Scientists call large marine protected areas effective tools for conserving sea life. But do they benefit countries that create them? Scholars explain how Palau's huge marine protected area seeks to protect resources for Palauans.
Ern McQuillan, Tuna Fishing at Eden, New South Wales, 1960.
National Library of Australia
The history of fisheries exploitation in Australia reveals a staggering natural bounty, which has been alarmingly fragile without proper management.
Orca family group at the Bremer Canyon off WA’s south coast.
The government aims to dramatically reduce the areas offered full protection and expand zones where fishing is allowed, while also claiming that this will still deliver good conservation.
Mud oysters played a largely unappreciated part in Australia’s history.
In colonial times Australia's waters were teeming with mud oysters that provided food, cement, and cleaned the oceans. Now a 20-hectare man-made reef aims to restore some of their former glory.
The focus of food production systems, including aquaculture, must move beyond maximising yields to consider nutritional quality too.
Whitespotted surgeonfish (
Acanthurus guttatus), found in the Indo-Pacific, crop the upper portion of algae while feeding, preventing macroalgae from becoming established on reefs.
Plant-eating fish control the spread of seaweed and algae on coral reefs. New research explaining why populations of these fish vary from site to site could lead to better reef protection strategies.
Sharks: playing their part in reducing climate change.
Poor management of the oceans, including the killing of crucial marine predators, could result in more greenhouse gasses.
Fish caught just outside the Marine Protected Area (MPA) area in Tikina Wai, Fiji.
© Brent Stirton / Getty Images
Melanesia's oceans are worth at least US$5.4 billion, but are under increasing threat.
Malaria nets are being used as fishing nets in some parts of Africa.
The simple use of a net intended to curb malaria by fishers has become a classic conservation problem.
Closing parts of the ocean to fishing displaces fishers to other areas.
Tuna image from www.shutterstock.com
The public and political debate about marine reserves often comes down to one thing: fishing.
An illegal fishing vessel caught off the coast of Sierra Leone, a region where illegal fishing is a serious problem.
The fisheries sector in West Africa is beset with serious challenges including over-fishing and, in particular, illegal fishing.
Filipino fishers in the South China Sea.
EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG
The South China Sea produces more than 10% of the world's fish – but the catch is increasingly under threat.
Billions of dollars are lost yearly to illegal fishing, with West Africa being one of the worst-affected regions.
Commander, US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th/Flickr
Crime on the ocean is not only about illegal fishing – it ranges from drug smuggling to human trafficking and modern-day slavery as well.
Was Anne Ruston right about overfishing?
AAP Image/Alan Porritt
Was Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston right to say that no solely-managed Commonwealth fishery is subject to overfishing?
Kristina Vackova / shutterstock
Cephalopods are able to adapt rapidly to changing conditions.
The oceans are teeming with life and potential – but the high seas are still largely ungoverned.
The open oceans are the world's "wild west", falling outside any nation's jurisdiction. UN negotiations are aiming to draft new laws for the high seas.
Using trade rules to reduce overfishing: could the new TPP deal be a step in the right direction?
While the TPP has come under attack for its environmental credentials, this controversial new trade deal offers hope in the fight against overfishing.
While not all subsidies are bad, some are drive a ‘race to fish’.
Fish numbers are rapidly dwindling globally, and fishery subsidies are one of the key drivers behind this decline.
Maurice McDonald / PA Archive
A study suggests that stopping deep-sea trawling at a depth of around 600m makes sense.
Everyone knows the big heads but island's sea life is also spectacular – and unique.