The Beacon

A Jellyfish Media Sting

jellyfish the ranger margot stiles oceana

It appears that jellyfish have invaded not just the oceans but the media, too.

Last week I told you about our marine scientist Margot Stiles' cameo on the CBS Early Show to talk about the jellyfish invasion. They aired a longer version of the story Sunday evening -- check it out. They included quite a bit of footage from our European office of jellyfish and our roving catamaran, the Ranger.

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My friends and family have noticed that in the past few months, especially since I started reading Taras Grescoe’s new book Bottomfeeder, I’ve become a sustainable seafood evangelist. (More on that book at a later date, it deserves its own post.) “Is that farmed salmon?” I’ll ask, or, eyeing some frozen shrimp, “Do you know where those come from?” In fact, I ought to tone it down a notch – otherwise I have a feeling people are going to stop inviting me out for meals.

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Bering Sea Gets a Break

the bering sea

I'm a little late on this one, but last Friday the National Marine Fisheries Service announced that as of August 25, 2008, 180,000 square miles of the Bering Sea (that's five times the area of California) will be off-limits to bottom trawling.

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Jellyfish Invasion

oceana scientist margot stiles

This morning the CBS Early Show featured our marine scientist Margot Stiles in a segment about this summer's preponderance of jellyfish. Why all the jellies? Suspected reasons include the overfishing and bycatch of their predators, such as the loggerhead sea turtle, tuna and swordfish, as well as pollution and global warming.

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Blue Whales' Songs Deepen

blue whale songs

When I read the headline of yesterday's New York Times article, "Whales’ Lower-Pitch Sound Has Experts Guessing," I assumed the lede would be something like, "Whales' songs are deepening as they grow depressed about global warming." Just goes to show, I generally associate deeper-pitched sounds with sadness and mourning -- and I assign human characteristics to animals perhaps too zealously... As it turns out, the lower moans might portend good after all. The piece reports that the song of blue whales around the world has grown deeper -- and scientists speculate that it could be because their population is on the rise since commercial whaling bans began to take effect in the 1970s.

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Born to Flood

new jersey turnpike

Ok, hold the New Jersey cracks: the Garden State might be in for a wild (and expensive) ride, thanks to climate change, a NJ paper reports.

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Shark Week Swims Closer

shark week

Just in time for Discovery Channel's Shark Week, July 27 to Aug. 2, today we released a report revealing that as shark populations decline, the oceans suffer unpredictable and devastating consequences.

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L.A. Council Bans Plastic Bags

Good news for Pacific marine life, particularly sea turtles: the L.A. Times reports that the city council has voted to ban plastic carryout bags in the city's stores by 2010, unless the state imposes a 25-cent fee on those who request them.

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Turtle Beaches Heat Up

green sea turtle babies

I'm intrigued by an article yesterday in National Geographic News about the ways scientists are intervening to protect Pacific leatherback sea turtles in the face of global warming.

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Dolphins Get Cuter Yet

dolphin whistles to baby

Well if this doesn't make you say, "aww," I dont know what will... According to a new study, female bottlenose dolphins whistle 10 times more often after they give birth so their little ones can recognize them in the crowd of adults, since dolphins are social creatures.

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