The Beacon

Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to Balearic Seamounts

Oceana will venture to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

A hermit crab holding a big sponge pictured during the Oceana expedition to the Balearic seamounts. (Photo: Flickr / Oceana in Europe)

Earlier this week, Oceana launched an expedition to document three seamounts located between the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, all of which belong to the Balearic Islands. Using an underwater robot known as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a team of Oceana marine scientists will capture footage at depths of up to 3,280 feet. The 10-day expedition will allow Oceana to learn about and map areas of ecological importance that are in need of conservation.


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Video: Diver Films Southern Right Whale Encounter Underwater

National geographic captures footage of southern right whales

Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Jose Rambaud)

While diving along South America’s eastern coast, diver and undersea specialist on "National Geographic Explorer" Justin Hofman came across a southern right whale and her calf — one of the rarest marine mammals.


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Video: Massive Barrel Jellyfish Caught on Camera

Diver captured one of the largest barrel jellyfish ever seen on camera

Barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Kennadiver)

In recent years, record numbers of barrel jellyfish have swarmed UK waters by the billions. These jellyfish are massive—stretching nearly 3 feet wide with tentacles that can extend for 6 feet. But in a recently released video, a diver off the coast of UK waters swam next to what may be one of the biggest barrel jellyfish ever spotted, according to The Telegraph.


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South Korea, Ghana, and Curaçao Given Six Months to Stop Illegal Fishing

The European Commission is giving three countries six months to stop iuu fishing

A bottom trawler in the Southern Baltic. (Photo: Oceana / LX)

South Korea, Ghana, and Curaçao must now act quickly to combat illegal fishing, as the European Commission granted these three countries only six more months to improve efforts to stop illegal, unreported, and unregulated  (IUU) fishing in their waters.


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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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Video: Spangled Emperor Fish Dazzle the Great Barrier Reef

A school of spangled emperor (Lethrinus nebulosus)

A school of spangled emperor (Lethrinus nebulosus). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Bill & Mark Bell)

When you think of the Great Barrier Reef, you probably think of vibrant corals, glowing clams, and free-swimming sea turtles. But in this slow-motion video, one free diver catches the elegant beauty of spangled emperor—a fish you may have overlooked.


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Chilean Salmon Industry Found to Use Highest Amount of Antibiotics Worldwide

Chilean salmon industry uses the highest amount of antibiotics

Salmon farming in Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Cristian Perez)

A new report found that the Chilean salmon farming industry used an astounding amount of antibiotics in 2013—the highest amount out of any country. The report by Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service revealed that the industry used over 993,000 pounds of antibiotics in 2013.


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Video: Huge School of Anchovies Swarms San Diego Shoreline

A massive school of anchovies amassed along the Pacific coast shoreline.

A massive school of anchovies amassed along the Pacific coast shoreline. (Photo: Scripps Oceanography / YouTube)

When a massive school of anchovies swam uncharacteristically close to the California shoreline last week, they couldn’t have picked a better location: right outside the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


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Creature Feature: Ochre Sea Star

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / canopic)

Whether you know them as starfish or sea stars, these five-arm invertebrates will always be recognized by their unique shape and vibrant colors that have been decorating the seafloor for millions of years. This month, we’re taking a look at the ochre sea star and what this keystone species can tell us about the health of our oceans.


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Video: National Geographic Features Ocean Hero Jean Beasley’s Sea Turtle Hospital

A sea turtle being rehabilitated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue Center

A sea turtle being rehabilitated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. (Photo: Oceana / Cory Wilson)

From the time they hatch and bravely crawl towards the ocean, sea turtles face many obstacles like falling prey to crabs, gulls, and sharks—and only one in 1,000 to 10,000 are estimated to survive to adulthood. Even those sea turtles that beat the odds can find themselves wounded and threatened by fishing gear, plastics, and boat strikes.


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