All animals need safe places to grow, reproduce, and find food. Marine animals are no different. In the ocean, their habitats can be the sandy bottom, a seamount rising from the ocean floor, or a deep canyon carved into the continental shelf. These places are affected by pollution and other human activities such as oil and gas drilling and use of destructive fishing gear, which research shows can have negative consequences. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tasked with regulating ocean fishing and protecting our nation's ocean resources.

Issue Brief

Protecting Habitat

Fish, like all animals, need sufficient places to find shelter and food, grow, and reproduce.

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Protecting Habitat

Fish, like all animals, need sufficient places to find shelter and food, grow, and reproduce.

Learn more
Deepwater Horizon Fire Oceans North
Deepwater Horizon Fire Oceans North
Fact Sheet

BP Oil Spill Threatens Bluefin Tuna Spawning Ground in Gulf of Mexico

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Fact Sheet

This fact sheet from the Pew Environment Group provides information on the impact that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is having on the area’s bluefin tuna populations.

Hammerhead Shark Swimming Alone
Hammerhead Shark Swimming Alone
Fact Sheet

Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico: The Facts

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Fact Sheet

Sharks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have narrow, pointed noses and powerful fins that propel them to high speeds, while others have a broad, flattened nose that probes the ocean floor. After 400 million years of evolution, there are now more than 350 species of sharks worldwide; at least 24 of these occur in the offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico.