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- When two sympatric, closely related species appear to have very similar needs, we may ask whether mechanisms exist that enable them to avoid direct competition. Implicit in this questions the presumption that two species with identical requirements cannot coexist (Gause 1934).
- (April 1990)"Foraging habitat partitioning in Roseate and Common Terns". The Auk 107 (2): 351–358. DOI:10.2307/4087619.
- The bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is a creature of superlatives. Growing to 1500 pounds (700 kilos), traveling on transoceanic migrations, and reputedly capable of swimming 50 miles (90 km) per hour, it is one of the largest, most wide-ranging, and fastest of animals. To anyone who has seen this saber-finned giant explode through the surface of the sea, it is among the most magnificent.
- (June 1993)"Bluefin Tuna in the West Atlantic: Negligent Management and the Making of an Endangered Species". Conservation Biology 7 (2): 229–234.
- Bottom trawls—large bag-shaped nets towed over the sea floor—account for more of the world's catch of fish, shrimp, squid, and other marine animals than any other fishing method. But trawling also disturbs the sea floor more than any other human activity, with increasingly devastating consequences for the world's fish population.
- (Spring 1998)"Scorched-Earth Fishing". Issues in Science and Technology 14 (3): 33–36.
- Most of the oxygen we breathe is made by ocean plankton. And when animals left the seas in which life arose, they took seawater with them, in their bodies — an internal environment crucial for cellular survival. We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater.
- A sea ethic: floating the Ark. Blue Ocean Institute (2005).
- From the happy-go-lucky days of oil exploration and drilling, when a lot of easy sources were being found and easily managed, we're gotten ourselves into this sort of apocalyptic time. We're willing to destroy almost everything, risk almost anything, and go ahead with techniques for which we have no way of responding to the known problems. And that is truly an addiction in the real sense of the word, an addiction by which people destroy their own bodies to continue to have a supply of something that is killing them.
- (20 April 2011)"Deepwater Horizon, One Year Later: A Conversation With Carl Safina". The Atlantic. (Talking to the author of "A Sea in Flames" about how offshore drilling has—and hasn't changed—since the Gulf spill — interview by Douglas Gorney)