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oceans

HBarrison / Creative Commons

The northeast congressional delegation is rallying in support of a comprehensive management plan for the Atlantic Ocean -- the nation's first coordinated strategy for federal waters. 

The first time he encountered a tiger shark in the water, marine ecologist Neil Hammerschlag was in the Bahamas conducting research. His team was on a boat and hadn't seen many sharks, so when someone yelled, "Tiger shark!" he grabbed his snorkel gear and camera and jumped into the water.

"One [tiger shark] moved right in toward me and came close," Hammerschlag tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "It opened its mouth, and I was looking through its mouth down its gut and seeing its gills from the inside."

On Tuesday, an international tribunal soundly rejected Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea, an area where China has been building islands and increasing its military activity.

The case before the international tribunal in the Hague was brought by the Philippines, challenging what's widely seen as a territorial grab by Beijing. The tribunal essentially agreed. Beijing immediately said the decision was null and void and that it would ignore it. There are concerns now that the tribunal's decision could inflame tensions between the U.S. and China.

In the port town of Tanmen, on China's southernmost province of Hainan Island, I met 35-year-old Wang Zhenzhong. He's done pretty well for himself. He graduated from college in Beijing and he runs his own business, selling handicrafts related to the town's maritime culture. He likes to play the guitar.

Like many folks here, his ancestors were fishermen. But one thing that makes Wang different from his neighbors is that he and his family are in possession of something very ancient and very rare.

An international tribunal in The Hague has invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea in a first-ever ruling. The decision has been rejected by Beijing.

The disputed waters are claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries. But China has been the most aggressive in staking out its claim — marking a "nine-dash line" around the bulk of the islands and waters, and building up artificial islands within the disputed region.

(Fisheries and Oceans Canada/World Register of Marine Species

The state's largest natural oyster bed has been shut down. That's due to several illegal harvests which culminated last week in a boat chase.

Milan Boers / Creative Commons

A plan to improve management facets of the ocean and coasts of the northeastern U.S. states is headed for its final public hearings in Rhode Island and Maine.

U.S. Coast Guard / Vincent Reubelt

When something's gone wrong at sea, boaters have typically relied on flares: hand-held torches that can be waived at night to ensure rescuers quickly home in on a distressed vessel. The Coast Guard is now trying to take the fire out of the flare, and develop a distress signal that doesn't require any pyrotechnics. 

Russia launched the world's biggest, most powerful icebreaker on Thursday in St. Petersburg.

The Arktika is 568 feet long and powered by two nuclear reactors. It can break through ice 13 feet deep, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports.

The ship set forth early, ahead of its planned 2017 launch, according to Sputnik News and the shipyard where the Arktika was built.

Leif Anderson / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

rickpilot_2000, Wikimedia Commons

Two men have died and a woman and child had to be taken to a hospital after a party of four people set off from the beach at Hammonasset State Park Sunday evening.

Threats of 3-5 inches of rain — and the possibility of 8 inches in some places — have people in northwest Florida bracing for flooding from Tropical Storm Colin. The storm is forecast to hit the area Monday afternoon and then move north along the East Coast.

She sails by the memory of the stars.

Her bones are lashed together with 6 miles of rope. Her twin wooden masts are lowered and outstretched only by the power of muscled arms. And once fully extended, the red, V-shaped sails announce who she is.

She is the Hokule'a, Hawaii's famous voyaging canoe, built in the double-hulled style used by Polynesian navigators thousands of years ago to cross the Pacific.

Attention, New Englanders: You may see a seal pup on the beach this weekend, and you may be tempted to take a selfie with it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking that you please resist that urge.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

From floods to fires --  burst pipes to a man overboard, when something goes wrong on a commercial fishing vessel -- crew members at sea need to act fast. But how do they prepare? 

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