Hakai Magazine

Coastal science and societies

“Dismaland” was a temporary art installation organized by artist Banksy. A riff on Disneyland, the park was in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Photo by Guy Corbishley/Demotix/Corbis
“Dismaland” was a temporary art installation organized by artist Banksy. A riff on Disneyland, the park was in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Photo by Guy Corbishley/Demotix/Corbis

Stories from the Seven Seas

A weekly roundup of coastal news.

Authored by

by Colin Schultz

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Hakai Magazine is all about the coast, but other outlets sometimes share our fascination. Every week on Strand we round up our favorite coastal stories from around the web.

Seaside gothic

by Edmund Richardson for Roads and Kingdoms

“Here in Weston-super-Mare, the sea can be hard to find. Stand on the beach and there it is in the distance, but between it and you, acre after acre of glistening ground stretches out, hemmed in by yellow warning signs: ‘Danger. Sinking Mud.’ With no sea to offer, the good people of Weston constructed a vast open-air swimming pool on the shore. They built it of brutal gray stone with some Art Deco flourishes and optimistically called it the Tropicana. It has long since closed its doors in despair. For years, it has been plastered with posters announcing one failed development after another. This summer, it became Dismaland. With its burned-out castle, decaying exhibits and endless lines, the park is a study in disappointment. But don’t be taken in by the pandering peculiarity: Dismaland is one of the less weird parts of the English coast.”

Encounter with world’s rarest ocean mammal thrills scientists

by Craig Welch for National Geographic

“[L]ast week, while cruising through glassy water on a research boat off Baja California, the world’s leading vaquita experts from the United States and Mexico spotted first one, then another, through binoculars. A few days later, several of the shy mammals were seen once again. There could be no doubt.

‘It was incredible; people were jumping up and down,’ Barbara Taylor, a marine biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the chief U.S. scientist, said via satellite phone from the vessel. ‘A decade ago this would have been routine. On this trip, it was just such a relief. It was joyous.’”

Rp 1.9 billion shark fin smuggling foiled

by Joniansyah Hardjono for Tempo

“Tangerang-Soekarno-Hatta airport fish quarantine officer foils the smuggling of thousands of shark fins that will be sent to Hong Kong, officers said Tuesday, October 6.

The protected whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) fins valued at Rp 1.9 billion was sent by someone via PT SPJ, in West Jakarta and Tangerang. ‘Their warehouse is in Tangerang,’ the Head of Monitoring, Control and Information Fish Quarantine, Quality Control and Safety of Fishery Jakarta, Rusnanto said on Tuesday.”

Mutiny on the Majestic Blue

by Kalee Thompson for Matter

“As Doug Pine discovered, however, the result is a rogue fleet. It uses the cover of the American flag to benefit from an exclusive treaty — supported by an annual $20 million U.S. taxpayer dollars — that allows the fishing of the tuna-rich waters of impoverished South Pacific island nations, while shirking environmental and labor laws. Of the 40 boats in the distant water tuna fleet, half employ ‘paper captains’ like Doug Pine — masters who usually cannot communicate with their crew, never mind lead it.”

Why ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ flooding keeps happening

by Justin Worland for Time

“In South Carolina, a number of factors related to climate change, including sea level rise, high temperatures and an unexpected hurricane, increased the likelihood that the state might experience widespread flooding. On top of that, an influx in hurricane related rainfall and an already inundated water system combined to create a disaster.”

Ancient tsunami heaved 700-ton boulders over island cliffs

By Dennis Normile for Science

“A team of researchers took another look around Santiago and found numerous boulders anomalously strewn across two plateaus. The 49 boulders they studied ranged from refrigerator-sized to as large as a truck and weighing more than 700 tons. Analyses showed that the boulders must have come from rock exposed on the cliffs and had been shoved up onto the plateaus at about the time the volcano on Fogo collapsed. The international team, led by researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, conclude that only a massive tsunami could have done that.”

Obama just announced the first new marine sanctuaries in 15 years

by Chelsea Harvey for The Washington Post

“One of these sanctuaries will be an 875-square mile section of Lake Michigan off the shore of Wisconsin, which is recognized for its collection of nearly 40 known shipwrecks, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The other sanctuary is a 14-square mile area of the Potomac River, which includes Maryland’s Mallows Bay — an area known for its ecological significance, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and home to bald eagles, herons, beavers, river otters and numerous species of fish.”