Oceanus

This magazine provides research, news and features in oceanography, coastal research, marine life, deep-ocean exploration, ocean technology and policy and the ocean's role in climate.

Articles from Vol. 43, No. 2, 2004

Can We Catch More Fish and Still Preserve the Stock?
Mathematical analyses offer new insights into age-old controversies on fishing restrictionsNear the town of Webster in southern Massachusetts there is a small lake with a long name: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The correct translation,...
Coral Gardens in the Dark Depths
Scientists seek to learn more about these abundant, fragile, and now-threatened communitiesThe words "coral reefs" conjure up images of a tropical paradise: shallow, warm, aquamarine waters, bright sunlight, white sand, and colorful, darting fish. But...
CT Scan Menagerie
Peering into whale heads-without the loss of tissue and time that normal dissections cause-was the initial motivation for using a CT scanner for marine mammal research, but our current scanner has had more than its share of other types of species and...
Discovering Life and Sustaining Habitats
The Ocean Life InstituteThe oceans cover 70 percent of the planets surface and constitute 99 percent of its living space, and every drop of ocean water holds living things. Without its oceans, Earth would be a rock in space, and life may never have appeared...
Do Marine Protected Areas Really Work?
Georges Bank experiment provides clues to longstanding questions about closing areas to fishingClosing parts of the ocean to fishing to preserve fish stocks holds great intuitive appeal. Similar resource management tools have been used as far back as...
Down to the Sea on (Gene) Chips
The genomics revolution is transforming the way scientists can study life in the oceansA half-century ago, James Watson and Francis Crick (aided by Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins) discovered the double-helical structure of deoxyribonucleic acid...
How to See What Whales Hear
Biomedical imaging reveals new insights into marine mammal earsOn summer nights, if you sit quietly at the edge of a field or watch the edges of the light pools around street lamps, you will see bats swooping through shadowy darkness in search of moths...
In Tiny Ear Bones, the Life Story of a Giant Bluefin Tuna
The Atlantic bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, is one of the fastest, most powerful and most beautiful offish. It is also the most expensive. Highly prized by sushi connoisseurs, a single giant fish of 1,400 pounds may sell for $40,000.The tuna's high price...
Life in the Arctic Ocean
Distinctive species and environmental factors combine to create a unique, complex food webCapped with a formidable ice and snow cover, plunged into total darkness during the winter, buffeted by blizzard winds, and bitterly cold, the Arctic Ocean is one...
Little Things Matter A Lot
Overlooked in the ocean until the 1970s, cyanobacteria are among Earth's most important organismsWhen people think of bacteria, they usually think of germs-disease-causing agents that threaten human health. In reality, bacteria make life on Earth possible.One...
Playing Tag with Whales
Engineers overcome nightmarish specifications to create a dream instrumentThe challenge of designing a device to learn what marine mammals do on dives is the stuff of dreams for an electronics engineer.In the spring of 1999, the time was right to build...
Revealing the Ocean's Invisible Abundance
Scientists develop new instruments to study microbes at the center of the ocean food webMicrobes. They are invisible to the naked eye, but they play a critical role in keeping our planet habitable. They are everywhere, in abundant numbers, but are still...
Run Deep, but Not Silent
A new tagging device lets scientists 'go along for the ride' into the underwater world of whalesWhales are among the most elusive animals that humans have ever hunted. Pursuing whales across the seas and centuries, whalers made careful observations of...
Scientists Muster to Help Right Whales
With time running out, an ambitious research plan is launched for an endangered speciesIt is a sad irony that we have cataloged individual photographs of the remaining North Atlantic right whales and given each of them unique numbers and sometimes names,...
Sensors to Make Sense of the Sea
An expanding variety of sensors is changing they way we monitor dynamic ocean systemsIn science, the key to understanding any situation is careful observations and measurements. The key to observing and measuring, however, is being there-in the moment-and...
Shedding Light on Light in the Ocean
New research is illuminating an optically complex underwater environmentLight in the ocean is like light in no other place on Earth. It is a world that is visibly different from our familiar terrestrial world, and one that marine animals, plants, and...
The Deeps of Time in the Depths of the Ocean
Discoveries of unusual marine microbes are radically changing our views about the evolution of lifeAt the helm of the Endeavor, James Cook set sail from England in 1768. He rounded Cape Horn in January 1769, entering the vast, unexplored Pacific and...
The Ocean Institutes
In 2000, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution established tour Ocean Institutes to accelerate advances in knowledge about the oceans and to convey discoveries expeditiously into the public realm. The Ocean Institutes' goals are to catalyze innovative...
The Secret Lives of Fish
Scientists learn to read the 'diary' recorded in the ear bones offishThe ocean's once-abundant fisheries-a resource that helps feed the world and drives multi-billion-dollar economies-are rapidly being depleted. Seventy percent of the ocean's fish are...
Tracking Fish to Save Them
The Reef Fish Connectivity and Conservation InitiativeFor decades, the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) was one of the most sought-after fish species in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, from the Bahamas to Central America. These large, delicious...
Voyages into the Antarctic Winter
Pioneering cruises into the pack ice of the Southern Ocean reveal secrets of its fertile ecosystemAt the extreme end of the Earth, Antarctica is a vast, rocky continent, mostly ice-covered and barren. Surrounding Antarctica, the Southern Ocean is equally...
Whither the North Atlantic Right Whale?
Researchers explore many facets of whales' lives to help a species on the edge of extinctionFor millions of years, the North Atlantic Ocean has been home to right whales. In winter, they gave birth to calves off the shores of West Africa in the eastern...
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