The Beacon

Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.

Photos: Meet the Ocean Animals with the Wildest Teeth

Fangtooth moray eel has wild, glass-like teeth

The fangtooth moray eel, an eel species with multiple glass-like teeth. (Photo: Philippe Guillaume / Flickr Creative Commons)

When you’re out swimming or surfing at the beach, have you ever wondered which ocean animals surrounding you have teeth? It turns out that sharks aren’t the only marine animals with teeth—a tool in some marine animals may be more widespread than you thought.

From hundreds of sharp, razor-blade-like teeth in great white sharks to the singular long, spiraled tooth on narwhales, teeth come in all shapes in sizes in marine ecosystems. This diversity is for good reason—some use their teeth to shred and slice prey, while others use their teeth more as a harpoon.


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Video: Watch Dozens of Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtles Scurry to the Ocean

This sea turtle cam caught a nest hatch in Florida

Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean in Florida. (Photo: FloridaKeysTV / Florida Keys Turtle Cam)  

It’s that wonderful time of year again on the East Coast: sea turtle hatching season! Turtle nests—from green sea turtles to loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys, and even more species—are starting to hatch from Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re a sea turtle lover and haven’t made it to the beach to catch a nest hatch, don’t worry—the Florida Keys Turtle Cam has got you covered.


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Ocean News: Brazil Bans Catfish Fishery to Protect Pink River Dolphins, Arctic Ice Melt Leading to Large Arctic Waves, and More

Brazil bans catfish industry to protect pink river dolphins

A pink river dolphin, a species that’s declined from Brazil’s catfish fishery. (Photo: Colombia Travel / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Creature Feature: Caribbean Spiny Lobster

Creature feature Caribbean spiny lobster

Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) in a giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) in the Elbow Reef, Key Largo, Florida, USA. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

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.


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Deceptive Crab Mislabeling Leads Members of Congress to Call for Action

blue crabs are mislabeled leading to seafood fraud

Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). (Photo: Bob Simmons / Flickr Creative Commons)

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.


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Ocean News: Climate Change Threatens Red Knots, Pacific Island Leaders Meet to Discuss Ocean Conservation, and More

Climate change threatens red knot migration

Red knots (Calidris canutus rufa) flying over Delaware. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Impacts of Climate Change on Highly Migratory Species Prioritized in NMFS Management Plan

Bluefin tuna are a highly migratory species affected by climate change

A bluefin tuna, a migratory species affected by climate change. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

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.


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No-Take Zones in Belize Could Rebuild Conch, Lobster, and Grouper Populations

No-take zones could rebuild conch populations in Belize

Queen conch (Strombus gigas), a species that could rebuild with no-take zones in Belize. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Dave C.)

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. 


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Ocean News: Cape Cod Embraces Shark Spottings, Rare White Southern Right Whale Calf Spotted off Australia, and More

Great white sharks are celebrated on Cape Cod

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). (Photo: Scubaben / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Staff Spotlight: Jackie Savitz

Oceana’s Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jacqueline Savitz

Oceana’s Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jacqueline Savitz (Photo: Oceana / Melissa Forsyth)

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.


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