Category: Marine Biology

Ocean Conservation for Surfers: Why Care about Healthy Oceans?

I recently attended a conference sponsored by the European Association of Surfing Doctors; a group of surfers that are also medical doctors and health practitioners. Held near Biarritz in the beautiful Basque region of southern France I was tasked with telling the group why they should care about a healthy ocean and what they can do about it.…

Shark Attacks and the Surfer’s Dilemma: Cull or Conserve?

Sharks are frequently in the headlines these days as a series of attacks across the globe has turned Shark Week into Shark Year. With an unusual number of publicized attacks on the US eastern seaboard, Reunion Island, Australia and in South Africa, hardly a week goes by where the media or local politicians don’t cry out for action to increase the…

The Rarest Mollusk: an Abalone with No Holes!

Since abalone are defined by their row of respiratory pores on the shell it is of course quite interesting that some individuals have been found that do not have them! These abalone, called imperforates, are extremely rare and only three are known for certain, all black abalone (Halotis cracheodii). A recent scientific paper published by Buzz…

The Search for Monster Great White Sharks

You’re gonna need a bigger boat. — Chief Martin Brody (Jaws) First of all let’s get something straight: Great white sharks are not the biggest shark in the ocean. That distinction belongs to whale sharks (40+ feet) and basking sharks (30+ feet). However, since these are gentle plankton-munching giants most people don’t focus on their huge size.…

The Last Song of Mother Earth

The planet is teeming with life, all literally bursting with sound. On land we hear these sounds every day and most people are familiar with the noises of the forest: the hooting, chirping, moaning, howling, tweeting, clucking, whistling, squawking and hooting that creates a complex sonic melody. The sound of nature is everywhere but we don’t always take the time to listen.

Paleozoic Puzzle: the Origins of Abalone

Around the world they are  called abulón, awabi, bàoyú, ormer, ormeau, pāua, perlemoen, pauhi, haliote but all are abalone. Abalones (family Haliotidae) are all in the genus Haliotis (“ear shells”) a worldwide group of snails known for their beautiful iridescent shells and incredible tasty meat. In many places of the world abalone are (or were) multi-million dollar fisheries…

Science and Ethics in the Hawaii Marine Aquarium Trade

Conservation and conflict are irreparably linked as we address human’s widening impact on the planet. From a broader perspective we are moving forward as our new values and perspectives clash with the old. However, for those in the conservation trenches in may not seem like progress when being attacked at public meetings, creating enemies and, in some cases, receiving…