The Ocean Question: What ocean issues would you like to see discussed more this year?

This year, during Science Online 2012 I asked 8 marine scientists and ocean advocates the following question: What issues in marine science and conservation would you like to see discussed more in the coming year? The responses ranged from protecting coral reefs to developing better bioinformatic tools.

Watch their answers below.



  1. Larry Carter Center · February 10, 2012

    Miriam wants more ocean scientists in politics? Never happen until corrupt politicians are stopped fronting for criminal polluters like BP, Exxon/Mobile, Halliburton/KBR & Transocean. Politics takes passion, dedication & time building up a constituency of voters. Bob Ballard is the closest person besides the Cousteau Family to share a vision of ocean human habitats. Amory Lovins hangs out in the mountains with the answers of changing technologies from burning fossil fuels or nuking water to a boil to drive steam through generator turbines. Changing all that to green tech wind, wave, solar & geo thermal. Ocean scientists could be helping put more tumbler generators on top of ocean waves to cable back into shore more electricity into the grid than polluters are currently generating. River surfaces also can drive electric generation. Tough fight against all the well paid lobbyists stealing their money from every single rate payer across the nation. 843-926-1750 People don’t care about Flipper or George & Gracie the humpbacks any more than they talk to their shrimp. So fight ocean scientists in the political arena to make people care that Fukishima is going to kill you slowly or care to live a long life in harmony with our blue water world… [email protected]

    • WhySharksMatter · February 10, 2012

      Larry, you know that science conservation groups are actively involved in helping to shape policy at the local, state, regional, national, and international level, right? What Miriam is proposing is not radical.

    • Miriam · February 10, 2012

      Larry, I’m not sure we’re in disagreement, though you certainly do cover a lot of diverse issues in your comment. Political change is necessary to provide economic incentives for people to do the right thing – an example of this is removing governmental subsidies from activities that damage the ocean, like fertilizer along the Mississippi drainage. The idea is to help people who don’t actually care about the ocean to do the right thing anyway.

  2. Brad · February 10, 2012

    I think the need to change the way in which we exploit the ocean is critical. It’s a massive resource, and it needs managing like any other resource we consume. I think we need a crackdown on the way in which we fish commercially and change the source of fish from trawlers to fish farms like tuna pens, leaving the ocean to be as natural as possible and allowing the biodiversity to remain in equilibrium. If the oceans were just used for sport fishing instead, and the fishing industry was supported by fish farms, the ocean would be a lot better off!

    secondly, I think the issue of people fishing in prime locations, degrading the stocks and transporting it back to their homes needs heavier regulation. For example, I see a lot of Americans in the Bahamas with their 60 foot+ sports fishers (which I have no problem with, I enjoy fishing too!) but what needs to stop is the massive quantity of coolers they fill up with fish just to transport back to the states.

  3. Kathy · February 11, 2012

    Oil spills concern me the most.

  4. Jonathan Gonzalez · February 12, 2012

    I’d like to see American fisheries develop an ad campaign to boost awareness of how supporting US fisheries can have positive ripple effects that would benefit not only us but the worlds oceans as well.
    Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.
    Pork, the other whit meat.
    U.S. seafood….?
    Meanwhile 86% of seafood consumed in the US is imported, up from 67% just ten years ago. Consumers need to be more educated about how well our fisheries are managed compared to foreign fleets.
    It’s an uneven playing field out there and our oceans will feel the consequences of our US fisheries going under.

  5. Chris Voets · February 12, 2012

    Shark conservation is still a topic misunderstood by many. Here in South Africa we have the chance to find out so much about the three most “dangerous” species, namely the Great White, the Bull (Zambezi), and the Tiger Shark. We also have a responsible shark-diving tourism concern which teaches people about the biggest ocean predator. Yet when one person is killed by a shark, it makes the headlines; whereas the millions killed for “culinary” purposes get not nearly enough press. So more of that please, shark needs to be Off The Menu forever!

  6. Andrei Sandberg · February 12, 2012

    Interesting to hear about the pollution of the seas and how it effects the climate change?

    Are the polar regions really shrinking. What can one person do about it?

    Are the oceans empty of fish?

  7. Jonathan Gonzalez · February 12, 2012

    A follow up related to my last post:
    I wish everyone in the US knew what IUU fisheries are and how they undermine management efforts.
    I wish folks knew how many mangroves are destroyed in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. to produce the cheap, tasteless imported farmed fish that is so popular here and the consequences that has on our worlds oceans.

  8. Avi Bernstein · February 13, 2012

    Miriam and David, I agree with you guys 100%. I would go further than Miriam and describe a scenario that is radical. Not more conservation in politics, though this is more than welcome..(run for office Miriam – we need you!)but more conservation in economics. A radical rethinking of our relationship with the sea and the way we live with it. I am going to try something in Oman. Mr. Fishman, I will keep you posted on developments.

  9. Jason · February 18, 2012

    Ocean acidification.

Comments are closed.