An effort to increase such areas can pose a particular threat to island overseas territories.
Building an artificial reef.
Coral reefs are in crisis around the world, and may disappear entirely. 3D printing is a new idea to help them – but it won't be a cure all.
A three-banded clownfish (
Amphiprion ocellaris) navigates the anemones of the Andaman Coral Reef, India.
Our children all know the little clownfish Nemo, star of the Pixar film. But why does he have three stripes, rather than one or two? Developmental and evolutionary biology are revealing the answer.
Swordfish only – no bycatch, please.
Joe Fish Flynn/shutterstock
A new tool called EcoCast helps fishermen in the West Coast figure out where it's best to fish that day.
The scientific drilling ship JOIDES Resolution arrives in Honolulu after successful sea trials and testing of scientific and drilling equipment.
The ocean floor holds unique information about Earth's history. Scientific ocean drilling, which started 50 years ago, has yielded insights into climate change, geohazards and the key conditions for life.
The warming of the oceans means that the plants and organisms used as warning systems for pollution are being rendered ineffective.
Some sea creatures are displaced by the desalination plant, but others actually grow.
Pumping very salty water into the ocean has surprisingly little impact on marine life.
The Derwent River Sea Star was only documented for 25 years before its extinction.
Blair Patulo, Museums Victoria
It's quite hard to tell when a sea creature is extinct – there's always hope it will turn up somewhere.
Salt water is fun to swim in – but it also carries the electrical signals vital for life.
We take salt water for granted, and often overlook how important it is for our own lives and in sustaining a healthy planet.
The myth of the empty sea is largely the product of European imperialisms and their map-making.
A new project takes a different look at the role of oceans.
UK bound? The oceanic whitetip.
Forget the scare stories, sharks are good for our oceans.
Waves lap against the shore on the south coast of England and the North coast of France – but the answer to this puzzle is in the wind and the land, not the waves themselves.
We’re gonna need an even bigger boat.
Megalodons are the latest Hollywood monster to leap out of the fossil record, but what else is lurking in prehistoric seas?
Strange frond-like sea creatures are among the planet's earliest animals, but new research dates them and the entire animal kingdom to much earlier than first thought.
Sea turtle eating a plastic bag.
Plastic bags are commonly mistaken for food by sea animals. They require a lot of energy and resources to be made, and have caused floods in some countries.
Predatory fish are among the most vulnerable species to human pressures.
The world has some 500 million square kilometres of ocean. But just 55 million square kilometres remain untouched by intensive human activities such as fishing.
Elusive and mysterious by nature, ordinary people are revealing the secrets of the UK's octopuses.
Tech fixes to environmental problems are guaranteed to grab attention, but real change for the planet requires community organising.
A whale shark moves towards a piece of plastic in the ocean.
If we are truly invested in addressing the issue of marine plastic and offsetting the potential harms, we have to understand which fish eat plastic and which ones don't.
A whale shark basking in the Maldivian shallows.
Why do whale sharks come together at just 20 locations around the globe?