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Despite the high concentration of sharks in Cocos, some species have declined in number – a signal on the effectiveness of marine preserves. Genna Marie Robustelli

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica reveal limits of marine reserves

Divers at the famed Cocos site off Costa Rica record declines in a number of shark species – a sign that marine preserves are limited protection against illegal fishing.
Kelp covered landscape in Western Australia. Dan Smale

Marine heatwaves threaten the future of underwater forests

Western Australia’s marine environment is unique. Two world heritage areas, the largest fringing coral reef in Australia, and more than a thousand kilometres of underwater forests, supporting incredible…
Turtles are among the species that could be harmed by dredging, even under the government’s new dredge dumping rules. AAP Image/University of QLD

Six ways Australia is selectively reporting to the UN on the Great Barrier Reef

The Australian government’s latest report on the Great Barrier Reef, submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre last Friday, has been carefully crafted and word-smithed, with many of its claims supported…
The day after: a Sri Lankan man begins the slow process of rebuilding. EPA/Mike Nelson

Ten years after the Boxing Day tsunami, are coasts any safer?

Ten years ago we witnessed one of the worst natural disasters in history, when a huge earthquake off the coast of Sumatra triggered a devastating tsunami which swept across the Indian Ocean. An estimated…
Apollo Bay in Victoria. Australia’s coastal towns are vulnerable to changes in the surrounding seas. ccdoh1/Flickr

Your coastal town’s climate score? There’s a website for that

Australia’s coastal towns, many built around fisheries and tourism, are particularly vulnerable to climate change. South east and south west Australia are marine hotspots — they are warming much faster…
A king tide in New Zealand, part of a project documenting what future sea level rise might look like. Witness King Tides/Flickr

15 years from now, our impact on regional sea level will be clear

Human activity is driving sea levels higher. Australia’s seas are likely to rise by around 70 centimetres by 2100 if nothing is done to combat climate change. But 2100 can seem a long way off. At the moment…
Shark Bay is one of Australia’s 19 World Heritage Areas, home to dolphins, dugongs, and sharks. Matthew Fraser

Climate change threatens Western Australia’s iconic Shark Bay

In the summer of 2010-2011 Western Australia experienced an unprecedented heatwave — but not on land. Between December 2010 and April 2011, sea temperatures off the WA coast reached 3C above average, and…
Bad news for icebergs: oceans in the Southern Hemisphere have been soaking up more heat energy than previously thought. Andrew Meijers/BAS

Southern oceans heating up faster than scientists realised

The upper layers of the world’s oceans have been warming much faster than oceanographers realised over the past few decades…
What would you pull out of the water if you knew you were watched? Dirk.heldmaier

Track boats with GPS to stop illegal fishers draining the seas

The ocean, seen from a beach or from a plane, seems vast, ancient and invulnerable. It’s hard to imagine that 90% of life on earth lives below the waves, across 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of water and…
Drought conditions are set to become more frequent with the changing behaviour of the Indian Ocean. Peripitus/Wikimedia Commons

Drought in store as El Niño’s western cousin to grow stronger

Over the past few months, a lot of attention has been paid to the potentially strong El Niño event brewing in the Pacific Ocean. But there is also the potential for an emerging climate phenomenon in the…
Global shipping is expected to triple by 2060. Let Ideas Compete/Flickr

We need a global conservation agreement for the high seas

The high seas cover about 50% of Earth’s surface and host a major share of the world’s biodiversity, but remain largely ungoverned. With increasing threats to open ocean ecosystems, now more than ever…
The ocean is all stirred up with what we’re doing to it. NASA

The ocean is not just huge, but also hugely important

Carl Sagan’s description of our planet as a “pale blue dot” captured two important elements about the Earth: its loneliness in the enormity of space, and the ocean’s overwhelming dominance of the planet…

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