest.

Woo-woo; Whale Magic?

Whales leave us with questions so puzzling they are unsettling, unshakeable, at times even disturbing. Are whales a product of magic, or something else?

How do humpback whales locate food? Scientists need your help to find out

Co-authored by Erica Cirino Interested in supporting scientists who study how whales use their ears to find food in the noisy New York Harbor? If so, read on. When sharks want something to snack on, they rely on their excellent sense of smell. When swordfish want a meal, they use their eyes. When dolphins need…

Learning by listening to the whales of New York

Co-authored by Erica Cirino New York City may be home to more than 8.4 million people, but here also resides quite a bit of wildlife. On a recent summer afternoon in the Big Apple, I spotted hoards of colorful songbirds and dozens of squirrels in street-side trees; several red-tailed hawks in the skies; and a…

This walrus blog contains plastic

I’m in the high Arctic, far north of Norway at around 78º N latitude in a group of islands known collectively as Svalbard. For a few days I’m a guest on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise while we do a little investigating into the arrival of fishing ships into these waters as the ocean warms…

Free at last: National Aquarium’s sea change on dolphin policy

By Erica Cirino and Carl Safina If you’re ever visiting the National Aquarium in Baltimore, you must stop by Dolphin Discovery, according to aquarium staff. It’s an exhibit reminiscent of an Olympic swimming stadium: A large pool surrounded by bleacher seating for hundreds of onlookers, located inside a towering glass-walled building. Inside the glass-and-concrete swimming…

World Oceans Day Celebrated in Compelling Photos

From the vastness of the world’s oceans, the mystery of underwater ecosystems to humankind’s reliance on marine processes, the ocean is a wonderfully strange, altogether necessary part of our world. It is on World Oceans Day that we reflect on all of the benefits, mysteries, and wonders of the ocean.