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Ocean in Focus

Featuring images from the Marine Photobank, these photo stories highlight ocean issues as well as the ability of visual media to promote ocean conservation. Would you like see one of your images as an Ocean in Focus photo ? Please become a contributing member of the Marine Photobank and let your photos work on behalf of the ocean.

Sea and Experience

Gerick Bergsma 2010/Marine Photobank
Gerick Bergsma 2010/Marine Photobank

A visit to the aquarium can be a fun family activity during which colorful aquatic displays such as these Pacific sea nettles at the Monterey Bay Aquarium can be enjoyed. In addition to providing a great opportunity to learn about the ocean and marine animals, many aquariums are leading conservation institutions with in-house research scientists. Some of their conservation efforts both on-site and in the field include habitat preservation, veterinary science, breeding of threatened species, wildlife rehabilitation and science education. The next time you visit an aquarium, ask about its science and conservation efforts and learn what your admission dollars are supporting.

Read more:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium

Look Before You Leap

Amos Nachoum 2009/Marine Photobank
Amos Nachoum 2009/Marine Photobank

Recent years have seen a proliferation of marine protected areas around the world. Some of these protected areas have become sought-after vacation destinations, especially for scuba divers, being that many were established to protect coral reef ecosystems. However, careless recreational diving near coral reefs can be detrimental to their well-being. For example, a recent study of both heavily dived sites and sites protected from diving around Eilat, Israel, found that “annual rates of damage to branching corals were approximately twice as high at a site open to divers than at a closed site, and were intermediate at a site with restricted diving.” The researchers concluded that divers frequently injuring coral colonies increased the corals’ susceptibility to predators and possibly to disease.

Read more:
Guzner, B. et al. 2010. Indirect impacts of recreational scuba diving: patterns of growth and predation in branching stony corals. Bulletin of Marine Science: 86(3): 727-742.