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school of blackfin barracuda near reef in Papua New Guinea

Celebrating World Oceans Day

On World Oceans Day, let us give thanks for some of the ocean's largest and fiercest inhabitants, like this school of blackfin barracuda (Sphyraena qenie), hovering near a coral reef in Kimbe Bay off New Britain island, Papua New Guinea. Simon Thorrold, director of the WHOI Ocean Life Institute, was there recently to learn if and how tiny larval reef fish disperse among various marine protected areas within the bay. This species of barracuda is typically found along the edges of reefs, often remaining motionless in a strong current without any apparent effort. Voracious predators of other fish, barracuda commonly reach 1 meter (3 feet) in length but can grow to double that size. Research supported by the Ocean Life Institute seeks to provide scientific knowledge to make informed decisions on how to sustain biodiversity, coral reefs, and megafauna such as barracuda. (Photo by Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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