The Beacon

VICTORY: European Union Bans All Shark Finning!

© Oceana/Carlos Suarez

We at Oceana are thrilled to share this news with you – the European Union (EU) has just officially adopted a strict ban on shark finning! Saturday ended nearly a decade of battle to close several enforcement loopholes that had permitted some forms of shark finning. Finning has technically been prohibited in the EU since 2003, but an exemption allowed Member States to issue special permits for fishing vessels to remove shark fins on board. In particular, an exemption used by Spain and Portugal allowed some vessels to remove sharks’ fins at sea, which made it nearly impossible to detect and monitor the finning that was occurring.


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The Race to Protect Northern Chilean Oceans

© OCEANA | Eduardo Sorensen

The coastline of La Higuera and Isla Chañaral in Northern Chile is different from any other coastline I have ever experienced.  I grew up in New York, next to the East River, with the Atlantic Ocean right around the corner.  I have travelled along many different coastlines, from Italy´s Amalfi Coast, to British Columbia´s Queen Charlotte Islands.  I am in Chile for the first time, interning at Oceana in Santiago for two months. 

The difference between Chile and other countries is that Chile surprises you at every turn.  The landscape and weather undergo dramatic changes kilometer to kilometer, minute to minute.  We are in Northern Chile in order to further Oceana´s plan to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA).  Alex Muñoz, Executive Director of Oceana Chile, and his team have been working with the local communities to achieve that goal since 2009. 


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California's Shark Fin Ban Officially in Effect! The Catch Is...

California has banned shark fins within the state...for now

Let's start with the good news: As of yesterday, July 1, California's shark fin ban (passed in 2011) officially came into effect! California grocers that stocked shark fins and restaurants that offered shark fin soup on the menu had 18 months to move their product. During the 18 month interim, the Los Angeles Times reports that one San Gabriel Valley restaurant specializing in the delicacy shut down, while several retailers in Chinatown bemoaned the large stock of shark fins still at hand. 


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Oceana EU's 2013 Baltic Expedition Underway!

A rock gunnel, one of the many beautiful creatures our Baltic team has encountered on their 2013 expedition!

"Dead silence on the boat. All you hear is the waves hitting the sides. We are rolling up and down, up and down, on the waves. Concentrated faces staring at the sea. Up and down, up and down. Klaus is standing up on the boat eating potato crisps. Grillchips. I’m feeling sick, sea sick. I try to focus my eyes on the horizon but it doesn’t help. It’s fine, I will be on the boat for just four more hours…"


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"Snuffy the Seal": Offensive or Effective?

Whether this was your first or fiftieth time watching the Discovery Channel’s viral Shark Week ad, “Snuffy the Seal,” the video is sure to have caught your attention. The ad has been called “polarizing,” “controversial,” and even “horrifying.” Loved or hated, there’s no doubt that the video is effective – mere minutes after the promo aired, “Snuffy the Seal,” was a trending topic on Twitter, and dozens of news articles have been written in the days since its release on the ad’s effectiveness and shock value.


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Keegan Allen Is Fighting to Protect Our Oceans -- Are You?

As an actor, director, and star of "Pretty Little Liars," Keegan Allen wears many hats. And now he can add "ocean hero" to that ever-growing list of titles -- Keegan has joined us in the fight to protect the world's oceans. Do you know an exceptional individual who is working in new and unique ways to save our oceans? Nominate him or her (or even yourself!) for Oceana's 5th Annual Ocean Hero Awards! Nominations end Friday, so act now! www.oceana.org/oceanheroes


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Obama's Climate Plan Will Reduce CO2, Increase Clean Energy

President Obama speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, about the future of our environment, and his climate plan for the years to come. 

In a speech today at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama laid out his climate plan for the United States moving forward in the months, years, and decades ahead. Oceana was pleased to hear President Obama promoting clean energy like wind and solar energy, but wishes that he had also mentioned offshore wind – a form of energy that is safe for our oceans and its creatures, and forever sustainable.


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Gearing Up for the First Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day!

Leatherback hatchlings inch their way towards the wide and open ocean

We’re already gearing up for this year’s first official Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle Conservation Day on October 15! When Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1776 into law last year, he declared an official celebratory day for the Pacific leatherback sea turtle and made it the state’s marine reptile, in order to increase awareness and conservation of this endangered species. With the support of the state of California, we are working with state and federal agencies and other conservation organizations here and abroad to facilitate an official California-Indonesia leatherback partnership to better protect this amazing sea turtle at every stage of its lifecycle, from hatchling to adult.


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National Aquarium Gives a Fresh Approach to Combating Seafood Fraud

Asian catfish hiding in your grouper sandwich. Escolar sold in your “white tuna” sushi roll. By now, most consumers know they can’t always trust what’s on their dinner plate, especially when it comes to seafood. But how often do you actually get to test your own knowledge of what you’re eating? Now is your chance to do just that, as Oceana teams up with the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. for an interactive fine-dining experience as part of their Fresh Thoughts Dining Series.


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Brunei Becomes First Asian Country to Ban Shark Finning!

Brunei's strong ban on shark finning sets an admirable step for the rest of Asia to follow! Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We have some big news for  you –Brunei has become the first Asian country to adopt a nationwide shark fin ban! With his June 7 announcement, Sultan Hossanal Bolkiah’s decree officially banned the catch and landing of all shark species from the waters of Brunei Darussalam, as well as shark fin sales in the domestic market, and the importation and trade of shark products.


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