The Ten Most Interesting Articles of 2014

Written by on December 29, 2014 in Editor's Choice, Other News

Happy Holidays from MST! Here’s a look back at the 10 most popular posts from 2014.

Great white shark. Photo credit: Ken Bondy via photopin cc.

Great white shark. Photo credit: Ken Bondy via photopin cc.

10. Are Shark Attacks Really More Common in Western Australia?
Plans to install baited hooks near Western Australia’s popular beaches in response to fatal shark attacks outraged many locals. But Western Australia isn’t the only place where fatal shark attacks have occurred, so why is it such a big deal there? Is WA really the most dangerous place for fatal shark attacks? This article examines some of the facts and figures about shark incidents around the globe.

9. Which Ocean Has the Most Marine Life?
Here’s the short answer: It’s complicated because there really are no concrete borders between oceans. But if we had to pick, it would probably be the Pacific because it’s the largest and contains the most coral reefs. Read on for the more detail answer(s)!

8. The Sea Anemone is a “Planimal”
Sea anemones are classified as animals (Kingdom: Animalia), but a study published earlier this year reveals that they are actually half animal, half plant. Planimals?

7. What Will Happen to SeaWorld’s Orcas If Captivity is Banned?
Earlier this year, California Lawmakers proposed a ban on orcas in captivity. The Orca Welfare and Safety Act would make it illegal to keep orcas in captivity, or use them for entertainment purposes. It would also make it illegal to “breed or impregnate an orca in captivity,” and to use artificial insemination. This article reviews the fate of each of the SeaWorld 10.

The Seattle Aquarium.

The Seattle Aquarium. Photo credit: Allie Tripp.

6. The Seattle Aquarium Finding Its “Conservation Voice”
MST introduced a new series this year with the help of contributing writer Allie Tripp. Here, she interviews the The Seattle Aquarium’s Director of Conservation & Education about the aquarium’s effort to find its “conservation voice.” The Seattle Aquarium is the 9th largest (based on attendance) aquarium in North America, and in the top five paid attractions in the Puget Sound region.

5. Sea Turtles Communicate With Each Other Before Hatching
A lot of marine science news this year focused on conservation challenges, disasters, and disappointments, but some studies were made us smile. One of those was a study published in July that revealed something quite interesting: baby sea turtles make sounds and communicate with each other from inside their eggs.

4. Seismic Blasting in the Atlantic: “The Real Story”
This year, Oceana has spent much of its time fighting against allowing seismic airgun testing in the Mid and South Atlantic. Seismic airgun testing is a method of searching for offshore oil and gas that comes with potentially deadly consequences for marine life. This article reviews some of those consequences and the current status of the issue.

3. Raising Shrimp: Where Does America’s Favorite Seafood Come From?
Here’s a great review of Fish Navy Films’ most recent documentary, Raising Shrimp, written by Henry Workman. “The documentary introduces viewers to methods used to catch shrimp as well as methods of raising them on farms, and presents the issues, both ecological and economic, that the industry faces. Providing a straightforward and engaging overview, Raising Shrimp not only serves to educate on where our food comes from, but can help consumers make smarter choices.”

Jack mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) are caught by a Chilean purse seiner. Photo credit: NOAA.

Jack mackerel caught by a Chilean purse seiner. Photo credit: NOAA.

2. Impact of Overfishing On Human Lives
This is a great summary of the very complex issue of overfishing. “Millions of people from all over the globe depend on the oceans for their staple food and income….As more and more people make seafood a part of their everyday diet, our oceans continue to face the threat of depleting supply of edible sea creatures.”

1. David Kirby On Captive Orcas and His Book, ‘Death at SeaWorld’
Blackfish had was a particularly hot topic this year, even at MST. Check out Mike Bear’s interview with ‘Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity’ author David Kirby. It’s an in depth discussion of his book and the controversy of keeping orcas in captivity.

Copyright © 2014 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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