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Rich In Science

To learn more about NOAA Fisheries science, check out these stories and podcasts by our science writer, Rich Press. You can also follow Rich on Twitter @Rich_NOAAFish.

Putting the World in World Sea Turtle Day

June 10, 2016

An interview with NOAA Fisheries biologist and sea turtle scientist Manjula Tiwari.


Tracking El Niño and its Effects on Life in the Ocean

March 30, 2016

An interview with NOAA Fisheries’ two top scientists on the West Coast.


Ghostly Octopod Highlights How Little We Know About Life on Earth

March 11, 2016

In this interview, NOAA Fisheries zoologist Mike Vecchione says that of all the space on Earth that contains multicellular life, over 95 percent of that is in the deep sea. And we know almost nothing about it.


Can the Vaquita be Saved from Extinction?

March 10, 2016

Fewer than 100 vaquita remain, making this species of porpoise the most endangered marine mammal in the world.


Electronic Monitoring: Different Fisheries Require Different Solutions

February 16, 2016

Scientists and fishermen are working together to design electronic monitoring systems, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.


The Sound of Endangered Salmon Surviving

February 1, 2016

In drought-stricken California, scientists track migrating Chinook salmon to make the most efficient use of scarce water resources.


Harmful Algal Blooms: A Sign of Things to Come?

January 27, 2016

An interview with NOAA Fisheries scientist Vera Trainer.


Automatic Whale Detector, Version 2.0

January 13, 2016

Last year scientists combined infrared cameras with image recognition software to automatically detect and count migrating gray whales. This year, they upgraded.


Offshore Aquaculture and the Future of Sustainable Seafood

January 11, 2016

An interview with Dr. Michael Rubino, director of NOAA Fisheries' Office of Aquaculture.


On the Front Lines of Climate Change in the Ocean

December 30, 2015

NOAA Fisheries scientist Bill Peterson tracks the effects of climate change, El Niño, and "The Blob" on life in the ocean.


Atlantic Salmon Recovery: It Takes an Ecosystem

December 7, 2015

An interview with NOAA Fisheries biologist Rory Saunders.


UAV Reveals Killer Whales in Striking Detail

October 21, 2015

Unmanned aerial vehicle allows scientists to study killer whale health and reproduction while also offering a glimpse into the family life of these social animals.


For Endangered Salmon in California, a Very Measured Sip of Cold Water

September 8, 2015

With Chinook salmon facing lethally high stream temperatures, scientists deploy a new device to help manage the dwindling supply of cold water that the fish need to survive.


Fisheries in a Changing Climate

August 25, 2015

Climate change is already having a big effect on our fisheries. In this podcast, Roger Griffis, climate change coordinator for NOAA Fisheries, discusses the challenges and the opportunities ahead.


White Abalone, What Turns You On?

August 10, 2015

To save endangered white abalone, scientists are working to breed them in captivity. But first they have to figure out how to turn white abalone on.


Atlantic Salmon Smolts Survive the Dam but Die Downstream

August 4, 2015

New research reveals that dam passage can leave smolts with long-lasting injuries that make them vulnerable to predators far downstream.


Studying Killer Whales with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

July 24, 2015

A recently published journal article describes how scientists used UAV technology to get an entirely new view of a threatened population of killer whales.


A Handy Field Guide to the Nearshore Marine Fishes of Alaska

July 20, 2015

If you’re a fish biologist in Alaska, download a copy of this Handy Field Guide for your next expedition. And if you’re not, download one anyway. The pictures are awesome and the field guide is free.


Saving the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle

June 17, 2015

The Leatherback is a most unusual species of sea turtle. In the Pacific, it's also among the most endangered.


Sea Turtle Research: Behind the Scenes

June 17, 2015

Ride along with scientists as they capture and tag sea turtles to get the information we need to protect these endangered species.


The Pocket Shark: A Digital Dissection

June 4, 2015

To dissect an extremely rare specimen, scientists wield a digital scalpel.


Scientists Use Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Study Gray Whales from Above

May 28, 2015

A rare opportunity to study how the environment limits the growth of a recovered population of large whales.


For Alaska Pollock Surveys, Things are Looking Up

May 21, 2015

To help estimate fish populations, scientists experiment with seafloor-mounted sonar systems that monitor fish in the water column above.


Scientists Tag First Loggerhead Off U.S. West Coast

May 6, 2015

Data from the satellite tag should help scientists understand what habitats loggerheads use and how to more effectively protect this endangered species.


Sea Lion Strandings – The View from the Rookery

April 30, 2015

NOAA Fisheries wildlife biologist Sharon Melin describes conditions at the sea lion rookeries on the Channel Islands, where pups are going hungry because unusually warm water along the Pacific coast has made it more difficult for their mothers to find food.


How Oil Damages Fish Hearts: 5 Years of Research Since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 16, 2015

Scientists have shown that toxic compounds in oil target the still-forming hearts of larval fish, leading to developmental defects and reduced survival.


Gag Grouper and the Status of Our Fisheries

April 15, 2015

Gag grouper is the 37th stock to be rebuilt since 2000, according to NOAA Fisheries' 2014 Status of Stocks report.


A High-Tech Expedition to Map the Seafloor

April 14, 2015

Scientists with NOAA’s National Ocean Service recently completed an 11-day mission to map undersea habitats in the Caribbean, including coral habitats used by valuable species of reef fish.


Listening for Cod in the Gulf of Maine

March 19, 2015

Scientists and fishermen are working together to locate spawning aggregations of Atlantic cod. The goal is to allow cod and fishermen to each go about their business separately.


Flightless Bird and Manless Flight

March 2, 2015

NOAA Fisheries scientists use an unmanned aerial vehicle to study penguins and other predators in Antarctica. Photo credit: Michelle Goh (used with permission).


Automatic Whale Detector, Version 1.0

February 9, 2015

Scientists have combined infrared cameras with image recognition software to automatically detect and count migrating gray whales.


When Estimating Fish Populations, Seeing is Believing

January 28, 2015

Adding video cameras to fish traps allows scientists to get more precise abundance estimates for several important species of reef fish.


Making the Connection Between Climate and Fisheries: QA with a NOAA Scientist

January 21, 2015

Learn what NOAA Fisheries scientist Jon Hare has to say about how fish are responding to changing ocean temperatures and what we need to do about it.


Sea Turtles Rescued from the Cold

December 23, 2014

A record number of sea turtles have stranded after being cold-stunned this fall. The Sea Turtle Stranding Network is bringing them in from the cold.


ShoreZone: Art Meets Science on the Alaska Coastline

December 15, 2014

Take a look at incredible images from ShoreZone, an online database that’s sort of like a Google Street View for the Alaska coastline. Learn how NOAA Fisheries and other agencies use ShoreZone data and images.


The OceanAdapt Website: Tracking Fish Populations as the Climate Changes

December 11, 2014

As the oceans warm, fish populations are on the move. A new online database that tracks their movements should help fishermen and fishery managers to adapt.


Atlantic Bluefin Tuna: What Does the Stock Assessment Say?

November 12, 2014

An interview with Dr. Clay Porch, the NOAA Fisheries scientist who chaired the assessment for the Western stock of Atlantic bluefin tuna.


Sea Turtle Skeletons Hold Clues for Conservation

October 30, 2014

The bones of sea turtles have annual rings like those found in trees, and chemical markers within them give scientists a detailed view of the animal's life history.


Butterfish—Little Fish Big Science

October 30, 2014

The new stock assessment for butterfish accounted for the effects of ocean temperatures on the distribution of the stock, something that will become increasingly important as the climate changes and the oceans warm.


An End to Overfishing

October 14, 2014

An interview with Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs at NOAA Fisheries.


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Offers a New View of Killer Whales

October 7, 2014

For the first time, scientists have used an unmanned aerial vehicle to photograph killer whales from above. This gives scientists a new way to monitor killer whale health and reproduction while giving us all a stunning new view of the species.


A Photographic Journey to the Bottom of the Bering Sea

October 2, 2014

Scientists work to ensure that healthy ecosystems and large-scale fishing can continue to co-exist in the Bering Sea.


Satellite Tags Reveal How Animals See the Ocean

September 9, 2014

An interview with NOAA Fisheries scientist Jeffrey Polovina.


Six Surprising Facts About Whale Sharks

August 12, 2014

Whale sharks spend much of their lives wandering the high seas alone, so very little is known about them. The lack of information is surprising, considering that they stand out as the largest fish in existence. Of course you already knew that, but here are six other facts that you might not have known about whale sharks.


Memories of Sharks Past

August 9, 2014

An incisive account of how our knowledge of sharks has grown, from Aristotle to the present day, wins a Best Paper Award from the Marine Fisheries Review.


White Shark Recovery

August 7, 2014

New research reveals that Atlantic white sharks, which were hunted indiscriminately for almost two decades following the release of the movie Jaws, have slowly been making a comeback.


The Bycatch You Can't See

July 28, 2014

Researchers tackle unseen crab mortality in Alaskan groundfish fisheries, win Best Paper Award.


Gray Whale Calves Born in Big Numbers

July 17, 2014

NOAA Fisheries scientists keep track of how many gray whale calves are born each winter, and it looks like this was a banner year for calf production.


How to get DNA from a Dolphin

July 9, 2014

A scientist at the NOAA Fisheries National Systematics Lab studies dolphins by analyzing their DNA. But first, she has to get their DNA.


Probiotics on the Shellfish Farm

June 23, 2014

NOAA Fisheries scientists develop a new, environmentally friendly technology to increase yields at oyster hatcheries.


Underwater Robots Search for Sea Turtles

June 19, 2014

Scientists test out a new tool for keeping track of endangered populations of sea turtles: submersible robots with side-scan sonar.


For Rescued Sea Turtle Eggs, A Slim Chance at Survival

June 18, 2014

NOAA Fisheries veterinarian, Brian Stacy, describes a very unusual attempt to rescue the eggs of a sea turtle that was hit and killed by a boat.


Canyons, Corals, and Sustainable Fishing in the Bering Sea

June 3, 2014

Should the Bering Sea canyons be closed to fishing to protect sensitive habitats? Here are a few FAQs about the science and the decision-making.


Salmon Restoration and PIT Tags: Big Data from a Small Device

May 16, 2014

One of the biggest tools in salmon restoration is about the size of a grain of rice.


Antarctic Minke Whales, Mystery Soundmakers of the Southern Ocean

April 23, 2014

Scientists have discovered the source of the "bio-duck" sound, a strange noise that has mystified scientists and submarine captains in the ocean off Antarctica for decades.


NOAA Fisheries Economist Receives Presidential Early Career Award

April 14, 2014

Alan Haynie is being recognized for his innovative work to ensure that fishery rules promote sustainable fishing.


To Manage Fish Populations, Scientists Study an Entire Ecosystem

April 9, 2014

Scientists seek to understand how physical and biological forces combine to drive fish productivity in the Gulf of Alaska.


How to Disentangle a Tangled Up Whale

March 29, 2014

Every year, scores of whales become entangled in fishing gear off the U.S. Atlantic coast. The Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network works to save them.


How Oil Affects Fish Populations: 25 Years of Research Since Exxon Valdez

March 24, 2014

Before Exxon Valdez, scientists focused on the visibly obvious and acute impacts of oil spills. Today they also focus on the subtle, lingering, and more widespread effects.


Pollock Is Pollock

March 13, 2014

According to the American Fisheries Society, the scientific name for Alaska pollock has changed. But it will take several years for all the agencies that regulate trade in seafood products to update their nomenclature. In the meantime, it’s business as usual.


Secret Route of Sea Turtles Revealed for First Time

March 11, 2014

Scientists recently mapped the migration routes of baby loggerhead sea turtles for the first time. It took four scientists and one manicurist to make this breakthrough possible.


A Changing Climate in Fisheries Management

February 13, 2014

How will we manage fish populations as the climate changes? NOAA Fisheries biologist John Manderson is working on one small piece of the puzzle.


Killer in Distress

December 23, 2013

Scientists are working to understand why the population of Southern Resident killer whales isn’t rebounding, and what we can do to help them recover.


Feeds of the Future

November 4, 2013

To ensure a sustainable future for aquaculture, scientists are developing alternative aquaculture feeds that use few or no ingredients from wild caught fish.


Behind the Scenes: A NOAA Fisheries Research Expedition

October 18, 2013

NOAA scientists conduct fish surveys all along U.S. coasts. The data from these surveys are used to set sustainable catch limits, ensuring we can enjoy a healthy supply of seafood now and in the future. Get a first hand look at a fish survey.


The Giant Oarfish

October 24, 2013

A NOAA biologist who necropsied this strange and mysterious fish shares his theory of how two of them ended up on the beach.


Blinded by the Noise—Whales and Dolphins in a Noisy Ocean

September 3, 2013

Many marine mammals use hearing to find their way through the world. But parts of the ocean are filling up with man-made noise, and that has the potential to leave them partially blinded. The CETSOUND project might help.


Hooked On Sharks

August 4, 2013

Can a special type of hook called a circle hook help vulnerable shark populations to recover? Scientists and fishermen team up to find out.


The Case of the Dead Dolphin

June 27, 2013

When a NOAA marine biologist performs a necropsy on a dolphin that washed up dead on the beach, she’s not only monitoring the health of marine mammals. She’s monitoring human health as well.


Keeping An Eye On Pollock

June 3, 2013

Scientists and fishermen work together to understand how walleye pollock respond to a changing environment.


The Keratin Connection: A Breakthrough in Sea Turtle Research

May 16, 2013

Experts with very different backgrounds join forces to protect endangered sea turtles.


Saving Coho Salmon: It's All About the Timing

May 16, 2013

As NOAA biologists work to re-establish runs of coho salmon in California, they aim to bring back some of the diversity of the wild populations that once thrived there.


To Protect Fin Whales, Scientists Work on Their Listening Skills

May 16, 2013

Scientists map out distinct populations of endangered fin whales based on differences in their song.