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Carl Safina
Carl Safina is a MacArthur Fellow, Pew Fellow and Guggenheim Fellow, a professor at Stony Brook University and founding president of The Safina Center (formerly Blue Ocean Institute). His books include "Song for the Blue Ocean," "The View From Lazy Point" and "A Sea in Flames.” Safina hosts the 10-part series "Saving the Ocean," which can be seen free at

Entries by Carl Safina

Miley Cyrus Goes Wild

(2) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 5:44 PM

2015-10-06-1444164730-5847101-MountainsBeyondMountains.JPGCaption: Mountains beyond mountains. Photo: Carl Safina

It was raining and blowing hard all morning as we sat at anchor in a bay, heavily sheltered between steep, forested shores in the maze of islands that constitute Canada's wondrous Pacific coast. The float-plane we'd been...

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What's Learned From the Killing of Blaze, the Grizzly Bear

(14) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 11:10 AM

Last month, an African lion known as Cecil was lured out of a protected area and killed by a high-paying sport-hunter, igniting unprecedented worldwide outrage over the killing of a free-living animal. Earlier this month, a grizzly bear known as Blaze (after a light-colored marking on her flank)...

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Cecil The Lion: A Big-picture Guide to Directed Outrage

(11) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 4:39 PM


David Shiffman of Southern Fried Science was kind enough to send me his 11-point thought piece on the killing of Cecil. Here's my list; I only have four points.

1) Humans are by far the kindest, most compassionate, most creative, most...

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Population and Women Under-Recognized in Pope's Encyclical. Applause Anyway.

(3) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 7:01 PM

In a brilliant blend of distilled science and religious language, the pope has said what many of us have been saying for years: The whole Earth, our shared and increasingly degraded home, now cries out for our respect and reverence.

There is no taking away from the remarkable seismic...

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Illicit Ivory: A Film Worth Watching

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 5:11 PM

2015-06-01-1433189303-693112-elephantsneedtheirfamilies.JPG Elephants need their ivory, because elephants need their families. Photo: Carl Safina

Everyone, it seems, loves elephants. A new film titled Illicit Ivory premiered last week on KCET in Southern California and elsewhere. You can watch it online at The...

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Deepwater Horizon: Why We Should Not Open New Areas to Drilling

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 7:59 PM

On April 20, 2010, Transocean's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and, over 87 panic-filled days, spewing more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

I was there in the summer of 2010, while oil gushed from the hole that BP made,...

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A Recipe for Seafood Survival

(1) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 11:09 AM

Co-authored by Brett Jenks

You know that hunger and the oceans are on a collision course when your 89-year-old mother phones you -- as Safina's mom did this morning -- and says, "Did you see the article saying that we're driving seafood extinct? We'd better go get some oysters and...

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To Fight Disease, Protect the Ocean

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 5:44 PM

Co-authored by Carl Safina, Author and host, 'Saving the Ocean' on PBS


Why should we curb ocean pollution, stop overfishing, prevent invasive species and save coral reefs?

Because the next wonder drug in the battle against some of our most insidious diseases, such...

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Your Chance, Your Voice, On a Liquefied Gas Facility Off New York

(2) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 1:57 PM


The hearing is tonight, Wednesday. And there are other ways to comment.

The proposal is to create a liquefied natural gas facility 20 miles south of Jones Beach. It would be called "Port Ambrose." Ships would bring super-chilled liquefied natural gas, which would...

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Breeding Protections for Giant Bluefin Tuna

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 3:27 PM

This post was co-authored with Elizabeth Brown.

Starting January 1, fishing within two bluefin tuna breeding hotspots in the Gulf of Mexico with a particularly destructive kind of fishing gear during their peak breeding months (April-May) will be prohibited by federal rule. The technique uses fishing lines up to 40...

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Near Collapse of Gulf of Maine Cod Leads to Fishing Ban

(1) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 3:09 PM

Co-authored by Elizabeth Brown

Last Monday, fishery managers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that they are banning nearly all fishing for Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod for at least the next 6 months, to protect the severely depleted population.

In August, scientists declared that the...

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The Passenger Pigeon, A Requiem

(4) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 4:11 PM

September 1, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the extinction of what had been the most abundant bird in the Americas, and likely the world.

By 1850, the Passenger Pigeon was still the most abundant bird in the Americas. Around that same time, a long-distance migrant bird called the...

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A Tortoise Isn't a Billboard, Except in Aspen

(2) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 7:30 PM

The Aspen Art Museum might be doing tortoises a favor but probably isn't. In a new exhibit linked to the opening of a $45-million new facility, an artist named Cai Guo-Qiang, who was born in China and lives in New York, has glued iPads to several African spurred...

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Enjoy the Show: Learn More After 'Sharknado 2'

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2014 | 5:20 PM

People-eating sharks whipped up in a tornado, Manhattan as an ice-capped frozen wasteland, and solar flares that rapidly increase the temperature of the Earth's core resulting in cataclysmic earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and biblical-scale flooding. Over-the-top? Yes. Based on science? Loosely, at best. And that's just fine with us.

Hollywood blockbusters...

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Government Says Eat Fish, Not Too Much, Mostly Low in Mercury

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 1:31 PM

Co-authored by Elizabeth Brown

A few days ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated draft advice on fish consumption for childbearing aged women and young children.

The new advice encourages pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, breastfeeding women,...

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Mercury in Seafood: A Little Clarity

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 3:47 PM

One of the most dangerous yet confusing toxic pollutants is mercury in seafood. Mercury is very bad for developing fetuses and children, and seafood is very good for them. But mercury is in all seafood. Like I said: confusing.

Last summer a friend caught a quite large bigeye tuna,...

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Eating Seafood: Health Boon or Health Threat?

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 7:03 PM

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown

Since 2001, the federal government has issued warnings about the risks associated with eating certain fish that contain high levels of mercury. For decades, human industrial activities have emitted large amounts of mercury in the air, which then settles in our waters and...

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Cruelty, Not Culture, in Japan's Dolphin Hunt

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 2:59 PM

I just read, "A Veterinary and Behavioral Analysis of Dolphin Killing Methods Currently Used in the 'Drive Hunt' in Taiji, Japan," in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. And as we'll see, the "new" method creates such terror that it would be illegal to kill cows in...

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Gas Fracking: No Time for Nuance

(41) Comments | Posted August 4, 2013 | 8:07 PM

My friend Andrew Revkin, whom I greatly respect, has lately been pointing out certain problems with critiques of gas fracking, and pointing out how it could be greatly improved.

They want more gas until something better can come along. This is the "bridge" argument. Those proponents viewing fracking...

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A New Idea to Protect Wild Salmon

(4) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 8:27 PM

A few years ago I visited Southeast Alaska and saw more salmon than I thought I'd ever see in my entire life. The question: will they be there for our next generation?

Southeast Alaska is one of the last places in the United States where wild salmon still thrive. A...

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