We are proud to have published over 190 original, informative, and inspiring articles spanning all aspects of marine biology, written by contributors ranging from world-famous ‘ocean elders’ to volunteers, and scientists at the start of their careers. I am also delighted to add that around 50% of material is written by MBA members themselves, making it very much ‘our’ magazine.
As well as contributing substantially to the MBA's charitable aims, another of the functions of the magazine is to bring articles from the mba's academic journals Journal of The Marine Biological Association and Marine Biodiversity Records to a wider readership.
Everything that makes it into print is of high quality, but I'd like to highlight the articles that really informed and gripped me. And so, without further preamble, here is the Editor's top ten:
1. Big, Blue and beautiful by Sylvia Earle and Dan Laffoley
Top of the heap is a scary but at the same time inspiring piece by Sylvia Earle and Dan Laffoley. This article would be here even if Dr Earle were not one of the world’s best-known scientists. The authors urge the marine community to reset how we connect people to the ocean through technology (the digital ocean) and the use of hope spots to push forward on marine protection.
2. Oceans of change by Callum Roberts
I was very excited when Callum Roberts agreed to contribute to our very first edition. Some people write with an ability to transport you into a story. As well as being a first-class scientist, Callum Roberts is one such writer: a natural storyteller who weaves many strands into a fascinating tale of the history of fishing, and of the changes that humans have brought upon our seas.
3. ‘Marine management’ – making an oxymoron more meaningful by Charles Sheppard
Sustainability is a human issue that requires those of us in wealthy countries to face uncomfortable truths about inequality and injustice. Charles Sheppard delivers a straight-talking broadside on the catastrophic consequences for the poorest parts of the world of the mismanagement of shallow seas. A provocative call for MPAs to be backed up by marine spatial planning.
4. Secretive sharks of the open ocean by David Sims
This is the story of how an Atlantic-wide science collaboration using the latest tracking technology revealed the overfishing of oceanic sharks, and is providing evidence for high seas protected areas. Find out more about Professor Sims work here.
5. Antarctic krill futures by Matthew Bunce
A highly engaging 'long read' by MBA Fellow Matthew Bunce. In this article we pull on our thermals and get a taste of life as a fisheries observer on a trawler in the storm-lashed South Atlantic, combined with an overview of the conservation challenges facing the southern ocean. Find out about the krill fishery and how it is regulated. The more sensitive among you may wish to skip the tragic story of a krill named Alan (Box 1).
Bunce, M., (2019, October) Antarctic krill futures . The Marine Biologist, 13, 22. (Available online October 2020)
6. Fish poo and the climate challenge by Angel Martin
With a title like this, who could fail to read on? Drawing together various studies, Angela Martin summarizes the ways in which marine vertebrates capture and store carbon. Cumulatively, these mechanisms are significant contributors to Article 5 of the Paris agreement (conserve and enhance sinks of greenhouse gases); a clear policy driver to conserve marine ecosystems and enhance fish stocks.
7. Coral restoration in a warming world by Ian McLeod and Maxine Newlands.
Coral reef restoration at scale is emerging as a strategy to combat the coral reef crisis. Ian McLeod, Principal Research Officer at Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University, gives the background on reef restoration science and projects around the world where this is being pushed forward. This article is in the latest edition of the magazine, dedicated to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
8. Going for it: Paul Rose talks about opportunities, communication and pristine seas. Interview.
Full of energy and enthusiasm, explorer and broadcaster Paul Rose found his way into marine biology through an unorthodox route. If you love the sea and marine life but the academic path is not for you, be inspired by this article!
9. Too hot in paradise! by Michael White
Coral bleaching, storms and the near-collapse of a subsistence fishery hit a remote atoll in the Pacific. MBA member Michael White is a resident of Tongareva atoll in the Cook Islands and speaks for the isolated communities whose power to manage their own resources is crumbling in the – literally – rising tide of global environmental change. A chilling reminder of our collective responsibility for the state of our planet.
10. Evolution of the pelagic ecosystem: a history written in tiny teeth by Elizabeth Sibert
A compact and beautifully written article that not only gives a geological perspective on marine ecosystems, but also tells us a lot about present-day oceans.
There are many more great articles covering all of marine biology - do browse through the back issues here. I would love to know which are your favourite articles and the reasons you liked them. Do contact me if you have other comments about the magazine, and ideas for articles are always welcome.
Guy Baker firstname.lastname@example.org