Hakai Magazine

In California the incidence of shark bites is increasing, even while the rate drops. Statistics is fun. Photo by Johnér Images/Corbis
In California the incidence of shark bites is increasing, even while the rate drops. Statistics is fun. Photo by Johnér Images/Corbis

Stories from the Seven Seas

Coastal stories from the past week that (mostly) aren’t about sharks.

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.

The risk of getting attacked by a shark off California has plummeted sharply since 1950, study says

by Chelsea Harvey for The Washington Post

“[W]hen you compare the number of reported shark attacks each year to the number of people actually in the water and the activities they’re engaging in, an individual person’s risk of being attacked has declined by a whopping 91.24 percent since 1950. ‘You see that when you take into account all these factors, the chances for any person to get a shark attack declines dramatically,’ says Francesco Ferretti, a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station.”

Seasteading Institute aims to build floating city by 2020

by Stu Robarts for Gizmag

“[I]ndividuals are born arbitrarily into states created by past wars and cannot change the government to which they are affiliated without leaving their home. Floating city-states, however, would allow individuals to sail their home to a new colony if they disagreed with the way a government was operating.

The Seasteading Institute argues that this would force governments to compete to attract citizens in a way that they currently do not. The city-states would be like floating jigsaws that could be shifted and reassembled at will, with popular and effective governments attracting more inhabitants.”

Look beyond the label

by Lee van der Voo for Slate

“[I]f halibut fishing ends completely in Western Alaska, small-scale fishermen aren’t going to get jobs at Walmart. In places like St. Paul and Savoonga, remote native villages on islands, there aren’t many options: a few government jobs, jobs with the tribes or schools, one or two private employers, and fishing. That’s it. And more than 30,000 people living in Western Alaska have deep cultural ties to halibut or depend on it for food.”

Shinzo Abe faces growing wrath of Okinawans over US base

by Martin Fackler for The New York Times

“Central to Mr. Abe’s vision of a more proactive Japan is fulfilling a nearly two-decade-old agreement between Tokyo and Washington to relocate the busy Futenma air base, one of more than a dozen American military facilities on Okinawa, from its current site in the middle of the crowded city of Ginowan in the island’s south to Henoko Bay in its less-populated north.

In recent months, Mr. Abe has signaled his resolve to move ahead with construction where his predecessors stalled, by proceeding with tests of the seabed and by marking off the area with the orange buoys. That has put him on a collision course with tens of thousands of angry and increasingly radicalized Okinawans.”

Take a ride through the Great Barrier Reef on the back of a sea turtle

by Adam Owen for Motherboard

Video of New conservation project reveals amazing turtle’s eye-view of the Great Barrier Reef

“The Australian branch of the World Wildlife Fund, working with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage protection, made its addition to the forever enchanting practice of attaching cameras to animals by strapping one onto a pre-tagged amphibious reef dweller.

What results is an insider’s tour of some of the thousands of individual reefs and fish that comprise Australia’s coastal system.”

One man’s quest to save the most colossal fishes on Earth

by Matt Simon for Wired

“‘After working on this for about 10 years,’ he says, ‘it turns out that there are about 30 species of freshwater fish that can get over 6 feet long or weigh more than 200 pounds, and they occur in large rivers and lakes all over the world and on every continent except Antarctica. And about 70 percent of them are threatened with extinction.’”