Hakai Magazine

Coastal science and societies

birthday candles on the beach
Did you know we’re a nonprofit? We weren’t going to waste money on a real cake. Photo by danr13/iStock

If We Were a Ship, You Could Wish Us a Happy Berth-day

Now close your eyes and make a fish.

Authored by

by David Garrison

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This weekend, Hakai Magazine turns three. Good things come in threes, so in honor of our third birthday we’re sharing a series of hat tricks.

Three Most Read

The Secret Language of Ships by Erin Van Rheenen and David Webster Smith

Signs and symbols on the sides of ships tell stories about an industry few outsiders understand.

Hawai‘i’s Last Outlaw Hippies by Brendan Borrell

After half a century, the counterculture squatters of Kalalau Valley are facing a final eviction.

Did Ancient Greeks Sail to Canada? by Rebecca Boyle

Researchers think Plutarch’s De Facie tells the tale of Greek sailors making the treacherous transatlantic crossing. They dug into the science to show how it could have happened.


Three Most Shared

Starving Killer Whales Are Losing Most of Their Babies by Danielle Beurteaux

A nearly 70 percent miscarriage rate is threatening the future of the southern resident killer whale.

There’s Probably Plastic in Your Sea Salt by Michael Allen

Now you can season your plastic-contaminated fish with plastic-contaminated sea salt.

Fish Feel Pain. Now What? by Ferris Jabr

Terrestrial animals get humane treatment and legal protections, but until now, fish pain has largely been ignored.


Three Stories about Drugs

Scientists Gave Fish Marijuana to See if It Would Make Them Relax by Jason Bittel

It didn’t. But it would’ve been a lot cooler if it did.

Fish, Drugs, and Murder by Alexander Villegas

For years, Costa Rica was synonymous with tourism, sustainability, and biodiversity. Now collapsing fisheries have led to turmoil.

Shellfish Can’t Say No to Drugs by Amorina Kingdon

Unfortunately for them. But it is teaching scientists about the consequences of pharmaceutical pollution.


Three Stories about Whales

The Hunger Games: Two Killer Whales, Same Sea, Different Diets by Larry Pynn

The Salish Sea’s resident killer whales are in trouble—and garnering all the headlines—but transient killer whales traveling the same waters seem to be doing fine.

When Whales and Humans Talk by Krista Langlois

Arctic people have been communicating with cetaceans for centuries—and scientists are finally taking note.

The Noose Beneath the Waves by Sasha Chapman

Fishing gear can pose a deadly threat to whales—and to those who try to save them.


Three Stories about Death

Great White Sharks Are Being Killed and Eaten by Killer Whales by Kimon de Greef

Three great whites are dead—their livers consumed—as serial killer whales rampage in South Africa.

Death of a Modern Wolf by J. B. MacKinnon

Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies.

Death by Killer Algae by Claudia Geib

When 343 sei whales died from a harmful algal bloom in Chilean Patagonia, they opened a window into the effect changing climate is having on marine mammals, our oceans, and us.


Three Stories about the Past

Blasting Through the Hunley Mystery by Evan Lubofsky

A maverick scientist claims she has done what scores of researchers before her failed to do: solve the century-old mystery of why a legendary Civil War submarine sank.

The Long, Knotty, World-Spanning Story of String by Ferris Jabr

String is far more important than the wheel in the pantheon of inventions.

From Prejudice to Pride by Jude Isabella

In the 20th century, Japanese anthropologists and officials tried to hide the existence of the Indigenous Ainu. Then the Ainu fought back like their cousins, the bears.