Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Ocean News: Brazil Bans Catfish Fishery to Protect Pink River Dolphins, Arctic Ice Melt Leading to Large Arctic Waves, and More
- In its biggest fisheries ban since 1967, Brazil banned its commercial catfish fishery that uses pink river dolphins as bait. Dolphin populations have severely declined over the past decade, and one population saw a 50 percent drop in numbers since 2004. New Scientist
This lobster species is perhaps best known for its impressive navigational skills. Caribbean spiny lobsters orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, and then follow that point to find food at night and for long migrations. During these migrations, they form queues—long, single file lines in groups of 50 that walk day and night until reaching their destination. Lobsters prefer warmer water, so they migrate en masse to deeper waters when water starts to cool in winter.
By Leah Powley
Seafood fraud in the Mid-Atlantic region is causing new concern among area watermen and their Congressional representatives. According to crab fishermen in Maryland and Virginia, imported crabmeat is being packaged in the United States, relabeled, and then sold as a “product of the U.S.” This mislabeling—illegal under U.S. law—has gathered attention from the area’s Congressional representatives, who are calling on President Obama to address this seafood fraud.
Ocean News: Climate Change Threatens Red Knots, Pacific Island Leaders Meet to Discuss Ocean Conservation, and More
- Scientists recently found two new coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico show signs of damage from the 2010 BP oil spill. The communities are over 13 miles from the spill, indicating that the spill is “deeper and broader” than thought. Salon
Many marine species face endless obstacles: Overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction are large threats, as well as climate change and its associated negative impacts. Factors ranging from their habitat, food source, predator defense, migration routes, and breeding grounds are already changing from warming seas, and these impacts are so widespread that it’s caught fisheries managers’ attention.
The islands of Belize are surrounded by vibrant blue waters, beautiful and unusual marine creatures, and the largest barrier reef system in the Western Hemisphere. But even in Belize—one of the least densely populated Caribbean countries—these marine animals and ecosystems are not exempt from exploitative human activities like overfishing. A new report, however, from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) suggests a solution for Belize’s marine life—and particularly coral reefs—to recover: expand no-take zones.
Ocean News: Cape Cod Embraces Shark Spottings, Rare White Southern Right Whale Calf Spotted off Australia, and More
- A rare white southern right whale calf was recently spotted off southern Australia with its mother. Only about two percent of southern right whales are born white, but remain that color for just a year. Adelaide Now
Going forward, The Beacon will feature one Oceana staff member every month, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The first spotlight is on Oceana’s vice president for United States Oceans, Jackie Savitz. Take a look below to learn more.
If you’ve ever witnessed a sea turtle nest hatch, you’ve probably noticed that it seems like these reptiles emerge from their nests in silence. Scientists have long assumed that too, but a new study adds to a growing body of literature that finds that baby sea turtles can in fact make noise—and this communication is key to a successful hatching process.
Ocean News: NC Fishermen Face Tighter Restrictions, Antarctic Fur Seals Hurt by Climate Change, and More
- North Carolina fishermen that use large mesh gill nets are now facing tighter restrictions after the state's Division of Marine Fisheries failed to comply with federal requirements. Under the new requirements, the fishermen can only deploy their nets at limited times and to a certain depth in an effort to protect sea turtles. North Carolina Sportsman
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- Massachusetts Takes a Step Forward For Sharks Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Ocean News: Brazil Bans Catfish Fishery to Protect Pink River Dolphins, Arctic Ice Melt Leading to Large Arctic Waves, and More Posted Thu, July 31, 2014
- Loggerhead Sea Turtles Gain Protection with Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery Restriction Posted Fri, July 25, 2014
- Ocean News: NC Fishermen Face Tighter Restrictions, Antarctic Fur Seals Hurt by Climate Change, and More Posted Mon, July 28, 2014
- Baby Sea Turtles Found to Make Noise to Coordinate Hatching Posted Mon, July 28, 2014