Hakai Magazine

Coastal science and societies

A 13-year-old surfer in California. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis
A 13-year-old surfer in California. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Corbis

Stories from the Seven Seas

The latest news, from coast to coast to coast to coast.

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.

This smart, data-collecting, wave-predicting surfboard will save our oceans

by Mary Catherine O’Connor for Outside Online

“Thompson was studying fluid-structure interactions, research that involved embedding sensors into boards. ‘It was mostly about tracking the performance of the board,’ he says. Thompson’s goal: to help the surfboard industry make better boards, and maybe use sensors to help surfers better understand (and improve) how they surf.

But after meeting Stern, Thompson realized he could use sensors as mini data loggers, collecting information about water chemistry as well as wave mechanics. He’d embed the electronics into a surfboard’s fin. Thus the project, named Smartphin, was born.”


The drifting world

by Nicola Twilley for The New Yorker

“Plankton are at the center of the marine food web, produce at least half of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, and absorb enough carbon dioxide each year to counteract half of humankind’s fossil-fuel emissions. Altogether, they make up ninety-eight per cent of the oceans’ biomass, more than every whale, shark, herring, starfish, and lobster combined. Still, until very recently, our knowledge of the planktic realm remained limited.”


Scientists make novel attempt to save giant turtle species

by Rachel Nuwer for The New York Times

“There are only four known specimens remaining, and only one female — an 85-year-old resident of the Suzhou Zoo. For years, biologists have been trying to coax her and her 100-year-old mate to produce hatchlings. So far the pair have disappointed scientists, with the female laying clutch after clutch of unfertilized eggs.”


To make lobster fisheries more sustainable, scientists attempt to decode crustacean DNA

by Kimbra Cutlip for Smithsonian Magazine

“With consumer demand for responsibly harvested seafood rising, companies such as Red Lobster, Chicken of the Sea and Seattle Fish Co. have pledged to do a better job of tracing the source of the lobster they import. Following through with their promise, however, remains difficult because there’s no effective way to identify where a lobster was caught once it hits the docks. That’s why Stephen Box and Nathan Truelove, researchers from Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida, are searching the lobster’s genetic code for a better traceability tool.”


Envision 2050: the future of oceans

by Mary Hoff for Ensia

“For this fourth installment of our Envision 2050 series…Ensia asked seven individuals with special connections to the ocean to share their hopes for the world’s oceans — and what it would take to achieve them.”