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Ocean Habitat Stories

empty fishing net

Our oceans are haunted by ghost nets: Why that's scary and what we can do

Ghost nets don’t only catch fish; they also entangle sea turtles, dolphins and porpoises, birds, sharks, seals, and more. Since hundreds of animals can be caught in a single net, you can see just how monumental this threat is.

  • World leaders can keep more fish in the ocean by ending this one practice

    June 18, 2019

    In fishing, money is a strong motivator that can incentivize people to improve practices and fund the management necessary to reduce fishing’s footprint on the natural world. But spending money in the wrong ways can also exacerbate the consequences of overfishing.

    fish with trawl fishing net
  • New technology helps WWF and partners study whales in one of the most remote places on the planet

    May 21, 2019

    Using new technology, like drones and digital tags, researchers have found that nearly every part of the Antarctica peninsula is important for whales’ feeding and resting. But it is also a hotspot for global climate change. WWF is calling for the protection of this remote wilderness in or effort to preserve 30% of the oceans by 2030.

    whale fluke Chris Johnson
  • An uninhabited Australian island littered with plastic

    May 16, 2019

    A tiny, remote island, visited only by nesting turtles and crocs, situated in the middle of nowhere, is now choking with plastic. 

    plastic at Millman RSwwfau12358
  • Trailblazing women help ensure better tuna fishing in Ghana

    May 02, 2019

    Ocean conservation requires a solid understanding of what we’re taking out of our seas. How much fish do fishers catch? Where do they catch them? And what else are they catching along with the fish?

    tuna port Kyle LaFerriere
  • How can we make farmed seafood more sustainable?

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    Focusing on shrimp and salmon, WWF is working to improve aquaculture practices through tech innovations like forensic analysis of farmed products and traceability software.
    20 percent of the fish harvested from the ocean are used to feed farmed fish
  • In Pakistan, better fishing strategies keep vulnerable sea life in the water

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    A multipronged ocean conservation strategy that WWF-Pakistan began in 2012 is now saving tens of thousands of dolphins, sea turtles, and other vulnerable marine species every year.
    Swimming sea turtle
  • Diving for Data in the Galápagos

    February 05, 2019

    An innovative program’s ultimate goal is to help boost the “ocean economy” in the Galápagos in a sustainable way—ensuring that tourism and livelihoods can flourish while minimizing any impact on its irreplaceable ecosystem.

    sea turtle and diver Antonio Busiello WW289509
  • Meet the giants of the Pacific Ocean

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    Waters between the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador attract migratory sea life, gather one of the world’s largest known populations of giant manta rays, and act serve as a whale shark breeding ground.
    Whale shark with snorkler
  • A Galápagos community balances tourism and conservation

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    Tourist boats used to flock to Floreana Island for day tours without previously booking, leaving the community unprepared. With WWF's help, residents redesigned their tourism model for the long term.
    Seal swimming underwater
  • Bizarre crustaceans make a big splash in the scientific world

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    Some bizarre crustaceans have made a big splash in the scientific world. They're blind. They live in extreme deep-sea environments. And they're so hairy that they've become known as "yeti crabs."
    Illustration of kiwa puravida
  • The Long Game

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    How policy, enforcement, and earning the trust of local fishers protected one of the most diverse coastlines in the world.
    Dolphins off the coast of Ecuador
  • Meet the master of camouflage, the day octopus

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2019
    Day octopuses live in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. While they aren’t endangered, these masters of disguise are often found in coral reefs—and those reefs face steep challenges.
    Day octopus
  • WWF and WCS share a new tool for studying—and saving—coral reefs

    January 08, 2019

    Coral reefs are as vulnerable as they are beautiful; climate change is warming ocean waters and devastating reefs globally. Monitoring the health and resilience of coral reefs is a lengthy and slow process. That’s why WWF is turning to an innovative tool that speeds up the collection of valuable coral reef data and allows scientists to share new information sooner.

    Staghorn Coral Antonio Busiello WW1105624
  • Imperiled polar bears face new threat in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    December 10, 2018

    In some areas of the Arctic, female polar bears are more frequently choosing to build their maternity dens on land, rather than sea ice. The land provides the stability and security that sea ice no longer can—at least until human activity comes into the picture.

    Polar bear and cub
  • Sustainable shrimp?

    November 14, 2018

    Titi shrimp, or pomada, are wild shrimp, native to Ecuador, and they are harvested around the Gulf of Guayaquil by both trawlers and artisanal fishermen using a unique kind of trap that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. WWF-Ecuador has been working with both the industrial and artisanal fishermen to ensure that the fishery is sustainable.

    shrimp Antonio Busiello WW290773
  • Tackling plastic pollution in the Galápagos

    October 24, 2018

    Around the world, humans produce an estimated 1.3 billion tons of plastic waste per year, a number that is set to increase to 2.2 billion by 2025. In countries such as Ecuador that have limited garbage collection services, some of this plastic waste inevitably ends up back in the oceans or on beaches, where it has the potential to harm and human health.

    blue footed booby galapagos Tui De Roy WW24425
  • We’re one step closer to keeping trash and plastic out of our oceans

    October 18, 2018

    Nearly 124,000 WWF activists from 49 states reached out to their member of Congress to support a bipartisan bill to take a stand on ocean plastic, and their impressive efforts paid off.

    humback whale jump
  • Seven unsung ecosystems we need to survive

    August 30, 2018

    They may not be household names, but these ecosystems are vital to the health of our planet. They support an incredible range of plants and animals, as well as millions of people and their communities, and play a critical role in fighting climate change.

    zebra mirror Greg Armfield WW1113071
  • Congratulations, Bahamas! We Did It!

    August 07, 2018

    The Bahamas’ lobster fishers just earned certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for managing their fishery sustainably. The MSC certification helps ensure that the fishery can continue to produce food and jobs for current and future generations.

    fisherman and lobster Mac Stone WW1103815
  • Mangroves mean life for coastal communities throughout the tropics

    July 25, 2018

    Mangroves provide valuable services for people and the planet but they’re disappearing at an alarming rate and human activity is mostly to blame. Explore these forests in this photo essay and learn what WWF is doing to bring back 20% of the mangroves we’ve lost by 2030.

    Mangroves in Placencia, Belize.
  • Belize’s incredible barrier reef is removed from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger

    June 26, 2018

    Thanks to a series of conservation measures enacted by Belize’s government, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System has been removed from the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger sites. 

    Fish and coral. Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ambergris caye, Belize, Central America.
  • From ocean to plate

    June 06, 2018

    About 35% of harvested fish and seafood is either lost or wasted along the supply chain. So where does this loss happen and what can you do to help?

    barracuda Cat Holloway WW172318
  • 7 ways you can help save the ocean

    June 06, 2018

    Covering more than 70% of our planet’s surface, the ocean contains the largest diversity of life on Earth and affects everything from global weather patterns to food systems. Learn what steps you can take help protect the ocean. 

    ecuador ocean WW288186 Antonio Busiello
  • Why we must help Bristol Bay now

    April 02, 2018

    Bristol Bay, Alaska is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and the source of the world's largest wild salmon fishery. Yet its future is in jeopardy from the proposal for Pebble Mine. Now the US Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to fast track the mine's permit application and we must take action now.

    bristol bay aerial