Marine Conservation Biology Institute Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Marine Conservation Biology Institute

MCBI in the News

  Sylvia Earle  
  MCBI board member Sylvia Earle featured in the New YorkTimes article Mapping the Sea and its Mysteries.
(Photo: Kip Evans)

MCBI’s work and staff are cited in numerous newspapers, magazines, and journals. Here’s a selection of these news stories and journal articles.

Gulf Corals in Spill Zone Appear Healthy -

October 22nd, 2010 (This AP news story features MCBI scientist Sandra Brooke)

Just 20 miles north of where BP's blown-out well spewed millions of gallons of oil into the sea, life appears bountiful despite initial fears that crude could have wiped out many of these delicate deepwater habitats. Read more...

Global Coral Bleaching Another Sign of Global Warming-

September 24, 2010 (This NRDC article features MCBI president Elliott Norse) A front page story in the New York Times this week provided another stark reminder that global warming is already changing our world. In addition to the record heat waves, deadly floods, and dangerous wildfires of this summer, we must now add another indicator of climate disruption: widespread coral bleaching

Code Blue — September 23rd, 2010
(This Time article about MCBI board member Sylvia Earle also features MCBI president Elliott Norse). The Sargasso Sea has no shores. The 2 million-sq.-mi. body of water in the middle of the Atlantic is defined by two features: the ocean currents forming the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, which cycles around the sea, and sargassum, the free-floating golden-brown seaweed. Read more…

Reefs at risk: Roundup at the not-so-OK coral corral— August 24, 2010
(This Scientific American article quotes MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte).  Coral, the reef-building organisms responsible for some of the oceans' most vital ecosystems, are in trouble around the world because of climate change, ocean acidification and human interference. But lots of people are also trying to save coral reefs before it's too late. Here's a roundup of some of the latest research into this important class of organism. Read more…

Coral doctor sounds the alarm about more acidic seas— August 20, 2010
(This Grist article features MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte).  The ocean has been our savior.  Besides generating about two thirds of the oxygen we breathe, oceangoing phytoplankton -- those floating microscopic plants that form the base of the aquatic food chain -- absorb about a third of all the carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere. In this way, the oceans have managed to slow the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and stave off even more dramatic warming of the planet. Read more…

Coral doctor sounds the alarm about more acidic seas— August 4, 2010
(This Nature article features MCBI President Elliott Norse ).  TMarine biologists are developing an appreciation for conservation, a change that is creating new jobs. Read more…

Acidification threatens wide swath of sea life- July 31, 2010
(This Seattle Times Article quotes MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte).  Inside the burbling tubs of the Taylor Shellfish hatchery here, oysters are incubating once again. But no one believes things are really back to normal.  Several years after oyster larvae around the Northwest began dying by the billions, hatcheries like this one are again ramping up production.  Read more…

Obama Enacts Ocean Zoning— July 19, 2010
(This Shepherdstown Observer article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse).  Amid the ongoing coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a major development in how we use and manage offshore waters has gone virtually unnoticed. On July 19th President Obama issued an executive order directing federal agencies to develop plans to, in effect, zone the oceans within U.S. territorial waters, a plan somewhat similar to the way local governments zone on land. Read more…

Coral Reefs Threatened by Oil Spill — May 17th, 2010

(This Jackson Free Press article features MCBI Coral Conservation Director Sandra Brooke). Marine scientists are concerned about the future of the Gulf's coral reefs because of the unknown effects of dispersants, mixed with oil gushing from the ragged remnants of British Petroleum's decimated deepwater offshore oil rig. Read more...

Local Oil Spill Impact? Ask Your Fishmarket — May 3rd, 2010

(This NBC News report features MCBI President Dr. Elliott Norse and friend of MCBI John Amos of Skytruth). Seafood vendors and customers and environmentalists are concerned about the potential fallout from the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Watch Video ...

Drowned Out — April 13th, 2010

(This article features MCBI Vice President for Science, Dr. Lance Morgan ). The tiny, rigid-hull inflatable boats that researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography use for whale tagging are a mere fraction of the size of the blue whales they are deployed to search for. But Scripps PhD candidate Megan McKenna says there's no reason to worry about the mammoth creatures — which can weigh as many tons as 27 elephants put together — bumping up against the boat when she reaches overboard with a pole to tag them. Read more...

Oil drilling plan heightens need for national ocean policy— April 1st, 2010

(This article features MCBI President, Elliott Norse). To look out at Puget Sound on a clear day is to be dazzled by its beauty. But that's just the surface. Elliott Norse, president of Marine Conservation Biology Institute, a non-profit in Bellevue, struggles with the fundamental problem of public awareness about what's underneath. Read more...

An Ocean Policy for the Future — March 22nd, 2010

(An Op-Ed by MCBI's President, Elliott Norse). We must make room for all legitimate ocean interests that can win public support in their regions. And we must do ecosystem-based planning to recover marine ecosystems and generate new jobs. It's not either/or; it's got to be both. Read more...

The Sprit of our Oceans — February 2nd, 2010

(This interview by Karen Titanich on Sprit Connections features MCBI's President, Elliott Norse). Water covers more of the planet’s surface than land does. Yet, how much do we really know about our oceans? For many of us, the oceans are a mysterious place. We likely know more about outer space than the planet’s oceans. This week, Karen will help you discover the wonder of our oceans. She will discuss efforts underway to conserve and protect the oceans. Join Karen as she talks with Dr. Elliott Norse of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI). Listen (mp3)...

UN may curtail 400-year-old 'freedom of the seas' — December 10th, 2009

(This article in The Times features the Director of MCBI's High Seas Program, Jeff Ardron.) The 400-year-old freedom of the high seas would be lost under United Nations plans to limit environmental damage. Military forces of several nations are in discussions with conservationists over pooling surveillance resources to enforce the changes. More...

Changes on the High Seas — December 10th, 2009

The Director of MCBI's High Seas Program, Jeff Ardron, was on the radio program Breakfast with Ross on Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) Radio. Listen (mp3)...

Panel calls for new approach to federal ocean management October 7th, 2009

(This Medill News Service article features MCBI board members Dr. Larry Crowder and Dr. Sylvia Earle.)

The Obama administration's Ocean Policy Council is calling for a coordinated approach to restoring fragile ocean areas, many of which have been damaged by decades of piecemeal management decisions by the federal government. More...

Ocean Task Force Has a Big, Deep Blue Job Ahead September 21st, 2009

(This Public News Service interview features MCBI President Elliott Norse.)

Washington already has a major effort underway to clean up Puget Sound, while a task force meeting around the country is charged with creating the first national policy for managing oceans. More...

Deep Sea Coral Reefs — Summer, 2009

(This Going Green article features MCBI's Coral Conservation Director Sandra Brooke.)

The deep sea, once thought to be a
cold, dark, and relatively lifeless zone, is
yielding surprising new information. More...

Executive Managed Research in Antarctica, Devoted Himself to Protection of Marine Mammals— August 9th, 2009

(This obituary was written for MCBI Board Member John R. Twiss. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.)

John R. Twiss Jr., 71, a retired executive director of the first government agency dedicated to the protection of marine mammals, died July 23 at his home in The Plains of complications from Parkinson's disease. More...

A World Without Whales? — August 8th, 2009

(This Huffington Post article was written by MCBI Board Member Philippe Cousteau.)

The water was the kind of blue usually reserved for color saturated photographs that hang on the walls of natural history museums; so deep and perfect that one would swear it was fantasy. All around us we could sense the mighty creatures even before they appeared out of the abyss. At first a faint shimmering of shadow alerted us to their presence until shadow gave way to form and first one, then two then eight graceful giants slowly emerged from the depths, their unmistakable form as familiar as any...humpback whales! Read more...

Sonoma News— August 3rd, 2009

(This Op-ed piece was written by MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

Here in Sonoma County, we live a little closer to nature than many of our Bay Area neighbors. We know what it means to rely on the land - and the sea - for food, jobs and our quality of life.  And we also know how vital tourist dollars are to our region's economy. More...

Glen Ellen News— May 14th, 2009

(This article features MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

The best e-mail that landed in my in-box this week was the glowing, grinning face of Lance Morgan, emerging from the water in a single-man deep sea diving submarine. It was a winning and happy photo sent to me by Lance's sweetheart, Angela Morgan.

Lance, as we call him in his hometown of Glen Ellen, is also known as Dr. Morgan, an important member of the scientific, deep sea diving expedition, Finding Coral. They will be diving to depths of 500 meters off the British Columbia coast gathering data on corals, associated species and damage from human impacts. As part of his post doctoral research, Lance studied corals and wrote the influential "Shifting Gears" study which focused on collateral damage from commercial fishing. More...

Commission Hears Final Testimony on North Coast Ocean Protection Plan— May 14th, 2009

(This article features MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

Today in Sacramento, the Fish and Game Commission is holding a public comment hearing on plans for a network of underwater parks, or marine protected areas (MPAs), along California's north central coast (between Half Moon Bay and Point Arena). More...

Slide Show: Glimpses of Undersea Life at Nation's New Marine Monuments— May 13th, 2009

(This Scientific American article features MCBI Vice President for Government Affairs Bill Chandler)

With a stroke of his pen, former President George W. Bush created three new marine monuments some 2.5 times larger than the entire U.S. national park system. The ocean reserves in the remote Pacific are bigger than Texas—335,000 square miles (540,000 square kilometers) of ocean in all concentrated around U.S.-controlled islands—and "the largest conservation area ever protected anywhere on Earth," says William Chandler, vice president for government affairs at the Marine Conservation Biology Institute. More...

Scientists solve mystery of missing basking sharks — May 12th, 2009

(This Christain Science Monitor article features MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Head south, young basking shark. Way, way south. And way deep, while you’re at it. That’s the unexpected advice the world’s second largest fish seem to be taking — at least in the Western Atlantic.  To some marine scientists, the newly discovered itineraries these gentle giants follow could have significant conservation implications. More...

Increased federal funding planned for endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal

— March 3rd, 2009

(This Garden Island article features MCBI Hawaii Program Director Keiko Bonk)

In response to conservation efforts for America’s most endangered marine mammal, Hawai‘i is expected to receive some $5.7 million for fiscal year 2009 to support the NOAA Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Plan. The funding marks a $3.6 million increase over last year’s amount. More...

Protection of marine areas praised

— January 19th, 2009

(This cbs news features MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

The coral reef exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences is about as close as most people will ever get to a pristine coral reef growing with no threat of pollution or overfishing, but Academy scientists are thrilled that President Bush recently authorized the protection of some of the world's last remaining untouched coral reefs, thousands of miles away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. More...

Mapping the Sea and Its Mysteries

— January 12th, 2009

(This New York Times article features MCBI board member Sylvia Earle)

In 1953, when Sylvia A. Earle began studying algae, the marine plants and related microbes were often considered weeds or worse. Boaters ridiculed them as scum that turned patches of sea into pea soup.Today, Dr. Earle notes that just one type — Prochlorococcus, so small that millions can fit in a drop of water — has achieved fame as perhaps the most abundant photosynthetic organism on the planet. It daily releases countless tons of oxygen into the atmosphere. More...

Saving the Seas

— January 10th, 2009

Why George Bush has created three giant marine reserves in the Pacific. More...

Green Bush

— January 8th, 2009

In the dying days of his administration, George Bush has done something remarkable for a man unlikely to be remembered as a friend of the environment. With an eye, perhaps, on his legacy he has pulled off the largest marine-conservation effort in history. More...

Bush orders new protections for Pacific marine seascapes

— January 6th, 2009

(This Christain Science Monitor article quotes MCBI Vice President for Policy William Chandler )

A century after Teddy Roosevelt started preserving landmarks and landscapes as national monuments, President Bush has swept nearly 200,000 square miles of seascapes into three new national marine monuments around US Pacific territories. More...

Bush creates world's largest set of marine sanctuaries

— January 5th, 2009

President George W. Bush has designated three national monuments around 11 Pacific islands, White House officials said today. The marine preserves, which include the Mariana Trench, the Rose Atoll in American Samoa, and several islands in the central Pacific, spans 505,000 square kilometers--about the size of Spain--making it the largest area ever protected in one swoop. More...

Bush casts wide net for marine conservation

— January 5th, 2009

(This CNN article quotes MCBI Vice President for Policy William Chandler )

U.S. President George W. Bush on Tuesday will designate nine sites in three areas of the central Pacific as marine national monuments, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Monday. More...

Fishery killing gamut of marine life, scientists say

— December 15th, 2008

(This Globe and Mail article is about MCBI's newest repot: How We Fish Matters )

Destructive practices, especially bottom trawling and gillnet fishing, must be reduced to end collateral damage, report warns. More...

Bush's pushes for marine reserves — December 7th, 2008
(This Christain Science Monitor article quotes MCBI Vice President for Policy William Chandler )

In its waning weeks, the Bush administration is sorting through options that could lead to the largest marine conservation reserves in United States history. More...

Bush's Tropical Paradise — November 26th, 2008
(This Popular Science article quotes MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan)

The president sets in motion the largest ocean preserve ever—but will industry kill it? More...

Saving the Fish Banks — November 24th, 2008
(This American Prospect article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse )

The U.S. has made improvements in managing its stocks but only compared to the rest of the world. More...

Bush to go out with a green bang? — November22nd, 2008
(This New Scientist article quotes MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan)

ONE of the George W. Bush's final acts as US president could be to create the largest marine conservation area in the world. White House officials say that Bush is considering a proposal to turn up to 2.3 million square kilometres of tropical waters, coral reefs and remote island atolls in the Pacific Ocean into US National Monuments. More...

Obama urged to end overfishing — November 13th, 2008
(This Rutgers article quotes MCBI board member Jim Greenwood )

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama could protect ocean wildlife and save jobs in commercial fisheries by ending widespread overfishing, environmental and economic leaders and scientists reported on Thursday. More...

Garbage piling up on Hawaiian Islands — August 5th, 2008
(This AP article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Cleanup efforts have slowed and garbage continues to pile up in a remote chain of Pacific islands that President Bush two years ago made the biggest and most environmentally protected area of ocean in the world. More...

A Road Less Traveled - Marine Hero - Spring, 2008
(This Brooklyn College Magazine article is about MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Elliott Norse, ’69, knew what he wanted to be since he was five years old, although it was unlikely he could pronounce it at the time: an ichthyologist, which is to say he wanted to study fish. Growing up in Gerritsen Beach—“with an estuary for my backyard”—Norse says his true friends were always the sea creatures he observed endlessly. More...

Deep Sea Fishing Devastates Ocean Ecosystems, Destroys Fish Stocks— July 6th, 2008
(This Natural News article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Ecologists warn that the most destructive form of fishing is becoming more prevalent, with potentially disastrous consequences for ocean life.

"Industrial fisheries are now going thousands of miles, thousands of feet deep and catching things that live hundreds of years in the least protected place on Earth," said Elliott Norse, president of Marine Conservation Biology Institute. "They are roving bandits using state of the art technologies to plunder." More...

Midocean trawlers mine world's seamounts Unregulated fishing fleets work fast and deep, but rising cost of fuel may rein them in before laws do so — June 19th, 2008
(This Christian Science Monitor article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

In the mid-1970s, fishing boats came across great aggregations of a reddish fish around underwater mountains, called seamounts, near New Zealand, a kilometer deep. A century before, fishermen had discovered the same species in the northeast Atlantic. But never had anyone encountered schools this dense. Characterized by a blunt face lined with mucosal glands, the fish wasn’t exactly handsome. But its flesh, which tasted vaguely of shrimp, was white, firm, and delicate. The only problem: the name. The fish was called “slimehead.” So “some smart marketer,” in the words of one expert, rechristened it “orange roughy.” And a new high-end fishery was born. More...

Bush Eyes Unprecedented Conservation Program — May 23rd, 2008
(MCBI President Elliott Norse participates in this NPR - All Things Considered episode)

The Bush administration is considering launching one of the biggest conservation programs in U.S. history.

If implemented, President George W. Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world — far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. More...

Marine Life Gasping for Breath? — May 1st, 2008
(This ScienceNOW Daily News article quotes MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte)

Chalk up another environmental problem that could be stemming from global warming: New research shows that oxygen is vanishing from ever-larger swaths of the oceans. If the trend continues, it could disrupt marine ecosystems. More...

Money Key to Saving Monk Seal — May 1st, 2008
(This Honolulu Advertiser article quotes Hawaii Programs Director Keiko Bonk, and MCBI Vice President for Policy Bill Chandler )

Saving the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal from extinction requires millions more federal dollars and a widespread effort that includes businesses, organizations and residents, marine experts said yesterday. More...

Group Seeks Seal-Recovery Funds — May 1st, 2008
(This Honolulu Star Bulletin article quotes Hawaii Programs Director Keiko Bonk, MCBI Vice President for Policy Bill Chandler, and MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

Funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's recovery plan for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal population falls short, critics charge. More...

Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals Need Funding — April 30th, 2008
(This KHNL Nightly News story quotes MCBI Vice President for Policy Bill Chandler)

As one of the most endangered marine mammals in America, the fight to save the Hawaiian Monk Seal is going national. Hawaiian monk seals, like those at the Waikiki Aquarium, could be extinct by the end of this century. More...

Surviving the Ocean Acid Test — April 17th, 2008
(This ScienceNOW Daily News article quotes MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte)

espite dire warnings about the dangers of carbon dioxide (C02) buildup in Earth's atmosphere, the phenomenon may harm some residents of the ocean less than others. Researchers have found that one species of plankton seems to thrive on ocean changes due to increased CO2 content. The study serves as a reminder that nature can be more adaptive and resilient than expected when facing environmental challenges--although what those adaptations will mean for marine ecosystems remains an open question. More...

Bottom Trawling Impacts on Ocean, Clearly Visible From Space— February 18th, 2008
(This Science Daily article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse and the other participants in the MCBI hosted symposium at AAAS on bottom trawling )

Bottom trawling, an industrial fishing method that drags large, heavy nets across the seafloor stirs up huge, billowing plumes of sediment on shallow seafloors that can be seen from space. More...

New Research Reveals Shark Superhighways and Hotspots — February 17th, 2008
(This Science Daily article quotes MCBI Vice President for Science Lance Morgan )

The worlds sharks are disappearing. These fearsome yet charismatic fish continue to fall victim to overfishing and many are now at risk of extinction as a result. More...

Lautenberg bill on ocean study released by committee— December 5th, 2007

A bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., to address rising acidity levels in the ocean caused by burning fossil fuels cleared a big hurdle Tuesday.

The bill was released by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Lautenberg hopes it is heading for a full Senate vote, whether it stands alone or is tacked onto other legislation, before the year is out. More...

Conservationists and Fishers Face Off Over Hawaii's Marine Riches — July 19th, 2007
(This Science article quotes MCBI Vice President for Government Affairs Bill Chandler)

The school of bigeye jacks was right where Alan Friedlander of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s biogeography branch said it would be, circling slowly at the mouth of Hanauma Bay, a protected area just 15 kilometers from the skyscrapers of downtown Honolulu. There must have been close to 200 fish, each about 50 centimeters long and utterly unafraid as Friedlander, a marine biologist, glided through them. More...

Corals: Suffereing from Whiplash — June 22nd, 2007
(This Science article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

What a difference 48 hours makes: On 13 June, delegates to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted to list all species in the genus Corallium (pink and red corals) in Appendix II, which limits trade. But on 15 June, after the conference was scheduled to end, they voted by secret ballot to reverse that decision, leaving the jewel-like colonies to the mercy of the coral hunters who scrape the sea floor with heavy trawlers for their prey. More...

The Fading Forests of the Sea — July 2-9, 2007
(This Newsweek article quotes MCBI Biogeographer John Guinotte)

Coral reefs are often called the rain forests of the sea. And like their terrestrial counterparts, they're in big trouble. Since 1980, an estimated 20 percent of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed—a number that could well triple by the end of the century. More...

CITES: Species, business in the balance — June 11th, 2007
(This National Public Radio program interviews MCBI President Elliott Norse)

A commission is meeting in The Hague to hammer out trade laws to help save species in peril. But the panel's actions can have some unforeseen consequences on niche industries. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports. More...

Our Opinion: Deep-sea fish are on the line — February 21st, 2007
(This Santa Barbara News story mentions MCBI President Elliott Norse)

The overfishing off California and other coastlines around the world has been well-documented, with destructive practices ranging from trawling of the ocean bottom to the lack of proper fishery management plans to help individual species make a comeback. More...

Overfishing Imperils Fish in Deep Waters— February 21st, 2007
(This AP story quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse, and ran in over 180 papers and web sites and has been reported in the USA, the UK, Germany, Netherlands, India, Namibia, South Africa, and Australia)

With declining catches close to shore, commercial fishing is turning to deeper waters, threatening species that live in the cold and gloom of the deep oceans, according to researchers. More...

The Last Wild Hunt: Deep-sea Fisheries Scrape Bottom of the Sea — February 17th, 2007
(SeaWeb press release on the AAAS Symposium Session The World's Last Wildlife Hunt and quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

At a 9 am press conference at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting (AAAS) on February 18th, an international team of leading fisheries economists, biologists, and ecologists will call for the abolition of government fuel subsidies that keep deep-sea fishing vessels moving to deeper waters. More...

Canada Fights Ban on "Bulldozers of the Sea" — October 13, 2006
(This story quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Canada is trying to scuttle a proposed United Nations moratorium on destructive bottom trawling of the open ocean that has received surprisingly strong support from the United States, as well as other countries. More...

White House Joins International Call for Ban on Deep Sea Trawling — October 11, 2006
(This story lauds MCBI for thier work supporting a ban on high seas bottom trawling)

Following an international plea by a coalition of 60 environmental groups concerned about the health of marine ecosystems, the Bush administration last week joined dozens of other countries in calling on the United Nations to institute an international moratorium on unregulated high seas bottom trawling. Scientists say the fishing practice is destroying some of the world's rarest and most sensitive ocean habitats. More...

NOAA Names Nancy Foster Award Recipient for Habitat Conservation — September 12, 2006
(NOAA News Release on MCBI president Elliott Norse winning the Nancy Foster award)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named Elliott A. Norse as the 2006 recipient of the Nancy Foster Award for Habitat Conservation. NOAA announced the award at the annual American Fisheries Society meeting in Lake Placid, N.Y. More...

A Chemical Imbalance — August 3, 2006
(This LA Times story quotes MCBI marine biogeographer John Guinotte)

Scientists report that the seas are more acidic today than they have been in at least 650,000 years. At the current rate of increase, ocean acidity is expected, by the end of this century, to be 2 1/2 times what it was before the Industrial Revolution began 200 years ago. More...

Growing Acidity of Oceans May Kill Corals — July 5, 2006
(This Washington Post story features MCBI marine biogeographer John Guinotte)

The escalating level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is making the world's oceans more acidic, government and independent scientists say. They warn that, by the end of the century, the trend could decimate coral reefs and creatures that underpin the sea's food web. More...

Vast Hawaii Sea Area Becomes National Monument — June 15, 2006
(This National Public Radio story features MCBI President Elliott Norse)

A vast chain of remote Hawaiian islands, teeming with endangered sea life, has become the nation's newest national monument — a nd the largest patch of protected ocean on earth. President Bush bestowed monument status on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which span 1,200 nautical miles. More...

Bush creates world’s biggest ocean preserve — June 15, 2006
(This NBC story features MCBI president Elliott Norse)

President Bush created the world's largest marine protected area — a group of remote Hawaiian islands that cover 84 million acres and are home to 7,000 species of birds, fish and marine mammals, at least a quarter of which are unique to Hawaii. At a White House ceremony, the president designated the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the United States’ 75th national monument. More...

Pombo's fishing bill limits power of sanctuaries: Magnuson-Stevens Act would have final say over marine waters —May 15, 2006
(This Inside Bay Area story quotes MCBI vice president Bill Chandler)

Deep in a fishing bill before Congress is a clause that would wrest control of fisheries inside marine sanctuaries — such as the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary just west of San Francisco and Marin — away from sanctuary managers. The bill voids the carte blanche managers now have to write rules for fisheries within their waters. More...

Deep-sea corals in danger: Study finds reefs could turn brittle from global warming — April 3, 2006
(This Seattle P-I story quotes MCBI biogeographer John Guinotte)

Even the coldest, darkest depths of the world's oceans can't escape the harmful effects of global warming -- and that includes deep-sea corals, local researchers have found. The scientists are connecting the ocean's increasing absorption of carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels -- with changes in the chemistry of seawater. More carbon dioxide leads to a reduced supply of calcium compounds used by corals and other marine creatures to build their shells. More...

Fishing ban in reserve sought — Oct 25, 2005
(This Star Bulletin story quotes MCBI's report on bottomfish fishery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands)

Commercial fishing that is responsible for about a third of Hawaii's bottom-fish catch is threatening the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, two national conservation organizations said yesterday. The Ocean Conservancy and the Marine Conservation Biology Institute recommended that fishermen be paid to stop fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. More...

Scientists Fear Oceans on the Cusp Of a Wave of Marine Extinctions — August 22, 2005
(This Washington Post news story quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Dozens of biologists believe the seas have reached a tipping point, with scores of species of ocean-dwelling fish, birds and mammals edging towards extinction. Although a number of previous extinctions involved birds and marine mammals, it is the fate of many fish that now worries experts. The large-scale industrialization of the fishing industry after World War II, coupled with a global boom in ocean-front development and a rise in global temperatures, is causing fish populations to plummet.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands must be protected — June 7, 2005
(MCBI Chief Scientist Lance Morgan wrote this letter to the editor of the Honolulu Advertiser)

The Hawai`i public has repeatedly shown its overwhelming support for full protection in the NWHI. Protections in federal waters should match the full protection recently passed in state NWHI waters to ensure that species are not harmed merely by crossing an imaginary boundary.

Empty Nets: Fisheries may be crippling themselves by targeting the big ones — June 5, 2005
(This Science News article features MCBI President Elliott Norse)

In the 1850s, 43 schooners from a single port, Beverly, Mass., plied the North Atlantic’s Scotian shelf, which is prime cod territory in Canadian waters. Over the sides of the ships, crews dropped lines with single hooks and doggedly jigged their bait along the seafloor to entice the big predatory fish. More... [PDF]

Ocean Exploitation Surfaces as Crisis: Widespread Pollution, Overfishing Spur Presidential Panel to Urge New Rules — October 9, 2004
(This Washington Post article quotes MCBI President, Elliott Norse)

Every year in late July, about 30,000 boats descend on this tourist mecca carrying tens of thousands of scuba divers who scour the coral reefs in search of tasty spiny lobsters to catch and eat. Government officials say the two-day frenzy nearly doubled the monthly reports of boats ramming fragile coral heads or grounding on delicate sea grass compared with the month before. More...

Deep trouble in deep blue: Decline of great sea predators imperils ocean ecosystems — May 16, 2004
(MCBI President, Elliott Norse wrote this series of editorials for the Santa Barbara News-Press.)

The first in the series of editorials deals with the decline of great sea predators and discusses the seafood choice movement. Read the first of these compelling opinion pieces.

Longlines lethal to giants of sea — July 18, 2004
Elliott discusses the effect that longline fishing is having on the large predators in the world's oceans.

Read the second in the series of opinion pieces, as well as a piece by the Santa Barbara News-Press Editorial Staff on Dynamic Marine Reserves.

Atlantic coral detected off coast of Washington — June 11, 2004
(This Seattle Times article discusses the research cruise that MCBI Chief Scientist Lance Morgan took part in.)

Scientists exploring underseas waters off the Olympic Peninsula have made a rare Pacific sighting of a classic hard coral found in the deep Atlantic, a branching white species known as Lophelia pertusa. The research was one of the most concerted efforts yet made off Washington's coast to document coral — deep-sea formations that can help provide shelter and food for a wide range of fish and other sea life. More...

Deep-sea corals protection call—February 16, 2004
(This BBC news story features the Deep-Sea Coral Scientist Statement that MCBI organized)

More than 1,100 marine scientists have signed a statement calling on the UN and world governments to stop the destruction of deep-sea corals. The researchers want a moratorium on the use of the heavy trawling gear that gouges coral and sponges from the ocean bottom in search of valuable fish. More...

Journey to Middle Ocean: MCBI on the Discovery Channel —February 13, 2004
(This Daily Planet episode features MCBI President Elliott Norse)

MCBI has a new plan to save marine life by creating a preserve in the middle of the ocean. This interview reveals Elliott's thoughts and ideas on benefits, challenges and possibilities for open ocean marine reserves. Click here to watch the interview...

Not just how many fish are caught — September 2003
(This Calypso Log article presents MCBI study Shifting Gears)

The title is a triple-play on words but the subject of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute’s Shifting Gears is deadly serious. Expanding its earlier work documenting the sea-floor devastation caused by bottom trawling , MCBI has produced a frightening analysis of collateral damage—habitat destruction and bycatch—caused by all the major kinds of fishing gear. More... [PDF]

"Dirty Fishing" Emptying Oceans, Experts Say — August 11, 2003
(This National Geographic News article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse and Shifting Gears collaborator Ratana Chuenpagdee)

Across the world's oceans, large commercial fishing boats haul aboard huge nets and 60-mile (97-kilometer) lines teeming with unwanted creatures - bycatch, sometimes referred to as "bykill" or "dirty fishing." Bycatch is a mix of young or low-value fishes, seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles, often considered worthless and tossed overboard - dead or dying. More...

Depths of despair - Trawlers accused of endangering coral, which provide habitat for Pacific fish — August 11, 2003
(This San Francisco Chronicle article quotes MCBI Chief Scientist Lance Morgan)

Vast colonies of living coral are being found in the deep ocean off the West Coast, fragile and slow-growing habitat for sea creatures and an important hunting ground for commercial fishing. Now, even before scientists have had a chance to survey just what's down there, conservationists say the coral is being wrecked by ocean trawlers dragging heavy equipment along the bottom. More...

Under the Sea: Conservation as the Catch of the Day for Trawlnets — July 29, 2003
(This New York Times article quotes MCBI publication Shifting Gears)

For more than six centuries, the wide-mouth bottom-scraping nets called trawls have been praised as the ultimate fishing device and cursed as a wasteful destructive scourge on the seas. Today, thousands of oceangoing trawlers are set up like floating factories, with slanting platforms astern where bulging nets are drawn up and assembly-line operations where the catch is sorted and flash frozen. More...

Challenge to Fishing: Keep Unwanted Species Out of Its Huge Nets — July 29, 2003
(This New York Times article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse)

The most common way to trawl for shrimp is to dredge the ocean floor. As a result, fishermen catch a lot more than shrimp — 3 to 15 pounds of marine life, including fish, turtles and sharks, for every pound of shrimp. Most of that marine collateral damage, known as bycatch, is simply dumped back into the water, dead and dying. More...

Early Whale Population Undercounted, Study Says: Their numbers before commercial hunting may have been much higher than thought — July 25, 2003

(This Los Angeles Times article discusses a study by MCBI's Tegner Grant Awardee Joe Roman and Steve Palumbi)

Before they were harpooned, sliced up and boiled for lamp oil, whales were far more plentiful in the North Atlantic than previously thought, according to new genetic analysis that could thwart any attempt to resume commercial whaling for half a century or more. More...

Orthodox Church Patriarch Says Stop Overfishing, Establish Marine Reserves — July 24, 2003

(MCBI President Elliott Norse aided in the design of this historic declaration and is quoted in the Christian Science Monitor article)

From a most unlikely quarter, the global environmental movement has gained a new leader, one with hundreds of millions of potential followers. Last month, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, called for the establishment of marine protected areas and an end to overfishing. More...

Trawling blamed for loss of corals — July 15, 2003
(This Washington Times article quotes MCBI Vice President Bill Chandler)

Large fishing operations that skim the ocean floor with 1-ton nets are causing "massive" destruction to a little-known form of cold-water coral important to the world's fish population, according to a report released by a Washington-based nonprofit marine conservation group. More...

Ecologists seek to turn tide on Colorado River — June 16, 2003
(This Nature article quotes MCBI Chief Scientist Lance Morgan)

Scientists and environmental groups are battling on several fronts to try to revive the Colorado River delta, a once-vibrant ecosystem in the Mexican desert. In US courtrooms, in diplomatic meetings and even on the waterways of the delta itself, advocates are trying to secure the primary component that can enhance the region: the flow of fresh water. With almost all of the Colorado’s flow extracted for irrigation and water supply in the United States, the river is reduced to a tiny stream by the time it arrives at the Gulf of California in Mexico. More... [PDF]

Fished Out - It's Not Too Late to Rescue the Oceans and Keep Seafood on Our Plates — June 9, 2003
(This US News and World Report article quotes MCBI President Elliott Norse and Chief Scientist Lance Morgan)

The conversion from living animal to antipasto takes only seconds. A thumb pries off the head like a bottle cap. A finger splits the abdomen and with two practiced tugs removes first viscera, then exoskeleton. The proffered meat glistens in the predawn lights of New York City's Fulton Fish Market - translucent, almonst glowing with the faintest coral hue. More... [PDF]

Prospecting Beneath the Seas — February 11, 2003
(This National Public Radio program interviews MCBI President Elliott Norse)

For decades, scientists have searched for plants that contain disease-fighting compounds. Some powerful cancer drugs are derived from a flower that grows in the forests of Madagascar. But experts say a better place to search for these natural medicines may be among the myriad life forms that dwell in the ocean. As NPR's Eric Niiler reports, researchers are now scouring the seven seas in hopes of finding the next blockbuster drug.
Listen to the show...

The Undersea World of Elliott Norse — October 15th, 1997
(This Eastsideweek article features MCBI President Elliott Norse)

Few details escape Elliott Norse’s attention as we drive past Microsoft headquarters, negotiating the lunch-hour traffic in his scrappy 1985 Civic. “See this over here,” he says, gesturing toward the partially finished Microsoft buildings rising on the west side of the road. “That used to be a beautiful second-growth forest.” Read more...





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