The Beacon

Aboard the MarViva Med: A Plea for Bluefin

marviva med

For a little more than a month, Oceana's vessel the MarViva Med has been roving the Mediterranean documenting and exposing illegal fishing, among other activities, and writing about it on their blog.

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China's Olympic-sized Algae Cleanup

china algae bloom

For once, the Olympic spotlight on China is making it look too green -- from an algal bloom that The New York Times reports is threatening the upcoming sailing regatta near the city of Qingdao. Thousands of people are helping to clean up a bloom that would be impossible to sail through.

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Friday Victories: Comeback Coral and the MAR

coral reef

A little breather from the Exxon Mobil gloom and doom of my last two posts -- some welcome news today:

1.) The northern section of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between Iceland and the Azores has been given official protected status as a High Seas Marine Protected Area. The section of the undersea mountain range was given the status by the OSPAR Commission for the protection of the North-East Atlantic.

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Maintain the Moratorium

The Supreme Court's decision this week to reduce Exxon Mobil's payout brought with it memories and images of the 1989 spill, whose effects are still being felt by ecosystems, marine life, and people. I was still in single digits when the spill happened, so reading about it was a clear wake-up call that a similar disaster could be just over the horizon unless we do something.

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The Underwater Census

It's a tough job naming every species in the sea, but somebody's gotta do it. More specifically, the Census of Marine Life. It's an effort to catalog all species of life in the oceans, and has validated 122,500 species names so far, as well as 56,400 aliases that have been applied to the same species over the years.

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A Crude Ruling on Exxon Valdez

Exxon Valdez

By now you've probably seen yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, which reduced what had once been a $5 billion punitive damages award against Exxon Mobil for the 1989 oil spill to about $500 million.

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Golden Rays' Mass Migration

golden rays

An amateur photographer caught photos of thousands of golden rays migrating off the coast of Mexico. Talk about right place, right time for Ms. Critelli. She must feel pretty, well, golden. Take a peek, it's well worth it.

[Image: Sandra Critelli via]

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The Cleverest Cephalopod?

As we've noted in our creature corner, and as Carl Zimmer discusses in today's in-depth Slate story, the Octopus is not your average marine invertebrate. It's an Ivy League invertebrate. Well, sort of.

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Smithsonian's Ocean Photo Exhibit

If you live in DC, enjoy photography and/or the sea, the Museum of Natural History has an exhibit of some amazing ocean and marine life photos up through November. Even for the uber-busy among you, that should be plenty of time to check it out.

The small exhibit seems to be a teaser for the museum's 23,000 square-foot Ocean Hall , which is scheduled to open in September.

Thanks to Oceana science fellow Ben Freitas for the heads up.

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Sea Trash in the NYT

ocean trash

Perhaps you've heard about the "Garbage Patch," the unthinkably large flotilla of trash, much of which is plastic, floating in the Pacific Ocean. If you haven't -- or even if you have -- check out this piece from yesterday's New York Times Magazine.

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